You may remember that article I wrote entitled ‘How to Win Bloggers and Influence People‘ and you may very well remember me saying:
“At the very core of every brand, your identity sets you apart from the rest. This is why it is important to cultivate and remember your unique purpose and never, ever forget it.
While your core objective as an online business might very well be to drive conversion rates and revenue, your offsite voice has the pleasure of being able to converse with its consumers.
You could and should own the conversation- after all, it’s about you.”
Well, I still mean it, and I’d like to talk some more about it, so if you’ll kindly get yourself a cup of tea, I’ll get started.
Brand Awareness, Authority & Big Bucks
Famous branding consultant Simon Mainwaring once said:
People can’t like you if they don’t know who you are. They can’t know who you are if you don’t show them. You can’t show them unless you know yourself. If you don’t know yourself, that’s kind of crazy (which explains a lot of brand behavior). So stop wasting money until you find out what’s authentic to your brand.
What your audience really wants to know is whether you’re fun or serious, if you like long walks in the rain as much as they do and above all, can they connect with you?
Since you’ve had time to think about it, what IS your offsite objective (let’s call it your personality) and how can you translate that to social and content?
Think about how you can position your personality; how you can start conversing with your customers and why?
Is it the big bucks? Authority? Awareness? It could be all three but in what order of priority?
It’s really important that you decide this and then divide them up:
- Awareness: 50%
- Authority: 25%
- Big Bucks: 25%
Notice I have chosen to put big bucks lower on the priority scale but that’s not because I don’t like money. At the end of the day, profit is every business’s business, but it’s the way you translate it that makes the difference. So while your CEO is counting the pennies and looking for clear evidence that you are too, the fact is that nobody likes to be sold to in the social spectrum (at least not directly). You want to show, not tell.
In fact I’m going to go ahead and remove the big bucks altogether, but don’t be afraid. It looks a little like this:
Awareness and word of mouth not only secure larger potential for business but they also inspire a connection- if you go to someone’s head through their heart, you’re also likely to win loyalty. With loyalty, your customers are likely to share and advertise your product with their friends and family.
With authority, you position yourself as an expert and you earn trust. And with sales and self-promotion? Well, chances are it might fall on deaf ears, which is why awareness and authority are your better and more organic friends- they all point to conversion rather than flapping madly in your face.
Burberry, for example, spent 2013 focusing completely on awareness. Their Burberry Kiss campaign allowed customers to send virtual kisses around the world and, in turn, saw record profit.
So you see, it’s all about revenue really but in a good, engaging way.
When it comes to positioning your personality, brand storytelling is nothing new, with some going so far as to create imaginary characters, customers and lifestyles by which they measure everything they do. Would Theo like this? What would Tallulah say? Would Gary REALLY be caught dead wearing that? This is a very effective way of staying on-brand and also puts everyone in your marketing department on the same page.
Alternatively, brands with phenomenal success have started to own conversations and appeal to their audience in a way that puts the customer at the centre. Dove are a fabulous example and have been driving the same conversation for some years now on the matters of ‘real beauty’, consistently developing customer-focused campaigns that change women’s perceptions.
This video is no exception and is one of the most-watched in the world today with over 62million views.
With platforms such as Vine, Pinterest and Instagram, the potential for visual and engaging marketing is unlimited.
Have you seen how Burt’s Bees have mastered the art of Vine with their six-second classics?
I’m not saying you have to choose every platform but by presenting a clearly branded, engaging voice on your major players like Twitter and Facebook, why not pick one more and really go to town?
I promise it can be a hell of a lot of strategic fun and if you’re looking to create offsite relationships and die-hard brand advocates for even further reach and world domination, this really is where you need to start.
From within. After all, we can’t like you if you don’t show us who you are, remember?
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