We all know that today, as consumers, we encounter advertising everywhere we go. At some point, we start tuning it out. It is no longer enough for an ad to simply say “this is my product, this is what it does, if you need a product that does this use mine.” Now, you must establish an entire identity around your product that will jump out to consumers as something they can relate to. If a consumer recognizes your brand and mission as one that is analogous to their own, not only will they listen, but they will get excited about using and sharing the brand. Here are three tips to engaging consumers through your brand.
1. ) Who are you?
Why does your product exist, what is your brand’s mission? Though it may matter most in the end, you must address more than just your product's functionality. Simon Sinek, who championed the idea of the Golden Circle, preaches that in order to rally around your cause, people must be invested in the why of what you do. Sinek notes, “people don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.” In his renowned TED Talk, he uses Apple as an example of this kind of branding. Apple doesn’t present themselves as a great computer company, rather a company that challenges societal norms. When this resonates with people, Apple resonates with people. Advertise what your brand and product stand for more so than what they do. People who find they are passionate about a similar thing will become champions of your brand, helping you build traction in their networks, and in your ideal market.
2.) Be a Hands on Brand
Using social media is a great way to cultivate your brand, and when used effectively, provides high return on investment. It allows you to easily reach new users and spread your message. Additionally, it allows for communication between your company and the consumers who went out, found your product, and avidly use it. A brand sponsored social media competition/ campaign is a great way to let your actual customers get involved in your brand, generate buzz, and get product feedback. It also emits an image of a brand that is close with its users, not as removed, corporate entity. In her blog, Heike Young has detailed the most successful social media campaigns of the past year. A cool example, and number 30 on her list, was NASA’s campaign for a “global selfie.” NASA encouraged people to submit photos of their environments from multiple social applications, that they then compiled into a mosaic. They were also able to play on the popular, social, selfie trend, getting over 36,000 selfie submissions for the project. By engaging consumers in a creative way, you garner publicity, and a relatable image.
3.) Tell a Story
Connect to users on an emotional, human level, rather than as a business looking for profit. Use testimonials from users who can attest to how your product has positively impacted their life, getting consumers to think about how they might similarly be affected. Michelle Greenwald has outlined seven recent campaigns that have used memorable, personal, and inspiring content, that demonstrate how companies both large and small can reach consumers at an emotional level. As Hubspot blogger Ritika Puri points out, having a human presence on social media is important to gaining a following, because human interaction is the primary reason people use social media. Telling stories and bringing personality to your brand makes the process of learning about and buying a product more personal.
With all of the distractions that consumers encounter daily, you want to make sure that your brand really sticks out. If you follow these three tips, focus on the why, engage consumers with hands on promotions, and connect with consumers on a personal level, consumers will want to listen to what your brand has to say, ultimately lifting engagement and brand recognition.
Amanda McGuinness is a Content Marketing Journalist at Repsly. A social media expert and avid writer, she believes in creating fresh, creative content to build brand awareness.