Created 24th May 2021

By Cassie Moyse Commercial editor of Portfolio Magazine and head of marketing at Bradley Hall Chartered Surveyors and Estate Agents.

Read Portfolio Magazine here

In marketing, many often fall into the trap of exclusively talking about a company or its achievements. I’m not saying that isn’t great at the end of the day, how will people know your achievements if you don’t promote them? The awards you win, that big contract that will encourage an abundance of potential clients to follow suit, that key new appointment that will cement the reputation of your business… stakeholders and potential clients need to know. But if that becomes your main tactic – it will wear thin. It’s important to think to yourself who actually cares and what do they really care about?

It’s not a ground-breaking statement that people care more about what others say about you than what you say about yourself. It’s human nature. Despite the obvious flaws, that’s why recommendations, Google Reviews, Facebook Reviews, Trustpilot Reviews are so important. Google rewards the businesses with the most presence and best reviews and it helps with the all important SEO results.

Take, for example, the friend, colleague or family member who keeps telling you how amazing they are over and over again. We all know that person, let’s just name them Dave, who never talks about the stuff that’s important to you. It’s annoying, right? You’re thinking to yourself ‘I wish this person would just shut up.’ It makes you feel like they don’t care about you, and spoiler alert, they probably don’t. That applies in marketing, too.

Two way communication is key in every aspect of life. That includes relationships, friendships, your peers, colleagues and it applies to marketing too. So don’t let your business be a Dave.

In developing this, you must have a good standard of emotional intelligence of your audience. By definition “Emotional intelligence (otherwise known as emotional quotient or EQ) is the ability to understand, use, and manage your own emotions in positive ways to relieve stress, communicate effectively, empathize with others, overcome challenges and defuse conflict.” Empathizing with others is possibly the most important part of EQ when it comes to marketing, PR and communications. It allows you to understand their point of view, identify pain-points and create a solution which is hard for your potential clients to resist.

If you aren’t listening or asking your customers what they like, then they will think you don’t care. In the socially awakened generations of Y and Z – this is important. Many consumers now make the decision on a brand based on how it will serve their needs or beliefs, how it will make their lives better or more efficient – what will it do for them? In the insta generation of falsities and an awakening to the intelligence of advertising we’re now being encouraged to cut out the toxicity of being overwhelmed with content we don’t need. Following years of increasing content streams – the world is now cleansing.

Content is available everywhere we turn. We are drowning in it. Email marketing, blogs, news, social media, social media advertising, display ads, Google Ads, YouTube, TikTok, print advertising, outdoor advertising – the list could go on and on and on and on… What makes something stand out now that we are constantly bombarded with companies shouting ‘LOOK AT ME.’?

This is why valuable content is more important than ever. By valuable content, I mean a piece which will help to educate or inspire someone in something which they care about. This means we have to think about giving our audience something which will benefit them. Find out their pain points, figure out what they like about your brand, service or product, think about how your business can help and support them. Then they will notice you. Using tools like Answer the Public to see what people are searching for in search engines to think of your next blog idea, analysing your website traffic and social media engagement to see where it is coming from and what types of content yield the best results. Listening and monitoring what your audience likes is vitally important.

Two way communication can be taken literally too. Great content incites conversation, ideally between you and your potential client. If someone comments on your LinkedIn post, comment back, message them, start the conversation. A conversation which could lead to learning something new, gaining a sounding board or mentor, a new business partner or client. If someone likes your company’s Instagram post, show your appreciation by messaging them back. Consumers don’t just want to consume anymore, they want to be part of the conversation, they want a relationship with the brands they choose.

Thinking back to the original point – who cares? Ask yourself this before you communicate. You may be drafting something really targeted at a very niche audience. If you know them personally, that’s great – think to yourself, does this inform, entertain, educate or inspire them? If the answer is no, the likelihood is that you should rethink your angle, go back to the drawing board, think about what your audience wants and start again. The odd vanity project doesn’t really go amiss, at the end of the day trust is built based on your organisations achievements and milestones, but it needs to be mixed with valuable content that people really care about.

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