The marketing mix of business is constantly evolving; big businesses are stepping away from full page print spreads and turning to the simplicity of something as effortless as a Facebook cover photo to connect with their customers.
There is a proliferation of new media and consumer engagement that goes way beyond the waves of television. In 2012, online advertising will surpass print for the first time, according to a recent study by eMarketer. The same study states that television will retain the top spot at least till 2016, however; online spending will significantly go above both of its traditional counterparts.
Brand communication used to be a one way street. The way consumers would react to an emotional television ad or provocative billboard marked a landmark event in time. I am sure most of you still remember the ‘reach out’ commercial series from AT&T in 1986, or Apple’s legendary ‘1984’ commercial to commemorate the launch of the Macintosh:
Today there is a new wave of communication taking place with fans interacting with their favorite brands around the clock. We know the faces, names, and stories of the people who create the products/services we love. And in some cases we even know what they had for dinner last night.
The online war is being waged and any brand manager will tell you that their best marketing dollars will be spent online with a functional website, search optimization, blogging, and a veritable social media arsenal including Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.
The secret behind brand storytelling and engagement is keeping content ‘real’ in order to create connection. Get real people from your organization involved; it keeps the interaction genuine. Personally, I have frequented a number of local businesses because of their candid social media presence.
Make an impact by selling-without-selling. Build your brand by creating real emotional connections and place less emphasis on the factual details about your products and services. Eloquently timed sales pitches may be peppered in; fans like their social media entertaining and exciting, not full of overt advertisement.
That being said, keep your objectives in mind of what your brand/company wants to accomplish and curate content and submissions to follow suit. You’ll be well on your way to branding in the digital age.