Last week was busy for our marketing team. Virginia did a radio interview on web design and customer service, and Shanna and I had the pleasure of doing an interview with the Triangle Interactive Marketing Association (TIMA). The TIMA interview covered everything from our personal journeys into the marketing industry to our thoughts on the marketing scene 10 years from now. It was great for us to sit together and talk through the questions we were asked for two reasons:
- Our marketing team has grown considerably in a short time, and it was great to see how aligned we were on our personal marketing principles.
The questions got us engaged in some really interesting discussions.
One topic in particular was about marketers finding ways to create more meaningful interactions with their target audiences. We found ourselves lingering on this topic most, so I figured I’d expand on it here.
3 ways marketers have more meaningful interactions with their target audiences.
Being attentive and responsive on social media
It can be difficult to gain social media followers, and once you do, it gives you a window of opportunity to connect directly with your target audience – take advantage! Once you post to your social media channels you should monitor the post. Pay attention to how people are engaging with it and take the time to respond to folks who leave you comments. This type of timely, thoughtful engagement shows your consumers you care about what they have to say, and that you’re there to engage with them. In the end, your prompt response on a social media network could mean more than any piece of mass communication ever could. It could even convert customers into brand evangelists or raving fans.
We cited Beech Nut as a brand that does a great job of maintaining meaningful interactions with their Facebook followers.
Offering something of value
As a marketer, you have the responsibility of uncovering the problem your service or product solves, and then finding a way to communicate that to your target audience. But remember, other marketers for other brands are out to do the same thing – and with today’s overpopulated media space, it’s easier than ever for your message to get lost or muddled. Positioning yourself as a resource to consumers when they do encounter your message is a great way to make them come back to engage. When you provide consumers with things of value like helpful content and discounts/coupons, you can help them develop a sense of appreciation for your brand and entice them to come back for more.
Blue Buffalo, a dog food company, offers people a tool to compare different brands of dog food, and then goes a step further to offer a coupon. Their approach uses product education show potential customers their product features relative to their competitors & the coupon offers a little more motivation to take a chance on a new brand of chow.
Making positive, emotional connections
Another way to create meaningful interactions is to create content that resonates with your target audience on an emotional level. Content that ignites positive emotions in people leaves a good impression and can lead to affinity for your brand. This content shouldn’t push a product or service. Instead, it should be a show of a brand’s understanding of some element of their target audience’s life.
The most recent example I’ve seen of this is the Pantene “Sorry, Not Sorry” video. It depicts a sentiment that relates directly to their target audience. It serves to empower and inspire, and makes no direct mention of product.