Remember a few years back, when it seemed like any product recommended by a celebrity had consumers scrambling to make a purchase? And how did items like toe socks, pet rocks and the pocket fisherman ever become a thing anyway? (Hey Millennials and Gen Zers - these are actual products, believe it or not). It’s a brave new marketing world. Gone are the days when a company could simply come up with a catchy phrase or memorable music jingle to sell products. Today’s consumers are more savvy, skeptical and difficult to impress. They are online, in-the-know and want authenticity from the people they are inspired by and the brands they do business with.
That’s why it takes more than just finding someone with a perfect smile and engaging personality to sell products and represent a brand. Helping customers and prospects feel like they are having a meaningful dialogue with you is important, and connecting with your audience in a way that feels natural is the key to building brand loyalty.
Are you ready to make that connection? Here are six best practices to help you get there.
Creating an authentic relationship with your audience begins by establishing trust. People want to feel like you are not just trying to sell them something. They want to know that you have a legitimate solution that will improve their lives. Start by creating a well-organized and inviting website that tells customers about you and your brand and support it with social media posts that keep your audience engaged and updated. In all of your messaging, make it less about “I” and more about “you.” Clearly communicate how your products and services are making a positive difference in the lives of you customers.
Consistently blog on your website and post on social media to stay relevant and top of mind with your followers and customers. Share your opinions and be yourself. Always try to focus on a niche market or topic and do it better than anyone else. Don’t be just be an authority on makeup, take it one step further and be the lip gloss expert. Those who follow you will share your specific interest and look to you for guidance.
Build a following by engaging with the people who comment on your posts, personally responding to them whenever possible. Ask their opinions and learn from these interactions to create more impactful posts. Always ask for your followers’ ideas and questions and gather as much information about them as you can. This will help you develop impactful messaging and posts.
With two-thirds of the earth’s population on social media (let that one sink in for a minute), social media can be an effective portal for interacting with your audience. Become more familiar with Instagram, YouTube, Facebook and Twitter. Play to your strengths. Determine your primary channels and use them to your advantage. If you produce instructional videos, YouTube is a must. If you write detailed articles, a blog section on your website is key.
Aim to maintain a multi-channel presence. While you may have a primary focus, use a social media mix. Promote your YouTube videos on social, and go live on Facebook so people can see you in real time. Post stories on Instagram to let people witness your business in action. When you create a Twitter post, include a link directing readers to your blog. This will help you create a larger and more loyal following. Also, be sure to monitor results. Social media gives you the ability to track likes and views, so you can determine which social platforms are receiving the most attention and adjust your planning accordingly.
Whether you are a social influencer with a large social following or a small business with an active website, the key is to focus on an audience that will take action and engage with the brands you represent. While big metrics are impressive, the only results that truly matter are the ones that equate to sales. Set your sites on a niche audience that matches your goals well, and speak to this target market directly. The followers who stick with you are the core buyers who will stay loyal to you and your brand.
Anyone can share a post, but good communicators tell great stories. Talk about how your interests and passions affect your daily life by using specific examples. Don't be afraid to be funny — humor helps people relate to you. Most people who became influencers were recruited by companies and brands that noticed the quality of their posts and the type of specific followers they attract. In turn, successful business owners create brands that certain people gravitate to and constantly want to know more about.
Don’t be afraid to get personal with your audience. You want to make them feel like you are having a conversation with them. To stay organized, create a content calendar that helps you plan topics and schedule your posts in advance. Later and Loomly are two great options for this.
Successful influencers, side hustlers and small business owners all have one thing in common: they believe in the brands they represent. When you believe in a brand, you will exude a natural enthusiasm and passion that cannot be faked. This will help you to create more authentic messaging and communications that clearly convey the benefits of your products and services, connect with your followers and inspire a positive response. Believing in your brands will help you build credibility over time with your audience and will inspire them to become engaged with your products and services.
No matter what social media resources you use to connect with your audience, you need a website that serves as the hub of your personal brand. This will give you a home to keep all of your content plus a way to provide links to all of your social sites and more information about you and your brand.
Register.com can help you affordably establish an online presence, assisting with everything from selecting a domain name to providing you with web hosting options and even search engine option (SEO) content assistance to help more people find your site. We also offer professional email to help you communicate with your followers and brands. Plus, we have eCommerce options to keep you open for business 24/7. We’re always here for your online needs.
Connecting with customers authentically and passionately is important for your ongoing success. By following this advice, you can improve online communication and reach your audience in a positive and influential way. Register.com is here to cheer you on through every step of the process. Let us know how we can help.