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You might see it as marketing jargon, but hey, that’s how ad folk like to package common sense. I’ll make it as straightforward as possible. In my opinion, advertising is moving away from the established ‘Reasons To Believe’ to a more relevant, less contrived and easily achievable – ‘Reasons To Like’.

Any good marketer will tell you that ‘The Reasons to Believe’ is a key element of a brand’s positioning statement. And any good sales person will tell you that technical waffle doesn’t impress for long. Nonetheless, your positioning statement provides proof that the brand delivers the benefits it promises and that those benefits are true and credible. It supports the brand promise and adds substance to define specific expectations for the customer. But please don’t worry if you didn’t get any of that.

A better marketer will tell you that you can’t tell people what to believe – you need to show them and include them. The ancient Chinese proverb rings true here: “Tell me and I’ll forget; show me and I may remember; involve me and I’ll understand”. And that’s what you want; you want people to understand your brand. Because only once they understand can they believe. And only once they believe will they tell their friends, and then you don’t have to try and ‘persuade’ customers to buy what you’re selling. That’s just not smart, and extremely exhausting.

So how do you ‘involve’ your audience? How do you make them ‘understand’? Simple. By talking to them. Strike up conversations, share stuff, tell them stories – that’s how we (homo sapiens) build relationships. People prefer to connect with people, and brands can facilitate this through social media – it’s called engagement. Nothing new. Nothing mysterious. Yet, marketers still neglect to properly utilise the amazing power of social media. (It’s like using your iPhone for phone calls only, and not speaking.) Every post, every tweet, every blog entry, every online action for that matter, must evoke a response. Wallflowers won’t grow on Facebook walls.

Basic advertising principles still apply. Know whom you are talking to. Research their online behavior. Find what they’re passionate about. Have a personality. Be relevant. Keep it simple. Stand out!!! Tell the truth. Give a clear call to action. But please, don’t exactly ask them to follow you or like your brand. And for all that’s good and pure in this world, don’t say “Hey, it’s Friday. Like if you like Friday”, or anything nauseatingly similar.

Give potential consumers a reason to like your brand. If they like your brand, they’ll like your page and thus have a reason to buy your product or service, or at the very least talk about your product or service. I believe, that only once they’ve bought/experienced your product/service, will they have their reason to believe. And that part is up to you.

So to sum it up, allow consumers to find their own reasons to believe by providing them with positive brand experiences. That will give them something to talk about. No jargon necessary.

Charl Diener
Strategist at tinMan Digital

Follow Charl here: @SocialCharl

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