Are you interested in spicing up your marketing strategy to trigger increased levels of engagement and increase the chances you’ll succeed in digital marketing? If so, then you might want to think about exploring ways to show who you are as a company and the real people behind your brand as part of your marketing strategy. That may sound a little scary and may fly in the face of everything you thought you knew about marketing strategy, but consumers want to get to know you before they trust your brand enough to buy your products. Here are some of the key steps that you can take to succeed by becoming a real person to your target market.
In the days of traditional marketing, companies were nameless, faceless entities represented by their celebrity spokespeople used in advertising and through a generic voice in their advertising and public relations. In the digital age, users want to interact with real people, not faceless corporations. That’s why many organizations maintain a social media profile for top executives such as the CEO. I think we’re all savvy enough to know, deep down, that the CEO of General Motors doesn’t maintain the social media profile that uses her name but we can tell it’s run by someone in her office with knowledge of what’s going on at the top of the company. That’s because the post uses the CEO’s image, his/her words in first person rather than quotes, and shows them being just like us — putting on their pants one leg at a time. The more savvy execs aren’t afraid to show their foibles and warts. Below is a post from Mary Barra on LinkedIn that shows she’s just like everyone else.
This leads to our first piece of advice for those who want to succeed in digital marketing. Be yourself.
First, you should make an effort to reveal who you are. Ultimately, business customers never want to feel like they are buying products and services from one big machine. Not in today’s digital markets. Instead, they want to buy from a person or a group of individuals. That’s why one of the best ways to succeed in digital marketing is to reveal who you are as the owner or the manager of a company. Once you show yourself, you’ll discover that consumers are more interested in what your company has to offer and want to engage with you. Social media is a great tool for this type of engagement, but you can use this strategy for other digital marketing tactics, such as email marketing and content on other platforms like your blog.
Show your company
You might also want to take the time and make the effort to show your business itself instead of simply just who you are. For instance, you could take a video providing behind-the-scenes views of what goes on in your company to show your dedication to customers. One place to start is by showcasing the outside of your steel warehouses and then move inside to show your team members hard at work to deliver the best possible products to customers. This tradition dates back to the days of traditional marketing, where companies used their own employees in advertising rather than hiring paid spokespeople or models. JC Penney used their retail workers in their catalog to model clothing, and Johnsonville Sausage used their workers to not only star in their commercials but to craft them. Here’s just one of those commercials.
And gaining trust in your advertising is a big challenge, given that a recent study showed that 96% of consumers DON’T trust company advertising. Increasingly, companies use advertising that features their staff and customers as a way to build the kind of trust missing from traditional advertising. Think about the ads you saw over the holidays featuring real patients from St. Jude’s Hospital, which resulted in a hugely successful fundraising campaign. These ads often seem more authentic and less commercial than more traditional ads and build the emotional investment needed for you to succeed in digital marketing.
Show what you support
Next, you should make sure that you support causes and express the values shared by your customers. Ideally, you need to give something back to charity and it honestly doesn’t matter which charity you choose. Indeed, you could just think about setting up a fundraiser for a local charity. That way you you can get the whole team involved. Indeed, many businesses hold multiple fundraisers throughout the year, providing their support for various causes and organizations.
A few years ago, Pepsi used the money normally spent on Super Bowl advertising and let their community determine how to spend the money in support of local and national charities. It was great for building engagement with the brand, especially those in GenZ and millennials.
Show you care
Finally, you need to demonstrate that you care about more than simply earning a profit. The most significant example of this comes through demonstrating that you care about the environment by putting forward environmental goals and then taking the steps to achieve those goals. There are lots of environmental goals that you can swing for. For instance, you might want to think about joining the One Tree Planted initiative. This is a great way to offset the levels of carbon produced by your business which in turn will result in your company being far more green. It’s a great way to demonstrate to customers that you are committed to a more positive tomorrow.
Consumers care about your values with respect to more than the environment, however, Social justice, equity, and diversity are values shared by many. When you show the values held by your target market, you find they trust you and want to buy your products over brands that don’t share your values, as you can see in this image.
We hope this helps you understand some of the key ways that you can show your commitment as a business owner in your marketing campaign and why this is an important step for your brand. Ultimately, it can bring a tremendous number of benefits that help you succeed in digital marketing.
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Hausman and Associates, the publisher of MKT Maven, is a full-service marketing agency operating at the intersection of marketing and digital media. Check out our full range of services.