If you are looking to champion your new product or service and want to utilize digital marketing strategies to do so, we have a few tips to consider for best results. Together, these steps speak to the concept of “building your brand”, the root of them all is the process of differentiation.
The Steps to Differentiate to “Build Your Brand”:
To do this well, it is important to first examine and understand who the competitors are. What are they doing or are not doing on social media? Why is that working or not working? What are the perceptions of the viewership? How does this affect the approach you will take? Carefully evaluate the actions your competitors are doing. In order to play successful offense, a strong defense is always critical.
Second, simply identify your value proposition. Is it worth it? Why is it desirable? What factors about the needs and wants of your target audience are being met in your value proposition? Brownie points for positively distinguishing it from competitors. Long-term success hinges on positive messages. A negative message might capture a majority “gasp” effect, but will quickly fade like any fad. Does the value proposition differentiate your brand from others? How will your competitors react? Once your value proposition is clear to you, it will be that much more understood by your targeted audience.
Third, communicate the value to customers with creative and tailored media content. Videos, pictures, GIF’s, engaging surveys, games, competitions, etc. Study what grabs the attention of your target audience and use it your advantage. By taking into consideration the first point, you will start to understand what works for your target audience.
Next step, which is super critical, is to make sure your value claims are legitimate, or other words build trust with your audience. This can be executed and interpreted in various ways. Consider researching and achieving credentials or certifications that speak to your target audience. People trust validated sources much quicker than non-validated ones. Another route is building a following for your brand. Reach out and connect with your targeted segment to make sure they know your brand. Allow them to test it and encourage them to share their feedback. Word of mouth is one of the best social marketing tools out there!
Finally, make sure to consider in a very detailed fashion, how you are portraying information to your audience. What about your tactics speak to or identify, or highlight your brand and its’ characteristics? Are these being upheld through your communication strategies? Are the platforms you promote on the same ones your target audience uses? A small wrong move here could severely hurt the perceptions of your brand. Basically, do your research before you communicate. For example, you may find that flooding the internet on every social media platform “to get the word out” may damage your brand based on perceptions your target audience encompasses.
If you are interested to learn more about building your brand, we have a few more articles that discuss creative ways to do so:
With their newly released second season, Queer Eye is putting fashion reality TV back on the map. If you haven’t binge watched Netflix’s reboot of Queer Eye, do it. Now. Seriously, stop reading and at least watch the first season’s fourth episode, ‘To Gay or Not Too Gay’, then come back and finish reading this article (after grabbing some tissues).
For those of you that have not yet experienced the fabulousness of the newly rebooted Queer Eye, you really need to give it a shot. The Guardian went so far to say that the new Queer Eye is “definitely the best TV show to premiere so far this year and one of the most important TV shows for a long, long time.”
Yes, Jonathan, yes I can!
But not everyone is singing Queer Eye’s praises. Several reviews Netflix’s adaptation have revisited some of the major issues with the 2000s Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, specifically calling out the obvious use product placement, a reoccurring criticism of the original and an early critique to the reboot. But how much substance is there to this perspective? Is it just a nit-pick aimed at stirring controversy with this darling series? I’ll let Jonathan answer this last one:
Product placement, or embedded marketing, has been around probably as long as marketing, but really became a recognized marketing approach with the introduction of film. Television emerged as a new media outlet primarily bankrolled by many consumer product companies and brands. Ever wonder where the term ‘soap opera’ came from? That’s right, early product placement!
Ok, so there is definitely some product placement going on here with Queer Eye. But what actually is the problem with product placement? Product placement becomes negative in two major ways: when it is so blatant that it is disruptive to storytelling and when honesty comes into question regarding the placement. Is Jonathan really a huge fan of Herbivore Rose Hibiscus Hydrating Face Mist or is he just saying that because they pay those bills?
But there is also an opportunity that emerges with product placement in a show like Queer Eye. The show clearly states its mission in comparison to the 2000s version: “the original show was fighting for tolerance. Our fight it for acceptance”. With consumer products aligning their brand with a mission like this, they are not only getting exposure to a target market, they are also expressing value alignment. Product placement in Queer Eye gives brands the opportunity to show their support for the LGBTQ communities in a unique way, while financially supporting this shows approach for dialogue during divisive times and pursuit of mutual understanding, acceptance and community. While of course bringing some fab makeover entertainment simultaneous! So, can we ease up on the product placement critiques just a bit?
Beyoncé Knowles-Carter is the definition of an international brand. She’s sold 75 million albums, won 17 Grammys, has an estimated net worth of $350 million was Forbes’ 2014 “World’s Most Powerful Celebrities” list and made Time’s “100 Most Influential People”.
So, what can we do to run our business like Beyoncé?
Video, video, video!Video is the future of marketing and nobody does it like Beyoncé. There is an emphasis on video in marketing and she even inspired Pharrell Williams with his 24 hour music video.
Build your community. Beyoncé has a community of fans called the BeyHive who are promoting the artist and strengthening her brand. In return they are getting the inside scoop on tours, concert tickets, merchandise, and more!
Turn your brand into a lifestyle. Beyoncé isn’t just a musician, she is a lifestyle. She provides her fans a variety of brand connections beyond her music and your brand can live outside its means.
Craft a good story. Whether you believe it was thoughtfully crafted or real, the sequence of events surrounding the rumored cheating by husband Jay-z turned into a very lucrative business.
And for some businesses, Beyoncé ends up getting involved! Here’s how WTRMLN WTR launched their brand the same day “Drunk In Love” was released and was later meeting with the Queen B about investing.
Anyway, if you haven’t checked out her latest video, here is a little viewing treat!
Will a cute cat video attract followers on all of your organization’s social media handles? Yes. Absolutely, yes. Just take a look below and think to yourself, why would I not use a cute cat video to attract followers to generate brand awareness for my organization?
