Okay so once we’ve established the presence online, it’s time to start interacting with the audience. Obviously, we cannot start conversing in any random manner, like marketing strategy, this also needs to be strategized. Starting from purpose, tone, platform till the final media plan. But why? We all wonder why is it required after all.
Reason: Pre-planning leads to effective communication which ultimately helps in reaching the goal or realizing the purpose of going online and communicating with the audience.
While there are many reasons to do so including generating sales, increasing customer base, providing the information, etc., the primary objective is to build a brand image.
Since the customer cannot see, touch or feel the product a brand is offering, building a brand can be a difficult task when online. To overcome this, there are several ways in which these factors can be bypassed and create a brand image such that the customer becomes a loyal customer.
But how do we do that?
1. Know Yourself
Often in the sheep walk, brands forget what they’re capable of and rather run after what others are doing. And though it worked out for others it might not work out for them. This is because every brand has its own set of strengths and weaknesses and its effective to capitalize on one’s own strength rather than copying others.
Bottom line: Give yourself a good introspection and chalk out what you’re good at and what you need to work on. Based on that, plan the other collaterals.
2. Know Your Customer
One of the major gaps in brand communication rises from this point. Brands forget who their customers are and get engrossed in implementing their own ideas.
Well, here’s a thought: all of these efforts are done to reach the right audience and create an impact on them. But it’s all in vain if we don’t know who our audience is.
Result: Wastage of time, effort and money and no conversion.
First things first, spare some time and understand the audience you’re aiming to cater to. Is it the youth belonging from Tier 1-2 cities in the north-west region of the country or is it the newly married home-makers who’re adept with technology?
Once you know who you’re talking to, what to talk about becomes easy and more effective.
3. Being Consistent
In this competitive arena, getting lost in the crowd is a cakewalk. If the brand is not conscious enough, there might be a case that the people have already given their attention and money to the rival. This is why retaining a customer is more daunting than acquiring a customer.
The idea is to constantly be in touch with the customers and remind them about the brand. Even if you don’t want them to buy the product, remind them that you exist. In such cases, due to the recency effect, the customers will always remember your brand and that will be ingrained in their mind. Result? More brand recognition and thus increased sales. Being consistent also implies that the brand is concerned about its customers and is not fixated to a transactional relationship.
Consistent efforts also help the brand be at the top of their game they’re aware of the ever-changing habits, trends, and requirements.
4. Select the right media channel
If you’re a shoe company, advertising yourself on news portals or matrimony websites is totally absurd and irrelevant. So, what do we infer? That the media channel used should be in line with the offerings and the customers we’re targeting to. It is ideal for the shoe company to advertise itself on sport influencers pages and informational (sports) blogs.
Another common mistake is making the same strategy for various types of platforms being used. The purpose of Twitter than that of Instagram and Facebook. This is often ignored by the brands and they use the same type of message for every type of social media platform. This again can result in depletion of the brand image because the needs of customers on that platform are not fulfilled i.e., they don’t find what they’re looking and so they might completely ignore the communication being pushed to them.
Having read all these, you’re all set to go out there and build your brand but remember, none of this is a one-time process. Building the brand is an ongoing process as long as the company exists. Just like sailing a ship that requires consistent attention and effort, the brand image also requires constant steering and course correction so that it stays on track.
It’s rightly said that no war was won in a day. The same is the case here as a lot of pre-planning, backtracking is required.
A tad bit dramatic but you got the point, right?