THE VIRTUALAF™ blog

Make Your Brand Standout

It’s not exactly news that your website’s users spend more time than ever before on smartphones and tablets, and that companies are responding by investing ever-bigger chunks of their digital marketing budgets on mobile advertising. Bluntly, if you haven’t optimized your company’s website for use across multiple devices—not to mention established that crucial social media presence—by now, you’re behind.

But, when you’re faced with what seems like a blanket imperative to get all your content and every angle of your brand message on every channel that you can, it’s all too easy to forget that each way of reaching your potential customers has its own strengths, weaknesses, and audience. And it’s important to adapt your strategy accordingly. What boosts conversion rates on your tablet website won’t always be the same thing as what makes your Facebook presence tick—and having a unified brand doesn’t mean that you can’t change things up to exploit those differences.

Dig deep into your buyer personas

To understand what makes each of the channels you’re using (Facebook ads, your company’s blog, email blasts, even QR codes if you’re working in a brick-and-mortar context) effective, check in with the buyer personas you’re dealing with: who’s consuming this? Where are they coming from, and what are they looking to get out of it? What’s their demographic, what will put them off your product or service, and what are their unique pain points?

One user might arrive at your company’s website through a Google search for the specific product or service they’re looking for; another might get there through an aimless scroll down a social feed that brought them to your eye-catching video. Understanding who your users are, by using what your analytics can tell you to build a set of detailed buyer personas, can help you produce channel-specific content that’s tailored to the needs of the people most likely to use them.

Remember, too, that your brand’s message can (and should!) be versionalized to fit the distinct personas your campaign is aimed at. If, for instance, you work for a company that makes electric scooters for seniors, your potential customers include both the people who will be using the scooters and at their adult children, who might be scooter-shopping out of concern for a parent’s welfare.

That senior isn’t likely to feel motivated by an ad that depicts them as someone who can’t manage on their own. They might even find it offensive. And likewise, an adult child looking for care solutions isn’t going to be as jazzed about an ad billing scooters as a means to achieving increased independence, as they are about one that presents the same item as a tool for easing an aging parent’s circumstances and giving them some peace of mind.

By applying classic inbound techniques to create highly-targeted content based on buyer personas and specific to the channels users arrive at your site through, your marketing department can make adapting your brand’s message a snap.

Channel Surfing

It’s also important to consider, not just who’s using each channel your organization markets itself through, but what users come to those channels for in the first place. On LinkedIn, which connects businesses with other businesses, the tone skews corporate; your potential customers go there to look for work, professional connections, or content that can make the jobs they already have easier. Facebook works by forming informal social connections—users go there to hear about their friends’ lives, and are looking for more casual, informative content that forges links between businesses and consumers. And Twitter runs on its users’ desires to stay up to date and connect with people and institutions (celebrities, government representatives, and industry trend-makers) that they might not have much contact with in their physical lives.

A good marketing department can retool the messaging your organization uses on each of these channels so that it fits in with their overall function in users’ lives, while maintaining a consistent sense of the brand’s essence.

Make sure you have the basics covered

It seems like a no-brainer, but make sure your website is optimized across all types of devices: desktop and laptop computers, smartphones, and tablets. If your company has its own app, keep that running smoothly.

Same goes for the many types of content that your company provides. Is the type on that blog post too small to read on a smartphone screen? Does the graphic you’ve painstakingly crafted to showcase your brand stubbornly refuse to load in an email? Are you losing traffic by directing users from every channel to the same landing page, which doesn’t necessarily cater to all their needs?

Don’t choose form over function

As important (and exciting!) as it is to put the specialized tools each channel can give you into action, don’t forget that there is a unified plan and message behind all of them. Every channel you operate through should feature inbound marketing at its best. Educate users with valuable content, rather than just pushing a sales pitch!

And, no matter what channel you’re working through, ask yourself: what do users need to be able to do here—place an order? learn something new? get on your mailing list?—and can they accomplish those things easily? Tools like closed-loop analytics, which measure which channels are most effective, which ones influence other channels and how, and which ones aren’t doing your company any favors, can help you figure out what strategies are working to convey your brand’s voice, and what can go the way of the dinosaurs.    

Having trouble getting started adapting your brand’s message to fit the channels it’s coming through? Your virtual marketing department at SocialLink can help.

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