DISCLAIMER: Every once in awhile, we cover “Elements of Internet Marketing” and why they are important for everyone to be aware or reminded of. Some of these topics are not new, but they are very important to consumers and service providers to repeatedly encounter and understand. Today’s “Element” is related to the topic of "Branding Social". Enjoy!
As you have noticed in earlier articles, branding is one of the key elements in making “everything” come together and work properly. We have discussed archetypes and why they are important to a brand. We also discussed how archetypes and branding are what actually dictates the direction in which marketing endeavors are to go. The next point of branding we are going to cover implements the brand presence, spoke about also in a previous post, and how it relates to your audiences and fans Online.
I recently had a discussion with a colleague on the levels of clientele one might have. Sure, you will have niche markets based upon interests and specific calls to action. However through the implementation of the web and use of social networks, the spectrum of opportunity has been broadened.
Versatility is one of those fine-line topics. Versatility can easily lead into the controversy surrounding the “Jack-of-all-trades, Master-of-none” paraphrase. The final perspective is that versatility is a very bad thing. Now, if you limit the usage of these “additional skill levels” to a minimum in helping to benefit and strengthen your brand, it is a great thing. Hence, the sky is blue but can also be grey!
Versatility, as related to target markets on a broadened-yet-basic level, are key in deciding specific marketing sets. After all NOT keeping in mind these many types of consumers, you have the chance of seeing a domino effect that will ruin your endeavors altogether! These markets, through hierarchy, include those of corporate, organization, client, customer and consumer.
We have to decide how to appease these markets while appealing to our niche. The reason is because how we conversate, what we upload, what we share –how we are perceived– is dependent upon our audiences tastes and what will lead them into taking us seriously. There is so much that I could talk about on this subject that I might as well write a book on it! But, let me cover this topic a bit before moving on in this conversation, leaving out the trade secrets and psychological elements.
Let’s begin by breaking down the market types, what is expected by these markets, how one must appease them and why:
- Market Type: Corporate
- Relationship to a Brand: Sponsors, Partners, Affiliates, Investors.
- What do They Expect?: Professionalism and Professional atmosphere. Conversions.
- Product to be Provided: An ROI, mutually benefiting business arrangement.
- Market Type: Organization
- Relationship to a Brand: Supporters, Cross-Promoters, Partners, Supported-by, Influencers.
- What do They Expect?: Professionalism, ethic, and mutual benefit.
- Product to be Provided: Something in exchange for something, tangible or intangible. Mutual benefiting relationship.
- Market Type: Client
- Relationship to a Brand: Pays for Services and Products.
- What do They Expect?: High quality and professional work to speak for the brand and as the brand
- Product to be Provided: Something tangible and/or intangible to fulfill the need of a customer, while attracting and converting consumers into customers.
- Market Type: Customer
- Relationship to a Brand: The End-User. Products and services are meant for this person’s consumption and are paying.
- What do They Expect?: A need to be fulfilled to satisfaction.
- Product to be Provided: Something tangible, such as an actual product or service in exchange for cash.
- Market Type: Consumer
- Relationship to a Brand: May or may not be a customer. They may be what creates virality and Word of mouth. Has a general interest in your work and may become a customer or client one day.
- What do They Expect?: Entertainment and substance. Something that they can use to fulfill a need.
- Product to be Provided: Something intangible such as websites, artwork, social media, conversation.
In order to brand socially, meaning having a social presence Online in order to promote and market your brand, you have to keep these values in mind based upon the “company you keep.” If any or multiple market types are non-important to you, you may exclude them from your current plan. But, keep in mind that literally everything you emit is saved on the web somewhere. So be cautious in exactly what you post and upload for public consumption.
One day, you may include these excluded markets into your business plan. It would be a shame if your reputation was soiled over something minor; and this would be the reason to miss out on opportunities for expanding your brand’s future. In fact, beware of any written or recorded medium, for competitors and brand enemies may use it against you in form of mp3, video or screenshot upload!
When involving the net for professional work, try to stay professional. Even if your archetype is that of the "Villain." We can love to “hate” you, as long as you stay “about business” the whole way!
Back on topic, branding socially — or social branding — is the most important element in creating the perfect Brand Persona. The Brand Story is told through an interactive, digital journal comprised of uploads, status updates, polls, blogs and conversation. This is how you will include and interact with your audiences every step of the way, even lurkers who sit back and pretend to be invisible. They get the feeling of contribution to the brand’s success story.
In being “friends” with the brand, your brand gains loyalty and enthusiasts who will share and contribute to just about anything you post online and then speak about it offline. Your brand becomes a somebody in this “Always On” culture. This is Viral Marketing and Word of Mouth at its finest! This is also the full circle of Brand Awareness that leads to a thriving Brand Tenure (how long the brand can remain alive and in power) that will last for many years to come.
Have you ever heard the song by Ashton Martin (Detroit Rapper, National Recording Artist), called “I Know Somebody?” Through Social Networking, everyone “knows somebody that knows somebody that knows somebody that knows YOU…” or BrandYOU thanks to the web! Take advantage of this and don’t forget to brand yourself socially today and to create a better presence for your brand on the web! It’s all about first impressions and perceptions. It’s all about the rules of BrandYOU! Brand socially and you, too, will be a “New Era of Royalty.”