Brand promotion and message dissemination has evolved significantly during the past several years. No longer are businesses tied to expensive logo designs, print, radio, and television advertising to spread their brand messages and promotions to consumers. Today, there are a wide variety of media opportunities that don’t have to break your marketing budget (including DIY logo design sites)… and one of your biggest low-cost marketing opportunities involves social media.
Of course, social media includes blogs, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube, to name just a few. More and more people are using these social media tools and online destinations every day to publish content, share content, and talk about that content. If your customers are on the social web (and they are), then your brand needs to be there, too.
However, just because you’re using new tools and media to spread your brand messages doesn’t mean you should forget the basic rules of branding. In order to develop brand awareness, recall, and loyalty with your target audience, you still need to adhere to some branding constants regardless of how or where you talk about your brand.
1. Clearly communicate your brand promise. Consistency in messaging is key!
2. Create a strategic brand name and image. Being clever doesn’t guarantee brand success. Instead, choose a brand name that fits and can stand the test of time.Make sure your business logo looks professional.
3. Establish specific goals for your brand. Don’t waste your time on activities and media that won’t help you. Instead, define your goals for your brand and launch very specific tactics that will help you reach those goals. Monitor the performance and results of those tactics, so you can measure your success and make necessary adjustments along the way to reaching your goals.
4. Research your competition continually. You’re not the only brand on the market, so don’t act like you are. Instead, you need to always be aware of what your competitors are doing so you always stay a step ahead of them.
5. Commit to the long-term but be prepared to adapt to change. Branding is a long-term strategy, so you need to commit to the long-haul in order to successfully build your brand. Media opportunities on the social web are changing rapidly, and you need to be flexible and ready to change your branding strategy and tactics, too.
As #1 above says, consistency in branding is paramount to your success. Don’t let new media options confuse your brand message or image. Instead, choose media opportunities and create messaging that fit those new media options and consistently represent your brand across the social web — and offline, too!
Your customers are spending time on social media sites. This trend isn’t going to change tomorrow. Therefore, for your brand to be successful tomorrow and thereafter, you need to leverage social media to connect with your target audience. If you’re not there, another brand will be, which means you might lose your opportunity to connect with consumers in that media space entirely.
Look for social media tools and destinations where your target audience already spends time, and focus your brand building efforts on those sites. For example, niche blogs or Facebook groups related to your business are great places to connect with your target audience.
Bottom-line, embrace new media opportunities and make them an integral part of your branding strategy and marketing plan. However, be prepared to change as the world of social media evolves very quickly. Just as being absent from social media is a lost opportunity for your brand, so is jumping onboard and then falling behind the progress of new media.