Marketing is marketing is marketing, right? Not quite. Although there are numerous types of marketing and countless ways to execute, all marketing is not created equal. Within each type, you can find pros and cons, but it’s important to start out by playing to the strengths of your partners, your employees, and yourselves.
In order to get our knowledge up-to-date in a digestible way, we’ve put together an explanation of each of our three favourite types of marketing and their use.
I thought I’d start with Content Marketing, because it’s one form of marketing I feel is most interested in developing a strong relationship between the business at hand and their customers. Content Marketing is all about providing value for individuals, which in turn, can be a demonstration of a strong, trusting, and equally giving-and-receiving relationship. Content Marketing can be explained as putting content into the digital world with the intention of providing value to the customer, as opposed to selling products off the bat. Since content doesn’t create itself, this type of marketing can take longer than some others, however, the time put in is well-worth the reward. Content Marketing, when done right, can enhance business perception, trust, and loyalty – all important pieces to making your business one that lasts.
You may be wondering what kind of content counts towards your content marketing strategy. Think of eBooks, email newsletters, articles posted on social media or blogs, a YouTube series, webinars, amongst many others.
Think of the last time you consumed content from a business. It can sometimes be difficult to pinpoint some effort as Content Marketing, because it doesn’t always seem like the intention is to sell products or services. This is part of the beauty of it. No one likes to be sold to, and soft-selling can really support a consumer’s trust in your business. As a business, use Content Marketing to develop trust from business to consumer, to develop a reputation in your field, and to ensure you’re keeping your eyes on the long-game. Down the road, there will be a long-term benefit of higher business-perception, as this can organically lead to sales over time.
When considering passive and organic measures towards gaining trust in your business, a perfect next place to look is towards an Affiliate Marketing strategy.
Affiliate Marketing is a great way to use your current customer base to advertise on your behalf. This is exemplified when businesses pay experts in their shared field to market products using their personal social platforms. Often, the expert or influencer is paid in commission, or has a pay that’s set based on performance and success in introducing others to your product or service. The use of Affiliate Marketing is to cast your line farther than your current audience’s reach, and reel in new customers through digital word-of-mouth.
A stellar example of Affiliate Marketing lives within the Amazon Associates program. Amazon Associates allows writers a simple and easy way to monetize their blog or web page. When you sign up for the Amazon associate program, and someone makes an Amazon purchase using your unique link, the blog writer receives a commission on the sale, providing value to the affiliate themselves. The (hopeful) future customer receives value by receiving a product recommendation from a source they trust. Your business receives value by gaining customers and increasing sales. It’s a win-win-win.
Amazon Associates is a common example of using affiliate marketing, and something we definitely recommend exploring for your business. Using your collective to advertise for you and giving them some kick-back is a perfect way to generate brand loyalty, increase traffic to your website, and ultimately drive sales.
Social Media Marketing
Think of Social Media Marketing (SMM) as electronic word-of-mouth advertising. SMM uses social platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, YouTube, Snapchat, and TikTok, to highlight and analyze consumer’s brand-related activity. The kicker? Not only are you able to understand the pulse of your business in the social media arena, but your customer’s followers are also privy to this information. If you’re guessing that your business’ success is dependent on how it’s being discussed in the social media arena, then you’d be guessing right. Reputation is everything.
The use of Social Media Marketing between business and customer is that you can receive insight into what your customers want and don’t want – what you learn about your business through its social media reputation can be your guiding light towards moulding your business to fit the needs of your customers.
Social Media Marketing has come a long way. Initially, it was solely used to publish content with the intention of driving traffic to your website, ultimately leading to sales.
Now, social media is used in many different ways, namely the following three:
- Social Media Listening and Engagement
- Social Media Analytics
- Social Media Advertising
To utilize social media for all it has to offer is to hire a specific individual (or team of individuals) to develop a SMM strategy – one that pays attention to all three. If you don’t already have a Social Media Specialist, it might be time to put your LinkedIn to good use.
Wrapping It Up…
Now you know more about three of the most common marketing types we’ll see in the year 2020. As businesses become more adept at digital marketing, you’ll continue to see new marketing strategies enter the scene that will inevitably shake things up. Remaining agile and adaptive to marketing types, both old and new, will keep your business relevant in a constantly changing marketing landscape.