If you’ve been working through the 21 Days to Build a Better Brand series, then you’ve done a lot of work so far. You’ve built a solid foundation on which to build your remarkable brand. Today you will start working on your marketing plan by choosing the best marketing channels for your brand.
What is Marketing?
Many people confuse branding and marketing. Marketing is about getting people to take notice, it’s about pushing out a message to attract more customers.
Branding is more strategic. Branding is about pulling people in and keeping customers once they’ve purchased from you.
Everything you do to ATTRACT customers is marketing.
Everything you do to KEEP customers is branding.
Branding should precede and underlie any marketing you do. You can’t effectively market your business if you don’t first have your branding sorted out.Branding should precede and underlie any marketing you do. You can’t effectively market your business if you don’t first have your branding sorted out. Click To Tweet
Simply put, great marketing starts with great branding.
The basis of all marketing is to get your people to know, like, and trust you. Once you’ve accomplished these three things, selling to them is easy. In fact, it won’t be like selling at all, the will just see you as having the best solution to their problem.
What are Marketing Channels?
In marketing terminology, a channel refers to a way of making a product available to the end consumer. In other words, marketing channels are all the ways in which your brand communicates with your audience. And there are a whole lot of marketing channels available these days. Here are some of the most common marketing channels in use today:
- Social Media
- Social media advertising
- Paid Search
- Display Ads
- TV ads
- Radio ads
- Newspaper ads
- Networking Groups
- Live Events
- Referral Partners
- Brand Champions
No one can possibly do all of these channels well, so when thinking about marketing your brand, it helps to focus on just a few marketing channels. The idea is to do one or two really well before moving on to some of the others.
Choosing the Best Marketing Channels for Your Brand
So, how do you choose the best marketing channel for your brand? You’re not going to like this answer but…it depends! Marketing is not a one-size-fits-all solution. There are many factors to consider when choosing the best marketing channels for your brand. Here are a few to think about:
Who is your customer?
This should be no problem for you! Just refer back to the work you did on your ideal customer and jot down who they are, what they’re struggling with, and how you might be able to help.
Example: You are a productivity consultant. Your ideal client is Steve, the CEO of a medium-sized manufacturing company. Steve loves productivity hacks but struggles with putting them into practice and making them stick. He needs someone to give him a plan and to hold him accountable.
Example: You are a wedding photographer. Your ideal client is Rachel, a recently-engaged twenty-something. Rachel wants to share her amazing wedding photos with everyone she knows. She needs someone who can capture the feelings and emotions of her most special day.
Where can you find them?
Again, refer back to the work you did on your target market. Where does your ideal customer hang out? Where do they live, work, and shop? What are their hobbies or interests? Where will your marketing message be best able to reach them?
Example: Your target market is CEOs looking for help being more organized and more productive. They follow blogs of productivity experts, spend most of their work time in email, and their preferred social media platform is LinkedIn.
Example: Your ideal client spends her time searching for wedding photos on social media. She goes to local bridal shops and attends local bridal shows where she can check out all the latest and hip wedding trends.
What channels do they already use?
What marketing channels are your customers already using? Which ones are they most comfortable with? What channels are the most effective for your target market? Which ones are the most widely-accepted?
Example: Steve reads blogs of leading productivity experts. He loves hearing directly from those experts so he subscribes to their email lists. He has joined productivity hacker groups on LinkedIn and communicates with other CEOs to gain insights and share his knowledge.
Example: Rachel does not subscribe to blogs or sign up for email lists. She is looking for a one-time solution, not a long-term relationship. But it has to be amazing! She is going to use social media and recommendations from friends more than anything else.
What are your marketing goals?
One of the key factors in putting together an effective marketing strategy is to know your goals. What are you trying to accomplish? Are you trying to sell more widgets? Do you want to get more people on your email list? Are you trying to increase brand awareness? All of these goals require different marketing strategies and use different marketing channels.
Example: Your one big marketing goal right now is to increase the number of CEOs who are subscribed to your blog. Your strategy is that over time you will be seen as their go-to expert in productivity and be in an awesome position to sell your consulting services.
Example: Your big goal is to increase brand awareness. Brides-to-be need to see your work. They also need to see that their friends have used your service and recommend you.
The Best Marketing Channels for Your Brand
In the first example, the best marketing channels for your brand might be blogging, email, and LinkedIn. Sure, Facebook ads might bring in some business, but your ideal client doesn’t use Facebook nearly as much as LinkedIn. Just focus your efforts on a few channels that fit best with your ideal client and do them really well. Get really good at blogging. Create some really compelling email campaigns. Spend a lot of time on LinkedIn. Being focused like this makes your marketing much more effective.
In the second example, your best marketing channels might be social media, social ads, and bridal shows. Post your work all over Instagram and Pinterest. Run some Facebook ads. Get a booth at your local Spring bridal show. Share reviews and testimonials from happy clients. Be everywhere your client is and she’ll start to see you as the best choice for her special day.
Day 19 Action Item—Choose the Best Marketing Channels for Your Brand
Sit down with your 21 Days to Build a Better Brand Workbook and do your best to answer the questions above. Who is your customer? Where can you find them? What channels already work for them? What are your marketing goals? Just pick 1-3 marketing channels to use for now. Get really good at using a few carefully selected marketing channels before you start adding more.
Coming up: Tomorrow you will learn how to create a marketing plan for your brand using your chosen marketing channels.
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