Is your organization in the laser pointer industry? Or, are you a social media manager that knows a cat chasing a laser pointer will help you attract more followers? Whatever your motivation, use a cat video to generate brand awareness and attract more followers.
P.S. This cat has been able to add “caught the red dot” on his resume.
What social media platform should every organization utilize to boost their brand awareness? Instagram. It isn’t good for just selfies, food, and animals. Here are some brands that are doing a great job on the platform with engaging their consumers with the social media platform.
Nike’s account focuses on consumers’ lifestyles with Nike products versus just trying to sell their products. They try to inspire their consumers with motivational quotes and target variety of segments, not just athletes.
Sephora posts pictures and videos that are very colorful and reflect their identity. They have fun captions that pair with their content.
Vans tries to engage their users outside of their retail stores. They also focus on a lifestyle instead of only products, which stays true to their identity.
Interested in becoming an Instagram icon? Check out a great how-to here.
What was this about?This Facebook Live campaign was Airbnb’s way of showing potential customers just how much there is to do in cities around the world. The best part is they could experience it with their Airbnb host.
Why this worked?There has been a dramatic rise in video content on Facebook for the past couple of years. Especially live video. These in-depth tours take viewers above and beyond and show them the best experiences about the places they could visit.
What was this about?They capitalized on everyone’s curiosity of seeing random objects smashed into a pulp by a blender (especially Jar Jar Binks). Blendtec created a brilliant campaign to show off its high-powered blender by asking the question, “Will it blend?”
Why it worked?Thanks to Blendtec’s original idea, their Facebook video campaign drew in thousands of viewers. Their ability to blend (or attempt to blend) some of the most random objects around immediately draws your attention. It’s also led to multiple spin-offs of other companies trying similar feats.
Anthropologie: Open Call
What was it about? Anthropologie ran an Instagram campaign that encouraged users to enter the competition for a chance to model for the brand. Users had to post photos of themselves wearing Anthropologie clothes with the hashtag #AnthroOpenCall. One of their promotional posts included the following text: “Sure, you could attend one of our fall fashion shows, but wouldn’t it be more fun to be IN it? To find out how you (yes, you!) could be one of our models, head to the blog. #AnthroOpenCall
Why it worked?This campaign worked due to its’ competitive element and also the interesting and desirable reward. Anthropologie offered their audience a once in a lifetime chance to their target audience. They increased the awareness of their own brand by encouraging that audience to share photos of themselves wearing Anthropologie clothes, exposing their brand to potential new buyers. It also gave the participants excitement to further market the brand unknowingly (free advertising).
What was it about? The company interviewed ‘real’ people about money problems. And Wealth Simply avoided the cheap route on this. They hired the best, non-agency talent they could find. They used an award-winning filmmaker to get people to give their most honest, on-the-spot money stories. They used a backdrop of branded, plain-colour walls that, together, make a social media feed look like it was purposefully designed. Then, they disseminated those interviews across the web, and on TV.
Why it worked?These were not celebrity endorsements of Wealthsimple products. They were ordinary people talking about money. That’s it. Some of the interviewees were caught off guard, and that was perfect. The filmmaker captured emotions people had about their money, not technical explanations about investing. But you still get the message Wealthsimple is trying to send, without actually saying it:‘Don’t be foolish about your money. Start investing now. There’s no time to waste. Let’s not have this money problem again.’
Burger King’s take on net neutrality
What was it about?Burger King could have advertised a delicious Whopper by telling you how juicy it is. But instead, they sent a political message. Net neutrality was repealed in the USA in late 2017. Then, in early 2018, Burger King took it upon themselves to demonstrate what their brand is about: equality for all. To show how that relates to net neutrality, they disseminated a viral video on social media to explain the connection.
Why it worked?This is also an excellent example of capitalizing on a specific, historical event to catch customers’ attention. It will certainly make you think about Burger King every time net neutrality is brought up or discussed. It has a way of personalizing the affects of the issue and involving the heart of consumers.
GE’s Balance the Equation Campagin
What was it about?GE announced they would work to fill 20,000 new STEM roles with female hires by the year 2020. If successful, GE would be the largest tech company in America to claim a 50:50 ratio of male-to-female employees working in technical entry-level positions. One of their most creative campaigns to date is their Balance the Equation campaign, featuring National Medal of Science in Engineering winner, Millie Dresselhaus. GE portrays Millie Dresselhaus as a superstar, with her face plastered on magazines and billboards. Millennials run up to her to take selfies. She’s got a line of dolls and even an emoji face.
Why it worked?It puts a positive spin on being famous for the right reasons by equating the fame a female scientist to the Kardashians. While there is no data quite yet on how many women GE has hired, the campaign should still be considered a success. Between GE’s #BalanceTheEquation hashtag and its GE-girls.com website, the company has secured thousands of retweets and comments, all while making inroads with younger girls who could one day become the STEM experts of tomorrow.
Chiquita Banana’s Solar Eclipse
What was it about?In a moment of marketing brilliance, which was almost too bright to stare at directly, Chiquita took full credit for the 2017 solar eclipse, dubbing the sun’s crescent shape the Banana Sun. For three weeks, starting on August 7th, the company went straight up bananas, creating gifs, a website, and a massive glowing banana which they unveiled on August 20th near the Flatiron Building in NYC.
Why it worked?Timing is everything when it comes to influential marketing campaigns. Chiquita that took advantage of the much anticipated solar eclipse which made its way across the U.S. on August 21st of last year. Thanks to the Banana Sun, Chiquita managed to garner thousands of new Twitter followers, hundreds of comments on its Banana Sun GIFs, and tens of thousands of retweets. At least two of the company’s solar eclipse videos were viewed over a million times.