Invest Long-Term in Your Brand

Anyone running a business knows how tight money is. Every brand decision has to be analyzed, looked at and weighed.

  • Risk versus reward
  • Long-term versus Short-term
  • Immediate need versus “Are you serious? We have bigger things to worry about”.

Marketing is no different.  We have all heard about the 3 dreaded letters – ROI.  Let’s leave that for another discussion on another day.  Today, we are talking about investing in the future of your brand and how to maximize the long-term effectiveness of your marketing dollars.

photo: Craig Pearce

I am not anti-paid media. Any solid media plan and marketing strategy should include a mix of traditional and “newer” media. However, I do think that traditional paid media is under attack and for good reason. Traditional media tactics are very successful, usually for the ones creating or selling the media. If you are a big brand, with huge marketing budgets that have enough to spread around to every type of media from TV, Radio, Print, etc, then keep on spending!

Do you stay awake at night wondering if your target audience saw or heard your advertising message?

If you are a small business or one that has a modest marketing budget to work with, I suggest you look hard at investing in digital. One of my favorite arguments for digital is that your investment can pay dividends months if not years down the line.  When you run a print ad in a newspaper, where do those ad dollars go after the day that ad runs? What about after that radio spot runs its rotation and the media buy expires?

It’s all about Search Engines

With an optimized website, blogging and social media engagement you have the ability to reap the rewards of your time and investment well after the day that content is shared with on the web. Thanks in part to search engines such as Google and Bing, your content can and will be found for those looking for what it is you are selling, promoting or talking about. Understand that I am not over simplifying this process. It requires what I call sweat equity, strategy and a strong digital foundation.

Make Yourself Search-able

5 steps to get you started:

  1. Build an SEO friendly, optimized website. I am a fan of WordPress myself. Stay Away from Flash! – it’s bad for search and it’s not mobile friendly.
  2. Use Google’s resources; Google Ad Words, Google Alerts, Google Analytics and even Google+. Go ahead and play in Google’s sand box, you will be rewarded with better search results.
  3. Be Targeted and Consistent with your content, use key words consistently to tie together your content and website.
  4. Start a Blog to help your customers understand who you are, what you do and how they can benefit as a customer.
  5. Get active in Social – set-up profiles to build RELATIONSHIPS with your audience.

Bonus: Read this helpful post about Bare Minimum SEO: 3 Things You Must Do

Analyze and Adjust

One of the things that I love best about marketing by way of new media is that you have the opportunity to adjust and evolve. This is the real beauty of the social web and digital media. Brands are living, breathing things and like all living things brands need to continue to grow. Sometimes that means changing how they communicate.  Unlike that TV spot or that billboard, it is much easier to edit and tweak digital content.

Create Your Own Content

Yes, creating your own content takes time, but so does coming up with your next advertising campaign. When brands create their own content, they provide the PR message for Sociable Butterflies, Brand Ambassadors and Loyal Fans to share to their audience as Brand Influencers. This is what the new marketing machine looks like. Who better to talk on your behalf than your own loyal customer? This is about giving a brand a voice and letting that voice to share your story.

Today, consumers trust peer recommendations before they trust advertising. Have you ever searched for a brand or company to learn more about hem or see what people are saying about hem? You are not alone. This is the world we live in, so you might as well plan for the future.

If you haven’t already invested in a strong digital foundation, the time is now to get started.

How do you use the digital space for your brand? Please leave a comment below!

David Schwartz
David is a Brand Strategist focused on building relevant brands, while creating valuable consumer relationships to promote engagement. By utilizing the popularity of digital and mobile media, along with the social web he helps companies understand the power of controlling their content. David started his career working for MTV in New York, he then proceeded to Atlanta to work with the likes of Coca-Cola, Chick-fil-A and the Home Depot. From his time working with companies of all sizes he has learned that a strong brand is the key to long term success by turning customers into brand advocates. Now living in Nashville with his wife and two children, David works with companies of all sizes teaching and consulting on best practices for building a brand in the digital age.
David Schwartz
David Schwartz

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7 Comments on "Invest Long-Term in Your Brand"

SteamFeed - Social Media’s Spin on PR
2 years 5 months ago

[…] Resource: Invest Long-Term In Your Brand […]

2 years 6 months ago

Thanks Daniel. Today so many marketing directors are pressured into creating an instant success. The over-night phenomenon is rare. I'd rather stay on course by building momentum organically to build a brand for the long haul.

Daniel Hebert
2 years 6 months ago

Great post David!

Love the long-term perspective of this post. I have a feeling a lot of startups use quick fix marketing tactics that temporarily boost sales, but don't do much for the long-term aspect of the brand. Great tips in here!

2 years 6 months ago

True – ROI is incredibly important in the business world and one of the best ways to achieve it is via SEO and content – but it's also important that your brand be seen as "human" and trustworthy.

I especially liked your comment #5 under making yourself searchable: "Get active in Social – set-up profiles to build RELATIONSHIPS with your audience." It's one of my mantras as well!

Great post, David!

2 years 6 months ago

I love what you said about brand's needing to be human and trustworthy. That is one of the benefits for brand's that are active in social. It shows their human side and allows for the individual customer to interact with both big and small brands. And that, is just one of the advantages that socially active brands get back in return.

2 years 6 months ago

Love the 5 points David. Be searchable, and consistency are big in my book. So many people think that becoming noticed on the social space is easy. "I wrote my first blog last week and nothing has happened" LOL Great job David Thanks for sharing….

2 years 6 months ago

Thanks Gerry. The other piece of advise that I should add is patience. This the long-term investment.