Have you ever looked at Apple and wondered just how do they nail every product launch marketing strategy?
Or how do they keep up with the ever-increasing competition in their market?
This article is for you.
Apple Inc. is not just a world-renowned name in innovation and breakthrough in the consumer electronics and computer industry, but is also known to be one of the greatest marketers of all time.
Despite their exponential growth and market capture, Apple continues to reign the domain with its exceptional marketing strategies – one product after another.
Let’s take a look at why they are still winning on social media!
Lessons on marketing from Apple Inc.
1. Keep it simple and straightforward
In a world that’s getting noisier by the day, Apple has always focused on creating content and marketing campaigns that are simple and distraction-free.
If you take a look at any of their social media campaigns or posts, you as their target audience know exactly what they’re talking about. There is no ambiguity when it comes to what Apple wants you to perceive of their brand, their products or the next steps they’d like you to take – all without sounding too salesy or pushy.
Here’s a simple example of a campaign they ran to promote their new iPhone’s macro camera feature:
2. Focus on value proposition more than the price
You will never find Apple fighting the pricing battles – no matter how much competition they have in the market as of today.
The one thing they do play on, is their value proposition.
From day one, Apple has been focused on conveying its value proposition more than price comparisons.
In an industry that puts price first, they have been focused on keeping what’s unique about their products, the little details that make them a better choice without having to say so, always first.
Take a look at their website homepage banners for instance; instead of the pricing, they focus on the visual aspect of the product and promote the tag line that defines the little detail that makes an iPad better than the tablets available.
3. Know your audience and speak their language
Apple products are built by those we call ‘tech geniuses’.
Now typically, that might translate into describing products with words that show they’re on top of the technology game.
But the truth is, no matter where you choose to engage with the brand, you will always see them speaking a language that is common to all.
They have a well-defined target audience and have created various consumer segments over a period of time, based on product performance and the features they have to offer.
For instance, for those who are looking at purchasing a good phone, that is durable and yet easy to use, their language matches the same:
Notice how they have ditched the typical ‘gorilla glass’ and similar phrases that other brands tend to use, and opted for simple ‘exceptional durability’.
On the other hand, they do know that they have an increasing consumer segment of professional photographers and videographers. To cater to their interests, they do use a few industry trends and jargons to describe what their product is capable of:
But at the same time, they do keep it simple on social media so that other segments can also make the most of the feature by creating simple and actionable content:
4. Leverage storytelling in marketing
If you have ever attended an Apple event – physically or virtually, you know they never just come on stage and announce a new product.
They have a gradual build up, sharing insights from what they have learned so far, stories from their customers and what their team has been researching on.
Apple is known as one of the brands that has mastered the art of storytelling.
According to a research by Headstream, if people love a brand story, they become 55% more likely to buy the product in the future. The same research also found that about 44% of these people would proactively share the story and around 15% of them will buy the product immediately.
So now you know why year after year, Apple has only been improving its storytelling skills, keeping its customers at the center of it all.
Also read: How to create engaging social media content
5. Tap into consumer emotions
Studies have shown that customers who have an emotional connection with a brand, have a 306% higher lifetime value. They are also more likely to recommend the brand at a whopping 71% rate, instead of the average 45% that most businesses see.
Think about the last time you spoke to a friend using an Apple device, seeking a recommendation for a new phone. They don’t skip a beat before telling you all about the ‘positive experience’ that Apple devices can offer.
Apple has always focused on creating campaigns that tap into consumer emotions – from product launch to post-launch strategies and customer engagement.
Whenever they create a campaign, you don’t see them talking about their features or technical aspects. They sell their products by making them aspirational to own, associating consumer feelings with owning an Apple device.
Here’s an example of their campaign around the Apple pencil and iPad Air:
Here’s how consumer emotions impact marketing campaigns and hence the overall ROI that brands generate from every strategy that they put in place – organic or paid:
How can you tap into consumer emotions for marketing? Learn more about sentiment analysis here.
6. Strategic partnerships and collaborations with creators/ influencers
Right from the point when they’re about to launch a new product to after, Apple has always been focused on letting their customers speak for them.
This has helped them use social proof at scale in the marketing strategies – but they do so in a smart way too.
They introduce their products to a wider audience by establishing strategic partnerships and collaborations with creators/ influencers across different industries. This helps them position their product use in different ways, reaching a much wider audience with a more authentic messaging.
For example, their campaign around the Black History Month. They didn’t just bring forward stories and experiences in a series of posts from influential black people, but shot the pictures and videos with their products – call it a subtle, yet smart plug.
Struggling to find the right influencers for your marketing campaigns? Start using social listening today.
7. Build a community around your brand
Positive emotions and experiences with Apple products has led to the brand establishing a full-fledged community of loyal customers and brand advocates.
What started out as a simple way to share pictures people shot on their iPhones using the hashtag #Shotoniphone, slowly turned into a movement of sorts. It has helped people not just share their experiences with the product, but also connect with one another.
Instagram alone has these many posts (and increasing) using the hashtag:
8. Leverage user-generated content
Instead of just creating a branded hashtag for such massive use, Apple has also strategically made user-generated content a part of its marketing strategy.
Remember how we said they let their customers do the marketing and selling for them?
If you take a look at their Instagram feed, you will see a lot of featured content from their customers – mind you, these are not collaborations.
Studies have found that brands using user generated content see a 28% higher customer engagement rate than those who don’t.
Now considering the scale at which Apple uses user generated content, you can see why people are so driven towards the brand and the content they create – take a look at their average likes, comments and shares – all without promoting their posts.
9. Keep your focus on the right channel
Over time, Apple has identified that the primary channels for reaching their target audience include Instagram and YouTube.
So contrary to the others in the same industry, the brand keeps their efforts extremely streamlined towards the channels that work for them.
Although they do have a presence – or profiles – on other channels like Twitter and Facebook, you can see that they do not use them.
This is a lesson for marketers to focus on channels where your target audience is present, instead of spreading ourselves too thin.
10. Design a good customer experience
Another thing that all Apple customers and ‘fanatics’ vouch for, is the experience that Apple offers.
From positive comments to negative experiences, Apple is one brand that stays on top of the game to deliver exceptional customer support and service.
Using social listening and social monitoring, Apple has all grounds covered to keep a close watch on what their target market has to say about the brand as well as its products. This has helped them smartly mitigate negative PR, manage crises and rumors better, and turn them into positive campaigns.
11. Addressing consumer concerns
A lot of first-time Apple device buyers or want to be owners, tend to consider the ‘shift’ as a difficult task to complete.
For years, competitors have been cashing in on the fact that Apple devices require a certain amount of ‘set up’ and how their products are better for ‘fast use’.
Picking up on the trend, Apple has finally put the rumors and false information to rest with a clear marketing campaign presented on their website – Switch to iPhone.
On this page, they do not speak negatively about their competing products. Instead, they use the space to educate their audience about how they can move to Apple devices ‘easily’. They have used a mix of visuals and textual instructions to guide buyers, making the process look less overwhelming.
Come to think of it, Apple actually has the most straightforward marketing campaigns for its products.
They don’t feel the need to catch up with ongoing trends, but they keep their focus on the experience that their customers have with their wide range of products.
The brand is also known to keep a close watch on their competitors, that often try to take a stab at their features, and battle it out with them using their simplistic approach to marketing – none of their campaigns have ever been too pushy or aggressive in nature, letting them take a more ‘aspirational brand’ stand in a competitive market.
Ready to create campaigns that your target audience really responds to?
Here is the complete guide to Instagram Social Listening.