The sharing economy opened up new ways of accessing goods and services in sustainable ways. It required a new level of thinking and creativity, disrupting traditional habits of doing things. In the past years, this new industry has touched many spaces, marketing being one of them.
The principles of trust and transparency that underpin the sharing economy are the two utmost ingredients that marketers can apply to their own work. However, with the rise of this industry, brands need to come up with new and innovative methods to communicate their unique identities.
Why are users engaging in the sharing economy?
Sharing economy services became so popular because they simply humanized the business world by adding personality to communal interactions. It’s all about communication, low costs, and qualitative exchanges. In an article for Co.Create, Ana Andjelic explains the collaborative universe as a “combination of value-seeking, convenience, instant gratification, quality control, and looking for less mass, more unique experiences.” Also, aspects of unique experiences and better options than what traditional industries offer, play a major role in this case.
Learning about customers’ behavior and engagement is a critical tool for every marketer. The more you know about your users’ driving force, the more you can build detailed buying personas, new products/services, and craft marketing messages that will reach your customers.
The sharing economy services became so popular because they simply humanized the business world by adding personality to communal interactions.
When did the sharing economy boom on Social Media?
Back in 2010, social conversations about the sharing economy were restrained to a niche audience that was more than 80% based in the US and by 2015, there were more than 25.000 global posts each month on Twitter about the home-sharing industry. In five years the collaborative space completely disrupted once-steady industries and how millions of people use services. Therefore, in a rapidly growing market, it’s essential for brands to develop at a fast pace.
Where can you engage in sharing economy conversations?
Twitter has been the top social channel for conversations about the sharing economy, followed by Instagram. In addition, users are increasingly using online review sites and forums to compare prices, experiences and opinions about sharing services. Analyzing this consumer-driven data will help you understand your customers’ experiences and desires, which can hugely impact your branded content.
What can marketers learn from the sharing economy?
Digital “word of mouth” and trust
In the sharing economy, word of mouth is king, but getting people to praise your product or service to others has always been a challenging task. In the traditional model of marketing, the brand communicates directly to consumers and guides them into the sales funnel. Yet, in the sharing economy, the consumer’s decision is highly influenced by reviews and reputation among peers. Marketers should help people experience brands instead of just hearing about them, by encouraging conversations between users.
Trust is the currency of the sharing economy and using customer reviews and community-building strategies can help marketers develop strong relationships with their customers. They can leverage social proof and peer reviews, in order to build trust and loyalty with customers.
Co-creation and creativity
Marketing professionals working within sharing economy platforms are usually coming with outside perspectives and innovative ideas. However, peer-to-peer platforms are also known as being that kind of places where consumers can unleash their creativity. Experience is key in today’s marketing, and allowing people to become co-creators in the branding journey will bring huge benefits to businesses. People will be more willing to buy something in which they invested their time.
Social integration and the power of a good website
If you want your business to grow fast you need to build an engaged network of brand advocates. This is the way your brand will get discovered and people will start engaging with it.
Easy access to products and services is the foundation of the sharing economy. Thus, good websites are a must for the collaborative platforms’ success. You can focus on offering an engaging experience to your users by including this kind of elements into your website: peer reviews, simplified navigation, local information, maps, imagery, and video.
Why is the sharing economy relevant for marketers?
For many businesses today, the sharing economy represents both a threat and a great opportunity. By understanding why users participate and support the growth of this new economy, marketers can develop new strategies that align with their customers’ needs in a rapidly growing industry.
If we understand the potential and use of the sharing economy, we will be able to contribute to the world, where online marketing platforms will become more effective than traditional marketing agencies.