It’s no secret that overnight, it seems, marketing has turned on its head.
So-called brick-and-mortar promotion campaigns, such as sending seminar fliers through the U.S. Postal Service, seem quaint today. And then there are not-so-obvious changes that are driving a stake in the heart of what once were considered best practices.
Let’s get perspective about what’s going on. In the old days — an eternity of three years ago — under the old rules:
- If you offered value, people would buy
- People would pay for your content
- Communication used to be one-way, or one to one, meaning I’d communicate with you, and perhaps you’d respond
- The only way to be extraordinarily visible was through print, TV, and radio; and speaking, networking and email
- Only reporters and editors saw your news releases and pitches
- Reporters and editors were gatekeepers to your news
- It was hard to measure results of press release distribution unless you paid through the nose for a clipping service
- The only way to measure marketing results was using direct marketing through the mail, or until a few years ago, through email.
Most small business marketing is now being carried out on the Internet. And with this comes a new set of rules. Here are the top seven.
- To win the minds and wallets of people whose spending is inconsistent, offering value isn’t enough. You must be relevant. If your content doesn’t offer something people can use either right now or soon, they’ll pass you by.
- People expect to access your copyrighted content for free.
- Technology, which has become deeply embedded in the collective DNA, is a hungry beast that needs to constantly be fed with content — your content.
- You control when, where and how your news and content will be seen, because many of the gatekeepers of the past don’t exist online. This control is yours to harness.
- Free online measuring tools such as Google Analytics enable you to know, with precision, how well your various marketing activities are doing. Use these tools for the story of how and how many people are gravitating to your website.
- You can, and should, publish your own content, most notably through writing blog articles, through such other online media as video and eBooks, and distributing news through press releases.
- Engage in conversations with one person or many people at the same time, using such social media as Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.
The new rules of marketing enable you to become a center of influence, because the public nature of social media opens up your conversations and ideas for everyone to see. Your message can spread quickly and to a broad audience, because the people in your network are interconnected with other networks; if they think your message is valuable, they’ll pass it along.
Today, it’s much easier to be visible and assert your influence than in the past, because there are fewer barriers stopping people from finding out what you have to say. And that’s a foundational step towards building trust and relationships, which may lead to future business for you.
Which new rule is working best for you?
Roberta Guise enables successful women to become thought leaders. She also works with experts, small business owners and professionals who want to be extraordinarily visible and sharpen their marketing edge. A small business marketing consultant and speaker, she is the founder of San Francisco-based Guise Marketing & PR. If you'd like to know how to apply these concepts to your situation, call for a free 1/2 hour consultation. 415-979-0611. www.guisemarketing.com