Every time you publish content or interact with customers, technically you’re performing marketing. You may not be selling a product or service, but at the very least, you’re marketing your brand image and reputation.
Keep these four marketing basics in mind to make every point of contact and interaction count.
- Online and real-world associations matter
Who and what you associate your brand with matters. Consumers pay close attention to how organizations spend their time, money, and energy. It can take just one negative association to make people upset, and lead to all kinds of problems.
To preserve your brand’s good name, act intentionally with your associations in the following areas:
- Link building. Sure, you can get thousands of free or cheap links, but do you seriously want your site to be associated with cheap, spammy websites? If you blindly purchase packages of backlinks, you might regret it when you learn where your links ended up, and it will be hard to get them removed.
Plus, purchasing links will get you penalized by the search engines. Acquiring genuine backlinks through content marketing will help boost your search engine rankings. Avoid getting penalized by obtaining high-quality backlinks from a professional marketing agency such as Link.build.
- Social media. Who you follow and communicate with online matters. If your customers see you engaging with people or operations who have poor reputations, they will voice their concern openly. Depending on the association, they might initiate a boycott.
If you associate with controversial people or companies on social media, you have to make sure those associations are worth the risk of losing customers. If your associations are representative of your brand’s values, don’t back down to please people. Customers respect brands that don’t cave to popular opinion. But you have to be prepared to face controversy.
- Your money. Whether you’re donating to charity or a political figure/party, people watch where corporate money goes. Before donating money to a cause, make certain you’re clearly not supporting something unintentionally that you don’t actually believe in. For example, several large corporations have philanthropic arms that seek to do good for people across the world. However, some consumers have refused to patronize firms that donated to certain organizations because they disapprove of the organization’s founders.
Again, don’t stop giving just because you might upset some people. Just make sure you know what you’re getting into when you donate.
You’ll never please everyone, and it’s not worth trying. All you can do is uphold your brand’s values.
- Speak to an 8th grade reading level in your web copy
Experts agree that it’s best to write your web copy for an 8th grade reading level. Even people who have a large vocabulary appreciate easy-to-read copy. When content is not challenging, people read faster and retain more information.
Unless you’re intentionally seeking to be creative or writing precise technical material, avoid using fancy adjectives that will fly over people’s heads. Your web copy should be an easy and swift read that doesn’t force visitors to have to look up the definition of words.
Most people won’t get out a dictionary – they’ll just skip the word, and the full meaning of the sentence will be lost on them.
If you’re worried about insulting your readers’ intelligence, don’t let that hold you back. This is something even Pulitzer-Prize winning novelists like Ernest Hemingway practiced. His book, The Old Man and the Sea, was written at a fourth-grade level.
- Copywriting skills are a plus
No matter what you’re writing, if you have even a small understanding of copywriting basics, your material will be more successful. What is successful copy? It’s whatever achieves the intended goal.
For example, a sales page that gets sales, a squeeze page that gets signups, or an email marketing campaign that lands views and clicks, are all successful.
Copywriting skills aren’t the same as content-writing skills. Often, good copy entails writing in a conversational tone with shorter sentences that aren’t always complete. Check out A-list copywriter John Carlton’s blog for examples from a master copywriter.
- Be aware of why people purchase your product or service
There’s a marketing maxim that goes: “People don’t buy a drill – they buy the hole in the wall.”
Technically, the drill is just the means to an end for a consumer who needs to hang a picture or a curtain rod. Powerful drills sell better than 12V drills because they put holes in the wall faster, with less effort, and more efficiently.
Tell people about the features of your product, but focus on the benefits. How will it make the person’s life easier or better? Speak to that and your marketing efforts will see more success.
Marketing fundamentals never change
Although marketing channels change over time, marketing psychology stays the same. Adapt your strategies to the times, but don’t neglect fundamental marketing principles.