Wherever you look online today, you would see millions of social media accounts with millions of followers, too. For an ordinary teen in the U.S., the average number of followers for a personal account in 2015 was 150, mostly friends and family whom they know. But for those who live different lives, follower count can go as high as thousands, even millions.
Brands and businesses have hopped onto this trend, now using fandom or fanbase marketing to connect and reach their target audience.
What is fanbase marketing, and how does it work?
According to Neil Patel, “People are the lifeblood of your business. Building relationships with people fosters loyalty. As a result, loyalty has the potential to increase profits.” Suffice to say, it’s the experience of being a part of something that keeps them attached to a brand.
Today, if you’ve seen trending TikTok stars, then you know that they participate in collaborations, create sponsored content, and more. However, they most probably started building their fanbase by creating relatable content appealing to people.
More often than not, their audiences are people who can relate to them in various ways, such as humor, lifestyle, demographics, problems, and more.
By knowing what piques their audience’s interest and what is relatable to them, they’re able to build a following. The audience sees this influencer or public figure as a representative of people like them—someone they can relate to and who resonates with them, their lifestyle, quirks, and personality.
Brands jump onto this trend and reach out to influencers and other public figures such as singers, politicians, or designers and reach a particular audience.
Because these influencers have their own audience demographic, brands get a captive audience who relates to that influencer and trusts their verdict. In effect, they also trust the product or brand that the influencer approves of.
Marketing practices to engage and secure fanbases
The world of social media has dramatically influenced the way we do marketing today. It has opened a world of opportunities for businesses, no matter how big or small.
One great thing about the power of social media and digital marketing is that a huge budget isn’t needed. Any business can reach its target audience and create a loyal fanbase. Read on to know how to secure a fanbase.
It’s not about you
When you start to see your statistics climb, it’s easy to feel proud about what you’ve done, but remember that this fanbase you’re creating is not about you. Instead, you’re building lasting and personal relationships with your audience, and that’s where real success stems from. Always try to go beyond expectations and consistently create great customer experiences.
Keep in touch with your audience
Make sure to let your customers know that what they say matters to you and that you listen to them. Some examples of acquiring feedback from your customers are the following:
- Ask for their feedback on specific products or services.
- Keep the conversation going even after the purchase.
- Give them regular updates, not just when you have a new product.
- Ask what they want to see from your brand.
Reward your followers
Come up with rewards that you can give to your loyal followers. They will greatly appreciate this and take it as a way of rewarding their loyalty to your brand. A great way to enforce this is through sales calls, promotions, discounts, bundles, exclusive offers, and more. However, make sure not to bore them out and use videos and images to keep things interesting.
Fanbase marketing: listen to what matters to them and where their interests lie
To make sure that you connect with your audience, you have to relate to them in a way that doesn’t seem forced. Show the humanity in your brand. Keep an eye out for things they are interested in.
Are they relating to a specific influencer? A particular type of trend? Listen in and be there to grab the opportunity of where you can insert your brand into their everyday lives. Don’t intrude; knock.
Try influencer marketing
Going with the theme of reaching out to your audience and their interests, it might also be a good idea to reach out to influencers and public figures with whom your audience resonates. One good example is the rise in collaborations in fashion.
A fashion collaboration has been used for a while to gather more customers. In addition, fashion brands often reach out to top celebrities and influencers from all around the world.
Sometimes, it pays to connect with people your brand resonates with (influencers, brand ambassadors, and the like). This way, their audience could get a glimpse of your brand, and you hopefully get more traction through it
Influencer marketing works because it uses word-of-mouth marketing along with social proof. Customers trust their peers and the people they admire. So, it makes sense that they’ll likely do the same when they see their peers and the people they admire supporting or using a brand.
Utilize the power of email marketing
Email marketing is a strategy that can seem daunting to take on. But just like any other challenge, getting started is already taking you halfway there. In addition, email marketing can help you build a great fanbase.
One great thing about email marketing is that it keeps you in front of your audience’s minds. So, whether it’s a promotion, exciting news, or a monthly newsletter, email marketing is a great way to keep them engaged.
There are a lot of email marketing platforms available online, as well as copywriting and design tools. These make it easy to send beautifully written and engaging emails that your audience won’t be able to ignore.
Pro-tip: if you want people to sign up to your mailing list, put a big noticeable button at the top of your website to get people clicking and signing up.
Work towards creating a community
Creating a community is probably the best tip when utilizing fanbase marketing. Building a fanbase is not just about the number of people buying and raving about your product.
These people are your life and blood as a business. They determine the direction of your operations and keep the company going. They’re the ones who brought you to the pedestal, so it’s more than appropriate to treat them as more than just “followers.” A brand should create a community rather than a fandom to get the business to further heights.
What community means here is a group of people with something in common, like a belief, passion, interest, language, or humor. As a brand, you already have a following.
However, if you think of your brand as a person, you’d have thousands or millions of people to lead when, in fact, you should be within the circle, conversing and asking them what they want, what they think, and how they feel.
Having a highly engaged and close community of your biggest fans can lead to significant revenue. According to the Pareto Principle, 80% of the consequence will come from 20% of causes, which means that 80% of your sales will mainly come from the most highly-engaged 20% of followers.
So, the best way to keep having the best revenue is to put effort into creating a community rather than just a following.
The Fine Details
Remember that your brand’s overall experience and performance will depend on how well you treat your customers. They are not just numbers displayed on your social media profiles and then forgotten.
Learn to listen and deliver. Build a fanbase by turning it into a community. Listen to what your customers have to say, keep them in the loop, and provide them with juicy and exclusive details or promotions. But most importantly, make them feel like they’re just as much a part of the business as the actual people working in it. Companies can’t run without consumers.
Consumers are picky, and they’re very vocal, but when you hit that sweet spot between offering what you have and giving them what they want, it’s a symphony.