Rule of 7: How Social Media Crushes Old School Marketing

Original Post by Kathi Kruse

If you’ve been in the marketing world for awhile, you’ve probably heard of the Rule of 7.

It’s been proven over and over that the more positive contact you have with customers and prospects, the easier it is to develop and sustain relationships and ultimately, close more sales. Unfortunately, you’re one of thousands who are vying for your customers’ attention.

The Marketing Rule of 7 states that a prospect needs to “hear” the advertiser’s message at least 7 times before they’ll take action to buy that product or service. It’s a marketing maxim developed by the movie industry in the 1930s. Studio bosses discovered that a certain amount of advertising and promotion was required to compel someone to see one of their movies.

Today, without a clearly-defined marketing strategy to map out how you’ll touch that prospect at least 7 times, your odds of success are pretty slim. In fact, today you might need more than those 7 times just to be heard above all the clutter that’s in people’s Newsfeeds or fields of vision.

What’s said in your messages matters.

Not all touches are created equal. Will it be meaningful? ….or a spammy sales pitch?

Rule of 7 in the Digital Age

Social media crushes old school marketing by expertly leveraging a medium that touches customers regularly.

Social media affords businesses the opportunity to engage a customer often 7 times everyday! This is accomplished by sharing content, interacting with people and targeting ads to people who are interested in what you sell.

Social Media Strategy is Key.

Social media (and all digital marketing) takes thoughtful content strategy to engage customers at every level of the buying process, including both those not in-market yet and those who have already purchased.

Old school marketing messages lack a reason to connect. Without meaning, messages are lost in the cacophony of content in your customers’ lives.

Socially-savvy businesses publish marketing messages that come in the form of useful content that delights their intended audience. These messages tell stories that create an emotional connection.

Buying decisions are shaped by two things: stories told and the memories they leave behind.

It’s a fact that storytellers make emotional connections. You can’t create an emotional connection with interruptive advertising.

How do you tell your story?

All digital content must convey a unique value to the people you want to reach. There are many forms of content and many mediums with which to publish it.

Images

“There can be no words without pictures.” -Aristotle

Images that show examples of employees delivering an outstanding customer experience tell a great story. Customers think of employees as “people like me” and witnessing delight allows the prospective customer to see themselves in that way.

Authentic images where words are not necessary win Pulitzers. In a business marketing case, you’re not looking to win a Pulitzer, you’re trying to win your ideal customers’ business – which, some could argue, is more valuable!

Videos

“Whether it’s video on Facebook, Twitter, or Youtube, the content you need to be thinking about creating and marketing on social for your business is video. Period.” -Gary Vaynerchuk

  • Facebook video is good at everything: smart, shareable & personal. It’s one of the best ways to reach customers at scale.
  • Video on Twitter is for engagement: direct, social and real.
  • Video on Youtube is good for building a loyal audience.

The foundational intent of all content is to attract, engage and ultimately convert your ideal customers.

Customer interviews and “How To” videos provide a lot of visibility, can establish your authority and boost your reputation. But, just like an image that fails to tell a story, videos can fall flat unless you’ve got a gameplan.

Blogs Posts

“What factors help you rank with Google? I can tell you what they are. It is content. And it’s links pointing to your site.” –Andrey Lipattsev, Search Quality Senior Strategist at Google.

Unless companies embrace content as a tool to educate and entice prospects, they will not become meaningful to new customers.

Let’s hope those who didn’t raise their hands do a good job of retaining their current customers…although we all know that’s not good a strategy for long term survival.

If your business has adopted social media, use your blog to answer your customers’ most frequently asked questions, especially those questions that cause them to hesitate in their purchase decision.

Pro Tip: Publish your blog posts on social media and use Facebook ads to promote them.

4 Reasons to Write by Hand Rather Than Type | Mental Floss

It’s crucial to incorporate and illustrate employees’ expertise. Their knowledge can only be accessed by engaging with your business, which brings value to your brand and differentiates you from your competition.

Keep in mind that while great stories attract new customers, your engaging content keeps happy current customers and loyal repeat customers coming back for more.

We talk more passionately about things we care about than things toward which we’re ambivalent.

We listen more closely to people we care about than to people we don’t know.

We’re talking and listening in unprecedented numbers. As consumers shop online, social media influences opinions and affects purchase decisions.

Tap into the power of the social media Rule of 7

One of the most powerful outcomes of social media marketing is that customers who’ve purchased from you before will tell their stories and ultimately tell your story too. Make sure it’s a positive one.

Engage customers at every stage of the buying cycle. 7 could be your magic number and thousands of happy, loyal customers can become the new rule!

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