ITM Marketing Blog

Does Your Story Connect With Consumers?

story connect with consumersIn the old days, customers used to be able to walk into their favorite local stores to pick up the products they needed or they used to be able to walk into a local business to talk about services that the business provided. When a consumer did most of their purchasing previous to the Internet, they were able to talk to the business owner and the business’s employees in person. This created some level of personal relationship between the consumer and the business owner. When these personal relationships were formed, stories were often told between the business owner and the consumers. Stories of how business is going, how the business was started are just a couple of the stories that were told. While some level of this interaction still takes place on the local business level, it’s harder to form that same type of relationship with consumers who do business with you online. Does your story connect with consumers? If it does, it can help your online marketing and branding efforts.

Even though the times have changed and many consumers turn to the Internet when they need a product or service, your business’s story still needs to connect with people. Only due to the lack of face to face interaction, your story may not always connect with consumers in the way that consumers are looking for it to. This can be one of the biggest influences on whether or not a business succeeds online. While the personal connection between a business and a consumer may be lost on the business, it’s not something that consumers easily overlook.

How can you make your business’s story connect with consumers? This is where most online business owners and marketers struggle. You know that you need to be transparent so that consumers will trust your business and so that they can make a connection with your business, but the process doesn’t always come naturally to business owners and marketers. Let’s take a look at things that you can do to get your story to connect with consumers.

Don’t Make It All About Business

One of the biggest mistakes that businesses and marketers make when they’re using social media is that they only post updates about business related matters. Of course you’re using social media to market, but social media can also be used as a tool to help make a connection with consumers.

Say you sell a dog training product and that’s what your business centers around. You have an e-commerce store, a blog, your social media accounts and maybe you toss your product up on Amazon as well to help give it a little more exposure. You take to social media to market your product but the only information you share relates to selling your dog training product. You post links to your e-commerce website, you post links to your product listing on Amazon and maybe from time to time you post links back to your blog posts which do nothing but talk about your product. Sounds pretty solid in regards to pushing your products, but that’s all you’re doing; pushing your products.

Where is the interaction with your consumers? Where is your company story being built? Now let’s look at a few ways to engage your customers or potential customers:

- Have them post pictures of their dogs

- Have them share the experiences that they’ve had using your dog training products

- Ask questions: How can you make the product better?

- Hold a contest for a free dog training product

- Hold a photo content for dogs that have used your training product

Through these things, you’re able to build your business’s online story and what’s even better is that your customers are helping in the process of building your story. Once you have a good story in motion, others will see it and want to be a part of your business’s story as well and this is exactly how customers are created.

Don’t Discount Your “About Us” Section

A lot of online businesses and marketers don’t put much effort into the “About us” section on their websites. This is a mistake as it is one of the few areas where consumers can really learn about your company’s story and attempt to make the connection. If content is present in the “About us” section, it’s usually very vague or poorly written. Why not use the page for what it’s intended for?

- Tell consumers why you started your business

- How you started your business

- Have you run into any struggles? While you don’t want to portray a failing business, if you faced challenges and overcame them, why not share how resilient your business is?

- What results has your company seen? This is especially important for businesses that offer services. For example, if you’re a PPC manager, post links to case studies or other areas where people can see the success that your business has had.

- What are your company’s future goals?

By providing this information, it’s upping the chance that your business’s story will connect with consumers. Sometimes it truly is a popularity contest and in the end, consumers have to like your business in order to want to give you their money.

Don’t Be RoboticĀ 

Consumers like personalities. While you have to maintain a level of professionalism online, if you’re overly robotic, consumers will fail to connect with the story that your business is trying to tell. Think about what it feels like when you’re speaking face to face with a person who talks in monotone. The conversation can get really boring really quick and people tend to lose interest. If everything you say and do online comes off as robotic, consumers are going to get bored and they’re not going to care about your business, the products, the services or the story that you want to be heard.

Getting your story to connect with consumers online is challenging, but not impossible. Once you find out how your business’s customers like to connect, you can start to build upon your story and your brand which will not only help create new business, it will also help with customer loyalty.

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Posted on March 15th, 2012 by in Company Branding, Internet Marketing, marketing mistakes, marketing tips, Small Business / Tagged , , , , , , / Leave a comment

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