By: Lara Carvin & Taylor Harris
A company is what it creates, right?
At the very base that’s true, but what distinguishes one company from the next? Why buy my ink from one place as opposed to another? It is a marketer’s responsibility to “rise above the noise” and show customers what makes their company stand above the rest. It’s about telling a better story, getting people to listen and pay attention. This rang true for Taylor and me as content creators and people who are passionate about telling great stories. During the AMA conference, Content Is King, we listened to several professionals share their insights on how to be a successful marketer.
In the past marketers have been deciding between advertising B2B and B2C, but the smarter marketer knows that it’s really about, and always has been about, P2P – person to person. No matter if you are trying to connect to the local bakery owners, soccer moms, CEOs of the auto industry, or marathon runners, companies are comprised of people. The way to get to companies then is to appeal to the humanity, the emotions of these individuals. It can be accomplished by being funny, sincere, or exciting, and you don’t have to stick to one forever, but it’s important to discover how to tap into one of them.
To truly find a way to connect with an audience you first need to know what your company is at its core. Messaging will never be consistent or impactful if it’s unclear what you are offering your customer. To determine your mission you have to look beyond the base service or product you are selling. For example – Apple isn’t about selling computers; they are about selling a tech-savvy, modern lifestyle. Starbucks doesn’t sell coffee; they offer an everyday experience. Zappos doesn’t drop shoes on your front porch; they deliver happiness. Knowing what you are actually aiming to give to your customer is the essential first step.
Once you’ve unearthed the truth of your brand you have to then find the right way to share it with the world. Not only do you have to know exactly who your target is, you have to know where to find them. As the leaders of Big Wheel said, “it’s a rifle shot not a shotgun blast.” If your company sells trendy makeup then partnering with Instagram beauty bloggers could make more sense than buying billboard ads. And different content needs to be created for different avenues. A Facebook post should not be the same as a blog article or an Instagram Live stream, or an email campaign. You have to be flexible and if some approach isn’t working, you have to always be willing to change it up.
Building the brand for your company is not a task you can accomplish in a day, week, or even over six months. It’s a continual process. One that takes time, tweaking, working, measuring, reworking, and a bunch of creativity. Sharing who you are and what you can offer with your customers is about building trust, which takes some time. This is branding, not sales. This is the long game.