We’re big fans of the free monthly reports from Trendwatching.com and enjoyed their April report on “Sellsumers.” Here’s their report summary:
“Whether it’s selling their insights to corporations, hawking their creative output to fellow consumers, or renting out unused assets, consumers will increasingly become SELLSUMERS, too. Made possible by the online revolution’s great democratization of demand and supply, and further fueled by a global recession that leaves consumers strapped for cash, the SELLSUMERS phenomenon is yet another manifestation of the mega-trend that is ‘consumer participation’.”
Most of the examples in the report are products and services that don’t compete with major brands. Sellsumers peddling individual parking spaces, spare storage space, or extra garden produce probably have no impact on content marketing.
Smart marketers, however, should perk up and recognize another indicator of shifting consumer behavior. Empowered digital consumers are going around, not through, major brands. Sellsumers are highly engaged, savvy content creators changing the marketplace.
Here is a list of ways that sellsumers could be affecting your bottom line and the questions you should be addressing in your content marketing strategy:
Are consumers selling or reselling your products or something similar? If so, how and where are they selling? If sellsumers are an asset to your brand, how can you empower them? If you view sellsumers as competition, position your content to demonstrate why your offering is superior.
Establish new or engage in an existing sellsumer marketplace. For example, Amazon has welcomed individual merchants into its e-commerce engine and offers new, used, and refurbished products from multiple vendors other than Amazon.
Put your content into the mix or invite sellsumers into your space. Either way, you’ll need quality content that makes your brand stand out.
3. Customer Support
If consumers are selling used or refurbished products from you or your competitor, support content may be a differentiator. Create valuable support content that goes beyond troubleshooting problems – engage customers and provide the support that they need to be comfortable.
4. Mobile Apps
Are sellsumers creating mobile apps that relate to your offering? If so, how can you sponsor or partner with the app developer in a mutually beneficial way? Or perhaps you can create your own apps to create an easier user experience than sellsumers. Leverage your content marketing to take advantage of trails blazed by sellsumers. Analyze trends to blaze your own trails by creating innovative content executions.
5. Sellsumer Content Creators
One group that the Trendwatching report does not define as sellsumers are bloggers. Instead of getting content from major media outlets, consumers are looking to other consumers – the bloggers. For example, through our work with Breville, we have become familiar with PaniniHappy.com. This is a blog with impressive traffic, run by an individual who is, in turn, earning income through advertisers and influencing the purchase decisions of other consumers. Good content works for sellsumers, just like it works for major brands.
Sellsumers are changing the marketplace. Keep an eye on this trend and be proactive in your content marketing strategy.
How have you adjusted your content strategy to a sellsumer-influenced marketplace? What other ways do you see sellsumers changing market behavior?