When was the last time you saw a post on social media that was basically taking words and feelings from your head?
It was as if the company saw you, felt your struggles, and then boom, posted about it exactly as if you’d said it yourself.
And when you saw it, you felt seen and understood. That company “gets” you; somehow, it knows you spilled your coffee on your way to your office, are almost out of toothpaste, and shouted your favorite swear word as you dropped your phone. And it still sees you and recognizes your awesome potential even in the middle of this crazy chaos.
That’s the level of alignment and connection our customers want.
I’d like them to assume I have a ton of potential (and a few bad days mixed in), but the reality is that we all have our moments. And it’s in those moments when we crave connection.
As business owners, we want to use these moments when our customers need to connect – and create value for them. But how can we do that in an authentic way?
We can start with values and values based marketing. So what is values based marketing?
I know, you’re probably saying, “Seriously, Kendra? Another marketing-jargon word for us”, but hear me out. Values based marketing is the key to unlocking deeper connections and creating value through relationships. It’s a way of connecting with your customers at a deeper level—one where you recognize their needs, provide solutions (that anticipate and solve their problems), and build lasting relationships.
At its core, values based marketing goes beyond selling. It’s about building trust and credibility. It’s about understanding your customer’s needs and showing them you understand and have the right offer to help.
By leveraging values based marketing, you can create an experience for your customers that makes them feel valued and appreciated. You can build relationships based on trust and mutual respect that will last for years.
The best part is it’s not just about your products or services. It’s about the relationships you build and how you make your customers feel. So, if you’re looking for ways to connect with your customers and increase value through relationships authentically, then you’ll want to keep on reading to learn about the benefits of using values based marketing and how you can make the most of it.
Below are the highlights from my conversation with Deb Coman on her #SocialTrust show on Twitter Spaces.
So let’s get started!
Why Values Based Marketing?
Staying on the cutting edge of what’s new and happening in marketing is essential, but let’s face it: not everyone can keep up with the trends, especially that of social media. The truth is even the savviest marketers can struggle to compete in an ever-changing world.
But the good news is: values based marketing allows us to stand out and stay ahead of the competition. It’s a timeless approach to marketing that focuses on building relationships and providing value to customers.
It works because values are our internal drivers.
They are what guide our decisions and our actions.
So if you know your values for your business, and you know the values of your customers, you can tap into the very heart of their internal drivers, creating a deeper connection.
Values based marketing has been proven time and again to be an effective way of connecting with your customers and creating lasting relationships.
Values based marketing in action: For example, one of my top values is curiosity and learning. This means I like to know things, I love learning, I love sharing what I learn to help others, the impact it can have, and the places a sense of curiosity can take me. As a result, I’m a sucker for those email subject lines that create curiosity and even clickbait articles. Often I’ve started Googling before someone finishes saying, “I wonder…”
Another example would be my former client, Bumble Bee. They created packets of tuna fish as an option instead of just having tuna in cans. This speaks to several key values their customers have:
- Family (e.g. parents purchasing it as a healthier option for their spouse or kids)
- Adventure (easier to take on trips, keep handy, etc.)
By incorporating these values into their messaging and marketing campaigns, they were able to increase sales and connection with their customers.
How to show up more authentically
Showing up authentically is something that most business owners struggle with, but it’s essential for creating relationships with your customers.
Here are a few ways to make sure that you’re connecting with your customers in an authentic and meaningful way through values based marketing:
1. Meet your audience where they are.
When it comes to showing up authentically, many people would suggest showing up where your customers are, which is a hundred percent correct. You want to show up where they are (physically) and also where they are emotionally.
Are they on YouTube? Fantastic!
Are they on YouTube because they are frustrated and trying to figure out how to talk to their parents about the benefits of CBD (and why they shouldn’t buy it at a gas station), and this is something you can help them with? Even better.
The type of content you’re putting out should be authentic and connect with your customers. Imagine having the answer to your customer’s questions before they even know they need help. Focusing on your values and infusing your values into your content will help your customers know, like, and trust you easily and effortlessly.
There are two things to pay attention to, the type of content and the message within the content. They work together, but the truth is not all business owners are comfortable putting out specific types of content or content that speaks too close to their own values, experiences, and stories. And yet, that’s how your business can stand out. When you use your values to guide your business marketing and messaging, this is where values based marketing begins.
(Jump ahead to #4 if you want to learn how to identify your values and add them to your messaging).
Some business owners prefer sharing information through blogs or long-form videos, but they might not be comfortable putting out TikTok videos. Or vice versa, they might like short-form videos but despise putting out long-form content – and that’s okay!
So, if you want to show up more authentically, the best advice is to meet your target audience where they are on the platforms that you feel play to your strengths.. Show up on platforms where they are, create content that speaks to their needs and interests, and, most importantly, put out content you’re comfortable with.
By leveraging values based marketing and meeting your audience where they are, you can create an experience for your customers that makes them feel valued and appreciated—all while showing up authentically.
“I think there’s a center place for the type of content you can use to show up most authentically and where you can meet your clients in that middle ground.”
– Kendra Losee
2. Don’t be quick to dismiss other content types you’re not comfortable with just yet.
Remember waaaay back in #1 when I said it’s important to choose a content type you’re comfortable with? Well, the hard truth is that this doesn’t mean you should be quick to dismiss other content types completely. It’s important to stay open-minded and try different types of content, even those you haven’t tried yet — because you never know when one might become your future go-to format for connecting with your customers.
