According to a study by MIT, consumer-based storytelling can increase purchase consideration by 32 percent on average.
In today’s digital world, internet users spend almost 2.5 hours everyday scrolling through their social media, which is already filled with paid ads. As a result, it has become easier for users to identify and ignore posts which are actively trying to sell them a product or service.
Consumer-based stories can add the genuineness and authenticity that you need to directly connect with your target audience and make them notice your brand. Consumer stories are simply when customers share their own take on your business or post anything related to your business. It can be a testimonial, a social media post, or their perception about your brand.
By making consumer stories a permanent part of your digital marketing strategy, you can improve brand awareness, achieve a broader reach, humanize your brand on social media, and improve customer loyalty.
Here are the top tips to leverage the power of consumer stories:
- Track brand mentions
To make the most out of consumer stories, you need to know where your target audience is. If the majority of your customers are on Twitter, but your brand uses Instagram primarily, then you might miss out on what your customers are saying about you.
Start tracking your brand’s mentions in real-time on all the major social media platforms for anything worthy of a good consumer storytelling moment.
For instance, when a 4-year old’s failed attempt to get toys and gifts from Zomato went viral on Twitter, a lot of users tagged the brand in it. The food delivery app took notice and decided to send a toy car to the little boy.
- Take customer suggestions and constructive criticism
The great part about social media is that you get to see what your customers think about your products and services in real-time. Not only can you resolve customer queries quickly and improve customer satisfaction, but you can also take suggestions and constructive criticisms to refine your products.
When Sainsburry received a letter from a young 3.5-year old customer about why their striped bread was called ‘tiger’ bread instead of giraffe bread — the moment went viral on social media. Instead of just taking the whole thing lightly and passing over it, the brand actually took consideration of the request and ended up renaming it to giraffe bread.
- Share video testimonials
Video testimonials are a great and engaging way to build trust among prospective customers, especially for SaaS and B2B companies. They can humanize your brand by showcasing how your services and products are directly helping end customers. It also gives people a clear idea about what your customers think about your company as a whole.
For instance, Slack, an instant messaging platform which is primarily used by organizations to manage their internal communication, shared a series of video testimonials on the brand’s YouTube pade called “So Yeah, We Tried Slack…” Each video focuses on a different company and they use Slack internally. The perfect blend of humour and detail is what makes the videos so engaging.
Similarly, Square, a website builder platform, has an ongoing campaign called ‘For Every Dream’ where they cover inspiring customer stories and how they use Square to chase their dreams.
- Encourage and reshare user generated content
While your marketing team might be working hard to create engaging content and visually aesthetic graphics, the best way to increase engagement is by encouraging and resharing user generated content.
You can let your followers know how they can tag your brand in a post and what hashtags they should use. Then, your team can monitor the hashtags and share the best posts.
By resharing the content created by your followers, you can share more posts with only half the effort. Moreover, it increases the virality of your brand’s hashtags without any expensive paid campaigns.
For instance, GoPro runs a Photo of the Day campaign where the brand shares one picture everyday taken by a GroPro user. The brand always makes sure to tag and credit the original user in order to encourage others to share their best GoPro pictures.
Shifting to a digital marketing strategy that focuses on consumer to consumer storytelling can help you create more targeted campaigns which connect and resonate with your target audience on a more personal level. Facilitating consumer stories can also show your prospective customers that your brand’s focus is always on offering the best possible services to customers.