Connect with us

How to Guides

How to Build a Powerful Brand

Good brands create barriers to entry, allow one to charge premium prices, foster customer loyalty and spur prolific word of mouth marketing. Ultimately, a good brand creates a radically unfair advantage for the company in control of that brand.

Greg Fisher

Published

on

ThePowerOfBranding

Take denim, one of the cheapest fabrics known to mankind and create a pair of pants using a design that has been around for over a hundred years. The production cost will be around R40. If you put Soviet, Guess or Diesel on a discreet little tag somewhere on the same pair of pants, you can charge R500 to R1 000 per pair. The input cost for a cup of espresso coffee is between 30c and 50c, yet, as I write this in a Starbucks Store in Seattle, literally hundreds of people are paying between $3 and $4 for their caffeinated beverages and the queue stretches out the door of the store. This is the impact of a brand.

The more time I spend studying entrepreneurship andoperating in the business world, the more I come to appreciate just howpowerful a brand can be. Good brands create barriers to entry, allow one tocharge premium prices, foster customer loyalty and spur prolific word of mouthmarketing. Ultimately, a good brand creates a radically unfair advantage forthe company in control of that brand.

To examine this further I am going to address three simplequestions:

  1. What is a brand?
  2. Why is branding important?
  3. What does branding mean for you and me, in both apersonal and business context?

What is a Brand?

Branding has a long rich history. The idea of a brand goesas far back as 2000 BC when branding of cattle and livestock began. In 1300 BC,potters began using marks on pottery and porcelain in China, Greece,Rome and India to identify what they hadcreated. In Medieval times, printers and paper makers used watermarks toidentify their outputs. In the 1200s, England required bread makers,goldsmiths and silversmiths to put their marks on goods, primarily to ensurehonesty in measurement. Branding in the form we currently know it was initiatedby Procter and Gamble in the mid 1800s. In those days if you went to the storeto buy a product, such as soap, shampoo or perfume, you would have littlechoice in terms of quality or fragrance and would have to take what was there.William Procter and James Gamble decided that if they gave products such asthese a name and identity so that people knew exactly what they were buying,they would be willing to pay more for the product. They tried it and it workedand from there the concept of a modern brand developed.

Today a brand is defined as “a collection of images andideas representing an economic producer; more specifically, it refers to thedescriptive verbal attributes and concrete symbols such as a name, logo,slogan, and design scheme that convey the essence of a company, product orservice”. But a powerful brand is even more than this.

Richard Branson, one of the most successful entrepreneurs ofmodern times, has built his fortune on the back of the Virgin brand. The Virginbrand is the only consistent link between the over 200 companies in the Bransonempire that stretches across more than 15 industries. One of the keys toBranson’s success is that he understood the power of a brand early in his career.In the 1980s he said: “A brand is more than a name or a logo – it is a promiseand a contract with every customer with whom you are dealing. And if peoplefeel that the offering does not live up to what they expect from the brand,they will decide to stop buying.”

Jean-Marie Dru, chairman of TBWA Worldwide, one of theworld’s largest advertising agencies describes a modern day brand as a verb, adoing word: “Apple opposes, IBM solves, Nike exhorts, Virgin enlightens, Sonydreams, Benetton protests. … Brands are not nouns but verbs”. He is sayingthat powerful brands are dynamic and do something more than just represent aproduct. Powerful brands create action.

Why has Branding become so Important?

We live in a surplus society. As economies and technologieshave developed, so we have gained access to so much more – more products, moreservices and more choice. With more choice there is an increased necessity forcompanies to differentiate their products and services. In the old days peoplemay have used your product or service because it was the only one available.You may have been the only lawyer, dressmaker, estate agent or blacksmith intown. Now people can literally look across the globe for a product or servicethat provides them with the best value. When bombarded with so much choice,people tend to revert to what they know and trust and that is what a brandfacilitates for your business – recognition and trust.

