If you’re the shy and retiring type, move over, because this year is the year of the influencer! It’s official, people want to buy from people. Faceless brands and outdated advertising no longer work. Today, I bring you the latest global thinking on the future of marketing.
I’ve just returned from the USA, where I attended the Social Media Marketing World event in San Diego. It’s the social media marketing mega conference, where the world’s top experts share the best (and most current) social media marketing techniques. With 4,000+ attendees, it was the biggest conference I’ve ever had the pleasure of being part of, and it was a real honour to hob-knob with other social media marketers, just like me!
Branding: bringing power to the people!
Humanising our brands and creating real-life human connections was one of the significant themes throughout the event this year.
The consensus, amongst social media marketing experts, is that people distrust big name brands today. Consumers no longer want to fuel the profits of faceless corporations.
In fact, people are wise to the old ‘advertising’ ways of days-gone-by, and the truth is that they can smell a sales campaign a mile off. People today refuse to be directly ‘sold’ too.
“People distrust faceless brands and people with no personality.”
Our brands need to become more human
If we’re going to be successful real estate marketers, in the digital age, then we need to accept that the concepts of B2B (business to business) and B2C (business to consumer) marketing are no longer valid.
In modern-day marketing, these stereotype has been replaced with a new acronym – P2P – people to people marketing!
To get your mind around this concept, consider the idea behind pop-up stores, food vans, microbreweries, farmers markets, and other similar rustic-style, locally-based establishments that have returned to our suburbs.
Your brand needs to have this type of flair in its online form too. The most human, and more importantly, ‘humble’ brand (that finds a way to personalise and share it’s ‘story’) is the one that will win customer sentiment.
Turn up your care factor
In today’s modern marketing era, we need to care more about the folk that follow us and be prepared to accept that smaller, more niche audiences, with shared interests, are more important than having large groups of followers that have very little in common.
It’s time to stop trying to appeal to the masses. Social proof, i.e. our obsession with how many people follow us versus our nearest competitor, must cease.
Turn raving fans into SUPER FANS!
It’s time to start paying close attention to our avid fans, the ones that we’ve ‘struck a cord’ with the most. The ones that follow our updates fervently. Our raving fans! Consider, how can you turn these people into SUPER FANS!
Ask yourself, how can you leverage the love of these people? For these people are the followers that will do the selling for you – through unprompted referrals (in groups and forums). These are the people that will go out of their way to send people to you – helping you turn ‘cold’, or ‘warm’, leads into ‘hot’ leads!
Public communications become private
Believe it or not, in the future, people are going to move their conversations, and interactions, away from the limelight, and away from public scrutiny.
The consensus among digital marketers is that like-minded people, with similar interests, will form private groups and personal networks. Negating the need for the dark web.
In general, the view of social media experts the world over is that people will start to use private messaging first and foremost.
Private messages and online interactions with family, friends or people with similar hobbies or business interests will become the norm.
Believe it or not, for the first time in history, the usage of Facebook has started to go down. What??!! Crazy I know, but don’t worry because private messaging has gone up. So, that most certainly sets the scene for things to come!
Find out who influences your clients
So, now is the time to start building your personal brand, to ensure it has influence and power.
In fact, people with highly-loyal followers can now shepherd their fans like sheep either toward or away from products or services. These people are known as influencers.
Consider who has the most influence in your local community? Where do local homeowners hang out? And, who do they hang out with? How could you make alliances with these people, gain their endorsement and have clients sent your way?
In today’s modern digital marketing era, you either need to become an influencer (within your local community) or find influencers to partner with. In fact, sometimes a simple photograph with someone of regional influence can bring authority and trust to your personal brand. So, have a good think about who, in your neighbourhood or local community that could be.
I’m calling it the Kardashian effect! One ride on the hoverboard and sales for your business can go crazy.
Content: the seismic shockwave
Appreciate it or not, we are currently experiencing a content shockwave. On average, we now see 2,000 posts a day on Facebook. Hence this poses a challenge for the social media giant, who must now find ways to cut this amount of content back or diminish the success of its personalised social experience.
Facebook knows, all too well, that volume of content (or posts) is not the answer. It needs consumers to create high-quality content and posts that are more engaging, and better-optimised, to maintain its success.
We need to appreciate that content is the starting line, not the finish line. We need to focus on what social media marketers are calling “Ignition,” i.e. the ability to find ways to get the content we create to be seen and shared. Because if we’ve gone to all that trouble to create content of interest, we need to ensure it reaches the people its intended for, and that they enjoy receiving it.
It’s also important to be original and to bring our personalities and personal stories into the fray. So, step up, step outside your comfort zone and take a leap in a direction that’s different to your real estate competitors, or you run the risk of being replaced.
Most importantly we all need to be more HUMAN because in the end the most human company, real estate agency or agent will win!