Can you guys believe it's almost two years since my last article???????? I promise to do better guys!
I have been busy though. I signed on new clients, started my internship program and began a tour across the country to discuss opportunities in the entertainment industry… What have you guys been up to?
Today, we will discuss the concept of "Trust" and I will try not to write a long article.
In an age where cynical consumers are on the rise and anyone can turn people against a brand with a camera phone and a caption on their social media platforms, the need to build and maintain consumer trust can never be over emphasised.
Brands spend millions executing marketing strategies and building brand reputation and it's heart breaking that a roach in a burger served by a nonchalant and careless staff in one branch could end everything! Damn, social media mehn!
To help us understand this better, let's look at how trust has morphed over the years.
In the old days, trust was very communal. Basically, I know your dad and mom and siblings and relatives and so if I buy something from you, it's because I trust your family. I can easily find you. It was face to face.
Then as civilization grew, trust became institutional. We began to trust the things brands told us. At some point in Nigeria (Well, Lagos), every bottled water was "Ragolis" and every noodle was "Indomie". We trusted the brands that told us as many times as possible through their marketing, and sometimes government regulations, that they were the best. It stayed this way for a long time and then the internet showed up and things changed… The way people trust also changed.
In layman's terms, Trust is now shared or decentralised. People do not buy things or take cabs or book hotels without trying to find out what others think. If an Uber driver's rating is 3, most of us will cancel the trip. If trip advisor reviews tell us the hotel staff are very rude people, there is a chance we will search for another hotel. If the ratings and comments on an app is bad, we are less likely to download it.
As people continue to investigate major brands, and use social media as a way to expose things they used to hide, trust in big corporations has been heavily reduced. Social trust (from people we don't know, by the way) now determines how we travel, buy and spend. The peer to peer business model is changing everything and for those of us marketing and selling content or managing content creators, we may have a lot to learn from it.
The most effective marketing channel remains the word of mouth and that's basically what peer to peer model is about. They simply create a platform where people can sell their product or service through their vendors. Air bnb, and Uber, among others create a platform and then they use people like you and me to sell it. I'm sure we all agree how genius this is. So, how do we use this model? How do we adequately utilise "word of mouth", the most effective marketing tool available to us to sell our music or our artists.
I say ENGAGE!
Reach first then ENGAGE… Convert and then ENGAGE differently!
Digital marketing can be dangerous and I have seen it make a lot of talents delusional. Stuck in the bubble of their followers.
The best way to sell more content is to convince people who buy to share their experience. So, the first step is to create good, marketable content. You will not stand-out or sell by creating what everyone does. Give people amazing content that creates an experience. Put in the time and effort to create what people will happily share.
The second thing is to build a following.
DO NOT BUY FOLLOWERS!
You need to measure your growth with real people. When you engage real people, you will know for a fact which locations your fans watch your youtube videos from and what percentage of women follow you compared to men. You can tell the people who share your posts and you can engage them more and turn them into foot soldiers and loyal fans… All this data will help you do more than just tweet or post on facebook and instagram.
Your followers are not fans. To make your followers your fans you have to engage them. We must learn that as people move from followers to buyers, you must engage them differently as they require different levels of attention. When you engage your followers, your goal is create conversions. Conversions could mean anything from driving traffic to your event or website, or buying your single or album or buying your merchandise. However, when that has been done successfully, the way you now engage those who have bought your content or attended your event must change. Your focus is now to establish loyalty!
This is the goal! It is at this point that you can turn your loyal fans into marketers and value for exchange with brands... Turn them into the people who give you the reviews… The guys who tell others your music or content is amazing. The ones who will help you get past people's Trust Issues!
"If people like you, they will listen to you. But if they trust you, they will do business with you" - Zig Ziglar