Brand loyalty is not what it used to be. People don’t typically have the same affinity with a company they once did. Perhaps because we now purchase for convenience rather than experience. We access our shopping online or from conglomerates. We have absolutely no idea who served us from one day to the next. That is assuming you didn’t use self checkout.
Times have changed and so have expectations. Consumers want quick, easy and accessible. They want price checks and free returns policies. It’s no longer about relationship building or shared values, it’s about simplicity and functionality.
But what if things were to change?
What’s your story?
Storytelling is an underestimated skill.
Sharing content that is useful, insightful and meaningful has changed the landscape for brands, giving them an opportunity to create a point of difference. In a bid to stand out from the crowd, manufacturers and retailers need to let people know why they should choose one product over another.
This isn’t just about why a business started in the first place, it goes beyond that. In order to give a true impression of a company and what it stands for, an organisation needs to decide what themes will resonate with its audience(s).
It may be the values of a business, the sustainable approach it takes, its corporate social responsibility or the skill, time, effort and experience that goes into making the final product. It may be tone of voice and an honesty that is not typical within a given market or all of the above.
Whatever it happens to be, making a plan for posting content and giving consumers the opportunity to learn more about a company will equip them with the information they need to make more informed choices.
Content that matters
There is a belief that posting a blog every now and then will do the trick and sharing copy across social channels will have people flicking on the kettle and grabbing a cup of tea ready to sit down for a good read.
The truth is that people are just as busy as you are.
It is therefore necessary for brands to consider this and to condense copy so that it can be shared in a way that will appeal to the widest overall audience. It is fine to draft a blog, but break the copy up and then provide a revised version which will share the main points across social channels. If people want to read more they can. Working in this way gives them the choice.
Organisations should map out what the audience needs, wants and what they will enjoy. It may be industry specific topics, thought leadership articles, advice and guidance or something more light-hearted, such as a weekly update from the workforce.
Identifying what is most likely to work will save time and also keep people coming back for more. There is no point in sharing the same content over and over. This is a chance to mix things up and to give a brief glimpse behind closed doors.
Content that changes behaviours
Marketing and PR can be a reoccurring point on agendas which never gets the attention it deserves.
What business owners may fail to realise is that well written copy that is shared regularly can change behaviours. That means that people could switch from purchasing one brand to another based on access to information and strategic storytelling.
Some brands do this very well and use the opportunity to share updates as a way of reiterating the importance of every purchaser to them. Not only does this start to build a community of like minded people, it also gives those involved the confidence they have made the right decision.
When you think about it, would you rather purchase from a faceless, transactional business that will seemingly never give you a second thought or from a brand with personality that thanks you for your custom and directs you to useful content that you can access at your leisure.
Forcing the point
It is absolutely imperative that whatever the size of the business, those responsible for drafting copy understand the difference between selling and sharing. There is a fine line between commercial marketing and editorial PR, which can seem like a mountain to climb when you are faced with a blank sheet and a blog post to draft.
When curating content, it is a good to set out a plan. What is the purpose of the copy, what is the point and why will people read and share it? Without the answers to each of these questions, you may find you are wasting your time.
Forcing a point may come across as a sales pitch, which can do more damage than good. The purpose is rather to educate, inform and give people the detail and background they need to make an informed choice about your product and business.
That is why establishing a tone of voice will give you an edge and will make drafting copy far simpler. It will mean that you are able to inject personality and to build this over time. It doesn’t have to remain exactly the same, it can evolve and those that do become loyal follows will become a part of that journey.
Starting small, thinking big
Drafting content and sharing stories should be a part of any businesses planning and strategy if they want to build a strong and resilient brand.
Rather than make this ‘another thing to do’, the best way to implement change is to start small and think big. One suggestion would be to draft a blog a month, which is supported by social media updates across the most appropriate channels to redirect the audience to that post.
There can then be plans to increase this as the audience increases and customers become more accustomed to the sharing of regular content. Setting clear measures of success should be all the encouragement a business needs to continue. After all, if the right approach is taken, the results will follow.