How do you connect your brand with the right audiences – customers, prospects, employees, prospective employees, sales channel partners? Brand connectivity starts with a key driver: your brand’s story.
Whether start-up or an established organization, attention must be paid to the story you want to convey about your brand. That is really what marketing is all about – telling the right story to the right audiences in the right ways at the right times. And a brand’s story isn’t something to be decided in a meeting, printed on a memo, and then left to gather dust. Just like your company or product brand, it’s story is a living, changing, evolving entity. It must be nurtured, whether you have an in-house “evangelist” or you outsource that responsibility. Only once you have put the effort into beginning to craft the story of the brand should you focus on the tactics to connect it to your audiences.
Content goes hand in hand with public relations. Gone may be the day of issuing the periodic press release, but PR is certainly not dead. It is evolving. A brand’s story is conveyed not only through the content you create, but also through the news and information you share. And content encompasses quite a bit. It’s not just e-books, white papers, and infographics. Your website, blog, sales collateral, trade show graphics, etc. all reside under the umbrella of content. Even your internal employee relations documents are content. Ensure it all reflects the proper story elements.
And, speaking of sharing, social media may be the go-to option for sharing all your created and curated content. But, to really come to life, the brand story cannot be one-way. It is a conversation between and among your audiences. Use social channels adeptly to keep these conversations going.
Events provide an opportunity to connect in person with your audiences. There simply is no substitute for meeting others and sharing experiences face to face. Build a story, assemble & educate the proper brand ambassadors (storytellers), and host events to let them shine.
Education is of paramount importance for end users of technique sensitive dental products or disruptive dental technologies. So, too, is training and on-going education of salespeople and other customer-facing personnel in the delivery of the brand story. Fellow marketeers, we have to ensure that our “story marketing” is delivered uniformly through all channels (print, electronic, events), especially our primary storytellers – our sales teams. And, of course, use their feedback to evolve the story and the ways that it is taught.
And, lastly, is much and oft maligned advertising. Do not dismiss this medium. Advertising can be a valuable way to build brand awareness, summarize the highlights of your brand story to wide audiences, and draw attention to new chapters of your brand story. It can be an effective complement to the other tactics listed above.
Brand connectivity – engaging the right audiences with your brand – requires thinking about and executing marketing initiatives in a different way. It requires storytelling and continual augmentation of the brand story. The key tactics of brand connectivity – Content & PR, Social Media, Events, Education, and Advertising – must be created and curated in an integrated way. They must always be aligned with each other and the story, and as the brand story evolves, so must these elements. Execute correctly, and the leads and sales will follow. Execute brilliantly, and you’ll reap the additional reward of strong connections to your key audiences.
I look forward to seeing your brand’s story unfold. Thank you for reading.
As always Michael, a great post.
One thing to keep in mind is that none of this content integration is worth a hill of beans if the brand story is not rooted in reality and truth. You can only fool the marketplace so long – sometimes not at all. This is why market research and customer relations must be part of this brand connectivity continuum.
Of course, Mike, research, VOC, and “doing your homework” are a given. You don’t go to market with a product without establishing its validity and viability.
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