“OK so all I have to do is get a bunch of friends on Facebook, buy some advertising time and then I can sell all my stuff right?”
Wrong! That’s the idea most people have when they think of marketing online. Unfortunately, it just doesn’t work like that. No, the web has changed the way a business of any size needs to market.
It’s just not enough to advertise your product or service anymore. You just have too much competition for this to be effective. Instead you have to reach your consumer in the way he wants to be reached.
Today’s consumer is smart, knows what he wants and isn’t easily impressed by hype. This ultra-modern consumer wants you to answer these all-important questions:
- Why should I be interested in your services?
- Why buy this particular product?
- And more importantly: Why should I buy from YOU?
Not to worry though; there is a type of marketing that addresses these consumer questions; however, it has nothing to do with traditional selling. This is a new concept, a new online marketing trend, called outreach marketing. It is an effective way of increasing sales conversions by approximately 25% to 40%; this according to statistics set forth by Market Research, a leader in market analysis and research. But, because outreach marketing is new, few businesses or entrepreneurs adapt to its methodology, a fact that makes this type of marketing even more effective for those who do.
What is Outreach Marketing?
This is a series of ideas and activities that take marketing back to its roots. Outreach marketing focuses on human to human connections and basic consumer psychology; working much like “word of mouth” has worked for thousands of years.
The Strategy of Outreach Marketing
Essentially, using outreach marketing effectively means you develop a strategic approach that helps your consumers learn and hear about your new products in the way they’ve always wanted. And when you take this new marketing and PR approach in the online world your efforts will be so much more effective. All you have to do is follow the 9 principles of outreach marketing, which in turn, will get you that word of mouth marketing and passion you need your customers to have for your services or products.
People Trust that Third Non-related Party Reference
As detached as the modern day consumer has become from almost everything and everyone, that third party recommendation still carries a lot of weight. Having another person recommend a service is more important than you would think. You can talk about yourself until you are blue in the face, but if a friend, fellow employee or neighbour recommends another service, that’s the guy your consumer is going to go with.
How Can You Use this to Your Advantage?
Reach out to other businesses, bloggers or customers and ask them to write about your brand. Ask for a product or service review. Even when the bloggers aren’t willing to write it themselves, you can help them write the review and then just ask them to post it to their website or blog. In this case, you help your fellow blogger or entrepreneur by giving him fresh, free content, and he helps you by offering a recommendation.
Reach the Right People
Outreach marketing is about reaching the right people at the right time and letting them tell your story. This can include consumers who have a large social presence, and who are enchanted with your services, or other businesses that come from related industries who recommend your service. This is where social media can help give you that outreach marketing, especially if you create content, posts and information that others who are interested in your niche can share.
The biggest piece of the puzzle when it comes to outreach marketing is making consumers, readers and your public in general, feel like they are a part of your business growth. Letting them feel a part of your business. How do you that? Communicate with your consumer, ask questions, offer rewards, send personal thoughts on birthdays or special days.
Today’s consumer wants to see who sits behind the company’s profile. They want authentic and relevant. They don’t want that salesy attitude. The best way to achieve this is by interacting with your audience, engage them with real content, comments and questions.
If there were just one word that could define what outreach marketing is, that would be creativity. It is a way of engaging with your audience in a way that is interesting and entertaining; a way that engages their interest and participation. That’s a key to this type of marketing. It’s finding that creative path that none of your competition is taking.