Branded Advertising – How to Strategize and Analyze Your Brand
Businesses always find a way to promote their products and services, but they may lose sight of something much more important. They must have a clear path to what their business will become in the coming years. This is why they need branded advertising.
This helps companies leave a lasting impression on people, so they can rely on their continued support. Before they can do so, they must determine their brand identity and effectively promote it to their target audience. Fortunately, this article can help business owners apply this method.
Let’s start by discussing the definition of branding, marketing, and advertising. Then, we will talk about what branded marketing is and why it’s important even for small businesses. More importantly, we will discuss how you can apply this strategy to your business.
What sets apart branding, advertising, and marketing?
When you speak with ordinary people about promoting a business, they usually throw terms like marketing, advertising, and branding. You might even be doing the same.
After all, they seem interchangeable as you talk about ads and marketing strategies. Yet, business owners should know their differences.
That way, you’ll have a clear understanding of how you’ll organize your marketing strategies. Specifically, this will help you grasp what branded advertising is all about.
Branding refers to your company’s identity
Let’s begin by talking about what brands are. You probably could name at least five at the top of your head, such as Coca-Cola, Burger King, McDonald’s, Tesla, and Nike.
Those companies that you can remember succeeded in establishing their brands. They’ve launched several ads over the years, so now you can quickly recall them!
Brands help you find specific products and services, but they serve another purpose. Simply put, they introduce companies to customers and set them apart from their competitors.
Let’s take the famous sportswear brand Nike as an example. When you buy a new pair of Air Jordans, you look for that “Swoosh” logo. Ads feature that along with the “Just do it” slogan.
With this simple “checkmark”, people learn about what the business is all about. You get products that exude the initiative to achieve what you want, whether in sports or your exercise routine.
As a result, they begin to associate Nike products with the logo and what it represents. On the other hand, the “Swoosh” sets it apart from competitors. This happens in two ways:
- You can easily find Nike’s products just by looking for the Swoosh.
- It also informs target customers that they will get quality from the products that have the “checkmark” logo.
However, Nike had to perform branded advertising for years before it bolstered its brand identity. Later, we will talk about how you can establish your company’s brand.
Advertising involves people telling others about your company
Let’s now talk about advertising in general. As the title suggests, it involves getting other people to promote your company to a target demographic.
People tend to confuse marketing with advertising nowadays. Just remember that advertising is just one part of marketing. We will talk more about that later.
For now, let’s talk about how advertising worked before the internet. You needed other people to do it for you, specifically advertising agencies that will create your materials.
Here are the common advertising media back then:
- TV commercials
- Radio ads
- Direct mail
Let’s say you wanted to promote your company’s products on television. You will have to pay various professionals who will plan and create your commercials.
Even now, this method costs millions of dollars as you’ll have to pay for specialized equipment. You will also have to pay a huge sum of money to the TV network before they’ll feature your ads.
Nowadays, the internet is the most powerful medium for advertising, and it’s mostly free! Any company can launch a social media page without spending a dime.
A company may also choose to display ads on YouTube. This will bring more potential customers because people from around the world can watch it, unlike your local TV channels.
The best part is even regular people can create advertisements. If you’re skilled enough, you could design and create ads by yourself. You can produce video ads with widely available software programs like Adobe Premiere.
If other people do these for you, that counts as advertising. Otherwise, it’s marketing. Still, there’s another factor that sets marketing apart from advertising.
A marketing strategy focuses on your target audience
As mentioned above, marketing has so many other parts aside from advertising. Take a look at the following list for more information:
- Product development
- Market research
- Brand research
- Customer support
- Search engine optimization or SEO
- Public relations
- Event planning
- Community outreach
As you can see, these marketing activities require different skill sets. For example, customer support requires proper communication, so you can address customer concerns and complaints.
Meanwhile, search engine optimization requires little to no social interaction. Instead, it requires a person who can find the keywords that will help online content rank high on search engines.
More importantly, they have nothing to do with advertising. That’s why business owners should know the key differences that set apart marketing, advertising, and branding.
Why companies need branded advertising
Ads usually promote products and services. Those usually come and go, so you’ll also have to promote your brand in the long run. That’s what brand advertising is all about.
You’ll have to start by planning what your brand will be. This isn’t just about creating a logo. It’s also about knowing how you want people to see your business.
You will have to gather information to pull this off. This is when you’ll need to conduct brand research. Let’s look at how you can start this for your company:
How can I conduct brand research?
You can do this the old-fashioned way by asking people about your brand. See how many people know about it, then ask them what they think about your company.
If you have a startup, see how they view products and services that are similar to yours. This can be expensive, so you may want to publish your questions on an online survey site.
