Time to engage: Promote enquiry through powerful brand activation

25/11/2020
Michael Farish — CEO & Founder of Design Motive

You’ve established your positioning and value proposition to create a strong brand identity. But there’s more work to be done. Now you need to activate and unlock the true value of your brand – you must build awareness and promote enquiry before converting prospects…

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I had an interesting conversation with a prospect the other evening. And it got me thinking. 

The ground we covered in that 30-minute call reflects much of the sentiment I’m sensing across the wider industry at the moment. The gist is this: businesses know they need to engage their audiences – but they don’t know how to accomplish that.

The prospect I spoke to last week got in touch because she loves the idea of our Brand SprintTM. She fully appreciates the potential value that it can deliver, she told me, and her team really buys into the process and our approach, in particular. 

Great!

But there’s one problem: they’ve actually just worked through a brand refresh already. 

Oh, okay…

So, what else can they do? 

Well, how about unlocking the true value of the brand?

Harness the potential – and then unleash it

Many other business leaders are in the same boat as this particular prospect. I’m increasingly hearing that they’ve recently re-organised their messaging and value proposition – often to meet the demands of a more fluid market. In some cases, they may even have refreshed their brand identity. But now they’re wondering what they need to do to see the return on that investment.

“What’s the next step?”, they ask me. What should we now do with our shiny new brand? It looks great, but no-one actually knowsabout it…

The solution lies in full-on brand activation.

The idea of a Brand Sprint is all about getting out of the blocks as quickly and as effectively as possible. But once you’ve created a strong brand identity, you need to release that potential and go on to win the race.

To help companies and organisations achieve this, we unleash the second stage of our Brand SlingshotTM concept. 

Having put the effort into all the initial positioning – all the strategy and brand creation work – now’s the time to build awareness, promote enquiries and convert prospects. To really activate your brand.

The importance of brand activation 

You’ve invested time, effort and money in building up and harnessing the energy and potential of your brand. Now you need to let it loose. And watch it fly. That’s the slingshot effect in action.

Brand activation spans everything from planning and managing to providing support for multi-channel implementation. With the right expertise to guide you, you can quickly orchestrate an optimally cost-effective and impactful roll-out strategy for introducing your new brand to the market.

You’ll discover how best to engage with your internal audience to bring the brand to life in exciting, inspiring ways that make your team members want to be an active part of making it all happen.

You’ll also understand how to engage external audiences on an intellectual and functional, as well as the all-important emotional, level. This will help you devise, develop and launch an eye-catching awareness campaign that broadens the reach of your new brand and communicates its attributes in a positive and powerful way.

Bring these two elements together, and you’ll soon be turning suspects into prospects into customers into advocates, increasing awareness and response, and realising the rewards of sustainable growth.

The need to generate real audience engagement

It’s the follow-through of brand activation that allows all of the amazing power that you’ve built up in creating your brand to be released into your market in a way that creates tremendous ongoing value. 

But how do you get started with creating real, tangible engagement to encourage people to enquire about your product or service? You need to get your brand out into the market in an effective way.

You can’t rely on ineffectual search engine optimisation though. Because that simply doesn’t work any more. You can’t rely on organic search either. Yes, you might be found, but that should be treated as a bonus.

What are your options then? You’re not alone in wondering what the best approach might be.

5 key questions that businesses are increasingly asking:

  1. How do we tell people that we exist? 
  2. How do we engage with our target market? 
  3. How do we get people to visit our website? 
  4. How do we actually promote enquiries from prospects?
  5. Ultimately, how do we drive conversions and sales?

These are all good questions. And all are highly relevant in markets in which consumer behaviours are currently evolving so very rapidly. 

So how can you actually be proactive about getting people to your website and making an enquiry?

The most efficient way of doing that is through online and social marketing. Why? Because these routes are demographically targeted and also intelligent, in terms of learning to optimise where your market actually is and refining those demographic targets for you. 

Once you’ve found your sweet spot, you turn on the taps and flood it with budget. And you do this until you reach the tipping point where, despite putting more money in, you don’t see any corresponding traffic or clickthrough increase. Sounds simple, doesn’t it?

A combination of strategic and tactical communication

It will differ slightly depending on your industry and specific requirements, but the principle remains the same. If you can optimise Google Ads and Facebook advertising (primarily through Instagram), you can drive a significant clickthrough rate that’s totally measurable – and scalable. Because once you’ve identified your targets, you can turn on the taps and get that flood of enquiries you were previously missing. 

In terms of lead and traffic generation, this is absolutely the way to go.

The other element to leverage is LinkedIn, of course. Although, again, this will depend on the sector you operate within. LinkedIn is naturally more of a thought leadership and brand opinion channel – an ideal lever to control when it comes to general brand awareness and point of view. It’s more strategic compared with the inherently tactical options offered by Google and Instagram. 

Bear in mind though that blending strategic message presentation and opinion combined with tactical acceleration through complementary social channels can create a perfect storm in terms of enquiry and traffic. 

Promoting enquiry is an essential step in encouraging purchase 

Whichever channels you use, you need to create marketing content and compelling brand messaging that excites, engages and inspires your target audience to get involved and learn more about your business.

Everything you put out there must drive people to do one of two things: either visit your website or pick up the phone to get in touch in person.

Because only through promoting that active enquiry about your product or service in the first place can you entertain the idea of taking the final step – picking up a new lead and effectively converting it into a tangible and rewarding sale.

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