Marketing efforts are all about making your brand appealing to consumers. But your consumers have changed a lot in the last few years. Today, consumers are connected, and what that even means is constantly changing.
Who is your connected consumer?
What it means to be a connected consumer changes as fast as technology evolves. A connected consumer used to be someone who got your circular in the Sunday paper or your email newsletter; it’s still that, but much more. Today, your customers are connected to the world and your brand online on multiple screens: smartphones, tablets, desktops, laptops, Google Glass.
Connected consumers on social media
As always, connected consumers are influencing others in their network through word of mouth, and today, that includes doing so through social media. Connected consumers have networks they trust and carefully build on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, LinkedIn and other social media platforms. They use these platforms to share their ideas about lots of things, including your products.
You need to be aware of the consumers who use social media to reach out to your brand. Meeting them there, where they’re looking for you, is a good way to appeal to your customers. They want to know that you communicate on their level. You need to use social media to engage with these connected consumers.
The more your customers put trust in electronic devices and online networks, the less traditional marketing is going to work on them. But reaching the connected consumer goes beyond social media.
Reaching connected consumers beyond social media
Connected consumers are great at multitasking, and not all connected consumers are connected at the same level. Even if your brand is posting interesting, relevant content on every social media platform out there, you’re going to miss people. Not everyone wants to like your page on Facebook to get information about your products; that might not be how they look for products or services.
You need to know where your customers are
To reach your connected consumers where they connect, you need to know where and how they connect. Go ahead and do some market research. Knowing where to put your efforts, not guessing, is going to help you appeal to your audience.
If they want emails, sending them e-news is going to be more appealing for them than asking them to follow you on Twitter. They won’t connect with you where they don’t already connect. Your connected consumer is not doing a sweep of all marketing channels to find you; they are going to one, maybe two, trusted sources, and you need to know which sources those are.
Contrary to popular belief, email is not dead, it’s alive and well. Consumers who sign up for your e-news are giving you permission to reach them in a more personal and exclusive space than social media channels. More people still use email than use social media or instant messaging accounts.
Eighty-seven percent of American adults own cell phones, and they’re looking at them before bed, first thing in the morning, during meetings, while they watch TV, and probably while you’re talking to them. If your consumers are using their phones to gather information about products, your content needs to be mobile friendly. Go beyond responsive design or a mobile website and appeal to consumers through SMS campaigns, using QR codes or even mobile apps.
No matter how your consumers connect, be it on social media or via text message, sooner or later, they’ll probably end up on your website (that should be a goal of yours). Your website has more (and different) information and driving traffic to your site should be an objective for any marketing campaign you implement. Your website should be easy to use and engaging no matter how consumers get there.
No one marketing channel is going to reach all your connected consumers. And, sure your business can’t expect to reach EVERYONE, but you do need to connect with your market in a way that will be appealing and meaningful, which means understanding how they connect and using a multichannel approach.