Online marketing is exciting because the media seems inexpensive. You can set up a website blog or shopping site with the potential of attracting thousands of visitors. You can build a social media following and have thousands of users read your messages or see your videos.
You also risk having the rug pulled out from under you. A competitor might outspend you for web ranking so that no one will find your web site. Some administrator at Facebook or Instagram might block your account because of a misinterpretation of an obscure rule, or they just don’t like your messages. Tik Tok might be banned from doing business in the United States as a precaution against China spying on or influencing the American public. Twitter might go bankrupt.
How can you protect yourself from losing huge chunks of your business?
You must get the contact information of your followers, prospective customers and customers.
It seems many businesses lose sight of the primary goal of marketing online and offline. The ultimate goal is to build a responsive communication list that is independent of outside control by others, provided the business is honest and legitimate. For direct response marketing, even the purpose of a sale is to get a customer.
Once you have your customers’ and prospective customers’ contact information, including their email, text and snail mail addresses and their consent, you can communicate with them directly, including giving your marketing messages and offers.
Why will they want to read or watch what you send? Most of us have email boxes that are full of unread messages. A lot of promotional “snail mail” is thrown away as “junk”.
You have to give them a reason to look forward to hearing from you and want to read what you send. When they see your name on an email, text or return address, they should think, “I know and like that person. I wonder what he/she is writing to me about?”, or, “That person always sends videos that are entertaining and informative. Let’s take a look.”
That involves building a personal relationship with your readers. Sharing some of your personal life so your communication is like one from Aunt Sally or Uncle Bill. Telling entertaining stories, “I wonder what those crazy guys are up to now?” Sharing a “secret” or “inside information.” “I’d better read this. I don’t want to be out of the loop!”
Above all, you can’t be BORING, getting a “So What?” or “Who Cares?” response.
This is hard work. No one said it would be easy.
The constant challenge is, “What’s Next?” to continue giving value to customers and prospective customers.
The reward is building a business that can’t be taken away from you, with raving fans who will buy from you again and again.