Once you start to realize that marketing has less to do with selling a product and more to do with building customer relationships, the process becomes much easier. The trick is to then position your business entity as a relatable personality.
Why? It creates a competitive edge that others will find difficult to replicate and it fosters brand loyalty in a way few strategies can. As always, honesty is the best policy.
Customers are adept at seeing through facades when it comes to promotion, it’s the marketer’s responsibility to put the needs of the audience ahead of – or at least in line with – the company’s.
Sure, the world’s most influential brands have deeply entrenched distribution channels and pockets deep enough to fund whatever takes their fancy, but at the end of the day, they’re still subject to popular opinion.
Reasons to Make Your Brand Approachable
Today’s consumers expect businesses of all sizes to give them a human experience and to be consistent with their views and practices. By doing so, you’ll be able to:
1. Improve your profile. Injecting your communication channels with some personality helps to facilitate word-of-mouth and is the first step toward content going viral.
2. Generate repeat business. Establishing a dialogue is a straightforward approach to creating customers for life and this assures their ongoing support.
3. Broaden your audience. Promoting your values over your products and/or services allows you to appeal to people outside your target market and widen your fan base.
Depending on the outcomes you feel are more desirable, the one thing you’ll need to do every time is build a certain level of trust. Fortunately, this is something that develops naturally as long as you’re able to send a clear message.
Tips to Improve Brand Communication
Great marketing often comes down to how well you know your audience and how well they know your business through your choice of initiative. If you can strike a delicate balance, you’ll be well on your way to establishing a lasting rapport.
Your business has a lot of opportunities to achieve this beyond engaging in social responsibility – a strategy which appeals to 52 percent of consumers, according to a recent Nielsen study – and it may help you to implement a few of the following.
1. Upload Content with Your Audience in Mind
As your customers aren’t always online or on your channels to make a purchase, it makes sense to ensure a significant proportion of your content is only vaguely attached to your business. This helps to break the monotony and encourages more views, likes and shares.
Try to think about what kind of formats your fans find particularly appealing. If you’ve been tracking your analytics and find you gain more attention from videos, animations or infographics, tailor your campaigns accordingly.
2. Create Detailed Buyer Personas
Attempting to make a personal connection with each and every member of your audience is considered to be an improbable, if not impossible task. The good news is that you can even the odds by making good use of buyer personas – generalized understandings that work to identify, attract and retain your ideal customers.
Your aim is to address your niche and make your content accessible to people outside your demographic while generating high levels of localized engagement. Ultimately, simplified personas tend to work best for small-business operations.
3. Leverage Customer-Generated Content
Don’t get distracted by how many more potential customers there are out there in the world and focus your attention on your die-hard fans. Giving up some control to pass it onto your audience is not to be feared and nine times out of 10, your product lines are going to thank you for it.
It all comes down to encouraging participation and then rewarding those that do. Just imagine what would happen if your entire band of followers had a vested interest in the success of your business and how much traction you’d be able to generate if you worked alongside them.
4. Highlight Your Most Positive Traits
When talking about building a strong competitive edge, most marketers usually attribute this toward a specific product feature. However, when trying to humanize your brand, you need to think about what makes your company unique as a whole.
It could be your sense of humor, your stance on a particular issue or your ideas about the future of your industry. Regardless, it’s best to narrow your trait choices down to what you’ll be able to build upon in a social setting – just make sure that what you say is relatable and resonates with your core consumers.
Of course, getting your point across is only half the battle.
You will need to reply to the comments you receive as if they were customer service inquiries and continue to post great content. Do that and everything should follow.
Image by Robert Servais