The sweet, sweet smell of a brand new year, a time of new possibilities…now is the perfect time to take stock on the past 12 months and plan for the year ahead. So, if you’re on a brand building journey – and let’s face it most of us are – here is some food for thought.
People don’t get sold to anymore. They buy – on their own terms. We’re operating in a truly customer-driven world and businesses need to be clear on what they offer, and how they answer their audiences’ needs. A great activity to start becoming customer-centric is to create a customer journey. Map out each step of your customers’ journey with your brand and the touchpoints they encounter on the way. This helps you understand what your audience is doing, and when, and more importantly what they need from your organisation. Viewing their journey holistically may also reveal opportunities where you can go above and beyond, and truly surprise and delight. For example, we recently ran a customer journey workshop for one of our clients and realised they were very focused on getting new customers to discover and fall in love with their brand. But, once the customer was ready to really engage with them and move to purchase, there were significant barriers that were causing frustration. Barriers this exercise highlighted as a high priority to overcome.
Content production can seem like a large and unwieldy task. And there are endless needs for the content you produce – keeping your website current, sharing on social media, adding substance to your latest email newsletter, the list goes on. Creating a framework for content production simplifies the process, and ensures that any effort spent, is spent in the right places. A good content strategy has clear objectives, audiences, and defines your content pillars – the overarching themes for the content you need to produce. It should also define the ratio of those pillars – so you know exactly how much on one type of content you need to produce. With a content strategy in place it means you can easily plan six months ahead, and create your content in one month batches. With social scheduling tools this means you can get all your content prepped and scheduled each month to go out with little fuss. Then it’s just monitoring and responding as and when you need to. Of course, it’s always important to keep on top of trends and current affairs and speak about these when it’s a good fit. We used this precise content strategy for Aura-Soma and grew their Facebook following dramatically. Compared to the same period from the year before, we saw a 104% increase in Facebook likes, a 625% increase in organic views, and a 747% increase in engagement.
In terms of digital, there are two activities you should be considering for 2019, if you haven’t already. Firstly a ‘business as usual’ Google Adwords campaign. In terms of low hanging fruit, it doesn’t get much better than a channel where users are actively searching for your product or service. Intent is pretty strong when a user is sitting in front of Google and typing in something that relates to your offering. Another area with good return on investment is retargeting. This is essentially where you target messages to people who have visited your site before. This means they’ve already shown interest in your business and are more likely to convert. In terms of digital spend these two areas are a good place to start. At Tiny Hunter, a ‘business as usual’ Google Adwords campaign is how we get most of our new clients that don’t come from word of mouth.
The buzz around purpose driven brand strategies has been around for a while now, but it’s not a trend that’s set to die any time soon. More brands than ever before are embracing a deeper purpose. Adidas is committed to using only recycled plastic in its sportswear by 2024, Lush – which is known for supporting environmental and political causes – continues to be a success story, and homegrown Aussie social enterprises like Thank You and Who Gives a Crap are capturing the imagination – and the wallets – of the nation. Even better? Consumers are willing to pay for purpose. In fact, almost three out of four Millennials will pay more for a sustainable offering (although a sustainable offering isn’t the only way to show purpose of course). Having a deeper purpose matters, but it needs to be more than lip service. It needs to be genuine and be inherently linked to your brand strategy. If you have been thinking about how you can give back to the community, maybe 2019 is the year to get this underway?
To succeed, you need to try. And try lots. Adopt a ‘growth marketing’ mindset where a portion of your budget is spent experimenting on different tactics and opportunities (as long as they align with your strategy). With technology – and audience needs – changing so quickly, this is an important way to see what works and what doesn’t and where the majority of your marketing budget should be focused. Fail quickly and learn fast. Although it speaks mainly to start-ups in the tech space, Neil Pattel’s Step by Step Guide to Growth Hacking is a good read which shares some inspiring examples of companies using this very mindset.
Wherever you are in your brand building journey we hope 2019 brings many successes. If you’d like to talk to us about how we can help your brand grow we would love to hear from you.