You’ve held your brainstorming session, you’ve researched your target market, and you’re ready to go. Now that you’ve come up with your brand’s key messages it’s time to think about the best distribution channels for them to use. After all, without giving some thought as to how your messages will be spread, there’s no point developing them in the first place. This article will act as a guide to help you work out the best way of getting those key points out there.
Advertising is a complex beast, but it’s the sort of task that’s pretty much essential for the vast majority of brands. Traditional advertising channels, like television slots for big brands and local newspaper slots for smaller businesses, are still available – although the decline in newspaper circulation is causing many brands to think twice about using that method. Internet advertising is the main focus these days. In some ways, it’s easier to take the online route: there are ad maker tools available online, so it’s not essential to hire a whole fleet of design professionals, and with targeted ad systems based on demographics and interest groups, reaching the right audience is easy.
Public relations is essentially the job of getting your message distributed for free in established media contexts, such as journalism. Often, PR is excellent for secondary brand messages: few journalists will want to publish a story all about your new product launch, although it does happen. Why not consider sending your CEO for a profile interview with a relevant publication, in which they can discuss strategic organisational priorities and other wide-ranging, relevant and interesting topics?
Word of mouth
Ultimately, however, there’s only so far public relations and advertising can take you. The main brand ambassadors for your business or organisation will always be people – and it’s important to make sure they’re happy with your service so that they’ll report positively on their experience. In some cases, this could be a customer, and recommendations delivered by friends and family are often considered to be some of the most powerful. So it might be worth focusing on encouraging those, perhaps through a discount or reward system for reviewers.
In other cases, your brand ambassadors could be your staff. The rise in use of sites such as employer review forum Glassdoor mean that workers can now provide information about their experience at a particular company or organisation at the touch of a button – so good workplace cultures, decent remuneration packages and other employee benefits are all worth investing in.
Getting your brand message out there is essential for any business or organisation. Whether your message is that you’re an affordable retailer, that you’re a niche product provider or that you do good works in the community, it’s important to get it noted through traditional channels like ads or PR. And it’s also important to invest properly in your people, whether that’s staff or customers. That way, you’ll be able to rely on others to do the most powerful marketing work of all.