Communications and marketing managers often use content plans in different online media to convey messages and reach their audience. Indeed, every time the brand appears in any of these touchpoints, it will generate a specific perception in its audience that receives that impact, that is, its brand image will be built.

The main problem is not that these managers decide to invest a large part of their resources in building a brand by resorting to these online communication tactics, but that they leave aside the control of the coherence of the messages they are issuing at other touchpoints (omnichannel). And, what is worse, that they do not really have a coherent global strategy that guides them in how they should convey their essence and positioning.

Communication objectives that respond to brand strategies

Brands can define different communication (or marketing) objectives depending on the stage they are in:

1- Inform, generate brand awareness (that they know us) and that the audience adopts an attitude towards our identity (that they generate ideas about what we transmit).

Example: Netflix managed to reach a large number of audiences on social networks thanks to its #NarcosSpanishLessons campaign in which they used scenes from the series to explain how to use insults.

2- Generate behaviour in the audience and make them access our own media (web or physical store, social networks, event…)

Example: Campofrío carried out the “Children of Understanding” campaign where it showed real stories of Spanish couples who shared great differences and who, even so, maintained a close and lasting relationship. The audience viewed the stories on Campofrío’s YouTube channel, on its website hijosdelentendimiento.com and even went to the theater to enjoy the play directed by Daniel Sánchez Arévalo inspired by other real stories of the public who participated telling their stories during the campaign. All this, reinforcing once again the positioning of Campofrío and its interest in uniting and creating common links between Spaniards.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nfEgxZDzoDE

3- Generate the public’s behavior, that they are interested in our brand, provide us with their data or that they finally buy one of our products/services.

Example: Volvo (USA) turned to people who had survived a traffic accident to recommend, tell real testimonies and explain the characteristics of their cars, reaffirming and convincing customers to understand that safety is the most important thing in a vehicle. This action allowed visits to Volvo’s stand to increase by 60%, 3 out of 10 customers decided to do a test drive and several ended up at the dealership to get one.

4- Create loyalty and get fans to share and recommend their experiences with the brand to other people.

Example: Mahou has managed to position itself as one of the Madrid companies par excellence, being present at many of the cultural events that take place in the capital and we can see, in fact, how the audience does not skimp on sharing these experiences with the brand. It is enough to take a look at the images of the #mahoudrid hashtag on Instagram to understand this loyalty.

These short-term communication/marketing objectives, in short, are in turn the means to achieve our long-term brand strategies and objectives. If we look at the common patterns of the previously mentioned examples, we will discover that these brands have opted for these campaigns and these objectives but always keeping in mind their identity, positioning and global coherence:

1- Netflix manages to generate online notoriety with the #NarcosSpanishLessons campaign but reinforcing its fun and challenging attitude already seen in other campaigns.

2- Campofrío, with #HijosdelEntendimiento recreates a transmedia campaign (play, videos on Youtube…) with which it reinforces its mission to show Spain as a unique and special culture. Let us remember #HazteExtranjero, #ElCurrículumdeTodos…

3- Volvo maintains its main differentiator at the core of its message: safety.

4- Mahou delves into Madrid’s culture, feeds on it, contributes its grain of sand with each campaign and builds its brand image.

Explains advertising creative Toni Segarra in IPMark “There’s talent, but it’s very unfocused. Festivals are also to blame, as their goal is to remain as a business, even if what is awarded does not resemble reality. The long-term, the strategic, the value of the profession are not valued. It is penalized for a brand to continue doing the same thing and be consistent. The step taken by the CoC to judge ideas as a whole is important. At the very least, it’s going a little further.”

Content plan or brand plan? Acting aimlessly

The mistake you can make when investing in communication or marketing is to think of these goals and strategies as ends and not as means to build your brand.

You don’t need a content plan: you need a branding plan first. Knowing what identifies you, why you exist and then what to communicate and how to communicate it. How to get that message across for as long as possible and thus facilitate and achieve identification over time. But first, the message, the idea. Your essence, your positioning.

How do I reach more audiences (notoriety)? What kind of content do I offer my audience (relevance)? How can I motivate, build an attitude and build loyalty? All these questions should only be asked as long as we have answered the main question: Why do I exist? What am I offering that is relevant to my audience?

Brands that are built solely by investing in short-term communication campaigns end up acting aimlessly and falling into undifferentiation. In this way, we can see movie brands with the same promotions/contests, sunglasses blogs with the same recommendations for summer, Community Managers who only seem to know how to answer by resorting to humor with viral GIFS…

Brands, in short, that every year readapt their communication blinded by trends, best practices and selling their soul to tactics and media that end up turning their brand image into a real Frankenstein without identity.

 

Ruben Gonzalez-Roman Quignon

Brand Consultant at Branward®

Photos: Shutterstock