Shhhh ! It’s a secret that only a few of us know about. What is it ? It’s that most consumers do not want to be friends with a brand. That’s right. You see today there are very view iconic brands that people love to say “I’m a fan” and even though they purchase your product they will drop you like a bad habit if you don’t give them a reason to continue to purchase your brand beyond the product itself.
Why do consumers friend brands via social media ? eMarketer says it’s because they want discounts and promotions but most brand people actually believe that people really want to be friends with them. Earth to marketers: the level of consumer mistrust is very high right now on everything from government to brands which they see as corporations who want to pick their wallets.
Now keep in mind that there are some brands that people friend or life because they really like the brand. Starbucks, Apple and Trek bikes immediately come to mind, but if you think that people want to friend their milk,cookie or butter brand you need to get out of the office a lot more and away from the marketing Kool-Aid.
“Marketing is about publishing great content.”
Produce great stuff, and your customers will come to you. Produce really great stuff, and your customers will share and disseminate your message for you. Most businesses don’t have a lot of experience with publishing, nor do they see themselves as publishers. Rather, they are in the business of whatever they are in the business of (making things, or selling services, or what have you). The inherent tension in marketing is that companies always want to talk about themselves and what their products or services can do. Everyone else, meanwhile, only wants to know what those products or services can do for them.
Figuring out what your prospective customers are interested in, creating stuff that meets those needs, and delivering it to them is what you need to do. And that, by the way, is exactly what publishers do. But organizations or individuals like you looking to build their business online have to take it further: You need to create stuff that will help your clients, you need to become a trusted resource your customers can then look to, and you need to get buyers to take action when they are ready.
Because it’s both efficient and increasingly imperative that companies create online content as a cornerstone of their marketing—for three reasons:
1. The notion of marketing to your customers by interrupting them repeatedly with advertising or other marketing messages is simply not enough any more. Creating brand awareness through buying mass media or begging some attention from the newspapers, magazines, or other media that cover your market is selling your brand short.
2. Customer behavior and expectations are shifting.
3. Everyone is the media. Everyone is a publisher. Technology has enabled connections.
If you want to have a relationship with consumers think about “what’s in it for them” and speak as a real person not a brand using facebook as a megaphone.