The yellow brick road of marketing
The advent of social media is the tornado that flipped traditional marketing on its head, mostly because of its difference in approach. Online marketing is prevalent in our day to day lives. We are not only able to market through billboards and in magazines, but also through platforms that allow us to hone in on exactly what the consumer is looking for.
Your brand needs to become a trusted advisor that leads people directly to what they are looking for. Like a metaphorical Dorothy, our audience is looking for the simplest way to Oz (her greatest desire) and we as marketers have to guide her there through the correct marketing of our products. In order to do that, we need to create connection between the audience and brand.
Understanding why an audience resonates with certain brands is a solid starting point for building your brand identity. Let us take a look at why people make the choices that they do and see what can be improved on when guiding an audience on their journey.
Marketing and the brain
Essentially, we connect with brands that align with our particular set of idiosyncrasies and values. Visuals that represent your target audience and their particular world view will naturally draw supportive followers and create a bond of mutual interest.
In simple terms, what you want to instil in your audience is what ex Saatchi & Saatchi CEO Kevin Roberts referred to as “loyalty beyond reason”. It is possible to create emotional bonds with a brand through commonality. The simple principle of appealing to a person’s sense of identity through content is effective because people buy items that signify who they are and want to be. If they enjoy your brand, they may subconsciously see it as an extension of themselves. Being aware of who your target market is, is of great importance, as it makes content sincere and puts the focus on the consumer and how to meet their needs.
Marketing and the heart
The flip side of knowing your audience is that they need to know your brand and what you value so that they can trust your referral. According to Wendy Maxian, author of the paper titled “Brand Love is in the Heart: Physiological Responding to Advertised Brands,” loved brands can elicit a positive emotional response.
When a brand is recognised and loved, chemicals are released in the brain which reinforce neural pathways making you feel even more connected to the brand in question. The two major chemicals, oxytocin and dopamine, are powerful in the way they can influence behaviour.
The former is known as the “cuddle chemical” because it is released when you kiss or hug someone, resulting in lowered stress levels, feelings of love, trust, empathy and generosity. Dopamine, on the other hand, draws on desire, it is fuelled by unpredictability, small bits of information and reward cues. This explains why people enjoy constant engagement on social media.
Marketing and courage
Finally, we must understand that knowledge is useless if nothing is implemented to improve the current way of doing things. Now that you understand the mental and emotional ties that people can form with your brand, here are a few simple tips to help you personalise your content:
- Trends - we have done a bit of research on identifying trends that will help you to get started.
- Visuals - find a uniform theme and colour palette unique to your brand to be distinguishable from others. This needs to be informed by your product but also what your audience will resonate with most.
- Make friends - if working through a marketing agency to promote your brand, make sure that you have a good relationship (and vice versa). Communication and rapport create good work!
- Get active - engage in the comments section of your posts. Remember that individuals are behind those messages and speak with that in mind, this creates trust between you and your audience.
In closing, here is a very relevant quote by Maya Angelou, “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” Keep trying to appeal to the heart and mind of your audience, they will gladly give you their attention and engagement while you lead them on their product journey.
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