Because of the power of branding, we have seen thephenomenon shift into many different domains. Branding started off as somethingthat was used to differentiate products. Then service companies picked up on itand airlines, accounting firms and car hire companies amongst others, allinvested a great deal in developing a brand. More recently, countries andcities have picked up on the power of a brand and today most developedcountries have a specific strategy to explicitly brand their nation. Themarketing council of South Africahas done a great deal to define Brand South Africa.Branding has also moved forcefully into the personal domain. Individuals arenow seeing themselves as brands. Your personal brand is represented in whatother people think of you, the words and associations they would use todescribe you, the inclination that they have to work with you and spend timewith you.

A few years ago two Swedish economics professors, JonasRidderstrale and Kjell Nordstom, wrote a book about the most significant modernday trends affecting business. In the book called Funky Business they suggest:“We must look upon ourselves as a company with our own intellectual balancesheet and brand name. We need to invest in ourselves and market ourselves.Rather than employment security, funky people go for employability – constantlyupdating their skills so that they are desirable to potential employers all thetime and at any time”. Tom Peters, the management guru, echoes thesesentiments: “In today’s wired world, you’re distinct …or extinct. Survive,thrive, triumph by enhancing your brand.”

Purpose

Almost every great brand has a powerful purpose statementunderlying what the business aims to do. Google is aiming to “organise theworld’s information”, Starbucks is striving to “create a third place” – home,work and Starbucks. Nike is striving to develop “authentic athleticperformance”. What are you striving to do? The more clearly you are able todescribe your purpose in life or in your business, the more solid yourfoundation will be for building a powerful brand. Gary Hamel, the London BusinessSchool Professor said, “Create a cause, not a business.” Creating a business isabout just doing enough to try to make a profit at the end of the year,creating a cause is about doing something that you really believe in, somethingthat makes a difference and causes you and others to be excited about what youare trying to achieve.

Passion

Scott Bedbury, the person who has been credited withbuilding the brands of Nike and Starbucks, says: “A great brand taps intoemotions…. emotions drive most, if not all, of our decisions. A brand reachesout with a powerful connecting experience. It’s an emotional connecting pointthat transcends the product”. If you go back and look at the history of anygreat brand, from a large or small company, you will find people who are superpassionate about their work underlying the brand. In some way that passiontranscends into the product and into the experience that the customer has whenusing that product. Apple computer is a great example. Ask any Apple user andthey will tell you that when you use the product you can feel the passion ofthe people behind the brand in the design, the engineering and the interface. Atruly passionate entrepreneur is something very special and such people oftenend up building very powerful brands with almost no budget. Wandi Ndala runs amodest little restaurant in Sowetocalled Wandies. Wherever I go in the world I meet people whose eyes light upwhen they speak of the experience of eating at Wandies and how the passion andenergy of the owner makes the place come alive. Nkhensani Nkhosi has a deeppassion for fashion and design and that comes through in the intriguing StonedCherrie clothing brand that she has created. You can now find Stoned Cherrie ina store by the same name in the Zone in Rosebank or the catwalks of Cape Town, London and New York. In business,we often talk about a strong leader having vision. Boyd Clarke and RonCrossland wrote that “Vision is a love affair with an idea.” This suggests thatif you have an idea about what you or your business could become and you fallpassionately in love with that idea, then you have vision that will steer youractions in the right direction.

Planning

Great brands don’t just happen; they are generally not theresult of a random uncoordinated set of events. Behind every great brand thereis a plan that highlights how you will get from where the brand is today towhere you ultimately want it to be. Planning helps you to prioritise what isimportant in your business and your life. One of the greatest challenges foranyone trying to achieve anything significant, is time. We just don’t haveenough time to do everything we would like to do. A carefully devised planhelps you decide what’s important and sharpens your focus. When Michael Dellwas building Dell Computers he said: “It is easy to decide what you are goingto do. The hard thing is to decide what you are not going to do.” Planninghelps you know what you are not going to do.

