Brand marketing today is far different from the explosion in the 1960s that came to define modern marketing. Today, everyone from freelance entrepreneurs to Fortune 500 companies can build a personal brand via a digital presence.
Those who are savvy know that the key to establishing a brand and its identity is an effective marketing strategy. In a genuine way, the strategy needs to tell people who the company is, what it offers, and why consumers should care. With social media, this is easier than ever before. Companies use outlets like Twitter and Instagram to develop their own personalities as well as interact with target audiences and potential customers one-on-one.
What is a brand marketing strategy?
The online marketing publication, Marketing MO, defines an effective brand marketing strategy like this:
“Your brand strategy defines what you stand for, a promise you make, and the personality you convey. And while it includes your logo, color palette and slogan, those are only creative elements that convey your brand. Instead, your brand lives in every day-to-day interaction you have with your market.”
The article goes on to list the elements that can make up this mix of everyday interaction and company image, which include:
- Posted photos
- Written messages on websites, proposals, and campaigns
- The way employees and representatives interact with customers
These elements make up the “feel” of a brand and contribute to how consumers see one company versus its competition. It differentiates one brand from the noise of a hundred others trying to do the same thing. If done correctly, this builds brand equity.
Companies doing it right
As Michelle Greenwald, CEO of Inventours and DigitaLatest, wrote in an article for Forbes, doing brand marketing right in the digital age isn’t always easy. There’s a balance between getting a message out through the best channels and chasing every new app that comes out hoping to ride the next big wave. Companies doing the latter find themselves under an unsustainable burden of creating content for multiple pages on a daily basis.
On the other hand, companies like Taco Bell have chosen to focus their marketing efforts on a younger following they want to reach through established channels, and they’ve seen success because of it. They adopted the tone of a snarky friend and engaged on a more personal level with users on Twitter and Instagram. That approach has made them stand out from competitors like McDonald’s in the social media space. They achieved their goal by hiring people from their target audience’s age group so that strategies would not come across as inauthentic.
Mattress company Casper has done much the same thing. By building a presence on Instagram and Twitter, and with multiple ad spots on podcasts, they’ve put themselves exactly where their target demographic is. Additionally, they’ve maintained a consistent brand image across their social media platforms, from clean and well-lit Instagram posts to the colors and fonts used in logo design.
A social media brand marketing strategy can do wonders for companies if they remember to maintain a balance. Greenwald recommended resisting the urge to over-target and water down the brand message to the point that it becomes unreadable:
“As Steve Jobs taught us, less can often be more. Brand must use strategic self-discipline to focus on those platforms and advertising vehicles that achieve brand objectives and resist the temptation to do everything all the time, just because they can. Brands need guardrails now more than ever to make sure . . . it’s done in a way that can help maximize goals of awareness, trial, loyalty, advocacy, image and brand association.”
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Content sponsored by Lesley University.