How to Actually Make Your Brand Relevant
It doesn’t get more awkward than a stranger on stage asking for your attention. The MC taps the mic, “How’s everybody doing tonight?” Too many brands engage with audiences just like this clueless MC without even realizing it. No matter the “stage”, if you want your audience to go wild every time you step up to the mic then these insights are vital. In order for a brand to be successful in the long term, it’s important to become more relevant. So, how can your brand achieve that?
How To Develop Relevancy
Established legacy brands with big ad budgets used to monopolize the mic, and the audience politely listened. It doesn’t take a historian to recognize that times were different before smartphones. Now, people are simply ignoring brands that continue to use this approach. Younger generations lead this charge with increased skepticism and general defiance toward corporate personas that tell them how to spend their hard-earned cash. It’s no wonder, considering they grew up exposed to more advertisements than any other generation. So what’s a brand to do?
Give your existing devotees opportunities to grow their personal brands alongside yours, and provide them with a platform to communicate their truths to a larger audience. Look for more opportunities to pass the mic to your existing devotees, especially on social. Encourage participation with your brand across platforms by utilizing user-generated content in your content marketing strategy.
ASOS, one of the world’s most accomplished clothing retailers, employs a common social strategy based on this very principle. Their #AsSeenOnMe campaign across platforms encourages micro-influencers to post their ASOS looks and get exposure on their feed. ASOS also collaborates with influencers long-term, mutually building brand advocacy. At the time of this article, there are more than one million posts that have been contributed by these influencers, most of which receive anywhere from hundreds of likes to tens of thousands. Partnering with influencers helps develop relevancy and cultivates brand loyalty among your audience.
Give The People What They Want
Win more trust from influential and apathetic/defiant customers with transparency, authenticity and engaging creative content.
As a brand, it’s important to respect your customer’s purchasing journey and nurture interest in your brand by volunteering value first. No matter the platform. Warby Parker is heralded as a pioneer of volunteering value with the introduction of free, no-obligation in-home trials. Convenient? Check. Easy? Check. No B.S.? Check. Direct to consumer brands like Warby Parker are disrupting countless industries and thriving for a reason. Why? They all lead with transparent value, conveniently and consistently. Regardless of your business, this fact will continue to lead the charge for future purchasing behaviors across industries.
But how do you turn this increase in passive participation into a revenue-generating lead for your business?
Make Your Lead-Gen Shareable
The kryptonite for active users on social are memes, and when done right, brands can successfully utilize this medium to boost organic reach to new heights. For example, McDonald's revamped its social campaign recently, proving that you don’t have to produce blockbuster-quality content to get people talking about your brand. Get into your customer’s mindset and publish more native content that provides value with a fun, simple approach to increase engagement across platforms.
When your idea spreads, you win. Everything you post on social has the potential to become a lead generator for your business. But above all, chances are your audience wants content that’s exclusive, insightful and even irreverent.
Dollar Shave Club recently provided just that when they created a space-themed series to introduce their new wet wipes. Not only did participants have the chance to win a trip to space, but they also learned some shocking-yet-too-intriguing-not-to-share bathroom fodder. Not surprisingly, the promotion received a dizzying flurry of engagement and shares. But of course, that’s not enough. To convert engagement to conversions, re-target to your engaged audience and shift the messaging of your brand’s content strategy from “this is what we do” to “this is what we can do for you”.
Lasting Relevance Means Long Term Success
Focus on the right one, not everyone. When your brand finds itself in the spotlight of the scroll or on the street, don’t panic and waste your ad budget by asking a crowd of strangers “How’s everybody doing?”. They’ll bounce. Instead, show up where your core audience frequents, get to know them, participate in what they are already doing, and when they recognize you as being a part of their circle, you can simply jump right in by adding to the conversation.
Your customers are smart, and they know all your old tricks. Developing long-term relevance requires a targeted approach that’s constantly refreshed. Stop thinking “Is this thing on?” when your marketing doesn’t get the response you were hoping for. No matter the industry, brands no longer hold the mic by default. Create your content marketing as both a service and a conversation, before introducing a firm call to action. Your lead-gen should be high-quality content that delivers meaning and social value.
Go beyond the millennial insight deck and authentically participate in the conversation alongside your audience and grow their trust. That’s when your brand breaks through the defiance, apathy, and the adoration of crickets to influence more people and get more results for the long-haul. And maybe then, you can have your own mic-drop moment.