So your business is humming these days and you have a steady flow of customers and there’s regular money coming in. The word is out and you’re staying busy. That’s good, but it’s also very dangerous. Business owners can be a lot like college students who only get serious about praying right before the exam. They tend to forget about advertising until they are hurting for work. Unfortunately, that’s too late to capitalize on the forward momentum built by your ad campaign. When times are good, you need a different kind of ad. One that entertains and informs, but doesn’t necessarily attract or filter. One that says, “Hey, remember us? We’re still here and doing fine. Stop by and see us now and again.” You need a “We’ll leave the light on for you.” kind of campaign.
People need to hear your voice and your message regularly so that it becomes part of their world. The term for this is Branding. Now, advertising people tend to treat branding the same way that web design people treat SEO. They like for you to think that it’s some special kind of voodoo that only they can do. As a result, there are many different definitions for branding – and most of them are wrong. The true process of branding is very simple to explain. Branding occurs when you deliver a consistent message that connects personally with your audience, frequently enough to maintain or grow your market share. As an equation it would look like this: Consistent Message + Personal Connection x Adequate Frequency = Successful Branding
The Components of Successful Branding Ads
Start With Consistency Consistent message is exactly what it says. Strangely simple, it means always saying the same thing about your company – even when you’re tired of it. Settle on a simple message and put it on your website, your letterhead, your business cards, your truck, your clothing, your emails, your promotional items, your signage, your print ads, your web ads, and everywhere else you possibly can as often as you possibly can. And, most of all, resist the temptation to monkey with it! If it ain’t broke, kids, don’t fix it! You have to realize that you may see that message a hundred times a day, but everyone else only sees it in passing. They need to see it often enough to get it stuck in their heads. That means the more consistent you are, the more likely they are to see it. It also means that every time you change it, you’re starting over. Consistency is the first key to all successful branding campaigns.
Show Personal Connectivity Personal Connectivity is when you create a visceral connection between your audience and your company. You can use images, phrases, music, video, whatever communicates that you understand what it’s like to be them. The important thing is that it makes your audience feel emotionally connected to you and your mission. They should feel like their purchase, whatever the size, directly impacts your company’s success and makes the world a better place. The village children in the Christian Children’s Fund commercials, Sarah McLachlan’s sad and lonely pets,
Hallmark’s tear-jerking Christmas ads. These are all examples of consistent messages with high personal connectivity that make you feel. Remember, the body will only follow where the heart and mind have already been. Consistency isn’t enough. In order for Branding to work, you have to personally connect with your audience. You have to move them. They are used to filtering out media noise, so you must capture their heart before they will let you into their head.
Maintain Adequate Frequency Adequate frequency is a straight forward term with a relative meaning. That is to say that it depends upon a number of factors making it different for every company. What is adequate for McDonald’s is complete overkill for a local pharmacy. It’s one thing to convince a massive, multi-generational audience to buy a $5 combo meal from one of hundreds of locations with one on every street corner. It’s another to convince an elite audience to come to one location to buy a very expensive automobile. Each has it’s challenges. The point is that they are different, and that their branding efforts have to be different. The factors that determine Adequate Frequency are market size, desired market share, duration of the campaign, and the media employed. The number of variables and options involved in achieving Adequate Frequency, not to mention collection and analysis of the ongoing results, are what make the services of an advertising firm so helpful. Most of the time I prefer online advertising over traditional methods because it provides analytical data for every aspect of your campaign. Knowing how many times your ad has shown, who saw it, and what they did as a result is essential to judging adequate frequency.
Introducing Branding Ads There are many types of Branding Ads. Facebook ads, AdWords campaigns, email marketing, web video, regular print placement, radio, TV, billboards, even building signage, vehicle lettering, and apparel can all be effective branding ads. The possibilities are only limited by your imagination and your budget. The following chart gives you an idea of how these options compare with one another.
|Facebook Ads||Low||Moderate||Varies By $$$||Low|
|Adwords Campaigns||Low||Moderate||Varies By $$$||Low|
|Email Marketing||Low||Low||Varies by Effort||High|
|Web Video||Low||Moderate||Varies By SEO||High|
Important Things To Remember About Branding Ads
- Have an advertising professional help you craft a message that is powerful and effective.
- Deliver a Consistent Message – even when you’re tired of it.
- Be sure that your message contains an Personal Connection that makes people feel something.
- Deliver your message with Adequate Frequency to accomplish your branding goals.
- Have an advertising professional help you choose the best mix of media you can afford.
Learn The Secrets of Effective Ad Writing There’s a lot more to Branding Ads than this article can cover. So, if you want to know more about the different kinds of ads and how to create a well-balanced campaign, contact Two Creative Design Group today. We’ll help you discover your own unique blend of advertising to find and attract your target customers for years to come.