Most traditional marketing messages stink like rotten fish. A customer can smell them coming from a mile away. Just like rotten fish, most people want to avoid them. In a world saturated with advertisements, customers have become marketing savvy. They understand the tactics and techniques that digital marketing for drug rehab marketers use because they’ve seen so much of it. And they’re not buying it.
It’s time to rethink traditional marketing strategies. Quit talking at prospective customers and start talking with them. Internet businesses need to engage their customers through social media outlets, like Facebook, Twitter, and online forums. To start a proper conversation with them, take just three steps:
Before engaging a prospective customer, study the industry. Who are the most influential people in the market? Who do customers talk about, most? What companies are respected? Who’s opinions count? Who do customers like, not just talk about? There’s a difference between fame, and infamy, in social networking.
The goal is to discover the industry experts. These people have a definitive impact on customer’s choices. Make a list. Study what they have to say. The goal is to become established as one of them.
In order to effectively communicate with a customer, first learn what they’re saying. Become a “fly on the wall” by discreetly tapping into their conversations.
Figure out where on the Internet customers are hanging out, and go there. It’s like a biologist going to the jungle to watch animals, instead of the local zoo. Observe the customer’s natural behavior, and pay attention to the noises they make.
Find blogs and online forums where potential customers congregate. Bookmark them. Subscribe to the site’s RSS feeds. Read what they’re saying and pay attention. It’s amazing what potential customers talk about in these places. This gives Internet businesses an inside view to how an audience is reacting to different situations, their concerns, their likes and dislikes. Learn what turns the customer on, making them rampant consumers that buy up everything in sight, and what turns them off, turning them into rabid weasels ready to bite off heads at the slightest provocation. Paying attention is all that’s required.
While watching these social networks, notice that each group has a certain style and rhythm. These are social groups, after all. They have social rules that may not be obvious, but look out for them. Do they allow blatant advertising? Do they seem to be okay with links in the posts? What about links in the signature? Internet ventures will fall flat without this kind of knowledge.
Now that the customer’s hearts and minds are understood, it’s time to enter the fray. Join these forums. Leave comments in the blogs customers are reading. Set up a Facebook page for the company.
Once the accounts and profile pages are set up, start searching for members of the network that are potential customers, and engage them. Don’t just barge in with blatant advertising messages: “Buy Product X, Here!” or “Get Product Y, Now!” That’s just crashing the party. Take that approach, and customers will either run away like scared hamsters, or turn and attack like pack dogs.
Enter into the conversation slowly, patiently. Ask questions. Establish a relationship with the people there. Move too quickly and they’ll just see public enemy number one. Instead, move slowly so as not to appear as a “threatening marketer” to them. Eventually, the customers will be accepting. Then the advertising will happen naturally and almost like magic.