It used to be that money could buy you attention.
Spend enough on advertising ad promotions and you could badger people with your message, jingle, mascot, whatever.
Times are changing. The big guys can buy as many ads as they want, but with so many distractions one thing they can’t command as much anymore is our attention.
Yes, there are those that believe you just have to figure out how to advertise on the new media platforms, but in reality people tend to either ignore those ads or find them an irritating necessity to getting their free video, music or game.
How to Get Your Business/Products Attention
The new currency in today’s world is influence and trust, and it’s not automatically going to whoever spends the most. Instead it’s going to whoever can get the most authentic connection with people who genuinely care about what they are selling.
It’s marketing that’s not for the masses, there are just too many distractions. Today’s main target is the niche, because with just a small market of passionate fans you can go global.
Brand case study: BlackMilk Clothing
When leggings came back in style, you could get them for $10 at your local mall. They were not that hard to find. So how could an unknown one-man business from Australia, selling leggings at least $80 a piece, gain fans from all over the world in places as far and vast as New York, Thailand, Tokyo, Africa and Latin America?
- He grew a community of buyers through his blog that genuinely interested in and wanted to know about his products.
- He included and appreciated this audience in his marketing which consists of uploading pictures of fans wearing the brand’s products through Facebook and Istagram.
- He made his brand a cult item -avid fans were dubbed “sharkies”- and sold his products exclusively online. He even allowed the “sharkies” to sometimes vote for which pieces were brought back in the online store.
BlackMilk does not make products that cater to everybody, and it’s not trying to.
What the founder, James Lillis, understood is that the old method favored those with the most money to spend on mass advertising and promotions. He tried that and it failed. But with the right targeting he could get to the top influencers in his niche market gain their trust, and from there it trickled down to their followers who became his followers. Because of this people paid attention to what he offered, and trusted in his products and that brought in the customers.
The Empowered Marketer
Now more than ever you have a choice as marketer. You can beat the drum to an old tune and spend x amount of dollars advertising to get attention. Or you can grow that organically by allowing people to opt-in to your message and choose to hear what you have to say. You can build a geuine connection, and real interest by building a kid of trust that the old methods can’t buy.
It’s a new way of marketing that can apply to everything from a pastry shop to a clothing business. To command the loyalty and following that brands like BlackMilk have takes a more genuine and honest approach, not a catchy tune.
The top influencers in a niche market have something valuable that money can’t buy trust and loyalty. The takeaway for business, is to cut all the crap and tell genuine stories.
It’s that simple. But not that easy. Because it takes time, and effort and patience and the return on investment is not immediately clear.
But with the power that influence (convincing people to buy a product without having to advertise to them) and trust (genuine belief, connection and identity with your brand) have, it’s a currency that most businesses cannot afford to miss.
Tell your genuine story, appreciate your humble beginnings, and patiently grow your fan base one person at a time. Or find the people influencing your customers, and appeal to their genuine liking, and wait for the trickle down effect.
Trust and influence, that’s what buys you attention, that’s the new currency.
Image credit: Facebook-BlackMilk
This post is part of a series on Branding and Social Media for small business, follow me via Twitter or join me via E-mail to receive your fresh copy of helpful small business online marketing strategies.
Daisy Quaker is an internet marketing consultant, specializing in social media strategy, content marketing, e-mail marketing, connect with her on Twitter or LinkedIn.