Marketing is an interesting field that both drives social change and is driven by it. As the pace of social change picks up, once-powerful marketing techniques can lose their impact, and if you’re not keeping up with the current, you can easily be left in the shallows, with dwindling engagement and dismal balance sheet to match.
If you’re ready to update your marketing strategy to meet the new demands of the modern world, the following five strategies are a great place to start.
1. Do good (and let people know about it)
While it’s important to avoid eye-roll-inducing humblebrags, there are ways to let people know about initiatives your brand gets behind, like environmental causes and social procurement.
What is social procurement? Put simply, it’s the act of acquiring anything from your supplies to your employees via ethical means that do good in the world. For example, you could employ staff through a reform program for former prisoners or source the materials for your products from nearby local businesses that use ethical and sustainable production methods.
To turn these good deeds into valuable marketing material, focus on sharing how great your suppliers, employees, and other ethical partners are. Though your brand’s positive attention will be a byproduct, it will be made all the more powerful by the fact that you’re sharing the love with people who deserve it rather than focusing on yourself.
2. Encourage organic social media sharing
While there will always be a place for social media ads, pay-per-click ads, and email marketing, one of the most powerful things you can do in the modern world is to create social posts that people want to share.
By getting involved in the social initiatives described above and being humble when you share what you’re doing, you have a good chance of creating viral posts. You can also use humor and offer valuable insights. The key is to give people something of value that they’ll be inspired to share. Achieve this, and you’ll have a marketing method that’s both free and incredibly powerful.
3. Build relationships with repeat customers
This doesn’t have to be a time-intensive process. In fact, you can automate many parts of it. For example, you can make different confirmation email templates for second, third, and fourth orders, and so on. This shows returning customers that you‘re actually paying attention and that you care about them as a person, not just a number in your ledger. Ideally, you’ll want to include loyalty discounts at certain milestones and include this in a greater campaign that focuses on relationship building with repeat customers.
4. Encourage referrals
You may wish to consider offering incentives for referrals. However, if you’re really impressing your customers, sometimes all you need to do is ask. You can encourage referrals by asking customers to let their friends and family know about your brand or by asking them to post reviews or share testimonials.
5. Be part of the conversation
Whether you favor Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, or any other platform, one of the easiest and most enjoyable ways to improve brand awareness is to join in relevant conversations. This may not win you instant sales, but it does make your brand a constant presence in people’s minds. So, when the time comes that they need your products or services, you have a greater chance of being the first brand that pops into their heads.
By employing the strategies above, you can make your brand easy to market now and into the future.