What is your brand doing to maintain relevance to its audience? If your / your company’s brand is dependent on continued exposure in a specific market, what are the steps you’re taking to maintain that contact and staying “top-of-mind?”
The average consumer doesn’t have a lot of faith in “traditional” advertising (check out this Nielsen study – Promo PDF Download: 250KB).
The research ranks trust on channels, with word of mouth topping the list with 89%, followed by brand websites at 84%, brand partnerships ranked third at 81% and TV at 78%.
Even online paid advertising has fallen to the wayside as far as credibility or trust is concerned. And social media has pulled attention from traditional outlets with a force that was completely underestimated just a handful of years ago. Today, it’s more about connections, referrals, networking (online and off-line), and building credibility and trust through your brand relationships.
So, how do you maintain the “top-of-mind” awareness that your brand so desperately needs to survive?
Here are seven simple steps to keeping your brand top-of-mind in this fast-paced marketing environment:
- Always Learn – Explore the latest trends and study the practitioners within your market. Use that information to stay mentally sharp and abreast of how changes in your industry will be affecting you / your company and your customers.
- Educate & Share – Pass what you’ve learned on to those that need it. Whether it’s a small tip on social media techniques (re-tweet, share, and comment often), or an article on market trends that would be relevant to a client; if you become a resource for knowledge, you’ll position yourself/your company as a trusted leader in the marketplace. And eventually they will come to you for more.
- Engage – This is where the first two points come in handy. The marketing world has turned into a giant conversation. If you’re busy telling and not talking, you’ll quickly be shut out of the discussion. “Engaging” is one of the four base criteria for TRUE Branding, and in this social media marketing world, Engagement is more necessary than ever.
- Set Goals – This sounds like an obvious point, but I’ve seen too many stand at the edge of the chasm yelling and yelling just to hear the whisper of their own echo floating back at them. Set a goal, a target with specific results in mind. You can’t just set out telling your story unless you have a plot line to follow and a great ending for the audience to anticipate.
- Build Measurable Tactics – Every goal you have will require tactics to execute. To know the success or failure of those tactics, you need a mechanism for measuring (Key Performance Indicators, or KPI’s). Whether that’s web site traffic, office calls, client leads, or bodies through the showroom door; make sure you measure.
- Compare, Refine & Redo – With measurable results, you’ll better be able to find flaws in trend predictions. You’ll have the ability to compare the results of one campaign to another. If you’ve built success with one tactic, take that approach and modify its properties to suit another less-successful one and try it again. When you’re reaching the right people and building a conversation with truly measured intentions, you’ll discover amazing results.
- Keep Pushing – While trends are showing that social media and other tools are becoming bigger influences on many markets over traditional marketing channels (advertising, radio, print, TV, etc.); make sure that your market is truly being affected by the change. If you pull your efforts from proven channels, your market could lose contact with your brand message. Then how top-of-mind would you be?
There are many, many more, but if you keep in mind these basic tips, you’ll be well on your way to maintaining great brand awareness.
Please, tell me what YOU do to maintain top-of-mind awareness for your brand. Is it community networking, cause marketing, something else? I’d LOVE to hear from you.
Andrew B. Clark