Whether you’re a B2C or B2B brand, you know you have a great product. You ask yourself, how do I build buzz around it? So, after some careful consideration, you decide to expand your brand’s presence on social media in tandem with an experiential marketing program rollout. Great! One problem: Everyone else is jumping on the social media train. Lately, consumers have been fatigued by a saturation of posts from self-promoting brands.
That’s more than half the social media population! The best way for your brand to cut through the digital noise? Focus on your brand’s authenticity to maximize engagement from your customers.
Zero in on your target audience
In the highly competitive social media arena, it’s crucial that your target audience knows that you’re speaking right to them and not trying to cast the widest possible net. Consider using social analytics to determine who has sway over the people you want to reach and enlisting the help of “micro-influencers”: social users with followings who are specifically passionate about your products. That person’s voice will come off as that much more authentic on social media. During your experiential marketing program, consider bringing out those influencers to engage in real conversations with your potential consumers about why they love your products. Brand ambassadors fit this need as well, but think of how powerful it is to have the actual users spreading the word? (P.S. Need some tips on hiring the best brand ambassadors?)
Promote conversations and community
So how do you provoke authentic conversations and a community of brand fanatics?
- Avoid a steady stream of promotional blurbs and make your posts thoughtful and genuine with the aim of starting a conversation among your consumers. Spark a lively, playful debate by asking questions. Perhaps you ask your customers’ favorite feature of your products or ask for suggestions for future product line or design. You can increase the effectiveness of customer satisfaction, loyalty, and sales by using social media platforms as a customer service mechanism.
- Pay attention to trending topics and hashtags in your industry. However, be careful not to jump on a trend if your brand’s values don’t align. You might come across as trying too hard or even tone deaf.
- Share examples of how your product made a significant difference in someone’s life. A New York Times research study found that people shared a story online to bring entertaining content to one another, to connect with others, and to feel more involved in the world.** During our program with B2B healthcare brand Invacare, medical providers put themselves in their patients’ shoes by testing out the Invacare wheelchairs. They experienced an “A-ha” moment when they began to truly understand how the chair is designed to meet the needs of their patient. It was often an emotional moment for the attendees when they felt what their patients feel: freedom and comfort. Invoking these emotions and connections is how your brand can rise to the top of mind.
Take your brand offline
In terms of fostering connections and making your product memorable, nothing can beat face-to-face human contact. That’s why we believe in authentic, live events, such as mobile vehicle tours, events and sampling programs, to get right in front of your customers. Taking your brand on the road is a great way for smaller brands in particular to engage their target customers in-market. Having a presence at a local community event, market, or university can create a memorable experience for a consumer, especially if it involves samples or cool, useful (branded!) swag that they can take home. And of course, promote the event on social media through streaming live on Facebook, developing a catchy hashtag, and engaging those influencers and fanatics to ensure that your event is memorable.
We love working with brands to increase brand awareness and create brand fanatics! If you would like to learn more about how to make your brand as authentic as possible to drive the most ROI, give us a call at 636.449.3162.
*Netbase 2019 The State of Social Report
**Why Content Goes Viral: What Analyzing 100 Million Articles Taught Us – HuffPost