People

No great brand is built by an individual operating inisolation. Often one person will be given the credit for building a brand butwhen you look deep down into the history of the company, you will discover thatin almost every case a group of people worked closely together to make thingshappen. Robbie Brozin, the co-founder and CEO of Nando’s once told me: “Noperson can do this alone, not Bill Gates, not Richard Branson, nobody. It takesa group of people working closely together to build a great company.” The twoSwedish professors who wrote the book Funky Business said something similar:“Nothing the slightest bit amazing has ever been done in isolation. Individualcompetitiveness = what you know x who you know”. So to build a great personalor business brand you need to foster strong, meaningful relationships and workwith a team of people you can trust and with whom you enjoy interacting. Thismay mean you need to be more conscious about building relationships withothers, it may mean you need to plough more into your current relationships orthat you need to find some way to channel the energy from your relationships.

Play

Why not have fun in the process of building a brand. Anyonewho has ordered a cup of coffee from Vide e Caffé will know that people who arehaving fun while serving others tend to do a great job of building a brand. TheVida e Caffé founders inspired the people behind the counters in their storesto enjoy their job and show others that they are having fun. It’s infectiousand it is part of why the Vida e Caffé concept became successful so quickly inan overtraded coffee market. Kulula.com also used playfulness and fun as partof their strategy for building a strong brand. Soon after Kulula.com waslaunched as a low cost airline in South Africa, Gidon Novick, the founder andmanaging director, was quoted as saying: “We’re crazy, and crazy is goodbecause we all need a bit of fun in our lives and we all need to laugh.” Itcomes through in Kulula’s advertising and customer service and it helped themcompete effectively with a big, government-backed incumbent in the airlineindustry. The average person lives to approximately 72 years old whichtranslates into 26 280 days. If you are 20 years old, you have approximately 19000 days to go; if you are 30 years old,you have about 15 000 days to go and ifyou are 40 years old, you have about 11 000 days to go. This is not intended tomake you depressed but to let you know that you cannot change what is in thepast but you can strive to enjoy the days that are left. If you want to build astrong personal or business brand, try to ensure that you are having fun. Focusyour energy and time on things that are enjoyable and energising.

Perseverence

Great brands are never built overnight. It takes consistenteffort and continuous investment to build a strong brand. Richard Branson hasbeen building the Virgin brand for forty years, Steve Jobs has been buildingApple for almost thirty years and even Google, the fastest growing brand inhistory took about seven years to reach iconic status. When I asked RobbieBrozin to sum up his experience of creating Nando’s he said: “There is a very,very, very fine line between success and failure….it is about beingconstantly hammered and coming back from the hard times and low moments.”Wherever you look in business and in life, where you see success you will findpersistence and consistent effort. In his recent book called Outliers, MalcolmGladwell suggests that anyone who becomes recognised as being excellent in aparticular field generally spends a minimum of 10 000 hours building andperfecting their skill in that field. From musicians, to computer programmersto sports people, to be seen as an “outlier” – having a really special skill -–you need to spend at least 10 000 hours focused on that activity. The realityis that we will all run into challenges, we will all face times when wequestion what we are doing and our reasons for doing it. We will all facemoments of doubt and fear. But it is those who are able to power through thetough times and continue on course who will end up building a powerful personalor business brand.

A BRAND:

  1. Arouses emotions When I was growing up I loved sport.During that time, Nike came out with an aggressive advertising campaign whichdisplayed photos of sports people at the peak of their performance, scoring agoal, cresting a hill, crossing a finish line. With the pictures were the Nikeswoosh and the words “Just do it”. I had a bunch of these adverts up on posterson the wall of my bedroom and they would inspire me to go out and practiceharder and play with more vigour. Although Nike no longer has the slogan “Justdo it” whenever I see the Nike swoosh, I experience an emotion that makes mewant to go out and play sport.
  2. Ignites passion If you have ever watched a Formula 1 raceyou will probably notice in the stands a sea of people wearing red. They carryred flags, wear read hats and jackets and no matter where in the world thegrand prix is taking place, they are there supporting Ferrari. If you take thetime to look around a little in your day to day life, it is amazing how manypeople have an item representing their affinity to the Ferrari brand, a stickeron their car, a miniature Ferrari displayed on their desk, or an item ofclothing representing their connection. An interesting fact about thispassionate stream of Ferrari loyalists is that 99% of them will never own theactual product and 95% will never even drive one. In spite of this, they arepassionate about the brand.
  3. Echoes reliability A strong brand delivers consistently;no matter where you buy, you get a good experience. This concept became evidentto me a number of years back when I was working in Australia for a few months. I hadbeen there for a while and I was beginning to miss home. I was told about a newshopping mall that had opened across town and because I was looking for gifts Idecided to make the trip. Walking through the mall, I came across a Nando’ssign. I was ecstatic. I rushed up to the counter and was thrilled to see thatthe menu was almost the same as the menu in South Africa. I ordered a burgermeal and as I took a bite of my burger that had the same texture, taste andsmell as a Nando’s burger back home, I suddenly fell in love with the brand.Ever since, I have been a huge fan of Nando’s and still today I get excitedabout a Nando’s burger when I return to South Africa.

