Leaders of online marketing – future leaders of all marketing – develop their online brand to create a following.
The following in turn buy their products and information because they are an expert their field – as evident from information freely available on the web.
To be considered leaders and experts valuable information needs to be readily available from them.
Creating their brand online in a Web 2.0 age means transparency and honesty – followers will be quick to drop anything they dislike and their word of mouth – extended by web 2.0 and social technologies can have drastic effects. Yet if they OWN their space their word and brand are the ultimate sales tool.
Being a leader and owning your space – places you at the top of clients’ minds – they’ll scourer your site for information and you’ll be the first person they "reach out to"/contact when they want something.
You need to be listening!
“answer every single email and every single comment on your blog’ for the rest of your FREAKING life.”
An open, transparent and honest leader has no need to shout or hard sell their insight/consulting/research. But how do they convert people who access their site freely – gathering up information – into not just loyal followers, but ultimately paying customers?
The issue we face
We want things on our terms and to feel like we wanted it – we weren’t sold into it. If we’re slowly brought into the fold as a loyal follower, the end sale seems like a logical purchase. We also won’t return the item or argue price, as we’ve seen the value all along as we’ve been following the leader.
Online and offline we want to keep ourselves anonymous and avoid sales, even face to face contact at all costs. Privacy is paramount.
We will accept however a little intrusion to our privacy – and maybe relinquish our email for future updates
- if that source of information could be sent to us daily
- if the information they reveal is so compelling that we want the full copy
- if there’s an anonymous webinar we could watch without the threat of actually hafting to talk to a salesperson
This inital step, to relinquish even a little privacy, is the window. The key
is that value for money balance and being prepared to give your followers what they want, valuable information, in return for their custom in the long haul.
Using insight gained from their downloads/browsing/IP we can tailor messages, offer relevant articles, even invite them to exclusive events (webinars). We can do all this would even mentioning the product/service or even bringing a consultant or salesperson into the scene. This will keep followers happy, web 2.0 expanding and our online brands alive.
The test for traditional marketers is to avoide temtation. Provide enough tasty information to wet their appetite, and unlearn the hard sell!