“The New Paradigm of Sales and Marketing Online”
It wasn’t that long ago that marketers put an advertisement in a magazine, newspaper or other printed medium, made an offer for a physical product or information and then gave people an 800 number to call or an order form to fill out so they could purchase it. This form of marketing is known as direct response advertising.
It basically let the printed word sell the product, with a strong call to action and various ways to purchase the product by either sending a check through the mail or over the telephone using a credit card.
This form of marketing still exists but has changed form, both in the way we reach people and also in how we deliver the sales message. Sales and marketing online has undergone a radical shift.
The long-form sales letter that was used to sell these products went away for a while due to the online world’s multitude of marketing messages assaulting our senses online and on TV 24/7. This shortened our attention span and marketers needed to find alternate ways to make their sales messages short, clear and concise.
This led to using video sales letters on landing pages—one-page websites designed just for selling one particular product with someone “selling” the product in a video. The video sales letter allowed a person to perform the same task as a long-form sales letter but with the advantage of the medium being—hopefully— more interesting and interactive.
Long-form sales copy is making a comeback but usually is used when people are familiar with an existing person or brand and trusts them enough to take the time to read the entire sales story.
And therein lies the essence of effective sales and marketing today: building trust and credibility with your prospects and customers before attempting to sell them.
The online world is so crowded and hyper-competitive that to really stand out from the masses your business has to not only be creative in reaching your audience but also be immediately recognizable. This is where branding comes in. Even the smallest businesses need to brand themselves today.
Once people become familiar with your brand, you then need to educate, inform or entertain them—and preferably a mix of all 3.
The old paradigm of simply making an offer and trying to get people to “raise their hand” showing their interest takes much more time today. First, businesses are continually fighting for attention online. Getting that attention is an art in itself. You need a strategy which may include getting your marketing message in front of your audience by using text and video on social media platforms, a possible podcast, email marketing or other forms of online techniques.
Once you have their attention, you need to develop a relationship and prove to them why you should be the choice for them in your industry. This takes continual content creation that educates and informs your prospects (and if you can entertain them in the process, even better).
But here’s the big secret I’ve learned about getting this trust. Give them a lot of information that will help them personally or in their business.
With no strings attached.
Sounds counterintuitive, I know. But it’s what’s working today. The thinking behind it is that you are showing your expertise and it proves that you know your stuff. This causes the buyer to want to buy from you based on their perception of you as “the expert” in the industry.
And the more you can do with your content to get this trust, the more you’ll sell and the more market share you’ll possess. Try it.
P.S. If you want help with doing this correctly, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (352) 638-4284.