Yes, the world is changing, you are not imagining it. Selling online is becoming harder and harder for businesses. With a wide variety of content and endless advertisements out there, it can be difficult to stand out and build trust.
In today's current market, consumers are seeing on average 4,000-10,000 advertisements a day. Sounds crazy right? Marketing experts aptly describe it this way “to keep our sanity, we’ve developed a screening process to ignore most advertising messages. Less than 100 of them make it past our “attention wall” each day. It’s simply a matter of self-preservation”.
So, how can you stand out among the thousands? What can businesses do to not only stay afloat but to grow?
Attention and trust. The holy grail of the marketing world, yet also the most scarce among consumers today.
How can you grab your audience's attention - stopping the scroll and then build trust - turning even the most sceptical buyer into a loyal customer.
Inbound marketing is the way of the future
Inbound marketing refers to a strategy that attracts and retains customers by creating valuable content and tailored experiences.
Building relationships is key. The best way to build a relationship with your audience is to know and understand their needs, challenges and goals. Then you are better poised to provide value and help them along the buyer's journey.
Creating blogs, videos and content that your audience wants to consume, not content that interrupts what they want to consume. Let me repeat that, content they want to consume, not content that interrupts what they want to consume.
For example: Imagine you are an eCommerce clothing brand selling men's gym shorts. You know that your audience is made up of males between the ages of 18-35 who like going to the gym. Have a think about what type of content they are likely to consume. Perhaps they watch videos on macro tracking, workout routines and improving performance. Does this have anything to do with your shorts? No, but can you see how they are likely to engage with content like that?
They need shorts to wear to the gym but are they actively searching for them? Maybe, maybe not. By creating content around their interests, you help them become aware of your brand and when the need for gym shorts arises they are more likely to engage.
Continuing to provide content in this way is the essence of inbound marketing methodology.
A shift in mindset is required. Moving away from selling to providing value, educating and inspiring. With a content strategy forming the basis of an inbound marketing approach.
Your content needs to carry that buyer through the journey.
The next step is to build trust.
Once your audience is aware of your brand, you need to build trust. Creating great content and educating them is one way, but sometimes it is not enough on its own.
Whether we like it or not, part of the buyer's journey involves building trust through the experience of others. Being the social creatures that we humans are, we often like to get the thoughts and opinions of others who have used a product or service we are looking to buy. This is where micro influencers and user generated content comes in.
Whether it be a micro influencer that we trust or user generated content from fellow customers. The good word of either is worth its weight in gold.
Micro influencers can be a real asset as you are reaching a highly niche and engaged audience. Whether it be a travel influencer who focuses on one bag travel or a public figure whose content surrounds life as a parent. The audience tune into their content because they likely have similar lifestyles, goals and challenges to these influencers.
Leverage the trust these micro influencers have with their audience. However, authenticity is key. The influencer must genuinely like, use and trust your product or service.
Building trust can also come in the form of testimonials, case studies and reviews.
Have you ever been scrolling through your feed and you see someone post a question: “does anyone know a good….”
I see this a lot and it used to baffle me. The concept that people need to get the opinions of others to make a purchasing choice. Even if they don’t know the person. However, the practice has deep roots in psychology. Customer reviews relate to the desire for social belongings. Today, “much of human behaviour, thought and emotion stems from our psychological need to belong.
Hence why reviews and user generated content are real winners. Not only do they build trust but they also help with your content creation efforts. Sounds like a win-win. Think of Coca-Cola’s share a coke campaign and Calvin Klein’s Mycalvins campaign.
User generated content is best for clothing, travel and sports brands.
Now the third and final elixir in the building trust category - referrals.
Combining the ultimate duo of a potential buyer and a happy customer who are known to each other. If the customer is a raving fan they are likely to refer their friends organically. However, setting up an official referral program actually reduces the cost of acquisition. Leads generated through referrals are more than twice as likely to convert than leads from any other source.
The future of DTC marketing is bright, as long as you can attract attention and build trust.
Taking the inbound marketing path is truly the way of the future. Are you ready to go inbound?