Branding is a tricky practice. It’s multidisciplinary and all-encompassing. No wonder, then, that so many people misinterpret what brand engagement is really about.
Many digital-marketing campaigns run amok when they don't properly integrate their branding efforts. Here are seven misconceptions that cause trouble for digital marketers looking to engage consumers with their brand strategies.
1. A logo is enough.
Big brands became synonymous with their big, splashy logos. And ever since, most laypeople can’t differentiate a brand from what's really just packaging. To engage consumers, branding must be executed as a full discipline.
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Messaging, value proposition, differentiation, persona and organizational ethos are a few of the elements your branding should cohesively quantify. Only when consumers clearly can identify these aspects of a brand do they become open to engagement.
2. Social media is the best way to increase engagement.
Some people misconstrue engagement to mean direct consumer-to-organization communication. But this is only one component of true engagement. Focusing on such a narrow definition can lead a digital-marketing campaign to failure.
Social media is but one channel of connection. Studies show the best way to engage is through multi-channel efforts.
3. Go for loud, evocative and emotional.
It can get difficult to cut through the noise in today’s global marketplace. Competition among brands is no longer relegated to a zip code. This can lead to the poor conclusion that the only way to engage is to be splashy and bold.
More often than not, successful digital-marketing campaigns are the antithesis of this idea. They rely on sound metrics and carefully measured budgets. They place the consumer’s needs above their own. Being splashy risks those objectives by making it all about the brand’s need for attention.
4. No sales equals no engagement.
Sales are a significant brand-engagement metric. However, various other engagement aspects contribute to an organization’s understanding of its positioning. Some of these aspects can’t be readily quantified. For example, extraordinarily powerful word-of-mouth increases page hits and is a marker of great engagement. But good luck assigning it a ranking.
5. Only expensive, fancy ads drive engagement.
The biggest brand engagement-campaigns often appear in Adweek. These brands went out of their way to hire fancy agencies, and they achieved astronomical digital shares as a result.
Engagement can and should be a key factor of every aspect in a digital-marketing campaign. Valuable content and social-media activity can work to empower healthy engagement. So can engendering customer-to-customer activity, hosting chats and providing solutions to problems. Companies should develop processes to ensure exceptional customer service and invite users to share in a brand’s successes. They also should be honest about a brand’s failures.
6. Focusing on content marketing is the best way to increase engagement.
This is akin to the social-media misconception. Content marketing doesn’t solve every problem. Sometimes the best way to engage with consumers is to just say “hello.”
Content is great for delivering value, but it can be a circuitous way to engage. It's best to diversify your efforts and not rely solely on content to tell your brand's story.
7. Brand engagement is separate from the rest of a digital-marketing campaign.
At its heart, this is the central theme of all seven misconceptions. Brand engagement should involve everyone in an organization, including operations team members. Why? Because at the end of the day, engagement means your brand willingly is extending its hand to consumers.
True brand engagement is an open-door policy. Whether the doors are open to a brand’s products, people, ideas or material, it seeks interaction between consumers and some of its most valuable assets.