There are a great many ways that your small business can use authentic marketing to engage more fully with consumers these days, and to convince them that yours is a company worthy of their patronage. Strategies like those listed below are all designed to take consumers below the surface level of your business, and establish a deeper sense of familiarity or intimacy with them. If you can achieve that, you will likely have found the key which unlocks the door to customer loyalty.
Share Who You Are
Today’s more sophisticated consumers want more than just a run-down of your products, services, and features – they want to know who it is they’re doing business with. They want to know why your company is a better provider of their needs than other companies might be, and they want to know what your company stands for. By opening up to your audience, you can literally bring them inside your world, and give them reasons to choose you over your competitors. Tell them your personal story, introduce them to some of your employees, relate to your audience what your values and beliefs are – do all of these, and you’ll be marketing as authentically as your potential customers could hope for.
Have a Cause
One of the things that most appeals to consumers about a company they might do business with – and which they consider to be the most authentic – is the fact that a business aligns itself with a cause greater than itself, and greater than the entire community. This shows that your company is one that cares about more than just profits, but that it cares about the human experience and about making the world a little bit better place. Yogurt manufacturer Yoplait has had a very successful ad running for nearly 20 years now which encourages consumers to return the lids from their products, in exchange for making a $.10 donation to a breast cancer charity for each returned lid.
Use Facebook Messenger
Using Messenger carries a number of advantages that instantly overcome many of the difficulties with reaching your audience. First of all, people trust Messenger, and that trust automatically transfers to your business when you engage with them. You already have their identities in a session, and that allows for the most authentic kind of customer feedback. Perhaps best of all, Facebook will get you an open rate four times greater than email will, and a click-through rate which is ten times greater – no contest!
Create Unique Experiences
If you can generate unique experiences with potential customers, it’s a great way to establish a bond, and it also stands a fair chance of being shared endlessly on the social media. One memorable such experience was recently devised by Ikea, which developed an ad that invited pregnant women to urinate on the ad paper to see how much of a discount they would get on a new baby crib. This kind of marketing causes direct participation of consumers and generates buzz-worthy interest. In fact, it was such a unique and funny way to advertise a discount that it was widely shared, and ended up achieving tremendous reach for Ikea.
Use the Power of Humor
The climate on social media today is one of ironic humor, and users have developed a high degree of sales resistance to traditional advertising. But if your company can authentically market in a way that rides that same wave of pervasive humor, even at your own expense, it will bypass the sales resistance and include you as part of the culture. Take for instance, an ad recently run by the city of Los Angeles, which was seeking a new Graphics Designer. The ad was not a polished, professional-looking appeal though – far from it. Instead, it looked like something a child drew with a crayon, while having his elbow poked repeatedly during the effort. It went viral.
More than ever consumers are looking for an authentic connection to businesses on social media. Utilizing the strategies above can help small businesses break through the noise and create lasting relationships with their target audiences. Contact us today to learn more!