A great idea or something innovative has the chance of becoming something successful, but the challenge is to stay relevant. This “formula” applies to different areas of life:
- How many singers or bands did you know who had one single successful hit and then they were never heard of again?
- How many brands or products were once objects of our desire, but today we can hardly remember their names?
- How many restaurants were “the number 1 place” to go to with friends, and now we would rather walk past their doors?
With online communication, the Internet and social media, getting closer to people became easier. We receive invitations to new fan pages every day; Instagram accounts call our attention and we give them “likes” and become “followers”. However, the challenge here is to stay relevant as time goes by.
Here you have some tips to remain relevant:
1. Build a brand identity and position yourself
It is true that the offer for virtually everything you can search for online is impressive; there is plenty of everything, but what really ends up impressing people is what stands out from the rest and connects with their interests.
The first step is to look inwards, to get to know your Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats around you (SWOT analysis) and then make the following questions:
- How can I highlight each of the strengths?
- How can I make the most from each opportunity?
- How can I defend each weakness or shortcoming?
- How can I stop each threat?
2. Know the interests of your audience
Once you know exactly who you are, where you stand, where you want to go and which your main difficulties are, you are ready to start looking outwards, to see how you can better connect with those who will end up consuming what you convey, and other than your viewers, they will be your fans or followers.
Social Media allowed us to have an interactive communication at a speed never seen before. Personal expressions about people’s wishes, complaints and experiences are made available so that the identity of brands can get increasingly closer to the identity of their audience.
Analyzing the consumer brands monitored by Socialmetrix in 2014, we identified that only 2% of the conversations on social networks were generated by the brands, while 98% by the audience, who often speaks about brands or their products indirectly and outside the official channels. Therefore, we could state that consumers have become protagonists in communications and listening to them is essential.
3. Make your audience feel
In spite of being a long-used strategy by advertising agencies and marketers, this tactic is forgotten by some brands that insist on simply talking about their products without connecting with what consumers feel passionate about.
IMPORTANT: On Facebook brands compete against photos of children, grandmothers’ birthdays and tempting meals, not only against brand competitors, so you have to make yourself heard.
Why can a post with the picture of a puppy and a fun comment from Club Social or the picture of a pizza made with Oreo cookies generate thousands of retweets? Or in turn, why did a post launched by the noodle brand Mamá Lucchetti saying, “Today someone shouted an awful compliment at me in the street; but it was so cute!” generate thousands of shares and comments of all kinds? The common answer in all these messages is that they triggered an emotion. (See article: How to Take Advantage of Social Media Emotions).
According to the report “Social Transmission, Emotion and the Virality of Online Content”, conducted by The Wharton School of Business, there is a strong relationship between emotion and virality, but the interesting thing is that unlike what ordinary people would suppose, positive emotions generate more viral action than negative ones.
4. Don’t fall asleep, if necessary, re-invent yourself
This stage is inhabited by danger, since many brands that were able to position themselves in the market and communicate with their audience think they have reached their maximum level of success and do not perceive when they need to re-evaluate their actions and innovate.
“Creative persons are characterized by producing new and valuable contributions, while innovative ones are implementers of that creativity.
What I mean is that innovating implies that this idea is adopted by people. Creative persons also apply their ideas; for example, they can exhibit their work and have an audience that appreciates their skills. The difference lies, therefore, in the fact that creativity is valued, but innovation is adopted, it enters into the life of people and creates transformations.” Eduardo Kastika
When it comes to creating and innovating, your consumers can be your main tool:
I. Listen to them, evaluate what they say, test it, and make them desire you, even if it means rebuilding your product or reshaping its use:
Toddy Alfajor Case
5. Don’t spend time just talking about you
There is a story behind your product. Tell it, in the end we do not consume products, we consume what they make us feel!
6. Be constant in your communication, with no content there is no reach!
Sometimes less is more, but persistence helps you stay relevant. However, for less to be more you will need the adequate content, know when to say what and where.
– Start by knowing how your competitors work, in other words, the brands that communicate with an audience similar to yours. Doing benchmarking by means of analytical tools is very effective for that.
– Based on your analysis, generate content that makes your audience feel the way mentioned above. In addition to connecting to their needs, it is important to connect to their emotions.
– Discover when they are online; not every market and target works in the same way.
– Identify where the people you want to communicate with are. Although we are going through a “boom” of social media, not every consumer profile is on every network at the same time.
– With this information ready, you can create a calendar of content, but do not tie yourself down to it. Pay attention to what may happen in the meantime and grab the opportunities.
7. Promote interaction. There is a universe of possibilities. Make them feel they are the protagonists:
8. Real time Marketing.
Join the viral identified trends where your audience is involved. Events that generate buzz are optimal “drivers” to connect with the audience, since – in a certain way- there is a predisposition to consume information about the topic. However, to be heard in the middle of the noise, you have to be fast and creative, surprising your audience.
Toddy. What color is the dress?
If you are going to take a selfie in the sun, put your glasses on. Break the routine not the retina!
9. Include persuasive elements.
Something that is not a novelty for those who work in communications, is that human beings are more inclined to listening or interacting with what seems familiar, either an everyday situation, a point in common or even a celebrity or an influential person. You can start by identifying which elements might be persuasive for your audience and use them for the benefit of your brand and a better experience with your audience.
You do not necessarily need a celebrity; start with what you have at hand, and above all use the information provided by your own audience through the comments on social media.
10. Format can matter.
Just like in fashion, resources and parameters change according to consumers’ needs and trends that unfold inside and outside the environment of communicators, and knowing those trends and taking advantage of them is essential so as not to lose relevance
The amount of information consumed has increased substantially in recent years, and there is less time to communicate and get a message across, a value. This is why video and photos have become the most used formats on social media. In the first quarter of 2015, we analyzed at Socialmetrix that 8 out of 10 posts published on Facebook by Consumer Foods brands had a video format. On Twitter, 35% of the tweets generated in that same period were photos while 28%, videos. Social networks like Instagram and Snapchat have started to gain space in the communication strategies of brands, while YouTube continues to grow and innovate.
These triggers were identified through a detailed analysis from both, a qualitative and quantitative perspective, since it is impossible to communicate with people by ignoring their interests, their emotions and what connects them. So, how is your brand identity built and how are you positioned regarding your competitors? When it comes to communicating with your audience, do you take into account what they really want to hear? What tools do you have at hand to know the interests of your audience and communicate better?
If the way people consume information is changing, why measuring its effectiveness should stay the same?
Despite the strong momentum that social media are giving to paid advertising not everything is investment when it comes to communicating with people.
Your final goal will not simply be appearing on the feeds, but becoming a relevant brand, present in the decisions of consumers and that can differentiate positively from its competitors.