Tag Archives: interruption marketing

Why do some HR and IT departments hate social media marketing?

It’s a great time to be a marketer. The Internet and social media have changed the game completely in less than a decade. TV advertising, although still restricted to those with big budgets, is no longer as effective as it was when there were only two commercial channels. Now there are hundreds, and in addition the web offers other types of entertainment. So grabbing people’s attention is much harder.

Back before video and TiVo/Sky+ the only way to escape an advert was to mute, or turn off, or go and make a cup of tea. Now you can flash through it. Consumers are no longer interrupted by marketing communications. They can ignore us. They are in control.

IT departments hate social media marketing

But whilst they can shut the adverts out, consumers still have an insatiable thirst for knowledge. If they want to buy a new pair of shoes they’ll most likely Google the brand. Looking for a hotel in Spain, they’ll go online and look for reviews on TripAdviser. And they’ll ask specific questions like, “What’s the best Indian Restaurant in Preston?” Or, “Where can I find a Personal Trainer in Luton?”

Businesses who provide content that answers these specific questions will find their customers coming to them. Actually seeking them out. Social media and the web means that marketers can create a fine mesh of links from Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIin, Pinterest to their own content of web pages, blogs, Q&As, videos, podcasts, white papers, and info-graphics. Interruption marketing (TV adverts, Billboards, posters) is giving way to content marketing. And whilst the former will never disappear, the advertisers have to work harder to successfully interrupt their customers and get them to react.

IT departments hate social media marketing

The great thing about this is that really powerful marketing is now much more accessible to smaller businesses with tighter budgets. And another advantage a small company is that they won’t be constrained by their own departments. In some places there is so much resistance to social media and online content that they create their own barriers to taking advantage of technology.

Social media is often blocked from employees. The HR department don’t want their staff on Facebook when they should be working now do they? But here’s the thing. This is no different to when individual phones started to appear on people’s desks. In those days, HR’s argument was that staff would spend all their time on the phone talking to friends. It didn’t happen.

It’s never been about the technology? It wasn’t back then and it isn’t now. It’s always been about managing the staff. Don’t block social media, because in reality your staff might be able to help promote the company or create good content for you.

Then there is the IT departments. Why do some IT departments hate social media marketing?

Why to they never phone you up and say, “Listen we’ve just seen this new App, and the marketing opportunities for you are amazing”? No, it’s me that phones them and says, “I’ve just seen this new App and the marketing opportunities are amazing?”

IT departments hate social media marketing

And they say, “We can’t let you use that we haven’t the bandwidth.”

Or, “We’ll leave ourselves open to infection with nasty viruses.”

Or, “We can’t take the risk of data leakage.”

You can’t fight against innovation you need to embrace it. No doubt some people resisted in introduction of mobile phones and of the Internet itself. But now it’s impossible to imagine life without these. But HR and IT resistance can hinder big businesses and give smaller players the advantage.

Social media and content are changing the way we engage with consumers, and unlike traditional marketing communications channels they are not restricted to those with huge advertising budgets.

The smallest business can take advantage of these wonderful innovations and make themselves visible. And when you are visible and you give people answers they want, they will want to do business with you.

Over to you: Have you experienced resistance to using social media from your own HR and IT departments? How have you addressed their concerns. Have you got them on board? Please leave a comment by clicking on “leave a reply” below here.

Content marketing for fitness professionals – how to get customers to come to you

Content marketing is a hot topic at the moment. But if you are looking for a cost effective method of promoting your business then it is worth looking into. It differs from traditional marketing techniques in one important way. The customer is in control.

Most of what we marketing people have been doing for years is a form of interruption marketing. We send out stuff that we want people to watch, or to open and read and then follow our call to action. Letters. Emails. TV adverts. Bill board adverts. Magazine adverts. They “interrupt” you from what you are doing and try and make you do something else.

TV is a form interruption marketing. 20 years ago when there were only 4 TV channels you had to sit through the adverts (or at least go away and make a cup of tea). Now many people use Sky+ or TiVo. They record programmes, or pause them live, to watch them later. And the beauty of this is that you can zip through the adverts. And most people do. And let’s be honest. How many of us dive for the mute button when the Go Compare Opera singer comes on? I have to restrain myself from sticking my foot through the TV screen.

For these and other reasons interruption marketing is no longer as successful as it once was.

The modern internet world allowed a whole new approach to develop – inbound marketing – and it is based upon the premise that people search for information and content.

In some markets 90% of all buying decisions start with an on-line search using Google or another search engine. Arguments in pubs and bars and between co-workers are quite often settled with a Google search

content marketing for fitness professionals

This is the key to inbound or content marketing. People want answers to the questions they have. They want answers in the content they can find on the internet. If you provide the answers then your customers will find you.

Imagine someone in Liverpool wants to buy a really good barbeque chicken. They are not going to type the word “chicken” into Google. They would get billions of results. Neither will they type “barbecue chicken” because it would still create too many results. “Best barbecue chicken”  is still no good if the best is in New York. “Best barbecue chicken in Liverpool” – might narrow it down to a few local outlets.

In this new world we need to be there when people come looking. And that means your website or blog becomes your inbound marketing hub.

To get people to find you when they come looking,  you need to provide accessible and useful content that will pop up on Google. The centre piece of your inbound marketing hub is a series of relevant articles (i.e. a blog) about your niche.

Going back to the chicken example. If you had a blog which answered the question, “who provides the best barbecue chicken in Liverpool”,  then this would show up in Google and low and behold you would have a visitor to your website who is now a potential customer.

Obviously you need to make sure that your site is fully optimised for search engines – but again this is not as hard as it seems. Neither is it as expensive as you would think, especially with great software like WordPress.

What are the top 25 questions that your clients ask you, about their fitness regimes and their fitness goals? What do they ask you about different exercises, classes and equipment? What questions do they have about food and nutrition?

You know the answers to those questions. Indeed you could probably recite them in your sleep. There you have, already, 25 topics for articles that could be up on your website and optimised so that when people search for answers to those questions – you are the one providing them.

People aren’t going to type just “Personal Trainers” into a search engine just as they aren’t going to type in just “chicken”. They might type, “Best personal trainers in Liverpool?”

If they did would your website show up on the front page of Google?

Over to you: Would you like to learn more about content marketing for fitness professionals? Have you already had some success setting up your own blog and are using inbound marketing. I’d like to hear your stories. Please leave a comment.

Other marketing blogs:

3 Fitness Marketing Tips inspired by a Dragon from the Den