Is your business just listening, not engaging in the conversation? Are you monitoring what’s being said out there about your brand and then responding? Or maybe you just broadcast the message “Our products are great” on every channel open to you in some form or other.
With so many companies producing great products/services, it’s not just about the quality of the product/service anymore: it’s also about the conversations you’re having about your brand because conversations engage people, they draw prospects in. Conversations lead to sales.
The Channels Don’t Matter
You don’t have to focus on Facebook, Twitter, a business blog, YouTube, etc. These are just the channels, the tools.
If you’re going to transition your marketing from the old way of doing things to the new, online way of marketing, you need to drum it into your head that starting conversations on the Net about your brand is the way to go.
And by that, I don’t just mean telling people how brilliant your product is. Tell them the story of the brand. Why your products/services matter? Why you’ve dedicated your life to working with them! How to use them. Listen to other people’s suggestions. Get excited about ideas others have that you’ve never even thought of. And more importantly, be everywhere online and ready to have these conversations.
Conversation Marketing: Thinking Like a Publisher
With content marketing increasingly putting emphasis on quality content – cool videos, online tutorials, HowTos, Polls, You Name It, etc– the quality of the conversations you’re having around your brand will affect how people respond.
The very best online marketing right now is not a flash banner blinking on the corner of a screen. And it’s not a really cool picture. It’s something that starts a conversation that pulls people in and gets them talking and engaging – whether it’s on Facebook, Twitter or your business blog or wherever.
So many business people seem to ask me right now “How can we make money with Facebook?“. My answer is always: “Use Facebook to build a community, space, where you’re willing to have conversations about your brand” and that always involves the good and the bad.
How are you starting conversations about your brand?
The good news is that it’s not actually that difficult to start a conversation online about your brand – once you embrace the Net and use it to share ideas, and really talk. But if you’re looking for a few steps to try, why not follow this pattern:
1. Develop online content. In lots of different forms, preferably: photos, podcasts, videos, polls, articles, interviews, How Tos and more.
2. Package up and format the content and then publish it on your website. Or better still your blog or Facebook Page.
3. Share the content across all the social networking and bookmarking websites where your customers hang out online.
4. Promote the content on Twitter, with RSS, via your blog, email, newsletters, and so on.
Then, keep doing this with even better content. As often as you can.
And then get ready to respond. Get ready to converse.