Social media is forever changing; both in the way we use it and the evolving nature of the platforms available. It’s a great supportive tool for engaging your audience, but it should only ever be part of your marketing strategy. Now, more than ever, is the time to embrace alternative means of marketing your brand and communicating with your potential customers because there are so many different ways you can gain exposure and build awareness. Some of which you may find more enjoyable than Instagram!
The best strategies encompass multiple routes. The key is to identify those that give you access to your target audience AND allow you to feel confident and relevant when using them – there’s no point focusing on marketing strategies that you dislike or find frustrating as you just won’t use them effectively or consistently.
To help you out, I have put together 4 steps to marketing your brand outside social media:
STEP ONE: Define your audience
Every business has sub-categories of potential customers because people are attracted to your brand for multiple reasons. The first step to marketing your brand is you need to identify all those different reasons; to understand precisely why people want and need your product, and why they would specifically purchase from your brand. Essentially, this comes down to really knowing your brand values and assets.
STEP TWO: Tailoring your message
Curate your communication based on the knowledge of your audience to suit a) their reason for wanting or needing your product, b) their current knowledge of your brand, and c) the way in which they consume or use your products.
Then, consider how you can reach these multiple audiences in the real world, away from social media. Focus on connective interests, daily rituals, lifestyle and environment to seek alternative ways to engage.
FOR EXAMPLE: With client Juice HQ, who deliver nutritious cold pressed juices to customer’s doorsteps, we identified their audience could be broken down into three main categories, each using the products and service for slightly different reasons and with a varying understanding of the product’s benefits and the company’s ethos and service.
Therefore, each sub-audience demanded a slightly different message requiring specific, relevant route of delivery, resulting in a strategy of newsletters, collaborations and flyers to complement their on-going social media efforts. Together we created a plan that identified multiple different customer groups based on their brand values, and in the past 6 months they have attended eco-festivals, craft and design fairs and collaborated with relevant businesses, promoting their products, business and brand to strategically targeted suitable new customers to a great effect.
STEP THREE: Meet your audience
The next step to marketing your brand is to meet your audience in real life. Lockdown saw people glued to their phones, and online was everything, but now everything has shifted. People are enjoying and valuing actual experiences, so it’s vital, (and much easier) that you now get out into the world and meet your customers face-to-face. Be it at big national events such as trade shows, design fairs and exhibitions or via smaller, more niche ideas such as craft markets, pop-up shops and retail experiences.
With a careful research and thoughtful execution even the smallest of activities can reap rewards. On the most basic level being at an event allows you to advertise your brand and for people to see your products. Attending or hosting an event isn’t only about brand visibility, crucially meeting your customers allows you to learn more about them; to really chat with and engage your audience person to person.
Plus, demonstrating in person the benefits and physical attributes of your product, to be able to personally convey the passion and dedication you invest in your brand, and ultimately the true value of your product is the best way to build those brand relationships.
FOR EXAMPLE: Natural handmade soap brand Evergreen Soap Company was founded just prior to the pandemic, they had a clear idea of their brand values and knew their product was well received, and so they wanted to expand their audience base.
“It has been so great for us to get out there generally and meet old and new customers. It’s amazing how many people have already seen us / heard about us / bought our soap, so great to connect on a personal level.” Alastair, Evergreen Soap Company.
STEP FOUR: Get creative!
The final step to marketing your your brand outside social media is to get creative. There are many ways you can present your brand to target audiences without actually having to be there. Seek out opportunities to showcase your product, or display your logo, or demonstrate the benefits, the uses and values of your brand in a real and tangible way. Essentially, look for ways to get your audience and customers involved and experience your product, process or passion.
This could be as simple as offering a sample as a gift in a goodie bag or sharing space for a pop-up event. Or, perhaps there’s an opportunity to collaborate on content via photoshoots or articles for posters, websites and newsletters.
FOR EXAMPLE: A local music coach created a branded stand for air guitars right outside a venue that often held live music events – it was a cool, funny and memorable way to put their name in front of interested people. Joining forces with other businesses that already engage your target audience can also be effective if you look for ways that will promote shared values and interest or benefit the consumer.
Content will always be a fundamental part of your marketing and newsletters are a really powerful way to connect to your customers. Not only are they a direct route to people already familiar with your brand, but they allow you to sell to previous customers, making it easy for fans of your products to buy again and again.
Social media will always be a useful tool for marketing your brand and communicating with your audience, but it should be used in conjunction with other channels that you control and bring you direct contact with the people that buy your products. Your marketing needs to get people looking, thinking and remembering your brand and the more formats you use to do that, the better your outreach will be, the better your customer relationships will be and ultimately, the better your sales will be.
Written by: Aimee Stammers
Aimee is a PR and marketing expert who specialises in brand storytelling. She helps brands to build brand awareness through bespoke strategy plans.
Website: aimeestammers.com | IG: @aimeestammers
Inside our KNOWLEDGE SHARE membership we delve into specific ideas for marketing your brand and communicating your brand’s message, giving you the tools, templates and processes which you can apply in your business straightaway. If you want to find out about it more, please click or tap here.