Every brand has a story to tell, and at the end of the day the brand that is the best story-teller will capture the attention of consumers the most effectively. But over time a good story can only go so far, and it leaves you wondering why more brands don’t look to their fans to share their stories and become content marketers on their behalf?

Consumer brands spend considerable amounts of money in advertising and marketing to educate consumers on the benefits of their product and services. And whilst this is essential, why is it that some brands with far less advertising and marketing budgets, out-perform larger brands with their return on investment?

The answer is simple:

“The smart brands employ their loyal fans or customers as content marketers”

This means that fans are included in the brands story-telling initiatives, and as a consequence are able to share their experiences with other consumers, on the key benefits of the brands products and services.

So why don’t more brands adopt this rational and harness the tremendous opportunities available to them?

In a lot of cases brands can be very protective of their messaging and want to ensure their advertising and marketing budgets are spent on only educating consumers on the true benefits of their products and services. And whilst this is necessary for brands to ensure their products and services are being painted in the best light, it also leaves brands vulnerable to the following:

  • Brand messaging can sometimes seem clinical and too well polished
  • Consumers may feel a level of disconnect with the brand because they only know what brands want them to know
  • Brands are not capitalising on their social media channels, which encourage the real power of consumer story telling
  • Portions of their advertising and marketing budgets are not being utilised to explore more innovative methods to connect with their consumers and potential new consumers to the brand
  • Some brands may not trust their fans well enough to help promote their products and services and may be why brands with bigger advertising and marketing budgets employee high profile brand ambassadors to highlight the key benefits of the brands products and services.

So how can brands employee their loyal fans as content marketers and still ensure the brands key beneficial messaging is being delivered effectively?

  • Brands could conduct a consumer incentive promotion, which asks their fans to share their experiences of the product. Their experiences would not just be reasons as to why they like the product so much, but more along the lines of how they use that product in their everyday lives. This in essence is a story and would resonate more effectively with other consumers who may be interested in this product.
  • Brands could not only collect this information through their social media platforms like Facebook or YouTube to name a few, but the brand could also collate this information and publish it as an e-book which sits on their website or social channels, so other consumers who may be new to the brand could download it by providing their name and email address. This would also encourage increases in subscribers to the brand, which could then be used for ongoing re-marketing initiatives across the year
  • This content provided from loyal fans could also be distributed incrementally across the year for advertising pieces as to keep the brand messaging fresh and more in line with consumers everyday lives.

So how does this serve to provide brands with a greater return on their investment?

  • Once the advertising or marketing campaign is finished, the content generated by the consumer is still readily available online, hence driving the reach of the campaign for extended periods.
  • By having an ongoing lead generation facility for consumers to provide their name and email address, the brand now has an ongoing facility to build on their list of followers.
  • The more views or shares this content receives, promotes free organic traffic to the brands website or social platforms, hence increasing overall visibility of the brand and ultimately more reach to new consumers.
  • A successful consumer content generation strategy can be the foundation for launches of new products and services to a now increased list of followers, but more importantly to a trusted group of fans who are already happy to learn more of the brands offerings.

There are a number of consumer marketing initiatives brands could implement to encourage their fans to be content marketers. Brands just need to be more creative and willing to be innovative with their advertising and marketing budgets.

Considering that consumers are already online writing reviews or using social media platforms to seek out other consumer experiences prior to purchasing products or services, the timing just couldn’t be better for brands to invest in their consumers and unleash their true potential.

Click here to see an example case study of how using fans as content marketers can work for your brand.

For more information on how RGC Digital Marketing could demonstrate the benefits of utilising your fans as content marketers could provide your brand, please contact Richard on (02) 8883 2988 or email  richard@rgcadvertising.com.au