When developing marketing campaigns for your clients, creating a face and voice for that entity is the most important aspect of your job. Whether you’re branding a Fortune 100 company or an individual entrepreneur, how you interpret the branding in your designs, copy, photography, Tweets or Facebook posts are all informed by your branding platforms. Though Social Media offers new branding channels, the initial premise for your client remains the same as it always has been: the branding and marketing strategies should inform every media channel in which you work.
And as you move forward learning about these newer channels, adapting your strategies to these channels, and applying your plans in a cohesive marketing campaign, you may just evolve the media.
Newspapers and Magazines… the end of an era?
Though all the newer, highly publicized media channels are social in nature, and redefine the way a target audience is identified and how they interact within these channels and your marketing efforts, all media evolves or it will go away, be replaced and die. Just look at the current state of newspapers and magazines today. They have not been able to evolve their channel to accommodate their target audiences’ newer attributes of finding news and information on-line, so they are losing subscribers and are shutting down en masse. If the iPad succeeds in revolutionizing the news and magazine industries the way the iPod did the music industry, they will have evolved into a new channel.
How you interpret the branding in your designs, copy, photography, Tweets or Facebook posts are all informed by your branding platforms.
Whether it’s direct mail or social media, your campaign should begin with a plan.
The key to beginning any campaign in which you are charged with branding a client’s products or services (and in truth, you are always charged with branding in everything you do as a designer, writer, or social media strategist), is to follow a basic process which always worked.
Learn > Adapt > Apply = Evolution
Once your branding platform is established and you have developed a list of branding channels you will recommend to your client (new brochures, new website, tradeshow flyers & promotional gifts, and a serious Twitter campaign working with a Facebook page, all for example), you must learn about all your newer channels.
Learn everything you can about all mediums from Twitter to Touch-screen Kiosks. See what other companies and individuals have done to promote their products or services. Read what the experts say. Carefully examine the pro’s and con’s of these newer marketing channels and don’t be afraid of them. Use them to your clients’ advantage.
Adapt and translate your key messages to the channels you’ll recommend, ensuring the right messages will connect with the right target audiences. Ask yourself if there’s a new trick you can find to promote an old dog. Social media channels change every day and if you are not well-versed in them, find someone to join your team who is experienced. Don’t be afraid to think outside the channel box and try something new!
Apply your adaptations to your channels and execute your marketing strategies. How you apply your branding platform to these channels is critical to success. Measure the results of everything you do. Clients are always looking for bottom-line sales increases, but remember that branding isn’t immediately or directly quantifiable. Click-thru’s, page visits, followers, opened e-blasts and fans are all important and quantifiable branding results. If you have done your job and presented new adaptations of newer marketing channels, you have evolved the media.