|So we’ve all read a million articles about social media marketing, but can you build a brand online? Better yet, should you build a brand online, and why is branding more important than marketing?
Marketing is great, but if no one likes what you have to offer, then your marketing efforts are worthless! Building an identity for a product, service, or content, and instilling a recurring image in prospects will pay off in multiple ways. To show this more clearly, here’s an example of building the brand online, rather than just promoting it.
A gaming company wanted to spread the word about their brand, and realized that their customer base was always online. While your prospects may not be there at present, they are there for some reason, so the following Case Study still applies.
Our gaming company started its own community on Google +. If most prospects are online anyway, keywords that they use will attract these consumers that want to keep up with new products, gossip, graphics, etc. Don’t think that your prospects aren’t like gamers. Look at the success of the social site Instagram. People like looking at pictures and information of what they like. By starting an online community, it is your choice what to add to it, but you know that you will attract those that enjoy the subject (Which should be your Unique Sales Proposal), and you can find out more about them from their own profiles and posting history. Facebook and Linked In also offer the same opportunity, but – of course – they come to the industry with different viewpoints: Either fun, or professional.
Your own brand, your online communities are, and should be, named differently but your plan should be to make both names recognizable to those that will become members of that community. You do not want to link the two names, but you do want to place the idea that the moderator of these communities may be a brand name, but it is also a fan of the product, or service, and its power. Even if your brand name isn’t well known, yet, you want to place these ideas into the experience of your prospects.
You are going to share information with your communities, but not sell your brand. To become trustworthy, the last thing anyone wants is to be sold to. There is nothing wrong with accepting some of your competition into the community, in fact you can learn from them, if they do. You are there to listen to your communities, what they feel, and what they want.
|While small businesses have to be budget conscious, and always ready to work on the infamous, shoe-string, your overall Marketing plan shouldn’t be part of your fat trimming. You need as many avenues as possible open to your customers and prospects, no matter where you are. Even if you can no longer afford tea bags for the 3.00 pm Friday brainstorming meeting, you really should still be ‘out in the world’ somehow, making sure that as many people see you. After all, they don’t know what size of concern you are – unless you are using small as a selling point.
You can always cut back your avenue expenditure, but where to start? Taking a little bite of each marketplace may be the way to go, but don’t be tempted to entirely dump, or shelve plans for, an entire avenue. Let’s look at Mobile marketing. It is tempting to ask: “Do we need this at all?” Well, if you are a business with an open door, yes you do. Prospects are walking past your open door, and they have they’re mobile devices standing ready, if not actually working. These Mobile prospects also love sharing their opinions on various businesses that they visit. Why would you run the risk of having a positive response available for the world to see, to be added to another site, like Yelp?
Get ready for the future – soon it will be 2015, and mobile isn’t just here to stay, it’s going to expand into areas that we have no idea of, yet. Why wouldn’t you take advantage of this? Here are four reasons why Mobile Marketing works.
Your Business is Online or Software-Oriented
You are going to need to have your mobile strategy ready before you open your doors. Hundreds of Thousands of businesses in these fields don’t – make sure you steal a march on your competition in as many areas as possible. Go mobile, and show off what you can do to savvy buyers right now.
User Interaction IS Your Customer’s Experience
You have the opportunity to show prospects EXACTLY what you have in the same arena that they access their social, gaming, and favourite applications. You can ensure that your Interaction is every bit as clear, simple, and effective as all of these. The User experience is paramount on Mobile devices, so get your interaction into the same field as the big boys, and get those visitors through your door.
Your Business can become a Data Hub
Every business that is looking to spread their marketing will look at Mobile. You will be in the position to offer businesses just like yours results of the Data that your API has collected. You will suddenly become an expert in your field to other start ups, and other companies within your area of excellence. That’s Power!
You can raise funds for your favorite mission online
As more and more people move away from desktop computers and lap-tops for their major daily online time , and no matter what your business is, you can expect people to get ready to give money based on emotional impulses through their mobile devices to missions that match yours. If you are supporting a major, suddenly fashionable, cause – remember the Ice Bucket challenge – people can access it through your working site, while they are ‘on the go’. This will give them an incredibly positive view of your business, and a reason to come back and visit you for a sale.
Mobile is only the tip of the iceberg. If wearable technology sounds like Science Fiction, and more and more apps. are being loaded into automobiles, while these cars drive themselves, the entire world is ‘going mobile’ Whatever you learn about this kind of promotions now will get you ready for the next step, as well as pay dividends in the short term.