At a time when consumers have unprecedented power to generate and distribute content, brands are looking beyond traditional channels. Rather, they’re using influencers and consumers to tell authentic brand stories across digital media. These influencers and consumers create content that not only resonates with their peers but also enhances the value of the brand.
This marketing method is more effective and sophisticated than traditional practices—but it’s also more complex. So how do we do it right? Follow these tips, which are inspired by my learnings at the 2016 Experiential Marketing Summit.
1. Let your customer be the hero of the story.
From consumer packaged goods (CPG) to automotive to digital dating apps, marketing teams are finding ways to focus on the customer and their journey.
2. Don’t control the conversation, cultivate it.
Let’s face it. We don’t control the story anymore. Instead, customers themselves create and shape the conversation. Brands must focus on cultivating forums or engage with existing forums where these conversations can take place, such as social media or microsites.
3. Amplify influencers.
Let your most influential customers speak for the brand. Their peers will relate to their authentic stories, and their content can be leveraged by the brand across social, video, experiential events, and more.
If brands want to grow, they must be willing to let their consumers experience the brand directly and share their passion for these products with their peers. Customers don’t merely want to hear about a brand, they want to be able to see and feel it.
While this may be a departure for many brands, it’s also an exciting moment for marketing. If you can cultivate trust and loyalty with your consumers by putting them at the center of the story, they’ll become your most enthusiastic advocates.