When it comes to reaching your audience, the days of having them come by the store are long gone. There are endless amounts of touch points between you and your audience: store, flyers, business cards, website, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, apps, commercials, YouTube ads, sidebar ads, Facebook ads, etc. Cross platform branding is key to helping your church, ministry or non-profit have a cohesive and professional look. To help with all of the potential confusion, here are a few helpful tips to stay cohesive, accurate, and effective marketing across multiple platforms.
1.) remember who you are and who you are not
By this point, you should have already established your brand (which, as you know is more than just your logo. If you don’t know what your brand actually is - check out Branding Beyond the Logo. Don’t try to be all things to all people. You will lose your brand and it will be hard for people to follow who you actually are. Once you've etablished your brand; you’ve found your look, feel, language, and promose - so use it.
2.) use common visual elements
Now that you've got it, use the same look. Here is how to do it in a way so people don't become burnt out on it: find elements that symbolize you and use them over and over again.
Example: Together 2016 is an event being held at the Washington Monument which focuses on “see[ing] one million people stand together for Jesus at the National Mall.” Because they are wanting a large movement, they branded themselves as a large scale, epic event using lots of hype. They went with black and white photos (which tends to make things more epic and notable) and graphics overlayed with a blue to red gradient (adding the patriotic insignia). Watch to see how they used these images and those two simple things to create a unified look so that everything feels together even though it's not all the same.
3.) Repeat yourself
Use your words, then use them again. