ICYMI, it’s 2019.

Unless you’ve been living under a rock – actually, even if you have been living under a rock – you’ve realized just how saturated the market is.

“Wait, which market?” . . . . ALL of them.

We live in a world where individuals have at their fingertips choices of: where to grab lunch, where to grocery shop, which brand of mascara to buy, where to buy that mascara, who to have service their air conditioning, which airline to fly, who to get car insurance through, which brand of sneakers to buy…you get the point.

There are an overwhelming number of options for just about any product or service an individual (or company) could ever possibly need.

Which isn’t a bad thing. It speaks to the creativity and innovation our culture has fostered, and after all – competition breeds business.

It also means, however, it’s more important now than ever to ask that million dollar question: How do you set yourself apart from everyone else?

You’re vying for the attention of potential customers who are already inundated with social media ads, marketing emails, tv and radio commercials in every waking hour. While the number varies by individual, it’s safe to say that most of us are exposed to somewhere between several hundred and several thousand ads daily.

How do you break through the noise and actually get their attention? And IF you manage capture their attention, how to you keep it long enough to buy your what you’re offering and most importantly – become a loyal customer?

Stop making your messaging about you, and start making it about your customer.

Your customer should be the hero of your story, not you.

“The customer is the hero of our brand’s story, not us. When we position our customer as the hero and ourselves as their guide, we will be recognized as a sought-after character to help them along their journey. In other words, your audience is Luke Skywalker. You get to be Yoda,” says Donald Miller in Building a Brand Story.

It might be a hard pill to swallow, but It’s not about you. It’s about what you can do to help your customer become the person they want to be. Your product or service exists to help THEM become their ideal version of themself.

Get engaged – no diamond ring selfies necessary

According to Forbes, “The ability to engage with audiences (that is, making audiences part of the brand story) will have a huge impact.”

Again – the story isn’t about you. Put your customers in your story. Show them the positive change that others, just like them, have experienced with the help of your product or service. Show them how their lives can improve, with your help.

One key to customer engagement is to find your niche audience, rather than throwing a net at everyone. “Reaching out to people who are more likely to be interested in your brand is not only more cost-efficient; it’s also more sustainable and less time-consuming,” writes Entrepreneur contributor Deep Patel.

Customer experience is more important than ever

Everyone has always had an opinion. In 2019, everyone also has a voice. When given the choice of literally dozens to hundreds of options for where to eat, shop, stay on vacation, or have something serviced, people are going choose the best experience.

It’s no longer enough to have the best burger in town. Your customer also needs to have a good experience. This study showed that:

  • 86% of buyers are willing to pay more for a great customer experience
  • 73% of buyers point to customer experience as an important factor in purchasing decisions
  • 65% of buyers find a positive experience with a brand to be more influential than great advertising

Companies are taking notice of this trend – and they should be. According to CMO.com, a study found that “80% of business decision makers said improving their company’s customer experience was among their top priorities in the year ahead. So was increasing customer loyalty (81%).”

Never go too long without checking in with your existing/past customers to gauge their happiness and ask for suggestions.

Content is (still) king

Patel also writes, “In the current climate, content is everything. You already know that you need to entice your audience: inspire them, provoke their thoughts, excite them or appeal to their emotions.”

Again, your competition is greater than ever. You’re fighting against more competing messaging, and your audience’s attention span is the shortest it’s ever been. Engaging content is essential in ANY marketing strategy.

As you create new content, remember to keep it authentic and consistent. Customers know your brand’s voice, and they can tell if you stray from that.

Word of mouth is still your best friend

People are much more likely to be willing to pay money for a new product or service if it’s been vetted by someone they trust. Enter: the era of the influencer.

The growth of the influencer industry is undeniable – and is estimated to reach between $4.86 billion and $16.616 billion in value by 2020, and 80% of marketers say influencer marketing is effective.

And why wouldn’t it be successful? You’ve established your brand voice, you’ve mapped out an amazing customer experience, and you’ve made your customer the hero of your story. What better way to SHARE that story than through people who actually use and LOVE your product or service? ESPECIALLY when those people have a large audience. Let them SHOW their audience how your product/service helped them become the best version of themselves – how you made them the hero.

Make your customers your brand ambassadors.

Want to learn more about creating killer content, or looking for help building out an influencer program?

Contact us today!