You have a new product to launch. How can you ensure consumers find it when they’re shopping? Marketing experts say the average person sees between 4,000 and 10,000 ads in a single day; everyone of them claiming to be perfectly targeted to your ideal customer. People tune out most ads. But for DTC brands, the ad addiction is real. Why? Because it’s easy to establish direct ROI. Even when brands know the ROI isn’t great, they can’t seem to get off the treadmill because they know what to expect. And with AI emerging, there is likely to be further disruption in the consumer industry. You’ve worked so hard to create a great brand and a great product. So, if not for advertising, how do people discover new brands today?
Give Them a Reason to Talk About Your Brand
Because we’re so inundated with signals and ads, buyers rely on friends and family for suggestions more than ever to help them filter through the choices. Every consumer brand understands the value of reviews, but referrals from friends and family are even more essential. 27% of consumers rely on trusted sources like friends for new brand discovery. Also, the older the target customer, the more likely they are to rely on advice from friends, with GenX (30%) and Boomers (35%) relying most heavily on friends and family.
But giving your advocates a gentle nudge and a reason to share your info with friends is even more important. We see this a lot with referral codes. Still, when a customer wants to advocate for you, or want to tell a friend about you, they aren’t likely going to go digging around for a creepy referral link that makes the receiver think their friend is only recommending a brand so they can save $10. It’s icky.
Instead, think about your content and social proof. For example, write tangential content that’s interesting and useful to your customer, not just about your brand. For example, if you’re a food brand, then write content about your favorite cooking tools in your test kitchen.
Also, when you secure consumer press, celebrate it with your customers. This IS a good time to offer a promo code because it’s one more reason to say to a friend, “hey, this is the skincare lotion you asked me about; it’s on sale,” AND it comes right next to the social proof that backs up your customer’s choice to share your product.
Search Engine Love
31% of consumers find new products on search engines. Consumers use search engines during two buying phases: the research phase and the buying phase. You want to be present for both, because that’s how people discover new brands
First, assuming your website is well constructed, and your product pages are well designed, your next step is to embrace the reality of the internet: content marketing. With the latest advances in AI-generated content, creating content for your website has never been easier. Just be sure to review your content and ensure the quality is there because content is often a consumer’s first exposure to your brand. There are countless ways you can use content marketing. Look at the way Sarah Blakely was always the #1 brand advocate for Spanx.
Second, if you sell DTC, use Google’s product review advice to help you build content that matters to customers. Our annual guide has many tips and hints about building consumer content that will help you stand out in search engine results.
But it’s not just owned content that customers love. When potential customers search for products, they’re in the buying phase, and that’s when they’re looking for reviews that jump out at them from search results: reviews by trusted media outlets. This is really important because publishers have massive amounts of content and SEO, so their product reviews are highly visible. And it doesn’t seem to matter if the press outlet uses affiliate links, so long as it’s disclosed. We’ve had clients sell out warehouses full of product due to affiliate links. Notably, affiliate links from friends might seem creepy, but product review affiliate links from media outlets are perfectly acceptable. Why might that be? When you learn about how people view lures and rewards, that’s another reason you must allow your marketing and PR to work together when considering your DTC consumer.
Influencers Gonna Influence
We can’t really talk about DTC PR without talking about social media influencers. It’s not just younger generations turning to TikTok for product discovery. And social networks catch buyer in all three phases – the awareness phase, the buying phase, when they’re researching a product, and the curiosity phase. Ensure your influencer campaigns work for both those phases, and be conscious of how impulsive your customers are when strategizing campaigns with content creators, because buyers are increasingly impulsive on platforms like TikTok.; 65% of GenZ and Millenials make impulse buying decisions at least once per month, compared to 38% of GenX and Boomers.
Using these modern PR tips to capitalize on how people discover new brands and tactics will make your investment pay for itself much faster.