Empowering Consumers to Empower Brands
Everyone likes to feel empowered. In marketing, empowering the target of a campaign is a fantastic method to persuade that target to buy your brand or to keep them loyal. The term “empowered-consumer” should not be feared by businesses. Instead, they should be cultivated and tapped into as a valuable sales-boosting resource. Empowering consumers can create a legion of enthusiastic Tweeting, Facebook sharing, smartphone-wielding evangelists for your brand.
We are living in the age of virality, where the buzz around a brand happens overnight on the Internet. It happens when your Facebook friends share a funny commercial during the Super Bowl. It happens when a hashtag promotion starts trending on Twitter. Harnessing this new type of marketing should be at the top of every marketer’s To-Do list. The consumer is usually socializing on his or her own accord, so how can marketers engage them to take part in this inadvertent advertising?
Empower the Brand
Person-to-person marketing is nothing new. Advertising on social networks is no longer new either. In order to adapt, marketers can combine these two methods by engaging consumers with their social networks, especially the consumers already familiar or loyal to a brand, from the device they love most – their smartphone.
Here are a few examples of how businesses can empower their customers through their smartphones:
- Make it democratic. The best way to empower someone is to show them that their opinion matters. Give customers something to vote on, like a new product, promotion, or slogan, and ask them to share the business’s web-poll with their social networks. Have them text-in and deliver real time results. Majority rules, so the customer will want their pick to get as many votes as possible.
- Make it free, or at least seem free. In order for this technique to work, it should only apply to the brand’s target market or brand loyalists. Try offering this group something free in exchange for sharing a link on Facebook or forwarding a text coupon promotion to 5 friends.
- Make it a game. Similar to making an offer seem free, turning it into a game or contest for a loyal customer to win empowers that person. In the context of mobile marketing, this might be a call-to-action for a customer to get their friends to text in a keyword to a short code so that the customer wins a gift card.
- Make it theirs. Once a brand’s product is off the shelf and in the hands of the customer, it is theirs. Ask a customer to snap a picture with their new product and upload it to their social network, like Instagram, along with a specialized hashtag.