Let’s say you are uncomfortable with putting out content for TikTok, don’t just give up on it! Who knows? You’ll get to a point where you’ll eventually be comfortable with it, and your customers will love it.
3. Don’t lose your personality over perfection.
When you’re striving for authenticity, it’s easy to get caught up in the idea of perfection. And I get it: who doesn’t want that perfect, polished content down to the smallest detail?
But really, perfection is boring. (Who wants to be boring? Not us!)
The truth is, perfection takes the authenticity from your content.
Those imperfections and differences? They make you who you are, and that makes you stand out from the sea of sameness.
People pay for your perspective, not for your perfection.
When you’re putting out content to make it perfect, chances are, your customers won’t relate to it, and they might think it’s just another business vying for their attention (yawn). Or, worse, they might feel embarrassed to approach your business because they’re not perfect, so they put off connecting with you until they feel better about themselves.
Let’s take a look at live video, for example. When I went live for the first time, I was so nervous! Even though I’d been teaching online and in class for years, going live on Facebook just felt bigger. It was going well; people were interacting, I couldn’t have asked for a better session… and then my puppy jumped on the couch behind me and fell behind the couch cushions. The focus of the live video changed as we all watched him pull himself out, shake himself off, and prance off as if nothing had happened. What could have been an embarrassing “not perfect” disruption instead added a moment of connection and laughter.
Everyone makes mistakes live, and yet, it’s these mistakes that make live videos more authentic and relatable.
Instead of focusing on perfection, focus on finding ways to let your personality shine in your content. Let your customers know that there is a real person behind the brand.
“When we share pieces of what helps us become authentic online, often, they get to be the things that people remember about us, or like most about us. These pieces help us build trust.”
– Kendra Losee
4. Know your values, and sprinkle them through your content like glitter.
When it comes to authenticity, your values play a huge role in how you show up. Your values are your internal drivers and become that “gut feel” that helps guide the decisions we make. And they do the same for your customers. By creating messaging and content that is aligned with those values, you keep your content real and true to your business.
It’s essential to know your values and express them in your content.
For example, if freedom and flexibility are important to you (and your customers), make sure you’re living that value and sprinkling it throughout your content. Or, if sustainability is important to you, show your customers how you’re creating a sustainable business model that helps the environment, and infuse that message throughout your content.
Doing so allows you to express what’s important to you and attracts clients with the same values as yours. (It’s values based marketing in action).
“The reason why you want to understand your customers’ values, is because they help drive actions, behaviors and beliefs. So, if your customer values family, freedom and flexibility, then you can infuse those words and those values into your copy, your messaging and your posts.”
– Kendra Losee
How, exactly? Here are a few steps to help you get started with creating a value-based marketing strategy.
- Identify what your internal values are at a subconscious level.
- Rank them according to how important they are to you.
- Understand why these values are essential to you.
- Learn how to weave your values into your messaging, even through visuals and graphics.
- Also, consider your prospects’ values and how you help them get to where they want to be
“When you really start to understand what your customers are valuing at a deeper level, you can actually make those connections deeper.”
– Kendra Losee
5. Do more. Learn more. Practice more.
Imposter syndrome is a common issue for content creators and can affect how you show up in your content. If you want to stay authentic while avoiding imposter syndrome, the best thing to do is this:
Do more. Learn more. Practice more.
The key is to keep pushing yourself forward, no matter what. Think of it as a marathon and not a sprint. Take your time and keep going until you find your groove – eventually, you’ll be comfortable with being authentically yourself in your content.
6. Use video to connect with your customers on a deeper level.
Video content is a fantastic way to show up authentically and connect with your customers on a deeper level.
Why? Because it’s more personal and allows you to express your personality in the most natural way possible.
So, if you’re uncomfortable with blogging or other types of content, consider experimenting with video. You can use it to answer your customers’ questions and address relevant topics more interactively.
You don’t need an expensive setup or fancy equipment; all you need is your phone and a good internet connection, that’s it! Plus, it doesn’t have to be perfect – just get started, and you’ll get better over time.
“The majority of people on the internet still don’t engage. They are just lurking around, but that doesn’t mean that they don’t feel a connection with the people they’re following.”
– Kendra Losee
7. Focus on building relationships.
The most important thing to remember is that content creation isn’t just about creating perfect posts or videos – it’s also about building relationships and adding value for your customers.
Be present, engage in meaningful conversations, and show them that you understand them. Take the time to learn their values and use this for customer value driven marketing This will help you build a stronger connection with your audience and make them feel like they can trust you.
At the end of the day, your content should be about creating meaningful relationships and not just about gaining followers or likes. Authenticity is key in content creation – embrace it!
Being authentic in your content can help you connect with customers on a deeper level, build trust and relationships, and attract the right people to your brand. And who doesn’t want that? To stay authentic, focus on weaving in your values, pushing yourself forward, and using video content to express yourself more naturally.
Remember – always keep it real!
And one last thing: if you need help figuring out your values, and aligning them with your customers and your messaging, register here for your free consultation call with me. Together, we’ll explore your top internal values, so you can start creating content for your business that more deeply aligns with you and your customers.
Hope this helps! Best of luck!