Social Marketing Branding

Build Your Brand Using Social Marketing

Increase brand awareness, help people live better lives

Social marketing is defined as a way of applying commercial concepts and techniques to non-commercial ends, or the marketing of goods and services to promote the consumer’s or society’s well being. Both ways, it can be a powerful tool, and we’ll see how with these examples below.

Imagine you are a company that makes cereal, and you want to increase awareness around you on the benefits of drinking milk but sell your milk at the same time. You also want to improve your brand name. You know that milk and cereal go together for most people, so you could start a campaign telling people the benefits of taking milk in their diet for a healthy body.

At the same time, you could run a parallel campaign that promotes your cereal, and at the end mentions that milk is a most important part of the diet.

Both of these are social marketing messages. In the first, it there was no self-interest, apart from your company’s logo. In the second, you have explicitly sold a product, but at the same time, you have told people something about their diet that will promote their health in the long run.

Many companies small and large, can use this technique to build their businesses.

There are many campaigns structured like this that have been highly successful. You must always consider your message to the public though, so that you can achieve a social marketing perspective.

Internet Marketing Branding – Unlock the Secrets of Internet Marketing Branding

What would it be like to be a master of internet marketing branding? Well, imagine you’re Apple and people line up for days to be the first to buy your new product. Or, picture yourself as the CEO of Google, your brand synonymous with the best, most trusted service of its kind. It can be yours when you unlock the secrets of internet marketing branding.

Secret#1 – It’s all branding

In all my years of marketing and business development, branding is one of the most commonly used and widely misunderstood concepts out there. Clients and colleagues have asked what can I do to enhance my brand. Here’s the fact, it’s all branding. There is no one thing that can magically improve or change your brand. Both online and offline, it is everything you say to your staff, your clients, your suppliers and the public. With over 80% of the public using the internet prior to making a purchase, understanding the impact of digital media is crucial to you and your brand.

Secret#2 – Manage your brand or it will manage you

Branding actually starts before any sort of marketing happens. It’s the nerve center of your organization and your business plan. People and business structures make up the organs and bones and your brand impacts all of the communication and interaction. Hear this loud and clear, you need to manage your brand internally and externally. One final thing, you brand is not an edict from the top. It is cultivated, nurtured and nudged to get as close to your vision, realizing that you may need to adapt, too.

Secret#3 – Get input from your customers

One of the most powerful aspects of internet marketing branding is the opportunity to engage your customers and gauge how you are being perceived. Experts agree that you need a blog or some other way to invite feedback from your audience. A word of caution, don’t whitewash responses. Everyone knows that nobody is perfect, so don’t pretend to be.

Another powerful way to get input from your clients is to use your online database (create it now, if you don’t have one; AWeber is a good place to start) and create a survey. Imagine hearing from your most loyal customers exactly what is working and what can be improved. That’s precisely what you can get with a well constructed survey. For a free and relatively robust service, check out Survey Monkey.

Secret#4 – Show the personality behind the brand

Have you noticed that I’m not recommending a robotic, “We are the greatest ‘X’ business in your area; you’d be crazy to go anywhere else,” type of brand. Let your personality show through. Your company has a personality and so do the principles. Tell the world and let them see what you are all about. Using video in your internet marketing branding campaign is a fantastic way to show the human side of your company and to give your clients even more to relate to.

Secret#5 – Consistency, congruency, cohesion

I’m going to circle back to general brand advice. You can’t afford to take chances when developing what will become the defining characteristic of your business. When I work with my clients on branding, I make sure they understand that they need consistency, congruency and cohesion in the messaging. Consistency means all of the channels; internal and external, online and offline, written and spoken, all come from the same core principles. Can you picture saying you’re cutting edge and having website from 1984? That’s an example of incongruency. Are there any message like that in your current communication? When being customer friendly and open is part of your vision for your brand, your internet marketing branding better include some social media and other web 2.0 outlets. And finally, to get cohesion, make sure that everyone knows exactly the direction you’re nudging the brand so that they can all lean into it together.

Internet marketing branding is a blessing in the ways that it lets you get your hands and mind around your brand so that you can share it with your customers. When you’re not using it correctly, it’s a curse. Picture your ideal brand. How do your team members act? What do your customers experience? What do you get to do? Now, how close are you?

Internet Marketing – Brand Vs Direct Response Advertising

Most businesses get advertising wrong. Online is no exception, as a matter of fact, in some sense it may be worse. Businesses both offline and online get brand vs. direct response advertising mixed up. Essentially, there’s no reason any business other than very large corporations needs to do brand advertising. Let’s talk more about this.

Everything about advertising has been thought of before. All this stuff you see on the Internet, free ebooks for the price of your email address, software you download and pay for a month later only after you’re sure you like it, tracking codes, A/B split testing, …all this stuff was invented before the 1920s!

Most of what we use in internet marketing is an application of the principals of the greats like Claude Hopkins, the advertising genius who thought of using coupons to track results of ads. (If you haven’t read Hopkins’ book The Science of Advertising then you’re in for a real treat!)

So, why is it that advertising is so misunderstood when applied to Internet marketing.

I can’t tell you how many times I get emails that say: “Help, I’ve got this great website, but no traffic and no sales! What do I do?”

Okay, in a nutshell, here’s the problem.

Let’s suppose you build a great looking website and put it on the Internet. Let’s also suppose you do some basic search engine optimization and, maybe, pay per click advertising so that you’re actually getting some decent traffic.

The question is what are you doing with the traffic? What do you expect your visitors to do?

Most websites ask their visitors to do too much thinking.

Suppose you search for plumbing tips. One of the search results intrigues you and you click through to the home page of a high-end fixture and plumbing supply company. There’s the usual About Us, Contact, Blog, Articles, Recent Jobs buttons on the navigation bar. What are you the visitor going to do? Probably you’re going to hit the back button and leave. If you stay on the site, you’ll bounce around some, then click out.

Really what could happen here? I believe most website owners with websites like this believe the quality of their website will convince visitors they are the ones to do business with.

I got news for you. There are a ton of great looking websites out there, all competing for your prospect’s attention. The best thing would be for the prospect to pick up the phone and call the company and talk to a real live sales person. That’s probably not going to happen, at least in 99 out of 100 visits.

What needs to happen is you need to take a page from the world of direct marketing and offer your visitor something free (but worthwhile!) in exchange for their email address. According to what you sell, you could offer your visitor a free trial of something.

Anything! to keep them and to get their email address!

Once you’ve got that, then you can start really marketing to them and building a relationship.