Until recently, branding meant marking cattle with a red-hot iron so ranchers could identify their herds. But in today’s world, it means a lot more. From there, branding evolved into creating logos that signified a company or its products until now, where it’s even more! With nearly four billion consumers surfing social media platforms and spending almost two-and-a-half hours there daily, being known and remembered are essential to the success of a company’s products. Branding is the route to that success.
Marketers pursuing branding need to consider several things before jumping in. As in all marketing, it starts with defining and understanding the brand’s target audience. Identifying buyer personas is critical so that separate and necessary profiles can be created in terms of demographics, preferred method of contact, issues, interests and/or concerns, and customer lifetime value (CLV). What kind of content do they respond most to? What are their most visited platforms? How often and when do they most frequent them?
Know the competition. Do a SWOT analysis of them to better understand them and their strategies. What are their customers saying, both good and bad? And what platforms do they use?
With the target audience identified, decide on the voice the brand will use in all its communications. Will it be humorous and funny or professional, conversational, or instructional? This is where knowing the buyer personas come in handy. These are the pillars to begin drafting a strategic plan for these different audiences, along with the following.
Use interactive content to invite and increase customer engagement. According to the Content Marketing Institute, 79% of marketers agreed that interactive content enhances brand messaging retention when combined with traditional tactics. That same percentage concurred that there’s also reusable value that can result in multiple exposures and repeat visitors. Of those polled, 66% agreed that audience engagement also increases, while 81% of marketers concur that interactive content grabs consumer attention more effectively than static content.
As to interactive content, there’s such a wide array of things to offer, ranging from contests, “live” Q & A sessions, Facebook surveys, Twitter polls, and a host of other possibilities. Contests are especially popular, especially in the early stages of courting customers. Plus, asking contestants to apply the company’s hashtag alerts the brand of the entry and boosts the contest post even more.
Most customers won’t take the time to contact a brand unless or until they have a question or complaint. Proactively connecting on social media platforms opens a door of opportunity to the silent majority. Even something as simple as expanding on a recent customer comment, asking questions, and letting customers know their feedback is valued and welcome, informs them that the brand wishes to hear from them.
Finally, customer service must always be a priority. The anticipated heightened exposure and success in reaching more people also means greater potential for positive or negative publicity. That’s where placing a priority on customer service becomes important. Positive word of mouth via earned media can accelerate business more than any advertising.
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