Whether you are the CMO of your company, work for a marketing/advertising agency, self-employed, or a student, you’ve probably seen some examples of “great” marketing. Some immediate examples come to mind, like Nike’s “Find Your Greatness” in 2012, or Apple’s “Perspective”.
While TV commercials are still the biggest mainstream way to market your product or service, social media is taking over as a more cost-effective, targeted way to reach your consumers. However, we definitely shouldn’t forget email marketing, as that seems to have a monopoly on “spamming” (at least in my experience).
Whatever your marketing medium, you want to be more certain now than ever that you are not spamming your audience. It’s 2019, and they have options. Keep spamming them, and slowly but surely they will go elsewhere. Here are 5 tips to make sure that you’re marketing your work, not spamming it:
- Focus on quality > quantity for email lists
Yeah, let’s go ahead and jump right back into the email marketing because the amount of emails that I (and probably many of you get) with absolutely zero value in them is insane. There are some email lists to which I genuinely enjoy being subscribed, but today I am afraid to ever put my email on any company’s website out of fear that they will send me 3, 7, 16 emails a day.
As someone who works directly in sales, I understand how important it is to have multiple “touchpoints” with your consumers. I get it- sales pay the bills, and without them, there is no company. However, I’m here to yell at the top of my lungs that sending 5 emails/day to the same person is simply ridiculous.
If I ever begin to receive 5 emails/day from a company and they all have genuine value, I’ll reconsider. Until then, as a marketer and consumer, I think we all agree that the emails are out of control, and you have an opportunity to set your company apart from others by sending fewer, quality emails which provide value to your base.
- Look to create a community with social media accounts, don’t constantly “hard sell”
Today’s consumer expects more than just a good product, they want community. And they are quicker to get annoyed with constantly overselling your brand.
Your social media is an excellent opportunity to connect with your consumers on a level which no other media provide. Use it to communicate- respond to comments, answer questions on your stories and in your DMs, and most importantly- don’t make every single post a sales pitch! Your brand reputation can be ruined if you falter on recognizing the real benefits of social media: connecting with your followers! You can absolutely use the provided platforms to sell, but focus first on giving excellent content to your audience.
For more on this idea, check out Gary Vaynerchuk’s book “Jab. Jab. Jab. Right Hook”.
- Create content that answers specific questions
If you want to provide value to your consumers, you have to know what they want! There should be very easy and clearly depicted ways for your audience to ask you questions, whether that be directly on social media or on your website (extra tip: to the younger generation, it looks tacky when a social media manager answers a question on an account by saying “thanks- please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.”. Give your social team enough responsibility to answer questions on your page!
If you’re engaged with your audience, they will consistently ask you questions which you can then turn into content. This works very well for both parties- your consumers get their questions answered, and you get free content ideas with minimal brain power. This way, you don’t have to spend extra energy on coming up with new ideas because your ideas are given to you via their interests.
- Ask for regular consumer feedback
If you want to know what your consumers want, there’s no better way than to ask them. You should look to “survey” your audience once a quarter, whether that be through an actual survey in their email, or more creative ways like Twitter polls or Instagram votes.
Your customers can give you more valuable feedback than some of the finest business consultants in the world. There is no one which spends more time with your product or service than the consumer, and so their opinion is extremely valuable. If you want to innovate a new advertising campaign, why not use consumer feedback to give the best chance of it being a home run?
- Be honest with your captions, discounts, and giveaways
Click bait might be one of the quickest ways to get a lot of views, but it is also one of the quickest ways to infuriate your audience and get them to disengage with your account (and ultimately your brand). Think about it- you are literally tricking your closest consumers into thinking that what they are about to read/watch/listen is something that it’s not.
Another scenario is when there’s a level of dishonesty within the captions companies use in their email marketing campaigns. “Save 70% on…..”, “Get $100 free when….”, etc. You’ve seen them in your email before, and it’s just annoying. The company acts like they are giving you an amazing deal, when in reality they are just trying to get you to buy something in which you aren’t interested.
Of course, the main point of marketing, advertising, and branding is to position your product/service, let people know about it, create excitement, and sell. This hasn’t changed. However, the constant abuse of advertisers will one day no longer be accepted by the end consumer. That day is coming, and many brands will feel this effect in a big way. The smart ones will change their strategy; the others will drive their sales into the ground. It’s 2019- market, don’t spam! 🙂