Long before people actually take out their wallets to buy something, they begin making their purchase decision. Through exposure to social media and mass media they become familiar with products and services that are consistent with their identity and lifestyle.
For example, someone interested in purchasing a motorcycle will become aware of brands like Kawasaki, Harley-Davidson, Suzuki and Yamaha. They will, over time, begin to choose the brand that is most consistent with their requirements. When it is time to buy a bike, their choice will not be from the whole range of possible motorcycles, but from the one or two brands they’ve come to like best.
Until recently, only large businesses were thought to have the collateral required to participate in brand advertising which promotes products and services long before a purchase is contemplated. Compelling viral media, carried through social media tools like Twitter, Facebook, Linked-In and Google Plus make it possible, to reach millions with brand messages that are widely shared.
Creating branded content, including ebooks, podcasts and video, that effectively sell a company’s products and services requires an indepth understanding of their target market and the channels they use to communicate. The cost of creating this content is less than creating and broadcasting content vira mass media. Making this investment can generate sales for months or years to come.
Even startups and small businesses can use brand marketing techniques to define their offerings to their target markets. If you are not currently creating viral marketing materials of interest to your target market, now is a good time to begin.