Before social media, the way most businesses engaged with customers was through a poster or press ad, designed and circulated to proclaim their greatness and to reach and impress the widest possible audience.
Of course, businesses still use this method to promote themselves – you may well have used them to promote your workshop – but the advent of the digital age and the new channels for communication have changed the game. Compared to printing posters and paying for advertising space, social media is more immediate, more powerful, a lot more targeted – and often less expensive. Businesses of all sizes are increasingly discovering the potential for true customer engagement that digital marketing brings. It can do things that traditional media cannot. It meets customers where they are (because everyone is online, frequently, every day). It enables businesses to have conversations with customers, tell them stories, and inspire them to spread the word about their products and services, as well as buy them.
The following statistic from Facebook illustrates just how effective digital advertising can be: Castle – a Chevrolet and Buick automotive dealership in the US – ran a multi-phase Facebook ad campaign last year to prospects within 40 miles of their dealership. They achieved 23 vehicle sales, $18,463 in profits and a 23x return on their ad spend.
So that’s where we are now. But what of the future?
In its recently published report, The Future of Marketing, Econsultancy surveyed close to 500 advertisers, marketing departments and marketing agencies to get their insights into where marketing is headed and what the objectives and priorities will be over the next five years. If you’re looking at some sort of digital marketing for your workshop – and you should be – here are some insights identified in the report.
1. Story-driven, inspirational content marketing
Customers of just about all businesses have increasingly become turned off by direct advertising, particularly in comparison to content marketing, which has evolved as a softer, more persuasive means of attracting attention.
Rather than simply directing customers towards their product or service, today’s businesses need to provide added value to followers – insight, inspiration, and an informative message.
Customers want to hear interesting stories behind the products or services they are choosing between. For example, social media provided by a workshop might include helpful videos (they don't have to be your own videos, they can be shared from elsewhere – as long as what they say reflects an opinion or advice that you agree with). Similarly, personal stories about the workshop, even in the form of a short tweet, build a ‘story’ of your business that customers will connect with and remember.
In just a short space of time, the smartphone has become ‘the’ way for people of all ages to instantly access content. And the more we use our smartphones, the more we watch video.
This presents businesses with a huge opportunity – if they get the content right. It’s not a case of beating consumers into submission by pumping any old content at them; it’s about telling a story creatively, grabbing the audience’s attention with short formats, and providing entertaining, informative content that’s relevant to them.
Here’s five reasons why all businesses should create and/or share video – and why it will matter even more in the months and years to come:
By 2021, 78% of content viewed on mobile will be video, according to marketing website TheDrum.com.
‘Generation Z’ (people born from the mid-1990s to the early 2000s) are spending more time on mobile than on all other devices combined.
Ofcom data showed that in 2017, 16 to 34-year-olds watched an average of 2 hours 37 minutes of non-broadcast video content every day.
By 2020 the average person will be spending 84 minutes a day watching videos online.
The arrival of 5G will increase the speed of high-quality video on mobile a hundred-fold.
The conclusion is clear, if you want to create digital media for tomorrows audience, you must consider video content for your workshop.
Simple video content that any workshop can easily create might include an introductory walk around and an overview of the reception area - show the organised environment and welcoming service that customers can expect to receive. Or, a video offering tips on how customers can take care of their cars in winter would provide useful content. And how about sharing a video from YouTube showing how an engine works to engage your less knowledgeable customers – this would show you are the kind of business that shares information, not hides it to retain power over the customer.
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