A powerful personal brand:

The reality is that many of the principles that apply tobranding in the business sense, translate effectively to building a powerfulpersonal brand. This raises three further questions:

  1. What does your brand reflect?
  2. What do you want your brand to reflect?
  3. What are you doing to enhance your brand?

You can consider these questions from either a business orpersonal perspective.

What does your brand currently reflect?

Consider what people honestly think about you or yourbusiness. How do they feel about having to interact with you? What is theirreaction when they see they have a call or email from you? How are theydescribing you or your business to their friends? You need to be brutallyhonest with yourself when answering these questions and if you don’t know theanswers you need to ask. Ask your customers, potential customers, employees andsuppliers if you’re evaluating this from a business perspective. Ask yourfriends, family and business associates if you’re examining your personalbrand. Most of us have a general idea about what others think about us or ourbusiness but we are seldom willing to admit it.

What do you want your brand to reflect?

Answering this question requires you to describe what youwant to be known for. What do you want people to remember about you? How do youwant people to describe you? It is about creating a picture in your mind, or onpaper, about how people will perceive you or your business in a perfect world.The more accurately you can describe this the more likely you are to achieveit.

What are you doing to enhance your brand?

Many people think that building a brand is a big, expensiveexercise. We consider branding to be what big companies do. As a small businessowner or an individual we may write off the idea of ever building a brandbecause we believe that we cannot afford it. When you analyse the branding activitiesthat really count for companies, large and small, it becomes evident that theactivities that make a difference often cost very little. Brands are builtthrough a network of activities and actions within an organisation. Most ofthose activities and actions are things that we can easily choose to do asindividuals or as the owner of a small business. There are six criticalelements to building a powerful brand.All six are relevant for businesses and individuals and you can deliver on allsix if you choose to invest a little time, effort and energy.

Greg Fisher, PhD, is an Assistant Professor in the Management & Entrepreneurship Department at the Kelley School of Business, Indiana University. He teaches courses on Strategy, Entrepreneurship, and Turnaround Management. He has a PhD in Strategy and Entrepreneurship from the Foster School of Business at the University of Washington in Seattle and an MBA from the Gordon Institute of Business Science (GIBS). He is also a visiting lecturer at GIBS.

How to Guides

Henrico Hanekom – Discover Your Inner Marketing Genius

Like most Leaders whom firmly believe in positive transformation, Henrico Hanekom has created “new blue waters” in the form of a niche service which he calls “Neuro-marketing”.

Dirk Coetsee

Published

on

henrico-edited-3

Henrico Hanekom describes himself as a “street wise marketer”. After attending to hundreds of clients’ individual marketing needs he has defined an unique approach that veers away from the traditional marketing agency methodology.

Like most Leaders whom firmly believe in positive transformation he has created “new blue waters” in the form of a niche service which he calls “Neuro-marketing”. Initially Henrico honed his skills as a founder and CEO of Megaphone Media, a company whom has served companies such as ABSA, Toyota McCarthy, AGSA (Auditor General of South-Africa), NRF (National Research Foundation)” by getting their message across utilising mainly digital visual media.

Related: Brand And Marketing: Finding The Balance For SMEs

Roughly five years ago Henrico became a qualified Neuro-coach to empower him to answer a critical question: What can we learn from Neuroscience to improve marketing strategies in general? Henrico explained to me that normally all marketing campaigns aim to create a strong perception that will drive the consumers’ behaviour in a way that justifies the campaign spend, therefore at the root of an increased understanding of perpetual marketing principles lies behavioural sciences.

