Whether your marketing campaign strategy is aimed at generating more site visitors, building your subscriber base, or selling a certain amount of products, they all have one thing in common:
All marketing campaigns are – to some extent – brand awareness campaigns.
Even when you have other goals in mind, brand development should always be one of them. Because when customers connect with brands, they don’t just visit, subscribe, or purchase once – they keep coming back. The best campaigns don’t just sell customers on your products – they sell them on your company.
Why brand identity matters for marketing campaigns
Let’s start with some basics. Why bother bringing your brand identity into your digital marketing campaigns?
For starters, brand awareness builds trust. If you want to get statistical with it, 60% of consumers are more likely to buy new products from brands they’re already familiar with. But how do you build familiarity with your brand? One word: repetition.
The more of your brand elements you can consistently weave into your marketing plans, the more likely your customers are to remember you – and repurchase from you.
What is brand identity?
A brand isn’t a logo or a color scheme – it’s the way the world sees your business. It’s just as much the creation of your customers as it the creation of your marketing.
Brand identity, on the other hand, covers all the tangible elements of your brand – from logos, fonts, colors, shapes, and imagery, to advertising style, voice, and messaging. While brand identity is mostly visual, those visual components should complement your company’s core message and beliefs.
Building brand recognition through brand repetition
Let’s start with some hard facts. Brand recognition is directly related to how often your audience is exposed to your visual and verbal brand elements. While the exact effective frequency for brand exposure is up for debate, most marketers agree that more is better. And considering that brand recall falls 50% in the first 24 hours after seeing an ad, you’ll want to be sure that elements of your brand identity repeat in every part of your marketing campaigns.
Alright, enough about advertising psychology. Let’s get into the nuts and bolts of planning a brand-first digital marketing campaign.
Planning a digital campaign starts with your customers
Like creating a brand identity, creating a campaign starts with considering your customers. You can’t please everyone, so only try to please the people that matter most – your customers.
When you were developing your brand components, you likely considered several traits about your customers.
- How old they are;
- Where they live;
- What their lifestyle looks like;
- What they value;
- What motivates them;
- What drives them away.
If you really want to connect with customers, all the traits that went into building your brand elements should go into building marketing campaigns.
Keeping your audience (and their perception of your brand) in mind as you start planning your campaign strategy will help you choose messages and mediums that resonate with them best.
Ground your campaign ideas in your brand identity guidelines
It’s easy to get carried away in a fruitful brainstorm or thought shower, so make sure you’re balancing creativity with consistency to ensure your brand stays top of mind.
Start brainstorming campaign ideas with your brand guidelines in hand. Use your logo, colors, imagery, fonts, and voice to direct your creativity. And this applies to everything from your website and social media properties, to your ad copy and sales collateral. Aside from making the task of producing campaign ideas out of thin air less daunting, this also helps your creativity stay focused.
While it might sound a bit boring to repeat the same core concepts, brand awareness isn’t about excitement. It’s about consistency. Remember, even if you see the same components of your brand every day, your customers don’t. With the right approach, your brand guidelines can become the foundation for more creative marketing campaign ideas than you’ll ever need.
Choosing the right team and resources to execute the plan
Larger companies have their choice of designers, copywriters, digital marketers, SEO experts, and more when creating a marketing campaign. But small businesses can still create great campaigns.
In fact, because their teams aren’t as big, small businesses can have an easier time staying true to their brand identity. The more resources and people involved, the easier it is to stray from your brand.
When you’re choosing your team, make sure everyone is fully familiar with your brand guidelines before they start working. After all, it’s hard to create a campaign that boosts brand identity when you’re not entirely sure what that brand identity is.
Bringing brand identity into your marketing goals
Most marketing campaign goals are all about numbers – from revenue to subscribers, attendees, and page views. While creating concrete metrics to measure campaign success is an important part of seeing what works in your marketing, you can’t judge success just by the numbers.
Aside from which customer actions you want to encourage, think about which elements of your brand you want to emphasize as well.
- Which of your brand’s core messages do you want to push?
- What elements of your brand identity does this campaign feature?
- How does this campaign contribute to your overall brand development?
A campaign that meets revenue or attendance goals might be a short term success, but building a business is a long-term process. Sacrificing brand identity for the sake of quick wins can come back to bite your business later on. To succeed in the long run, you need to be continually committed to building your brand in every campaign.
Even if they aren’t as tangible in the short term, brand goals will eventually pay off with results in brand awareness and loyalty – to turn one-off customers into life-long customers.
Choosing the best marketing channel
Every good marketing campaign starts and ends with your customers. Who you’re trying to reach needs to be the main deciding factor for which channels you choose to distribute your campaign on. Think of it this way, there’s no point in marketing to people who have no interest in your brand. But when you’re deciding on the best channels for your marketing campaign, you should also consider whether a channel makes sense for your brand identity.
Aside from being the medium with which you reach your customers, the channels you choose for your marketing campaign will send their own message. Whether those messages are aligned with the ones you’re looking to send with your brand – think traditional versus modern, accessible versus elite – will further narrow down your channel choice.
The more you can align your audience, medium, and message, the better your campaign can support your brand identity and build brand loyalty.
Image source: Szabo Viktor