It’s the New Year, and like each year before it, 2017 brings new challenges. But we’re not talking about keeping your fitness goal or eating less donuts – we’re talking about what your brand needs to do in order to be heard in the increasingly deafening advertising landscape. As our friends from McCulloch+Company said in their guest blog, there is so much media out there – a new platform seems to pop up every day! As such, trying to establish a meaningful connection with your customers can seem a little overwhelming. Take these three factors into account, and with a little time and money investment, your brand can soar in 2017.
- Keep It Social – Social media has come a long way since the days of MySpace (remember that?). One of the biggest changes of the past year came in social algorithms: Facebook and Twitter now sort their users’ news feeds by relevance to the user rather than by when they were posted. This means that posts with more engagement are seen first by users, and less engaging posts might not be seen at all! To combat this, you might want to think about investing some budget in promoting your posts so that more users see and engage with them – doing so is becoming necessary, not optional. Establishing a consistent posting schedule and keeping an eye out for events and trends that relate to your brand help to make more engaging posts. Engagement is the name of the game now – it’s important to know which messages appeal to whom. Maybe your ad for Product A doesn’t appeal to Target B – they might love Product C… which Target D hates! The solution is to divide your target audience into segments, usually by their actions, preferences, and demographics. Then, with these segments in mind, develop unique messages for each audience – from differently worded Facebook ads to unique Google search landing pages. Catering to each segment individually means more specific targeting, which can lead to higher engagement. This is true for email campaigns as well.
- Going Into 2017? Bring Your Website – Now that most people prefer a Google search over the phone book (remember those!?), it’s increasingly important that your website shows up when people search for terms related to what you do. We know we’re a broken record on this, but it’s 2017 – your website needs to be in a content management system (CMS) so it’s always current, and it MUST be responsive. As of last year, 60% of all internet use is coming from mobile devices – and 40% of users will switch to a different site if their first result is not mobile-friendly.1 Consumers see responsive websites as a given now, and if your site does not display correctly on their mobile device, they just won’t use it! It’s as simple as that. In addition, Google pushes mobile-responsive sites closer to the beginning of their search results, and is beginning to penalize those sites that are NOT responsive.
- The Key is the Message – Your message is the most important component of your brand, so it’s a good idea to give it a look over in 2017. Have you added services or products recently that might change your message? Has your strategy or focus changed? If so, you may want to think about updating your tagline or messaging to reflect these changes. The message also has to be up-to-date with current trends; how does your target talk nowadays? What are their opinions and preferences? If it’s been a while since you’ve updated your brand look, the start of a new year is the perfect time to take a look the mirror!
2017 brings several new challenges, but it also brings plenty of new opportunities for growth. Try reevaluating your brand for the new year with these three factors in mind, and use them as a springboard to think about how your brand can improve over time. With any luck, these will be some New Year’s resolutions that you keep!