It is common knowledge that the average consumer faces severe cognitive overload considering the overwhelming amount of information available to us and the staggering amount of advertisements and marketing delivery mechanisms that people are exposed to in the modern world.

Increasingly marketing agencies are scratching their heads considering the complex question of: How do I make my clients stand out? A past reliable staple to secure results was to ensure high quality ad design underpinned by a very good offer to the public. That however might have worked occasionally during times when the market was not as saturated as it currently is.

henrico-hanekom-neuro-marketingHenrico passionately elaborated on his well-tested strategy to ensure that his clients are not only standing out but elevate their status to a market leader. He starts with a clean slate and encourages his clients to stop considering the competition. He refrains from giving advice and instead coaches within an environment where his clients can “discover their own genius”.

Through experience Henrico has discovered that it is common for companies to struggle with firstly defining their message clearly and secondly to clearly communicate their message to their audience. In general, a clearly communicated message that resonates with prospective client’s emotions and their personal values multiplies positive results, he shared.

Related: Why Your Business’ Social Media Marketing Strategy Is Probably Wrong

Henrico further shared his experience to say that marketing and sales must be in alignment and that marketing is the DNA of the business, or put in another way, “Marketing is the communication of what is already within”. He has further found a general phenomenon amongst his clients in that their aspirations do not usually match their faith in their abilities to achieve. As a Neuro- coach Henrico then utilises Neuroscience and Neuro Linguistic Programming techniques to align his clients’ aspirations and belief in their abilities to powerful effect.

As a “Neuro- marketer” he assists his clients to rise to a high level of awareness so eloquently encapsulated by Albert Einsteins’ words of: “We cannot find a solution to a problem with the same level of awareness that created the problem. “

Henrico firmly believes in the Leadership principle of Authenticity and coaches his clients to authentically advertise the truth. Through all his expert efforts he aims to position each company that he works with as a “magnet” that strongly attracts clients as opposed to “pushing” and aggressively acquire each client.

The author ended this inspiring interview by asking Henrico what he is passionate about in life. Henricos’ sincere intent was tangible as his lips formed a smile from which his answer emenated: “Life was meant to be lived abundantly.” He also added that because life was meant to be lived without limits he is driven towards helping people to “get unstuck”. This man invests heavily into his own personal growth knowing that this long-term investment constantly empowers him to give the highest of himself to his clients.

Practical proof of Henricos’ commitment to personal growth was abundantly clear during and after the interview. The interview was done directly after Henricos’ workout and we drank (I will admit it was delicious) organic smoothies during it, and after the interview, we had a long and interesting discussion on personal development and servant leadership.

Continue Reading

How to Guides

4 Ways To Reach A New Target Audience Without Abandoning Your Old One

Four strategies to reach a new demographic without changing what current customers already love about your company.

Dale McIntyre

Published

on

mooncake-of-haagendazs

For 56 years, Häagen-Dazs had a consistent message: high-quality, old-fashioned ice cream for sale. But that’s changed: Thanks largely to millennials, the company recently refreshed its brand with a revised logo, more vibrant packaging, new flavors and a global advertising campaign.

This younger generation of consumers is continuing to cause a massive shift in the market across all industries and sectors. That’s why this ice cream company wanted to cast off its stuffy, traditional image and connect with millennials over craftsmanship and storytelling.

There’s a lesson to be learned here: To stay competitive, any entrepreneur or business leader has to consider the many challenges of a constantly evolving business landscape, including his or her company’s demographics and consumer trends.

If you wait to consider how your audiences have changed and will continue to change, you’ll risk far more than will your competitors already investing in brand analysis and audience outreach.

Related: How You Should Market Your Business Online

Expanding your tent

Business leaders may be aware of the changing marketplace, but that doesn’t mean they’re eager to change. For many companies, a major brand overhaul often meets with internal resistance; and to be fair, such an overhaul is not always the right answer. For some companies, it’s better to maintain a consistent brand message amidst rapid change. It’s the discovery that’s important, the self-assessment, the long view.

