Digital marketing is a constantly evolving, cutting-edge field, but frequently, amid all the hype of new technologies and innovative ideas, we overlook the central tenets of traditional marketing, which should be constantly recognized and adapted to modern strategies.
One of these core principles is finding, developing, and remaining consistent with your brand’s voice. Marketers often forget this, failing to create a clear, strong voice for their brands and making that voice shine through in their digital marketing.
Here are 8 steps brands can take to make their marketing exponentially more effective.
1. Establish your brand
Before getting to the digital side of things, you need to go back to traditional marketing strategies and establish your overall brand voice. What will be your brand’s look, feel, and packaging? This must be defined before deciding how to present yourself on social media.
2. Identify your target demographics
Toward what demographics is your product or service aimed? With what gender, age range, socioeconomic status, race, geographical location, etc. will your brand resonate? Why? Thoroughly research these audiences to reveal what makes them tick.
3. Determine what makes your brand different or special
Doing so will help you identify which aspects of your brand’s “personality” should be highlighted in your social media voice. You want your brand’s voice to be unique, so what makes the brand itself distinctive?
4. Imagine your brand as a person
If your brand were a person, who would it be? If you’ve identified your target demographic as 18 to 24-year-old males, strongly consider making your brand an 18 to 24-year-old male. What would be his likes and dislikes? How would he talk in public? What would he discuss at a cocktail party? What causes does he stand for? What updates would he post on his social media profile (minus the incessant social gaming requests or outrageous drinking photos)? What content would he share?
5. Create a clear brand bible
Create a document clearly espousing the personality, values, voice, lexicon, causes, and interests of your brand. Chances are, more than one person will be contributing to your social media efforts, but you don’t want your marketing to sound pieced together by a many-membered team, nor do you want to forget your brand’s core image months or years down the line. A brand bible will serve as a useful guide that keeps your messaging uniform.
6. Keep your social media voice consistent with your other marketing efforts
If your brand is employing other forms of marketing (television commercials, print ads, or anything else), make sure the feel of your digital marketing is aligned with the feel of your other marketing. The two don’t have to be identical, especially if your digital marketing is targeting specific segments of your demographics, but they should be similar. Joe Schmoe has a side of personality he exhibits at work and another side he shows his friends, but he’s still fundamentally the same person. Adapt the preexisting brand voice to your social media efforts (perhaps with a twist) or vice versa if necessary.
7. Keep your voice consistent across your social media channels
Your brand may be on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest, Instagram, Friendster (hey, you never know), Google+, and a million other social networks, and each channel should feature different content but maintain a similar voice throughout all. Your brand bible will come particularly in handy here.
8. Be prepared to evolve
Just like a person, your brand is allowed to change and grow. Keep an eye on what social media content gets the most response from followers, and use that to continuously make slight adjustments to your branding. Don’t jar your followers by suddenly giving your brand a 180° makeover, but do use feedback and analytics to keep your brand as engaging as possible.
By developing a strong brand voice and being consistent throughout your marketing, your engagement, social media reach, and conversions will multiply, bringing your brand the success it deserves.