Over the course of 2017 we have brought you through the key elements in building a strong brand; strategy, creative and activation. If you focus on a developing a strong brand strategy and communicate your brand with a brand identity that reflects your brand, you will be able to tell the world who and what your brand is in how you activate your brand. If you spend time on these key areas this will ultimately drive your business growth. But now as the year draws to a close it’s time to look ahead to 2018. We have identified five key tips to help you capitalise on the exciting opportunities that lie ahead.
1.Develop Strategic Framework
Firstly develop a strategic framework. Start at the start and set out your brand objectives. Refer to the results of your audit which we covered in last month’s magazine. Get clarity on who you are as a company. Building a brand is not just about the customer or client, it is about all your stakeholders. For your marketing efforts to pay off you need to understand the value of your brand and why it’s a differentiator.
By 2018, an estimated 84% of communications will be visual. Key to this rise is video. It is expected that in 2018, 79% of internet traffic will be video content. Central to video content is live streaming. Live streams are viewed for three times longer than pre-recorded video. Views of video content on phones and tablets is expected to grow by 25% but will decline for the first time ever on desktop.
The average viewer is expected to watch 36 minutes of online video per day on a mobile device, as opposed to 19 minutes on a computer. While you may not have the budget to invest in a videographer there are ways and means around this. Get snap happy with your smartphone, practice recording content and avail of the many easy to use editing apps.
It’s easy to presume that with everyone connected on multiple platforms engagement is a given but this isn’t always the case. 2018 will see a focus on engagement, and not just the ‘follower’ kind. Customers want a more personalised and more meaningful experience from businesses. They want brands to understand them on a personal level. To truly engage with your customers and build brand loyalty listen to and engage with your customers across the multiple channels that they communicate with you. Ensure that you reflect the brand’s personality in all that you say. Key to listening and engagement is what you learn from this process. Show your customers that you’re listening by taking their feedback on board and taking action.
We’ve all become familiar with the term influencers and most of us are one of the millions of people around the world who follow some of the most popular social media influencers. But 2018 will see the micro influencer take center stage. Micro Influencers are those who have followers of between 1,000 and 100,000 followers.
They are four times more likely to get a comment on a post than macro influencers who have much, much larger audiences. They also have more loyal followers and tend to post about more specific topics. Remember 90% of consumers trust recommendations from their peers with just 33% trusting ads. Who are your micro influencers?
Brand Experience will continue to be key to setting your brand apart from others in 2018. Take your brand experience to a level beyond the interior, bring your brand to life. Think brand activations, think storytelling through experience and never stop thinking of how you can revolutionise your brand. Do this online but please don’t forgot the power of face to face interaction. Combine both. For example, create an experiential event that embraces technology, the physical space and humans!
Come the New Year we will all be full of good intentions. But remember to analyse how each of these are working for you. Time and time again we see companies invest in their brand but they don’t analyse what happens after. If you undergo a brand review, invest in rebranding or develop your brand, then take the opportunity to constantly check in with what is working and what is not working. Know what to keep doing and know what to change and most importantly know why you are doing it. Branding is fundamental to the growth of your business. After all your brand is your business.
Article by: Sandra Horan
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