At this very moment, most brands are busy pushing their product into every nook and cranny of the web through adverts and sponsored posts. You know, just like that unwanted spam mail you find stuffed in your letterbox as you open your front door. Not surprisingly, we’re not fans of this approach. Rather, we would recommend taking a step back and looking at the numbers before spending your hard-earned cash on boosting content.
Recent studies show that 54% of surveyed internet users don’t usually trust sponsored content. Even if the content is targeting people who already follow the page, readers tend to consume it very differently than they consume non-sponsored content. Chartbeat’s analytics suggest that two-thirds of readers spend an average of 15 seconds or more on editorial content, while only one third of readers spend that much time on sponsored content articles.
So as a publisher, how can you create content that is trusted and valued by your readers?
You make yourself trustworthy. Here’s how:
Start by working on having a genuine care and concern for your customers’ goals, objectives and needs. This is the foundation for everything you hope to build with them. It can work with B2B too, if you keep in mind that there is a person sitting at the heart of every business decision.
As marketers and brand stewards, client relationship is key. The structure and goal of individual campaigns may change from time to time, but if you think about it a little, there is always one constant: We are all seeking to move a person to take action, to buy our product and to do business with us. Ultimately, those people won’t do business with a logo or a mission statement, they’ll do business with people they know, like and trust.
If you keep this relationship in mind and speak to them truthfully, as regular people, using a voice that is both clear and authentic, you’ll begin to build that trust you’re after.
Social platforms are here to stay, and as we’ve said over and over again, it’s no longer an option for brands to avoid the social media landscape. The most successful companies to use it won’t be the ones using social to market to their customers, but those marketing with them. (Last week’s post was all about ‘being social’ as opposed to ‘doing social’, if you missed it.)
Giving customers a seat at the table has never been easier or more important, and this is where collaboration with affiliates comes in.
According to the 2014 Ipsos Social Influence Study, user-generated content is more memorable to readers, and 50% trust it more than they trust other media. In fact, millennials trust peer reviews a lot more than they trust professional ones – think about your online shopping habits: don’t you check the user reviews before you place an order?
You can use peer reviews to your advantage to make your brand more trustworthy. A collaborative approach that focuses on including your customers will make the conversation around your brand more positive – a refreshing change to the old approach of interrupting clients to blast them with one-way messages, don’t you think?
This is exactly why we at Switch Digital are in constant contact with the largest network of bloggers on the island. Through collaboration with bloggers, we’re able to encourage and, to a certain extent, manage the creation of quality blog posts that generate trustworthy brand awareness among blog readers.
Tapping into resources like this could get your brand well on its way towards becoming a household name through effective endorsements and quality affiliate marketing.
Heart-centered marketing is what won President Obama his 8 years in office. The same strategy can also sell anything from an idea, to a service, to a bottle of water.
By getting to know your customers through the collaborative dialogue we just discussed, you’ll learn what it is that drives them on an emotional level. More importantly, you’ll be able to give them exactly what they want. You could speak to them with confidence, knowing that that you are offering something they find valuable. Just like Obama did.
The results will then speak for themselves: People will give you ‘likes’ because they actually like you, not because you badgered them into it. People will know about you because you’ve taken the time to get to know them. People will appreciate that you have invested in the relationship and listened to them. And when you then speak from the heart with the intention to better your customer’s life in some way, you will leave people feeling inspired.
TL;DR – What’s love got to do with it? As it turns out, a whole lot.
Finding the authentic voice of your brand and respecting your customers enough to develop and cultivate a real relationship with them will lead to a win-win scenario which seriously pays off in terms of long-term equity and loyalty. Heart-centered marketing FTW!