I was born in the 80’s, back then we didn’t own a TV.  In fact, I recall watching black and white TV in primary school.  Our first big screen TV weighed a ton, and had a wood finish (back then this was the shit!)  Oh, don’t forget the ‘draadloos’ if you know what that is, face it, you’re old… (for my non SA readers this is an old AF radio)…

Back in the day we didn’t have the luxury of information available at our fingertips.  A marketer’s choice of communication channels were very limited, and came at a premium.  I recall watching tele-ads and listening to radio ads and being absolutely wowed by the sales efforts – thank goodness we are no longer that naïve!

Of course print ads were also a thing – a big thing – I mean, we did monthly grocery shopping (unheard of, right?!).  Mom would religiously monitor the tabloids for the best deals and plan our grocery shopping accordingly – an economic route, of course (driving around was a luxury too).

These marketing tools worked wonderfully, but one of the best was and still remains word of mouth.  If ‘Tannie Sarie’ recommended a certain product to mom, you had better believe she swore by it.

It was only in high school that I owned my first computer and cellphone.  Can anyone recall the internet line startup?  Social media was still a very new concept then, and if you had a boyfriend you couldn’t have a facebook account as it may have been considered cheating.  It is scary to think how things have changed in the last 10 years!

Enter the age of social media marketing…

Consumers are no longer fooled by push selling tactics.  They can also filter out which messages they would like to receive.  This means that if someone feels like you are harassing or annoying them, they don’t have to hear from you.  Consumers are also bombarded with thousands or marketing messages a day, so whatever your message is, it needs to stand out.

Content marketing has proven to be a valuable tool in growing a loyal customer following.  What is content marketing?  In a nutshell, it means that you provide your audience with useful information that attracts attention, creates interest, stimulates desire and eventually leads to them taking action and buying your product.

Social Media provides the platform where you can implement content marketing – sites such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest.  Each of these has its own set of pros and cons, and are suited for various target audiences.

Let’s look at an example:

One of my passions is fine art photography and I often search for and study other artist’s work.  In my feed I saw a post where a photographer was giving away free Photoshop actions.  In order to receive these I had to share my email address, which means she has me on her mailing list.  I tested her actions and loved them so much that I purchased more from her.  She now emails me special offers regularly and I don’t mind it at all.