For many marketing experts, the time has come to embrace people-focused marketing. It’s time to move away from concentrating solely on technology and SEO wizardry and to focus on what truly counts: what customers think and feel when they engage with online businesses.
There is a major difference between people-centered marketing and device-focused approaches. In recent years, many companies have invested heavily in optimizing their sites for mobile devices, desktops and laptops and they have also focused on adding the right graphics and video content to show off their products on those devices.
In device-focused marketing, the emphasis is placed on technology. With people-focused marketing, the customer takes center stage.
Focus On Creating Useful Interactive Content
People-focused marketing has some key implications for online sellers. If the experts are right, eCommerce firms can win big by creating content that people can use, instead of technologically impressive or visually beautiful content.
Companies always need to keep usefulness in mind. They need to question how customers will use their site, and what they are looking for. What areas are used the most, and are they as accessible as possible? If not, something’s going wrong.
Site owners also need to test their sites more rigorously to find out whether their designs are as usable as they seem. What looks great on the surface might be a nightmare for users, an insight that savvy marketers are coming to learn.
Employ Social Monitoring to Optimize Your Content
People-focused marketing is also about learning what people are talking about and what they want from eCommerce companies. When you know the kind of conversations that customers are having, it is easier to create text and video content that relates to them. Hence, companies are paying much more attention to Twitter feeds.
Many marketers also like to research common queries in their product area. If customers continually want to know how “x” can be used with “y,” that’s something that their content needs to address.
By responding to queries and Twitter conversations, companies don’t just learn how to refine their content. They can build a reputation as a trusted authority, a priceless asset in the online marketplace.
Use Interactive Tools to Enhance the Buying Experience
Another people-focused marketing technique is turning conventional shopping cart/checkout processes into a more interactive experience. For example, if you are selling items like cars or furniture at a discount, savings calculators can be used to find out how much customers will save at given rates or relative to your major competitors.
Online fitting rooms and interior design tools also allow customers to feel that they are making a more informed choice, instead of just clicking on a product that may or may not be right for them. The idea is that, when customers feel empowered, they are more likely to make a purchase, and also more likely to return in the future.
Engage the Right Influencers In Your Area
Another people-focused idea is to find out who the major “influencers” are in your product category. Influencers are people on social media or wider society who are trusted by customers to provide advice, whether that’s on SEO techniques or party decorations.
Content that teams up with a key influencer will be much more effective. That’s why people-centered marketers are sure to mention those influencers in their blog, YouTube, and Twitter postings.
There’s nothing wrong with contacting influencers if you want them to talk about your product. You could even offer them a guest blogging spot, and ask them to include a call-to-action at the end. The important thing is that your brand needs to reach out, rather than stand alone.
Use Social Shares to Create Viral Content
People-focused marketers are also masters in creating content that is easy to share. They try to turn longer blogs, videos, and images into “social shares” that are short and snappy, and can spread quickly across social networks.
For example, a long blog on 3D printing by a stop-motion animator can be turned into a short Tweet about how to make films with 3D printed characters. In that case, an image underneath would create a powerful Twitter meme.
The trick is to capitalize on your content when it is widely shared. This means following up with leads, retweeting their responses, and directly contacting them if necessary. For B2B companies with small customer bases, this kind of direct contact is invaluable, but it takes a people-centered approach to get there.
Turning a small business website into a people-focused, lead-generating machine won’t happen overnight, but with these five pieces of advice, you can get on the right track.