How to Build Enduring Influence for Your Brand
As I was doing research for this blog post, two major themes kept repeating themselves: connection and consistency.
The connection theme applies to communication both between different parts of marketing departments and between brands and their audiences. The consistency theme is, well, consistent across most of my findings and suggestions here. A strategy isn’t a strategy unless you’re measuring, optimizing, iterating, and delivering content on a consistent basis that your audience comes to expect and seek out.
If you’re not doing these things, your strategy is meaningless action. You’re not strategizing, you’re completing one-off tasks. That’s the bad news. The good news is, if you can approach the following strategies with a focus on connection and consistency, you’ll be well on your way to building enduring influence for your brand, starting today.
Think Outside of the Box (Or, Get Integrated)
To spread awareness with e-commerce shoppers, Revlon recently inked a deal to stamp its name on 10 million Amazon shipping boxes as part of a campaign called the Love Project.
The partnership puts Revlon and its slogan #LoveIn3Words on small Amazon boxes throughout February and March. Revlon also appears in a video featuring the Lady Gaga song “Million Reasons” that was posted to her Instagram account.
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Lady Gaga also starred in a 30-second video directed by “The Revenant” producer Brett Ratner that aired during the Academy Awards on Sunday. Revlon is now planning the second phase of the campaign.
It comes down to connecting with our consumers wherever they are and however they want to connect with us
–Eunice Byun, Vice President of Global Digital Marketing
This is the definition of a well-executed integrated marketing campaign: one which operates on- and off-line, on- and off-social, and takes time after its initial phase to measure success and plan using these learnings in the following phase. Another key feature here is the consistent visual messaging and hashtag use across all active channels.
Release Vlogs (Regularly)
Making emotional connections in today’s crowded digital landscape is more important than ever.
This is a strategy you don’t need a multi-million dollar budget to execute (although it certainly helps). Social media enables you to create long-lasting brand affinity with vlogs, whether those take the form of Facebook Live or more “finished” YouTube videos shared across various channels.
You can take either of these approaches in-house, no matter your industry, and with no more than your iPhone (although I suggest investing in more advanced video equipment and editing, and at the very least well-conceived scripts, topics, or themes beforehand).
Vlogging on a consistent basis helps you educate, connect and build trust with, and finally drive action from your customer (or soon-to-be-customer) base.
Place a Bet on Instagram (Now)
In 2016, Instagram brought in 7% of GQ’s total digital revenue and a whopping 70 percent of its social media revenue.
The New York Times has commanded over 2 million followers already on Instagram in two short years, adding 191K+ followers in the last two months alone (a growth of 10.4%).
But you don’t have to be a media giant to benefit from Instagram’s audience- and revenue-generating prowess.
Step 1: If you don’t have a presence on Instagram now, start one–and test, test, test, to find the content that best resonates with your audience there. (Hint: It may not be the same audience that follows and engages with you on other social networks.)
Step 2: If you have a presence on Instagram now, but don’t post regularly, start posting regularly–and test, test, test.
Step 3: If you post regularly on Instagram now, but haven’t experimented with Instagram Stories, commit to posting daily on Instagram Stories for the rest of this quarter, and see how your social conversions are affected.
Step 4: If your Instagram and Instagram Stories strategies are already cookin’, consider investing in ads on this network to drive even more value from the followers and data you already have access to.
Invest in Influencers (Natch)
One of the most powerful ways you can generate “sticky” brand influence is by partnering with influencers who can widen your net of awareness with your target audience, and keep you top-of-mind with these folks for years to come, thanks to the personal connection.
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Put together a plan and wishlist for your influencer program, all with goals you can track. You can find some best practices for measuring the efficacy of your influencer program, no matter which stage it’s at, here.
Measure Your Brand Influence (Consistently)
Yep. You knew it was coming. It’s what we do here, and what we’re passionate about, and what we know works for top brands in social.
To understand how what you’re doing now is affecting and will affect the entire lifespan of your brand–not just today or tomorrow–you need to understand how much engagement you’re getting, how that engagement is translating to dollar bills in the bank, and how your social content is being shared across the web.
That level of insight (and the actions you take using that insight) has the power to transform your brand from a flash in the pan to an enduring force in the market.