Yes, I know that I just finished going on and on about the shift away from traditional advertising and branding to a more direct and engaged approach through inbound Internet marketing. And I haven't changed my mind!
The point is, though, that although we are beginning to see an wider integration of internet marketing as a bulk part of our clients' marketing plans, there is still a very strong need not to abandon branding as a whole.
Even a client who is going to embark upon a campaign based solely upon the Internet still needs a brand, with a brand personality, voice, messaging and a unique set of emotions that it evokes.
There are a ton of Internet marketing specialists out there right now who know all the bells and whistles on how to get you in front of the right people, leverage social media, do SEO to the max, etc. But remember this one creed...do not abandon your brand. It is what makes you...you. That brand should still be apparent on your Facebook page, in your Tweets, in your blog posts, on your home page and your landing pages! There should still be something about all of those that threads them together into a unique brand package that is subconsciously apparent to your audience.
So while there are many self acclaimed "social media experts" out there, be sure to ask them about their background and to see some case studies. Few are also branding experts. It's so critical that anyone you hire marry both of those talents in some way shape or form.
And again, like I said, I don't believe that branding in the traditional sense is dead either. There are still clients for whom full page, glossy, color ads in consumer or trade magazines still make sense. Who need a television or an outdoor campaign. Or all of the above.
It's just important that your marketing plan make the most of all avenues available to reach potential clients. And now there are some new opportunities for reaching them. Which is cool. And it's more measurable than traditional branding. Which is even cooler.
And once your market is analyzed and the best potential medium identified, you can combine them all for a bang-up-killer marketing campaign with a much more diverse reach than ever before to brand yourself.
How cool is that?
by Tracy Marlowe