You’re often told how important it is to create content that is useful and of value to your targeted audience. Today, it can be just as important for your content to entertain. That’s what branded content is meant to do.Read More
Tags: branded content
John Deere started with a better plow. Adolphus Busch started with a better way to brew beer. For Walt Disney it all started with a mouse. These business behemoths are global in their business scope today but they share one thing in common with all businesses--they had to start somewhere!
In the first couple of installments of writing about your brand we talked about understanding and building your brand. Now, it's time to get down to some concrete steps you need to take to continue your branding journey.
In the first installment of this series we looked at defining your brand identity. Now, we will look at beginning to build your brand. Brand marketing and your brand is all about how consumers see and interact with you.
Brand marketing is a term used pretty extensively in the business world today. A search for the term turned up 685 million results! That's a number hard to fathom. So, what is brand marketing and just why is it so important to you and your company?
Marketing firm eMarketer recently published a survey that found that 88 percent of American companies with 100 or more workers planned to use social media marketing in 2014, while 87 percent used it in 2013. In other words, brand marketing via social media is neither a new thing nor something that is optional.
When you see that familiar red-and-white sign on a Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant, you can almost smell the gravy and feel the crispiness of the chicken, especially if you're hungry and haven't eaten yet. How is it possible that your brain retrieves these thoughts and sensory experiences at the mere sight of a logo?
That's the power of brand marketing, and you can use it to your advantage every bit as much as The Colonel, if you just know how to leverage it with your social media presence.
Social media has drastically reduced the cost of brand marketing. It used to be that paying a graphic artist to design a logo was just the beginning of your marketing costs. After you had the logo, you had to figure out how to print it: on t-shirts, on mugs, on flyers and brochures. Then you had to come up with a distribution plan. This method of brand marketing was expensive, but it got your brand out there where your potential customers could begin to make associations between your brand and the qualities you champion (irresistible gravy and crispy chicken, in the case of KFC).
But today, you don't have to bother with t-shirts and flyers and mugs if you don't want to. You can let loose your brand identity on the digital world simply by using social media. And, if you use social media wisely, your company and your brand will begin to develop a reputation. People will associate them with a set of qualities, skills, and traits.
Maybe your brand represents excellent customer service. Maybe it represents cutting-edge innovation. Whatever it is, you can have your customers salivating for it when they see your logo, just like you salivate for a hot and crispy chicken wing when you see the red-and-white Colonel Sanders.
Here's what you need to do if you want your brand marketing to really work for you. Remember, it's all in the content. Your content is what speaks for you.
1. Message. What is it you want people to associate with your brand? If you want people to look at your brand and think about interesting podcasts, don't tweet about your cat's hysterical antics. Colonel Sanders doesn't throw out messages about burritos or crepes every now and then just because he thinks they're yummy, too. Keep your message focused, and resist the urge to embrace variety. That's what your personal blog is for.
2. Voice. What's the voice of your brand? Is it folksy like Trader Joe's? Is it fun like Skittles? Is it sleek and sophisticated like Audi? Think carefully about your brand's voice because your voice should reflect the values, products, and services you offer. When you decide what kind of voice best suits your brand, use it in all of your social media marketing. Whether you're sending out a 25-character tweet or an 800-word blog post, keep your voice intact. If several different people handle your brand marketing, make sure they all adopt the correct voice while representing your company.
3. Authority. No matter what kind of voice your use in your brand marketing or what kind of message you're conveying, come across as an authority. People want to follow authorities on social media, sources they can trust to help them. How do you come across as an authority in your field, especially when you're a relative newcomer? Here are a few things you can do.
Your brand is like a fabric – interwoven threads that combine to create a unique tapestry that represents your business in the minds of your customers and prospects.
People talk about "viral videos". The fact is, in today’s online world it's the stories, not the videos, that really go viral. Everyone loves a good story, and every brand has one. However, the hard truth is: If your brand’s story is not shared, it won’t matter to the public. Going viral is the quickest, sure-fire way to get your brand’s story out there and gain recognition.
With the bar for wildly popular viral content set so seemingly low, it’s logical to want to give it a shot. After all, if a man gushing about a “double rainbow” can become a hit, you can too. Right? The trick to going viral is telling your story in a way that others care about enough to share with others (thousands or millions of times over).