Because we live in an experience-based economy, whether you’re designing your customer experience intentionally or not doesn’t matter: You’re still delivering one. Messaging plays a major role in reinforcing or diluting that experience.

Here are four steps you can take to help your business appeal to new demographics.

1. Develop robust personas

pharos-print-management-systems

Every landing page, blog post or article you put out there should align with a distinct persona to effectively connect with a desired target audience. A CEO, a parent and a college student all require different messaging to inspire a response.

A seemingly obvious but often overlooked way to gain a better understanding of your current or potential customers’ needs is to ask them directly. Surveys can be effective, but personal, one-on-one interviews are better, even if you can only conduct a handful. Offer a small incentive to gather eager participants, and ask questions designed to reveal what motivates them and why they chose your product or service.

At Pharos, we need to shift our messaging to highlight the parts of our business that are relevant to each specific persona we target. We use three aspects of our value proposition to position ourselves in a way that aligns with what our audience cares about most. Print management solutions lower expenses (business owners love that), improve security (CIOs and IT directors love that) and boost sustainability (which should resonate with everyone). All three messages mutually reinforce one other and are consistent across experiences.

For example, we worked with one university’s leadership who wanted to reduce and manage back-office printing costs. To help get employees on board with secure print workflows, its leaders promoted the sustainability aspect of print management’s value proposition and subsequently were able to save $3,000 a month while significantly reducing the university’s carbon footprint.

Related: How Do I Create A Content Strategy?

2. Ask what your CRM data is trying to tell you

If your data collection process includes a wide range of questions to qualify leads, you should be able to find customer information such as company type and size, contact job titles and the types of content most often consumed.

Your sales team should then be able to help translate those numbers into concrete characteristics and create a more complete understanding of your customers. As you find common trends, you can combine those tendencies into a general view of each customer type, and use it to fill out your personas. This will help diversify your buyer personas and, consequently, your brand’s ability to connect with an expanding range of consumers.

Evaluating your data can also help you recognise surprising audiences that like your brand. When the small business software company Hatchbuck was launched, its founders tried to reach as many segments as possible, from salespeople to business owners, to pitch its platform.

To zero in on its ideal customer, Hatchbuck gathered survey responses, crunched the numbers and conducted customer interviews, seeking to define its buyers’ behaviours and beliefs.

The company was surprised to learn that, even though it had been attracting larger companies looking for an affordable software with lots of features, smaller companies were its biggest supporters. Hatchbuck decided to focus its efforts on these small business owners – its ideal customer. Discoveries like this can be enlightening and critical to success.

3. Showcase how your brand delivers what people want

Vera Bradley bag charger

Proving your product’s relevance to a different demographic doesn’t mean abandoning the things that make it valuable to current buyers. It means adjusting your messaging to highlight the benefits that are more aligned with the new audience.

For example, Vera Bradley bags and luggage have been a popular choice for baby boomer women since the 1980s. When the brand decided to expand its target audience and appeal to younger women, it tapped into social media to gain insights into the demographic and observed a trend of complaints among millennials about the shortcomings of smartphone battery life and the annoyance of awkward battery cases.

So Vera Bradley created a bag with a built-in smartphone charger. This helped to improve its offerings and reach a new audience without introducing change that might alienate its faithful, long-time customers.

Related: Your 2018 Marketing Trend Forecast: Tap In Or Tap Out

4. Leverage the granularity of marketing automation

Many businesses see demographics as an aggregate average, but this perspective can destroy any chance of recognising the need to change. You don’t target youth through the same channels used to reach company decision-makers.

Approaching demographics using too broad of a viewpoint ignores the micro-targeting capability afforded by many marketing-automation systems today. Granular, personalised messaging is becoming the norm, not the exception.

To reach younger demographics with precision, take advantage of automation tools such as HubSpot, Marketo or Hatchbuck, proven technologies that can drastically improve the reach of your digital marketing ads and provide you with valuable analytics on your consumers.

These automation technologies have a long track record of producing a positive return on your investment. They can also help to improve various aspects of your digital marketing strategy. According to research by Regalix, 64 percent of marketers surveyed said they saw benefits within six months by using automation software.

