The realm of marketing is once again a brave new world for anyone bold enough and creative enough to tackle it head on, authentically, and with the goal to truly connect with their community.
Someone just like Sierra Furtado, a young YouTube sensation who literally started with nothing, making videos in her room in the middle of the night. She has since grown her YouTube channel to over 2.3 million loyal subscribers and has just written a novel, Life Uploaded.
The novel, while fiction, does include many elements of her own life experience as a YouTube star as well as the normal everyday experiences that all young girls have growing up.
Sierra has grown her channel by staying wholesome and not provocative. She tries to provide a clean and positive message empowering young females. This book is a testament to that message which provides a good moral message in a somewhat clouded space in the social media vertical.
While this young woman has done some amazing things, what I want to focus on is how she and other millennials similar to her are able to create loyal communities (she calls her fans Sierranators) with no marketing strategy or budget. Just a desire to connect and make a difference.
Which she has done with great success.
Brands today, big and small, are still pushing out their marketing message, trying to make people listen to them – and sometimes spending a fortune to do so.
However, they are missing out on the lesson that Sierra and other millennials are teaching us.
Consumers are tired of being bombarded with ads and marketing messages.
What they want is authentic connection.
That is just what Sierra provides to her community and they love her for it.
So how do brands and business take these lessons of a young YouTube star like Sierra and apply it to their own marketing strategy?
Here are three tips on how your brand can capitalize on the lessons that today’s Millennial Internet Stars are teaching us.
1. Create Connection
Today consumers are eager for connection.
They want to connect with brands and businesses that see and treat them as more than just a number or bottom line.
They also want to connect with brands that share similar values and priorities.
In order to develop this connection, brands need to understand why they do what they do and incorporate this into every aspect of their company and marketing. When their values and culture are present in every aspect of their business, they will attract those customers that share those values.
Companies also need to put more focus on their employees. Your employees provide a powerful marketing advantage and are in many ways the face of your company. What they think of and share about your company can amplify your success connecting with your community.
2. Stop Pushing
While pushing your marketing message out on different platforms may have worked in the past, this method is no longer practical for most businesses and brands. It is costly and not effective in many cases.
One powerful strategy used by Sierra Furtado and as well as many successful brands is to provide education that your community finds valuable.
This does not mean educating your community about your latest product or service. It is about providing them with solutions to their most urgent and important challenges – the obstacles to their success.
3. Empower Your Community
While engaging your community is important, the key is to take it one step further and empower and celebrate your community.
Are members of your community creating content about your brand?
Thank them and share it!
Better yet, encourage your community to take your brand and make it their own. When they invest themselves in contributing to your brand, this will create the kind of connection and relationship with them that money can’t buy.
Finally, brands should consider building relationships with these millennial stars themselves to grow their community and business. Community building through education and shared experience comes naturally to these savvy millennials and they are a valuable resource which businesses should be utilizing.
Sierra Furtado has grown her YouTube channel by providing content to empower and support young women. Her book Life Uploaded is a testament to that message and is refreshing to see in the social media space.
I’d highly recommend if you have a special young lady in your life (daughter, niece etc.) to pick up a copy of Life Uploaded as a gift for her. Click here to pre-order a copy today.