Branding Across the New Digital Environments
From corporations to small business, branding is an important part of any marketing strategy. The shift away from print and radio marketing and the rise of digital marketing has lead to a change in branding strategies. In this fast paced digital environment, brands can rise to fame or have their reputation tainted in the matter of hours. With this in mind, companies must efficiently push their branding message through channels such as social media, mobile/tablet applications, and video marketing. Competing effectively among these channels requires a clear understanding of your audience, particularly the age group known as Millennials, and how to effectively engage with them. The infographic below, created by the New Jersey Institute of Technology’s Online Master in Business Administration program visualizes the importance of branding across all digital marketing efforts, highlighting the importance of well-designed marketing strategies for long-term business success.
Millennials and Marketing
The term “Millennials” refers to the generation aged between 18 and 36 years old. These individuals grew up in the computer age and have never known anything else, so it is natural for them to encounter some form of digital device every day. In fact, one statistic shows that more than 65% of Millennials are exposed to at least two devices in a 24-hour period and a sizable chunk interacts with 4 digital devices in the same period. Young adults drive the world of mobile marketing like no other generation.
Millennials expect authenticity from businesses. Trust is important; especially knowing they can trust your brand. Product authenticity is three times more important to them than trusting your employees. When you make claims about a product, they had better be true if you want these young adults to follow your brand on social media. If they discover your product or service is not authentic, the power of social media to make you can also break you in a matter of hours after a commercial encounter.
Social Media Competition
Organic reach is one of the hardest things to achieve with social media and companies need to be careful about how they spend their advertising budget over this channel. The term “organic reach” refers to the number of unique viewers who see content you post on your page in their New Feed.
There is simply too much information to take it all in, so a lot of feeds are missed or overlooked. The biggest social media page in the world is YouTube with over 1 billion unique monthly users and a low per/view ad rate of about 50 cents. Facebook closely follows YouTube with around 900 million unique users every month. Their share of the mobile ad market is 16% compared with Twitter (less than 2% and only 310 million unique visitors monthly). Even Facebook with their strong market share has seen a significant decline in organic reach.
Some sites charge per 1,000 impressions. Others charge a user when viewers click on an ad. For instance, Twitter charges up to $1.50 when someone takes action regarding a Tweet. LinkedIn’s pay-per-click system charges each company about $2.00 with a 10% conversion rate. That is the percentage of clicks that leads to a sale.
The first five hours after releasing a feed is when three quarters of engagement takes place. How are ads on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, and LinkedIn going to get people to notice them in that first 5 hours?
One method is via endorsements. If a consumer reads that his friend “likes” a product advertised on Facebook, he is more likely to take a second look. When Instagram captions include another user or a tag where the photograph was taken, this increases user engagement with the advertisement. Consistency is important. Viewers want to see companies portrayed using the same way across all media.
Interestingly, more than half of the brand transactions that took place on Google+ last year were positive. Creating a good experience for customers who click on your ads is of paramount importance.
Touching on Touchpoints
Companies must also remember the many methods of encouraging customer engagement before, during, and after a transaction. Social media is only one example. Touchpoints create brand awareness; they are all the ways in which a customer or potential customer encounters your brand.
Many of these methods are old-fashioned emails, mail-outs, advertisements on TV and Internet, and reviews on Yelp or Google. Promotions and giveaways, sales events, and in-store sampling create interest. A well-designed brick-and-mortar storefront attracts attention. The success of YouTube, Instagram, and Facebook feeds is augmented by these formats. If you have been consistent, early encounters will lead to familiarity and, eventually, enough curiosity for a potential customer to look at an ad or go into a store. Employees, the point-of-sale experience, and after-sales encounters contribute to the experience and promote a business or create detractors through negative reviews.
Community impressions and awareness have always been important. These days, thanks to digital media, that community is anyone who is connected to a laptop or a handheld device.
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