Ads are everywhere! From our phones to other traditional media outlets like print and television, brands are constantly fighting for our attention. This has made it increasingly hard for brands to get noticed as customers develop what many are referring to as “advertising blindness.”
With 64% of customers describing ads as annoying or intrusive, this advertising blindness shouldn’t come as a shock. Over 615 million devices currently have an ad blocker installed, and these numbers will only continue to grow. Clearly customers are tired of traditional forms of marketing, and are looking for other ways to engage with the brands they shop with.
So where does that leave us? If customers don’t want to engage with your ads and are actively trying to avoid them, how are you supposed to attract and retain new customers?
The answer is simple: value-add marketing.
Value-add marketing puts the customer first
At its core, value-add marketing is defined by its ability to deliver more than your customers are expecting. It’s an empathetic approach that seeks to delight customers by giving them more than they expect or pay for, emphasizing your brand’s desire to deliver value instead of simply making money.
This is particularly important in a time when customers are not shopping with transactional brands. Customers want to engage with brands that offer them experiences beyond making a purchase.
With value-add marketing, you have the opportunity to turn your marketing content into a product of its own that pushes the needle from transactional relationships to emotional ones by putting the customer’s needs first. As a result, the content you create arguably becomes your most valuable product and what ultimately makes your brand appealing.
Types of value-add marketing
Value-add marketing can take many forms. Some of the most popular include:
- Expert advice and blog content
- Referral and VIP rewards
- Educational content such as how-to videos, webinars, and workshops
- Surprise samples and free products
- Priority service and shipping
No matter what type of value-add marketing you choose to start, the key is to make sure that your customers find it valuable. After all, you are looking to create engagements, not just brand awareness!
Why you need to start value-add marketing
There are a number of reasons you need to include value-add marketing as part of your ongoing marketing strategy.
Traditional advertising isn't sustainable
With ever-increasing competition in the world of commerce, acquisition marketing costs continue to skyrocket. It’s more expensive than ever to purchase ad space and as the demand for this marketing real estate continues to climb, it will only increase in cost.
As fewer customers continue to trust traditional advertising, it becomes an even more unsustainable strategy. People don’t want to be sold to, which means they’re less likely to make purchases based on the expensive advertising messages you’re creating.
Value-add marketing creates a marketing ecosystem that allows you to improve and expand your strategy without eating into your margins. Instead, it helps you invest in profitable customers who will continue to engage with you over time, raising your bottom line and setting your business up for sustainable growth.
Builds emotional relationships
Loyalty isn’t a thing — it’s an emotion. Too often we discuss the idea of customer retention as building customer loyalty, when in fact it’s all about building sustainable, lasting customer relationships. These relationships are only possible when customers trust your brand and, as a result, the products and services you’re offering.
Value-add marketing is the key to establishing these relationships because it instills a sense of trust in you and your brand. By delivering exceptional experiences by sharing your expertise, running a rewards program, or improving your customer service, you build a strong base for long-term emotional connections between your brand and customers.
Retains more customers
When customers feel you have their best interests in mind, they will choose to do business with you instead of the many other competitors they could choose from. The emotional relationships you establish with a value-add strategy are what set you apart and will help keep customers engaged with your brand community.
This not only allows your business to continue growing but also saves you significant resources on ad spend. These factors are what allow you to transition from being a business built on transactional relationships to one rooted in emotional connections.
Inspires brand advocacy
One of value-add marketing’s greatest strengths is its ability to build trust between your brand and your customers. Whether it’s because you position yourself as an expert in your industry or consistently deliver fresh, exciting content, value-add marketing has the power to influence how much your customers trust your brand and the content you’re producing.
This is extremely valuable because customers who trust your brand are more willing and likely to share it with others. People are communal creatures by nature, which means we like to share our positive experiences with others. Value-add marketing is the perfect way to inspire a sense of brand advocacy or ambassadorship in your best customers, unlocking the potential for your brand community to continue growing and thriving over time.
Build a strong foundation for your brand with value-add marketing
In a world bombarded by one-size-fits-all marketing messages, you can distinguish yourself from the competition with the “more is more” approach of value-add marketing. By over-delivering with valuable content that improves your customers’ brand engagement, you position your brand as the perfect complement to their needs and interests.