Using Fans to Boost Your Reputation
We are about to tell you a marketing secret that shouldn't be a secret. An oft-forgotten strategy that is guaranteed to help increase your power as a brand.
You've probably heard of the term "influencer marketing" by now– if not, influencer marketing is simply a partnership between an influencer (typically a person with a large social following) and a brand. This type of strategy can be extremely beneficial for brands, but can often cost thousands of dollars (if not more!). We have helped facilitate several large influencer marketing campaigns with brands like Warner Bros, Dr. Pepper, Ziploc, amongst other influential brands and influencers– and while this type of marketing definitely has its place in brand strategy, often brands forget about one of their most powerful form of organic influencer marketing– their fans.
Did you know you have one of the most powerful forms of influencer marketing right at your fingertips?
And these influencers aren't going to cost you thousands of dollars like an Instagram star is going to cost you– and they are often more influential than any Instagram star. There's NOTHING more influential than someone who is authentically excited and passionate about your brand or product. They will tell their friends, family, dog, random stranger on the street, and anyone within the sound of their voice about your brand and how it's made a difference in their life. As a matter of fact, every single one of us has been a brand influencer at some point in our lives. Remember when you suggested a product/brand/service to a friend or family member? This suggestion influenced their buying decision. And many times, that simple recommendation will have enough power to cause them to purchase your recommendation.
It's crucial for a company to be leveraging the power that comes from their fans. But how is this possible?
The first step is to LISTEN.
You need to know who's talking about your brand and what they are saying. This goes beyond a simple #hashtag or a like on one of your photos. Take the time and understand what people are saying about your brand both online and offline. Find creative ways to leverage these conversations, and use them to your advantage. Find your brand champions, and let their voices be heard!
Don't just wait for someone to write a review or tweet at your brand. Approach your fans and be creative about ways to leverage their influence. Be on the lookout for those who are passionate about your brand, and be creative about leveraging the power of their voice. Waiting for them to approach you will make for a lot sitting and waiting.
Know your fans.
Who are they? What do they want to see from you? What caused them to become loyal to your brand? What are they saying? Knowing answers to these types of questions can be crucial to the success of your company. Often times brand forget the importance of building an offline, human connection. Your fan is more than a number and more than a dollar sign. They are a human being with needs, wants, and desires– and by discovering what those are, you will be lightyears ahead of the competition.
As a brand, you need to discover your brand advocates. You need to interact with them and leverage their voice to help continue to grow your brand and its presence. Think of brands like Apple, Nike, and Starbucks– they all have a solid product, but it was more than just a solid product that got them to where they are. It was their fans and their influence on their social network that has helped them grow into the giants they are today. You want people talking about your brand, as this organic marketing isn't going to cost you a penny and has the potential to take your business to a new level. So next time you are looking at your marketing strategy, take into account one of the things that matter most– your fans.