The millennials in today’s workforce will be the decision-makers of tomorrow – and I mean tomorrow, not five years from now.

Organisations that fail to recognise this shift, or delay the process of discovering how best to change along with new demographic opportunities, can end up fueling internal resistance to such change and, ultimately, lose their opportunity to stay relevant.

Don’t be one of them.

This article was originally posted here on Entrepreneur.com.

Continue Reading

How to Guides

6 Reasons Why Influencer Marketing Really Works

Stand out. Get noticed. Six reasons why influencer marketing really works.

Greg Tinkler

Published

on

influencer-marketing

In today’s day and age you need to ensure your marketing spend is going to the right places and most importantly, that you’re getting the best bang for your buck.

Influencer marketing is a strategy that offers one of the highest returns on investment. Basically, influencer marketing is the process of identifying strategic individuals within your target market, and partnering with them to create advertising that is genuine and more palatable to the audience.

Google Trends show that the interest in influencer marketing is at an all-time high, and further studies demonstrate that personalised, word-of-mouth marketing is more than twice as effective as the alternatives.

Good customer reviews make the best marketing

The idea is pretty simple — instead of a brand telling you why their new product is so amazing, the good review comes from a popular and trusted individual. When an influencer or thought leader promotes your product or service to their audience, they’re essentially telling their audience “You trust me, and I trust this company.”

This form of advertising is becoming increasingly popular since audiences have already opted to receive this particular person’s opinions. It also puts a human touch to your marketing effort. Partnering with influencers makes your service more trustworthy and allows you to effortlessly reach a wider audience.

Related: The Ins And Outs Of Influencer Marketing

Influencer marketing has been identified as the most effective method of customer acquisition in 2016 and 2017, ahead of the likes of display advertising, email marketing, paid social media and traditional media.

92% of consumers turn to people they know for referrals above any other source.

marketing-techniques

Here are six reasons why influencer marketing works:

1It really does work

There are few things that drive a sale more effectively than word-of-mouth recommendations.

Studies show  that trusted word-of-mouth recommendations generate more than twice the sales of paid advertising, and those that were acquired through word-of-mouth had a 37% higher retention rate.

2It’s social media friendly

The world and marketing have shifted to social media. 70% of brands are increasing their social media marketing spend in 2017.

Today, it’s easier to connect with other consumers via social media and make better purchasing decisions by learning about their experiences with a product or service.

Influencers are a force to be reckoned with; brands can strategically partner with the right personalities to spark organic conversations and seduce their followers.

Related: 5 Ways To Improve Your Millennial Marketing Strategy

3Cut through the clutter

According to research, the average social media user is exposed to 5 000 advertisements a day. Whether or not that number is scientifically proven, it gets the point across: We are exposed to a lot of ads.

Influencers are able to cut your brand through the clutter and get it straight to your target market’s eyes.

4It’s native advertising

Traditional advertising interrupts the consumer experience (think TV commercials during your favourite series).

Native advertising places brands and products within the organic content, creating a more pleasurable experience for consumers and a more powerful marketing solution for brands.

5Your SEO will strengthen

On top of building your brand and improving your sales numbers, influencer marketing also helps your search engine ranking.

User-generated social posts account for 25% of search results for the world’s top 20 brands. The more people mention your brand on social media, the more popular and relevant you will be on Google.

Related: Basics Of SEO For Businesses And Brands

6It’s measurable

Probably the most important thing of all is that marketers and brand owners can actually track the success of their influencer marketing campaigns, unlike expensive TV, print and radio campaigns.

The digital world is different. Every website visit, social like, and picture posted online can be stored and analysed, giving you tons of data that turns into valuable insights about your target market and your advertising performance.

Influencer marketing presents a massive opportunity for brands to leverage the power of word-of-mouth at scale through personalities that consumers already follow and admire. The possibilities are endless, you’ll actually save marketing spend and guess what…? You can finally measure your results.

Continue Reading
Advertisement

SPOTLIGHT

Advertisement

Recent Posts

Follow Us

Entrepreneur-Newsletters
*
We respect your privacy. 
* indicates required.
Advertisement

Trending