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Pull Don't Push: A Lesson Plan for Online Marketers

Larry Stopa
by Larry Stopa on Nov 21, 2016 2:53:00 PM
 

Push and Pull Marketing. You’ve probably heard of these terms, but do you know which one best applies to modern online marketing? At E-Power, we’re rolling out the chalkboard and podium to break down the complex dichotomy, Push vs. Pull, with a simple lesson plan.

Let’s begin with Push, the “teacher’s pet” of online marketing. Think back to your years as a high school student. Now, try to pinpoint the one classmate that first comes to mind when you think of the term “teacher’s pet.” They’re typically the first one to raise their hand (although they’ll often shout out the answer instead), they strategically bond with the teacher to gain an upper hand over classmates, and their aggressive personality often frustrates other students.

Then there’s Pull, the “everyone’s friend” of online marketing. Think of this persona as the high school friend who lets you borrow their organized notes before a test, offers you a ride home from school when your car breaks down, and is extremely friendly, helpful and well-liked by their educators and peers.

Now, we may be digging into some classic high school stereotypes here (and if you were that teacher’s pet, sorry!), but we promise we’re going somewhere with this. So far, you know that you should avoid being the “teacher’s pet” and embrace the “everyone’s friend” persona.

Okay, but how can this be applied to online marketing?

Lesson #1: Boast Less, Listen More
Online marketing is all about attracting qualified leads and creating engaging user experiences. In general, Push Marketing relies on interrupting consumers by pushing out messages to unreceptive audiences. You may achieve some leads in the process, but ultimately it should be more than just a numbers game. Instead of tossing around generalized message points, focus in on what your consumers will be most receptive to. By boasting less and listening more, you’ll be able to engage with your unique audience to find out exactly what they’re hoping to get out of your brand.

Homework – Reevaluate your social media marketing strategy and objectives, and answer the following questions:
1. Do you constantly brag about your brand?
2. Do you see a lot of engagement on specific posts?
3. Is there a key demographic that keeps reappearing in your followers and engagement?
4. What are you hoping to get out of your business’ social media presence?
5. Do you tend to push your messages out or gradually pull customers in with your social content?

By answering these questions, you’ll be able to better understand where your brand is currently at with social media, and reveal any issues and opportunities for boasting less and listening more.

Lesson #2: Don’t Cheat
If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is. There’s no quick and easy way to build your brand through a Pull Marketing strategy. If you’re trying to achieve short-term results,  especially through SEO, you’re doing it wrong. Try to pull a fast one on Google and you’ll find yourself in detention.

Instead, put yourself in the mind of your consumers—what would make them want to care about your brand?  What questions are they asking?  What problems are sparking their searches? That’s how Google wants you to think about your online presence. What interests your target audience? Give that to them. Stay true to your target audience’s wants and needs if you want to succeed.

Homework – Reevaluate your SEO and content development strategies and objectives, specifically within Google, and answer the following questions:
1. Is your SEO and content development approach based on what users are searching for, or what you want them to know about your brand?
2. Is your site first and foremost user-friendly and focused on giving the best user experience possible?
3. Is your site being penalized by a search engine?
4. Are you sticking to Google’s steps to a search engine-friendly site?
5. Are you growing your website regularly with fresh, optimized content?

Answering these questions will help put into perspective whether or not you’re doing SEO and content marketing correctly; following the rules will help you get back on the right track.

Lesson #3: Provide the Right Answers
Address any specific needs that your customers have about a product or service within your unique industry. This can be done with highly-targeted online advertising strategies. The Google Search Network provides numerous targeting methods that brands can use to get their message in front of online web searchers looking for a helpful resource. Rather than pushing ads that aren’t relevant to your target audience, you’ll be able to assist them with a landing page that will keep them on your site, and hopefully turn into a conversion.

Homework – Reevaluate your online advertising strategy and objectives, specifically Pay-Per-Click, and answer the following questions:
1. Does your ad copy answer a specific need?
2. Is there a clear CTA included in your ad copy?
3. What kinds of targeting methods are you using?
4. Are you targeting the right keywords?

By answering and analyzing these questions, you’ll be better able to understand if your business actually addressing your customers’ needs through online advertising.

Lesson #4: Be More Likeable
This final lesson really goes back to the basics. Give your customers what they actually want to engage with rather than what you think they should know. Ultimately, buyers aren’t going to invest in your business if you’re not giving them what they’re looking for. Quit focusing on making the sale, and start helping shoppers make the right purchasing  decision. Whether you’re facilitating conversations on social media, creating an infographic for your next blog post, or building a new website, ensure that your online activity is naturally pulling in your customers to like, or maybe even love, your brand.

Homework – Reevaluate your overall Pull Marketing strategy and objectives, and answer the following questions:
1. Is your online presence enjoyable and engaging to your customers?
2. Do you listen to customer questions/comments/concerns and respond accordingly?
3. How many online marketing tactics are you currently using?
4. Are all of your tactics and strategies intertwined and working in a cohesive manner?

If you find that you’re not truly engaging your audience, or you’re focusing too much on one online marketing tactic, it’s time to re-strategize. Building a likeable brand takes a lot of hard work, and all of your tactics need to be effective and integrated to make it happen.

Still puzzled by the distinction between Push and Pull Marketing? Struggling to answer any of the homework questions? Have concerns regarding where to go from here? No problem! Feel free to contact E-Power Marketing today. We’ll do our best to address all of your inquiries, and get you headed in the right direction.

 

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Larry Stopa
Written by Larry Stopa
Since establishing E-Power Marketing® in 1998, Larry has grown it to become a highly successful business focused on generating the results that impact our clients' bottom line. Larry oversees all client programs, new business initiatives and leads the team to continued growth and ongoing education.

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