Each month, I have the opportunity to provide input on marketing-related questions for the Forbes Agency Council. This blog post features a few of those thoughts. It's the fifth in a series on content creation.
Question: Positive emotions associated with a brand make consumers more likely to trust and purchase from that brand. What is one thing marketers can do to create an emotional connection between a brand and its customers that builds such a positive association in their minds?
Answer: Use your advertising to give freely to potential customers. Deliver valuable, applicable information about your product category and related topics with the intent of building trusting relationships before people even walk through your door. Resist every urge to focus on "you." Instead, use your ad content to make your audience's life - and their buying decisions - easier.
Question: According to research from BrightLocal, “85% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.” If applicable, how does your business “nudge” clients or customers for reviews?
Answer: Most people are flattered when asked to share their opinion. It's a compliment to be told "I value what you think." So, when we know clients are happy with the experience we've delivered, we ask if they'll provide feedback. We encourage our clients to ask for input from their customers as well, and then make it easy for people to share their thoughts via links to Yelp and other review sites.
Question: With so many brands turning to inbound marketing, consumers have become inundated with an overwhelming amount of content. With so much saturation, what's one way for a brand to create differentiation in its content strategy?
Answer: There's only one you and, especially if you're the face or voice of your brand, you are your own differentiator. Don't be afraid to let your true personality and perspective show via your online presence. Your style may not be for everyone, but those it does attract will likely be longer-term consumers of your unique content and, ideally, what you sell.
Question: What are your main "go-to" resources for drawing inspiration for your work (i.e., industry publications, mentors, etc.)?
Answer: I grew up in the 1970s, but always idolized the announcers and copywriters of the ‘40s and ‘50s. I often reference their work with mine: the rhythm, the word choice and what now feels like charming humor. I also love Stan Freberg’s advertising. And when I re-watched the 1970 Crocker Bank “Wedding” spot recently I found it inspiring in its concept and sincerity. So, try looking back to look forward.