Let’s get straight to the point. Marketing has evolved. The quicker you can accept and embrace this fact, the sooner you can start reaping the rewards in your business.
You only need to take a look at the boarded-up shops on your high street to understand that consumer behaviour has undergone a seismic shift in the last decade. But do we all want different goods and services, or is there a deeper root to this change? Why have some businesses flourished, whilst others have faded into the abyss?
Whilst technology, innovation and the titanic rise of the beast that is ‘online’ has wiped some more traditional goods and services from the marketplace, marketing experts across the globe agree that it’s not necessarily the end product that needs to change, it’s the way we position them.
The Shift in Marketing
In years gone by, setting up your proverbial stall and brandishing your metaphorical megaphone would lead to sales. But nowadays, shouting “buy my product- it’s cheaper than the competitor’s and comes in red” simply doesn’t cut the mustard. We’ve moved on from the ‘what and how’ in marketing, and are now living in the ‘why and who’ and we have to reach out and connect with our clients, rather than expecting them to come to us.
We are living in an era where the consumer isn’t solely fixated on what a product does or looks like; the focus is now on who the product is for, and how it enriches our lifestyle, or aligns with our beliefs and ethics. The products or services that now sell are those that fulfil our complex human needs, or ‘speak to us’, and have become so essential to our existence that we can no longer live without them.
So, how can you create that feeling in your customers and clients? How can you build a loyal tribe of followers who live and breathe what you’re selling? The answer is Attraction Marketing.
What is Attraction Marketing?
Attraction marketing is actually a very basic concept when you break it down: it’s simply about talking to your customers like human beings and building a connection. None of us want to be preached at or patronised. Instead, we want to be made to feel that we matter. We want to be educated, nurtured, feel included, empowered and believe that we’re making a positive contribution. Most importantly though, we want to feel that we are in control and have made our own decisions.
How Can You Implement Attraction Marketing?
These feelings can be evoked in a variety of ways. The most evident, if you watch TV or ever glance at social media, is the ‘endorsement’. Big brands will pay hundreds of thousands to have a celebrity name affiliated with their products. Celebrities are open books when it comes to what they believe and what they stand for. If your client feels some sort of accord or affinity with those views, they will want to feel close to the celebrity by owning something they use or need. In doing so, the customer will feel that they are part of that celebrity’s lifestyle, and are demonstrating that they share their views, morals and tastes.
But you don’t need a million-pound marketing budget to achieve the same result. The key is to nurture your clients and be very transparent about what you believe and what you stand for. In doing so, you will find people who share the same values and want to stand with you, and, of course, buy from you.
For smaller companies with lower budgets, content-marketing is the golden ticket. Any medium that allows you to demonstrate what you believe, and how it enriches people’s lives, will help to attract clients. For example, educational blogs and vlogs, testimonials, webinars, book downloads, online calculators and podcasts. All of these mediums will help to educate and empower your client base, and reinforce the feeling that they are very much in control. Clients who feel those emotions are far more likely to buy from you when they need your product or service, so this, often free, content will build your fan-base, boost your sales and generate brand loyalty.
What Should Your Content Include?
When constructing your content, you need to ensure that the dated mode of marketing doesn’t creep in. Rather than emphasising the features of your product or service, the content needs to answer questions, provide solutions and emotionally connect with your customers.
Here are some ways that you can achieve that:
- Showcase Your Company Culture
In the modern working world, company culture rules. Having a strong and transparent identity sets you apart from your competitors and gives your brand a distinctive voice. Being so open about what you believe in and exposing your internal practices may make you feel vulnerable, but it humanises your company, unifies your team and speaks directly to consumers on a very deep level. This is especially important if you believe in supporting your community, the environment or charities. Doing good in the world is something to shout about and will make you far more appealing to your clients.
- Share Your Story
Every business on the planet has a story, so what’s yours? As humans we love to hear stories about people just like us. Learning about people’s struggles and successes builds a strong bond and empathy. In many ways, stories are the ultimate form of communication, so don’t be afraid to tell others where you’ve come from, how you’ve evolved and what you’ve learnt. They will then feel that they really know you, so will trust and respect you.
- Educate, Don’t Withhold
We all live in an age where information is at our fingertips. Personally, I think this is an incredible notion, but it seems to have evaded some marketeers. In times gone by, marketing copy was all about dropping in small crumbs of knowledge that enticed the customer, but required them to spend money to see the full picture. Those days are gone. You need to be completely open and helpful with your customers, by equipping them with all of the know-how they need. Doing this will not only establish you as an expert, but also show you in an honest, trust-worthy light. If you don’t fully educate your customers, your competitor certainly will.
- Talk Their Language
People do not like to be talked down to, especially by people who want our money! Any content you produce should aim to build an equal relationship between you and your client. To do this, you need to understand who your client is, what their lifestyle looks like, and what sparks their interest. Speak to them as you would your friends and family, so that you can build a meaningful connection. In line with this, make sure that you are reaching out to your customers on their preferred marketing channel, whether that’s a physical magazine, or Instagram.
- Keep It Factual
To build trust, you need to be honest and accurate. Using statistical information, or quotes from external sources is a good persuasive technique when writing copy, but make sure it’s completely accurate. ‘Fake News’ will destroy trust and lose you customers.
There are thousands of ways to connect with your clients using Attraction Marketing, so have fun and get creative! Construct your content with your client in mind, and don’t be afraid to inject personality, transparency and genuine feelings. People buy from people, so showcase exactly who you and your brand are.