You know the type. The brand that seems content to market via radio advertisements with the most annoying, earworm-like jingles they can muster. You can probably sing the jingle you’re thinking of right now. The kind of jingle that can raise even the most level-headed person into a furor, particularly if stuck in traffic on a hot day, your only escape listening to the sweet tunes of the radio. Now that has been ruined for you, and the brand is forever tarnished in your mind. Don't be 'that brand' on social media either!
Some businesses choose to market aggressively, while others choose a softer approach. However, it’s true that coming across well is also a function of knowing the medium through which your marketing, before your content is even taken care of. So, how can you avoid being ‘that brand’ on social media, where more advertising bucks are spent compared to all other methodologies?
Of course, we cannot be ‘too polite’ about things. This would leave us perpetually beaten by the competition, who are more than happy to be loud and brash and aggressive with their marketing dollar. With the following advice, we’ll help you strike that strong balance, and build your reputation positively in the process:
Unfortunately, some brands do all they can to ensure that they gain the return they’re looking for. This can lead them into the territory of exploitative measures. Of course, these must be defined appropriately if we’re to ensure we know what best practice is. A time-sensitive discount that encourages an audience to visit your website? That’s hardly exploitative.
A company using complex social issues to market their brand? Well, that can be seen as exploitative. For instance, think of the hot water Pepsi landed itself in with its Kendall Jenner advertisement. In said short film, two sets of protestors were warring, including one side backed by riot police. As Kendall came to the rescue with a can of Pepsi, both sides were placated, or at least that’s how the plot of the advertisement was written. This would be tone deaf on the best of days, but it was also timed to coincide with protests against police brutality in America, an intense and controversial issue for both sides. It’s not that these topics can’t be explored by business, but using them for marketing gain can be seem as one-note, and even offensive.
Don’t become ‘that brand’. Sometimes, a ‘bold’ marketing strategy is simply too tasteless to be successful. Courage, unbound from wisdom, is a dangerous marketing approach.
This point naturally follows on from our first tidbit of advice. Learning how to read the room is an important step in marketing. For instance, you only need to read the plethora of online social media marketing blunders to realize that trending hashtags should be understood before used, and that you should inject yourself into conversations that are relevant to you.
This doesn’t mean you can’t broach sensitive topics with care. For instance, right now, companies may decide to veer their approach and sell certain packages to aid coronavirus relief, such as a vitamin or minerals package in their supplement line including Vitamin D and other helpful additions. However, calling this the ‘corona cure’ or something as equally problematic in order to seem cute or memorable can be a problem.
There are also certain marketing exploits that are less effective than they used to be. You may be familiar with Wendy’s, the fast-food chain, and their continual use of social media to drum up interest. Their Twitter account is known for ‘roasting’ other brands and acting ‘sassy’ in an attempt to garner shares and likes, which in turn grows their audience. However, while this was interesting to see initially, the charm immediately reduced when people learned that each tweet was being reviewed by a marketing team based on how they expected it to perform. All of a sudden this ‘calculated cool’ became much less appealing. Has the Twitter account stopped? Not at all, but their posts do draw some ire from those critical of their overbearing approach. It can be worth trying to avoid that fate, and you can do so by simply reading the room.
Sometimes your advertising content is not offensive, nor tone-deaf, nor even ineffective. It may just be that it’s overly repetitive and boring. If you’ve decided to go all out on a large advertising campaign, with multiple forms of media being pushed to multiple platforms - it can help to have more than one content offering to give. This is why many companies craft video advertisements in sets of two, for instance, so that if someone sees your advertisement twice before a YouTube video, they are less likely to tire of it.
While content does need to be cohesive and focused, it’s fine to switch up variations that largely say the same thing. Additionally, allowing creative freedom to shine where necessary can be a great idea. Let us take one of the growing and more popular methods of advertising - sponsoring a podcast and asking the host to read your marketing copy. Surely it would be much more effective to allow said influencer or host to read your marketing copy as they would like to, provided they give out all of the relevant points? This way things feel a little less artificial and manufactured, and even long-term sponsorships, aided by the off-the-cuff delivery of the host you have selected, can make even a year-long podcast sponsoring seem fresh and renewed each time. It’s the little methods that count when diversifying content, but there’s no reason why you can’t make the most of them, nor should you expect them to have little impact.
With the best paid social media services, you can make the most of this strategy each and every time.
All marketing is bound to a time and a place, and so it can help to make your marketing relevant to now. A fiirm must seem up to date, cutting edge even, and that’s true even if offering vintage products. What is occurring in the market that you can help fix right now? What need are you fulfilling? What problem are you solving? Relevancy can help you seem more like a business of the present and future rather than one simply there for presence’s sake.
Maybe your marketing event can be seasonal, as all over the summer you are running a brilliant promotion with another company to help merge both audiences together. The celebration of summer can be a great place to start, because you are capitalizing on those ‘good feelings’ that help people become motivated to make a purchase. When the difficulties of coronavirus slow to a halt, and society begins re-opening with care, you can be sure that businesses are going to start capitalizing on this moment of joy. For instance, bars will run a ‘welcome back night,’ or certain brands will offer discounts to help people make the most of this celebration. Of course, this also serves a double purpose and serves as a worthwhile call to action - more on that below:
It can help firms to make their audience’s choices for them. For example, it might be that you’re selling adventure holidays, perhaps first time snowboarding experiences. Launching an all new ‘beginner training line’ can help you bundle a great vacation with lessons geared ot help people familiarize themselves with the experience and brand you have to offer. And, as luck would have it, you’re now giving a 30% discount to the first 500 people who sign up before summer in this country.
This takes out all of the hardship and decision making process from those who are interested in what you have to offer. That in itself helps you seem infinitely more appealing. Too often companies expect their audience to understand exactly what they have to offer based on one marketing exploit. To use the fragrance example again, it’s true that most advertisements do little to actually explain what the product smells like. Here, the call to action is seeing imagery that makes you feel ‘cool’ and attractive. A call to action can be defined in many different ways, but you must define it in crystal clear terms before moving on with your campaign.
It can sometimes feel that in order to stand out among the crowd you need to have the boldest, most intelligent, most reactive, most impressive marketing campaign out there. This is not the case. While all of those things can be of benefit, choosing not to overcomplicate your strategy can work wonders too. You simply need to focus on what will work for your brand. Are you happy speaking about your product clearly, consistently, and with little overblown fanfare? Do you want to be more forthright talking about a social issue you are hoping to help, such as how your products are more sustainable than the competition? Sometimes that’s enough, even if you haven’t the most intensive and prettiest packaging to surround that message.
With this advice, we hope you can advertise with confidence, and avoid many of the pitfalls other brands seem to find themselves in.