Large brands such as Coca Cola, Apple and McDonalds often advertise their brand rather than a particular product. Spend one minute reading the following to decide whether you should do the same.
I have often heard "but it was good for brand awareness" after a failed online marketing campaign. This presumes that brand awareness is a good thing, and is being used as a cover-up for something that has gone wrong. Hardly a resounding argument.
First, what do we mean by "brand awareness"? Making people aware of something by exposing them to it over and over, is different from encouraging them to want to become involved with the brand (buy). Most online marketing is simply self-promotion.
To do it properly, you have to take a longer-term approach. You have to build a relationship with your potential customer. Create customer engagement. I'm sure that you've heard all this.
If you have deep pockets, an appropriate strategy, can implement it successfully, and have the time to wait, then this can be a good thing. But what if you don't?
This is where theory crashes into reality. Most businesses need enquiries and sales quicker than that.
The pragmatic approach is to do things that conform with your brand, yet deliver customers now. Various forms of online marketing can do this. Many don't.
Assess everything that you do or plan to do. Categorise it as being a short, medium or long-term source of business. Ensure that you generate enough business now to keep you going tomorrow. Ensure that you generate enough business next week to keep you going next month, and so on. For most businesses, striving for brand awareness in a commercial vacuum, will lead to disaster.
This is one of a series of articles that deal with common issues when promoting your business online. We hope that you found it useful. Go to our online marketing tips to see previous pieces of advice. If there are any topics that you would like covered, please let us know.
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