For a business to flourish, you need to reach your consumers in a way that inspires trust. Gaining your consumer’s trust is the only way to establish a long-term relationship with them. Since trust is the real currency of marketing, businesses that are not trusted, do not grow.
One of the fastest growing forms of marketing to earn your consumers’ trust is through other consumers. Individuals are more open to buying or even trying a product when they read a few reviews, blogs and watch videos on how someone has tried and tested a product. This new form of marketing, called ‘influencer marketing’, is when fellow consumers share your business’s information in order to please and encourage your target market to take interest in what your business has to offer.
Sometimes your business crashes or a stream of bad reviews have a huge impact on your sales. You might decide to try a few PR tricks or put some more money into advertising, but these aren’t the most effective strategies. Today, nothing works better than a fellow target consumer trying your product and giving it the green signal.
How Do You Pick the Right Influencer for Your Brand?
Associating your brand with the right influencers is crucial if you want to create a positive impression. Among the sea of influencers out there, there are three main parameters that will help you pick those that will be the perfect fit for your brand.
Make sure the influencer you pick is a contextual fit for your brand. A fashion celebrity who has a large fan following might make a great influencer for a fashion brand, but if you’re in technology, it will not make any sense to choose them. The influencer you choose also needs to have a personality that is in line with your brand. When you associate your brand with an influencer, their reputation rubs off on your brand. This is essential to help you revamp your brand image.
Your influencer needs to have a massive fan following to be able to help your brand reach your customers. Your influencer’s fan base also needs to be composed largely of your target group. It makes no sense for you to use an influencer whose followers are below the age of 30 if your target group is 40 and above.
Influencers do not force their opinion upon their audience, they hint at it or gently suggest it. An influencer who knows their audience well will be able to create brand-centric content readers will love. Because they trust the influencer’s recommendations, the audience will do as they suggest of their own accord. Influencer’s who are too forceful with their recommendations will only hurt your brand because the audience will see right through it.
How to Regain Customer’s Faith in Your Brand
Now that you have shortlisted influencers for your brand, you can start building bridges with your customers. There are a few ways to go about this.
Know your audience
Who is your audience? Whom are you speaking to? Knowing insightful details about your audience will help you construct targeted messages for them. There are plenty of analytical tools available today to help you figure out exactly who your target audience is.
Re-allot your advertising budgets
When your brand is in the news for the wrong reasons, advertising will not improve the situation. Instead of pumping massive amounts of money into advertising, divert those funds towards strategies that will actually help. Spend more time and resources on influencer marketing, because this is the most effective technique towards rebuilding your brand image.
Even the most popular influencers cannot save a bad product. You can keep making promises to your consumers and reassuring them, but words can only do so much. Take concrete steps towards rectifying the situation and make sure your consumers know you’re doing this. Instead of justifying yourself to your customers, start showing them that you will not repeat your mistakes again. Through influencers, show them that your product is worth trying and using.
Influencers, even those with a major fan following, will take some time to reach their audience and convince them. Do not be impatient by trying to force your message down your audience’s throats. This will only backfire against you and hurt your brand. It takes time to rebuild trust, so don’t try to rush the process.
Your influencers will share your brand’s link, redirecting customers to your website. If your customers (who have stopped trusting you) see the same old promises and brand USPs again, they are sure to abandon your product for good. It’s time to do an overhaul of your website so your customers can see that you’re trying to rectify your mistakes.
We were approached by a popular Indian brand of Basmati rice that was recently caught in the news for selling plastic rice. The brand is the leader in the Basmati rice market in India and was sure to refrain from such practices. But regardless of the actual facts, customers still began to distrust them. In order to win back their customer’s trust, they decided to use influencer marketing.
What We Did
To rebuild the brand’s reputation, we needed influential bloggers to convince the consumers. We looked for specific bloggers related to food and fitness who would try the rice and write a full-fledged piece on it. After we zeroed in on the best bloggers with a large fan following, we began reaching out to them with customized approaches. Once they agreed, we requested each of them to try the product, rate it and then write about how the rumours being circulated were completely false and that the product could be trusted completely.
If you’re trying to salvage your brand’s reputation, reaching out to your customers through influencer marketing is the most effective way to do this. But before you engage your brand in any sort of marketing, ensure that you have studied your target audience and know what they like. Through association with the right influencers, your brand can start rebuilding trust. It will take some time and effort, but will pay off massively in the long run.
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