From marketing campaigns to product improvements, listening to your audience can give you a ton of insight around the kind of content consumers are looking for
By Pragati Basu
Every marketer dreams of creating a brand that is so powerful that word-of-mouth and happy customers keep marketing budgets on the down low and customer lifetime value (CLTV) on the rise. But this is easier said than done. There seems to be something elusive about this – no matter how many revolutionary ad films you make or marketing campaigns you run, this may not always be the key. Look at a brand like Apple – apart from the promotions around product releases, their marketing activities are pretty limited. So, what then, is the secret to their success? It’s brand love.
What, you ask, is brand love? When your audience or customer base is unconditionally loyal to your brand, that is when you have achieved brand love. There is no secret formula for this – more a combination of factors that you can work on and hope for the rest to follow in time.
What goes into making a loved brand?
At Talkwalker, we regularly conduct industry research and have been able to identify the main factors that play an integral role in social listening. As per an analysis of over 2,50,000 online conversations about 780+ brands, from 28 different industries, we’ve found that the following factors contribute to creating a loved brand.
Marketers, listen up, these are:
- CSR or Corporate Social Responsibility is what shows that you care about enabling lesser privileged people and the ecosystem. Supporting causes close to the heart of your core audience will always help you win big.
- Sponsorship is investment heavy but also helps with brand recall. If you have the budget to advertise during IPL or work on a marketing campaign (unrelated to sports) – the choice is obvious. IPL means a greater reach and supporting cricket in a cricket-crazy nation like ours is always a great idea.
- Nostalgia is trickier – it’s about tapping into the past experiences of your audience and legacy brands definitely have an advantage here. But tapping into childhood memories or experiences is really powerful.
- Influencer marketing is always a winner – it’s a trend that shows no signs of slowing down and that’s mainly because influencers are relatable and likeable as well as masters of content. This is why audiences love them and brand love is all about winning the hearts of your audience.
- Trend engagement – trend- jacking is really a thing. Brands that are able to pass witty commentary on newsworthy topics always have a winning campaign in their hands. Ergo Rahul Bose and the Banana moment where the Taj Hotels offered free bananas to their guests. We still remember that even though it’s been over a year.
- Social strategy – social media shouldn’t just be about putting information out there – it’s about engaging with your audience and having a conversation.
- Customer experience – every customer’s opinion about a brand is coloured by their personal experiences of it. So investing heavily in a smooth UX is definitely the way to go. It’s more a norm today than a “nice-to-have”.
- Positive PR – this one is a simple one – it’s about ensuring that you gain maximum visibility for all of the efforts you’re making to win brand love.
- Engaging fandoms – fans are heavily engaged people – if, for instance your brand ambassador has many fan clubs, that’s the loyal audience you can tap into to spread the word about your brand.
- Employee advocacy – if your employees love working for you, then it’s a pretty safe bet to say that they will sing your praises even outside of work. And that makes you a loved brand for sure – just look at Google!
- Aspirational – lastly, your brand should be a part of the lifestyle that your audience aspires towards and this is where your positioning efforts should lie.
If you’ve got even some of these rights, you’re going to be able to compete for a spot among India’s most loved brands.
How does social listening fit in?
Before we take a closer look at these factors, let’s talk about the one thing they have in common. Social listening. We were able to identify these factors based on information that is freely and publicly available online. And this is the most authentic source of information. While posting on social media, people are usually not filtered – they speak from the heart and that is how you know that their opinion – at least at the time of posting – is a reflection of how they really feel.
Listening to your audience can give you a ton of insight around the kind of content that is relevant to them. From marketing campaigns to product improvements – all of this information is actually available online, if you know where to look and take a moment to listen. UGC can point you in the right direction and is, in fact, what opens up a two-way dialogue between you and your audience. And, it’s no secret that a brand which engages with its audience, is generally doing something right.
So how do you go about this? It is impossible to manually go through all of the information on social media – it’s tedious and extremely labour intensive. Therefore it’s essential to invest in correct social listening tools, where all you need to do is enter a specific search query – it can be your brand, a hashtag or even a competitor’s brand – and you get the results for you from across the internet.
These results should then be monitored, analyzed in real-time across social networks, news websites, blogs and forums and organized according to specific data points such as sentiment analysis, influencer mentions, demographic data, and more. This helps brands make sense of the data and find actionable insights that can help power your marketing campaigns and brand reputation.
It is important to keep in mind that there isn’t a magic formula to create a loved brand. But a combination of the above 11 factors can really help you up your game.There isn’t really a secret all-in-one formula to create a loved brand. It’s a lot of luck, content and strategy too.
The author is marketing manager- India and ROW, Talkwalker