The best and most innovative products don't win without great branding, advertising, and marketing. You cannot skip over these key elements if you are looking for long-term success. The problem is that plenty of new businesses have no idea where to begin when it comes to how to tighten down their brand, how to leverage influence, and how to use social advertising to achieve faster sell through and profitability.
Social Advertising versus Television: Pennies on the Dollar
Getting people to consume ads right now is cheaper and easier than it's ever been before. Facebook ads are about six times more effective than the old-school TV ads, and then you've captured their information and can retarget whoever the content touched. As Frank Kern, advertiser and branding expert, puts it, this is equivalent to getting a Super Bowl ad for next to nothing, cost wise, and then being able to retarget everyone who watched your ad all the way through. This is really a golden age of advertising meets data.
Is It Worth It?
Yes! This is such a common question. Followed by, "Do I really need this?" And again, yes. Refer to the first paragraph for a reminder that you cannot skip this key element, and you would be crazy to not take advantage of the reach any business can have on social platforms. But, before you jump on the ad wagon, you need to make sure your brand is tightened down, and your messaging is clear and cohesive.
Advertising Is Just A Thorough Demonstration
This is your chance at demonstrating to your audience that you know what you're talking about, that you have something amazing to offer, that you can solve a problem for them. A tightened down brand is just a brand that is 100% clear on:
- Who they are,
- what they offer...
- and why.
You can't just market and spin junk anymore. The margin for error is so slim, and word travels fast. So many startups are building websites before they've tested out every aspect of their product and this always spells trouble. Product unique selling feature first, right-fit brand second, and advertising third.
What Is Your Solution?
You have to demonstrate to someone how you can help them, in order to make the sale. We keep coming back to this. What problem can you solve? How is what you're offering useful? What value are you adding? If the answer isn't clear, you aren't ready yet. And if you aren't ready yet, and you make the jump online, regret won't be your only problem. Social platforms are unrelenting, unforgiving, and absolutely ready to point out any inconsistency or issue in your product or branding. They will love it or put it on blast, there seems to be no in-between anymore.
Now + Later
Value now plus value later is a great goal to set for yourself as you outline the first three to five years of your startup or your product line. These campaigns that burst on the scene, try to sell something cheap to the masses, and then disappear are on their way out. As social crowds awaken to this new kind of one and done campaign, they are talking more. Do your research, get your product perfect, brand and brand and brand- niche it out and clarify to the point you can't clarify anymore, and then you are ready to launch.
Expert Tip: People love homespun. Statistically, what we are seeing is that local, homemade, sells. iPhone shoots over studio time, for example, is giving the authenticity, opportunity to connect, and real-life element people are looking for now. The little guy (or girl) is the big thing now and you can leverage that for intentional growth.