With all the new devices and media platforms, to truly engage customers with added value content they want to be entertained. Brands that will succeed in the 21st century will be those that embrace this role of becoming entertainers and focus not on converting customers but building audiences. Check out RedBull who has masterfully done this and now claims 42% of the market share for energy drinks.
The answer of how to monetize in a digital age lies in audience development. The larger your brand loyal audience is, the more opportunities there will be to generate profits for your brand. This is how YouTube stars are literally making millions of dollars … right now … as brands give these stars big bucks to get products in front of their home grown audiences.
The social “media buy” is not paid for in cash but in building a relationship with your audience so that they will hit like, share and send into their networks. They will only work for you in this capacity if you build a transparent, value added relationship with them. So get to know your audience and build strategies that serve them.
Audiences expect to be entertained, and they respond to stories. Yes, marketers already tell stories, but with multiple media platforms and connected customers, there are greater opportunities to produce narrative experiences that exude the core essence of brands. Such brand experiences invite audiences to engage and participate at a much deeper, loyal level. Chipotle is a great example of a brand that is telling stunning brand stories as part of their marketing and audience building strategies. And, yes, they are gaining more profits too.