No one disputes that when it comes to marketing your business, the rules and tools have changed. One of the most effective ways to increase sales is to build a tribe of people who will be waiting to buy most any new product or service you sell.
What is a “Tribe?”
In marketing speak, a tribe is a group of followers, a fan club of sorts, that is familiar with you or your business and feels a certain degree of loyalty toward it. Having a tribe can mean you offer your products and services at a price that works for your bottom line, despite your competition, because your followers feel comfortable that they can depend on what they’re getting from you. But a tribe goes beyond product satisfaction. Once a customer becomes a loyal follower, that connection, in a sense, becomes part of their identity.
One great example of this is Apple. Think of the friends you know who have chosen Apple products for all of their electronic devices: phone, tablet, computer. You likely know Apple customers who would rather chew nails than buy a competitor’s product. Certainly the products’ design and features play a large roll, as does Apple’s customer service. But there’s another piece to the puzzle. Apple devotees become part of a community of users, of like-minded tribe members, particularly those who work in design. Other tribes have been built around beer, department stores, fashion designers, even cigarettes (remember the Marlborough Man?).
First, Provide Value
How do you build a tribe? It takes work and time, but it is one of the most effective tools you can have in your marketing arsenal. One way to start is to provide value to customers and prospects, through the digital media that you have access to every day. Your Web site, Facebook page and Twitter account are all venues to reach people for building your tribe. Do you own a restaurant? Your Web site can include a blog about finding fresh, local ingredients, offering occasional recipes readers can make at home. Are you an accountant? Adding money management advice to your Twitter feed, or offering a free e-booklet with similar tips, can help position you as an expert in your field. A blog on your Web site that includes a forum goes one step further in building a community of people who are engaged with your company.
Even if your products or services don’t seem to lend themselves to interesting content, you can find a way to build an audience. Say, for example, that your business sells industrial fasteners. A blog about fasteners may not provide much interesting content, but you can consider other topics that may be of interest to your customers. Consider the industry of the people who purchase from you. What are their challenges? Storage? Workplace safety? You could offer a free video series or blog posts with tips addressing these topics. Supplement the series with a downloadable checklist, and you’ll be offering something of value that can build trust and goodwill with your tribe.
Organic is Best
By providing such value, you place your business in the front of your customers’ minds. They’ll not only think of you first when they need what your company offers, but they’ll also recommend your business to friends. That kind of free, organic advertising is hard to beat.
Knowing how to incorporate tribe building into your marketing strategy can be a challenge, and it can be time consuming. Don’t know where to start? SweetWater Marketing can help. Let’s start the conversation today. Call us at (256) 617-2092, or email at email@example.com.