In an era where you cannot go on social media without receiving ads as a quarter of the content you consume, investing in paid ads as a company cannot be your only strategy. There are merits to running ads; you can increase awareness, break your bubble quicker, make sure eyes see your pitch, but you are missing out on differentiation and building a genuine connection with customers. Push marketing should be accompanied by pull tactics that build trust, authority, and reciprocity with your target audience.
Pull marketing lures people to learn more about your products or services through helpful content instead of pushing products in front of their eyes with classic advertisements. Basically, it shifts communications that are sales to a more helpful and relevant discourse.
Pull marketing starts when brands decide that they want to be helpful. This mindset helps marketers understand that money should, at times, be redirected from ads to content creation (blogs, tutorials, frameworks, videos). Over time, pull helps companies establish a reputation as a field expert and improves perceptions of a brand’s values. In an era when everybody wants to sell you something, a brand that genuinely wants to give a helping hand is refreshing. By sharing valuable information instead of self-promoting, people will have you top of mind when their jobs to be done seem up your alley. Be careful; hiding a “check out our newest product” at the end of each social media post meant to be helpful might give the feeling that you are not genuine. Keeping helpful content and ads separate can go a long way in establishing trust.
How does pull marketing lead to revenue? It is definitely a long-term game. By consistently producing useful content and building a culture of giving around your brand, you will be top of mind as industry experts. Ideally, the people you help will soon be the ones reaching out for your products or services because they trust you; they got the chance to experience your expertise, work ethic, and generosity. This trust engenders reciprocity. When the time comes to make a purchase and choose among options, people will be more inclined to buy from a brand that was helpful to them in the past and didn’t ask for anything in return.
Below are two companies that leverage the power of pull marketing to increase their footprint. The companies below are doing an excellent job at cementing their expertise and communicating their values and mission through the content that they share on their social media platforms.
- Wonsulting – If you are currently a student looking for an internship or your first full-time job, you might have heard of them already. Their entire marketing platform revolves around being helpful. Their team and their official pages share tips and tricks daily to help students strengthen resumes, improve cover letters, and grow their network. Wonsulting is proof that helping out their community goes a long way, as their efforts have been rewarded with thousands of followers across platforms and features in publications like Business Insider. The company’s founders, Jerry Lee and Jonathan Javier, established themselves as experts in the job search space by consistently sharing high-value information for students and organizing relevant events.
- Too Good to Go – TGTG helps people worldwide save surplus meals from restaurants in their neighborhoods. Too Good to Go established itself as a brand that truly understands its consumer base. Instead of only focusing on the restaurant industry (their revenue stream), they broadened their scope to living sustainability and combating food waste. Their content is easily shareable because it is relevant, thoughtful, and does not feel like a commercial.
I hope that these thoughts and examples make you consider investing a part of your ads budget for 2021 into content creation. While pull marketing’s effectiveness only becomes visible in the long run, the relationship building is well worth the effort.