“You can have any colour, as long as it’s black.” This mass market approach has appealed to businesses for decades. Keep it simple, serve lots of people at the same time, and grow. Paul Ince, CEO of LikeMind Media, took to the stage at Marketed.Live 2019 with a different message: go deep.
What does it mean to 'go deep' with your marketing?
At a time when we can talk to anybody online, through our websites, social media and email marketing, we often end up talking to nobody. You are reading this. Other people will be too. Do you feel as if I am writing to you? Telling you, personally, how to go deep with your own marketing, or that this is an article aimed at anyone and everyone?
Going deep means focusing on your customers as individuals. What do they want from you? How can you help them, specifically? Your customers don’t all drive black (or silver) cars. They don’t all want an estate or a sports car. Some of them might prefer a bicycle. How can you tailor your marketing – and customer service – to make it personalised?
Rather than trying to serve a community, which might not suit your business, focus on each person individually and create a relationship with them. You can create a deeper conversation which will benefit you both.
Here are four ways Paul suggests going deeper:
1. Be selective
Do you feel overwhelmed by the number of marketing activities you have to do and the amount of messages you have to respond to? You’re on email, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn. Perhaps you are trying to do video regularly because you’ve heard that’s the big thing at the moment. You need to create posts for all your different channels. You don’t just have to think of something to say but find time to create graphics too. Then there’s keeping up with constantly changing algorithms. Oh, and in between all that, you should be talking to people. It is called social media after all. Exhausted? Yes. And so is everyone else doing the same thing.
Paul’s number one tip is to be selective about the marketing methods you are using, and about what you respond to.
Do you really need to respond to everything you see online? We’ve replaced productivity with being busy. It’s easily done. There seem to be so many demands on our time. That constant ping of notifications, calling us to a new interaction, another thing to take in.
Paul kindly gave me a copy of Brian Solis’s Life Scale, one of three books he recommended at Marketed.Live, along with Talk by Elizabeth Stokoe and Deep Work by Cal Newport. Life Scale gives an eye-opening insight into the damage to our brains caused by our always-on digital lifestyles and attempts to do several things at once. If you’re wondering why it seems to take longer to get things done or make progress on your goals, read Life Scale. And turn notifications off on your phone.
Be selective about what actions you take and the platforms you are on. Think about how you are using your time and where you can have the most impact.
2. Go super personal
How do you respond to what people are sharing on social media? Do you hit ‘like’, or pop an emoji in the reply box? You’ve shown an interest in what that person has said but you’re not developing a relationship with them. Paul referred to likes as ‘drive-by engagement’. You’re scrolling, scrolling, something catches your eye or makes you laugh and you hit ‘like’, then scroll again.
What is this achieving?
Take the time to get to know people who you want to build a relationship with. Research their company. Read their articles or watch their videos and give your opinion on what they have shared. Reply to their emails. These are sent automatically but they are not automated communication. Someone has taken the time to sit down and write an email to you about something they think you are interested in hearing about. Have a conversation with them about it.
Respond and have deeper conversations with people who matter to you. By being selective and going super-personal you will build relationships.
3. No canned response
Do you follow brands who post the same response to everyone who contacts them? It’s a time-saver for that company but does it make the person they are responding to feel like they are valued? Does it make you feel as if that company is really going to be interested in you, if you were to buy from them? We see it most often with complaints, a time when a business needs to build a relationship with the complainant and others who might be watching.
“The first rule of customer service, if you want to do it well, is actually to acknowledge, to apologise, to explain what happens next,” Paul said. “If people feel part of a process, they don’t feel anything towards you. Take time to craft individual responses.”
4. Choose unscalable methods
Yikes! Unscalable methods? How are you going to grow a business, particularly if you are a solopreneur or a small business, if you can’t scale what you’re doing? Paul doesn’t mean don’t do something for one person that you can’t do for another. Unscalable methods involve taking time to do something a little special. Instead of mass marketing, where you send the same message to everyone regardless of who they are or their relationship with you, do something which shows you’re interested in them. Make the person you are contacting feel valued.
Going deep isn’t just about digital. It’s about how you market your business in general. You’re not looking for a quick win, a way to gain hundreds of followers, at once. People buy from people. Building relationships, where people get to know you and you know them, will help you make sales.
I’ve got my ticket for next year’s event already! Come and join me at MarketEd.Live 2020!
Rachel Extance helps business tell their stories so they can reach a wider audience for their work and ideas. A professional journalist, she knows how to write stories people find relevant and engaging. If you would like help to get your message across, need someone who can write articles for you regularly, or you would like actionable ideas for how to tell more people about what you do, get in touch.