Workshops and focus groups
Marketing often targets a certain group of people, so you can do the same when planning a brand strategy. You could let them meet in a certain place, so you can ask them questions.
That’s where you could learn more about how they perceive your brand. After the event, you should gain insight into how you’ll shape your brand.
The people at your company should learn a thing or two about how people see your company. Perhaps they notice it in how customers talk about it, or clients may tell your employees directly.
Their comments could help you piece together the best brand for your company. Alternatively, they could point out things you should improve in your brand credibility.
How can I begin forming a branding strategy?
Once you have enough information, you can begin with branded advertising. You’ll find that it’s similar to crafting any marketing strategy since it starts with your goals.
Simply put, you have to know what you want branded advertising to do. As mentioned, it involves promoting your brand to a certain group of people.
In that case, what type of people do you want to reach? Think about the characteristics of these people, such as their ages, interests, and jobs.
Compile them into a “made-up person” called a buyer’s persona. This will make it easier for you to structure your brand advertising for your target demographic.
Use brand research
Do you remember the brand research you conducted earlier? Use that to see how you’ll direct your branding work. It can also show you how people perceive your company right now.
As mentioned, you could observe your loyal customers see how they behave with your products and services. You could also use it to study your competitors.
If you have an established branding right now, brand research shows you how to improve it. If you have a startup, then you’ll get an idea of how to form your brand.
We’ve tackled using surveys and control groups to conduct brand research. Yet, there are other ways you can do it. Let’s look at some examples:
- You may look at the current market conditions. Learn how its consumers behave and what their other features are. See how many companies you’re competing against. If they tend to use a certain marketing tactic, see how you’ll adapt to it.
- Find out what makes your product or service unique from the others, and look at its flaws too. That way, you can form your brand around them.
- People choose certain goods and services not just for their intended use. Sometimes, people want the sense of belonging or prestige that they provide. See if your brand’s offerings cause similar reactions, so you can use them for brand advertising.
How to apply your research
Let’s say you’ve gathered enough information. It’s time to put what you’ve learned into practice by choosing the right marketing strategies. Let’s say you want to promote people in their 20s.
You could start by creating your logo. It should be something that appeals to the younger crowd. Also, the logo must be easily recognizable and be an appropriate representation of your brand.
You will also have to plan the color schemes carefully. This might seem trivial, but you’ll apply that to parts of your brand advertising materials.
People should remember your color combinations, but don’t go overboard. Your brand should have at least two to three colors. Choose more and it may disorient people.
After that, pick the strategies that will suit your brand advertising. You will have to launch several types, so your overall campaign has a high chance of success:
- Video ads – Nowadays, people prefer to watch videos than any other form of online media. Specifically, they tend to view short-form videos, the 15-second clips often found on TikTok. You could try to break down your ads into such videos and post them on similar platforms.
- Social media marketing – All companies should have social media profiles, no matter how big or small they are. Incorporate your brand into your Facebook and Twitter pages properly by providing updates constantly. You will also need a social media assistant who could properly reach out to people for their comments and complaints.
- Influencer marketing – Regular people make a living nowadays by posting videos and other types of online content. They help attract more visitors to certain platforms, so they get paid in return. You could ask online personalities to do the same for your brand. Just make sure they suit your branding.
Set a budget
All this will involve a lot of spending, so you’ll need to prepare a budget. As mentioned, you can perform brand advertising with little to no money thanks to the internet.
If you want the best results, you’ll have to spend on additional methods. For example, you may want to use sponsored content by posting on other websites.
You can find websites that will let you do this for free. If you want a spot on the more well-known platforms, then you’ll have to prepare thousands of dollars.
Launch your campaign
You’ll need to have a marketing team ready. Choose its members wisely as they will be managing your brand advertising. Also, you’ll need to create advertising materials.
If you’ll use video ads, you’ll need people who know how to edit clips. For infographics and other images, you’ll need graphic artists working with your marketing team.
Monitor and adjust your campaign
Brand advertising requires your constant attention. It’s made up of different strategies, and each of them can encounter problems. You’ll have to be ready to fix them just in case.
Make sure you have the right business tools to monitor your campaign, such as Google Analytics. It can provide real-time updates, so you can respond as soon as possible.
You will also have to adjust your ad campaign in the long run. Due to several conditions, it may not remain as effective as it was before. Also, you may want to improve it too.
This can seem intimidating for small businesses, but they also need brand advertising. After all, no company wants to close just after a few years.
You want a brand that will stand the test of time. You want it to expand outside your first office and into other locations. More importantly, you want more people to support your goods and services.
Fortunately, LeadAdvisors can help you make this happen. Click here to see how this digital marketing agency can help your business grow and prosper.