A consumer's perception of a brand has always been shaped by what others say about the business. However, thanks to the widespread adoption of social media and the growing number of online review sites, today's consumers are more exposed than ever to people's decisions about what to buy, wear, and like.
With the dramatic shift in the way that consumers in 2018 are digesting content, brands can no longer simply just promote themselves through traditional media outlets. Instead, you need to be creating branded content and using outlets such as social media to forge relationships directly with your target audience. By engaging with your audience in real-time online and serving them with value-added content that addresses their needs, you can position your brand as an industry hub and go-to resource.
The 4 C's of Modern Day Branding
To be successful with branding in 2018 and beyond, you should view your business's social media activity as a leading source of value that you provide to your online audience. To do this effectively, you need to embrace the 4 C's of modern day branding: community, content, curation, and collaboration.
As you map out your social media marketing strategy for the coming year, here is how to incorporate the 4 C's of modern day branding into your game plan:
The term "crowdculture" is a buzzword that is often tossed around by digital marketers. Crowdculture refers to a passionate online audience that is eager to share their thoughts with others like them. Your business can gain a powerful competitive edge by cultivating a digital tribe on social media and using this community to spread the word about your business.
If you really want to create a community on social media for your brand, you need to take into account what your audience is interested and passionate about as it relates to your business. For example, if you own a bike shop, you could use social media to create a cycling club where bike enthusiasts could arrange weekly rides, participate in races, share valuable tips, and bond with others. By creating a sense of community surrounding your brand, you'll be able to build a loyal audience of brand evangelists.
Instead of creating content for the sake of content, have an underlying objective behind the content that you choose to share on social media. Use your unique value proposition as your guide when mapping out your social media content calendar. Which types of content does your target audience want to see from your business? How does your audience like to engage with content on social media? Keeping in mind that you want to use social media to foster a sense of community, look for opportunities to create content for your online audience to have conversations around.
We recently talked about curation and how to use this marketing tactic this holiday season to drive sales. However, curation is something that businesses need to incorporate into their branding strategies year-round to help personalize the customer experience.
More than ever, consumers value convenience, and curating a list of best selling products or a holiday gift guide that can easily be digested and shared on social media is very appealing to an online audience. When curation is done right, it allows brands to further leverage their loyal fanbase to increase awareness and spread the good word.
Look for opportunities to collaborate with other brands that your target audience is passionate about. Use social media to start a conversation with your online audience about products and services that they can't get enough of in addition to what you have to offer.
For example, IKEA recently partnered with streetwear brand Off-White in an effort to appeal to the Millennial generation that is using both brands to design their first home. This is an ideal collaboration because the target audience is able to benefit from affordable solutions from these like-minded brands, and both IKEA and Off-White are able to tap into a larger audience to increase brand awareness.
Understanding how to tackle the beast that is social media is a challenge for many businesses, but also a necessity for any business that wants to build a successful online presence. Embracing the 4 C's of modern day branding and incorporating these elements into your social media marketing strategy for the new year will help you to start 2019 on the right foot.
How New York Ave Can Help
Do you struggle with staying on top of the latest social media trends? Are you satisfied with the results that you're currently getting with your social media marketing efforts? If you answered no to either of these questions, we can help.
Our creative team at New York Ave is passionate about helping brands build personalized digital marketing strategies to make their businesses more memorable. Social media is a key component of any digital marketing strategy, and we have the experience and manpower to help you create and manage a social media presence that appeals to the demands of the modern day consumer.
Contact us at New York Ave to learn more about how we can help you strengthen your online branding in the age of social media.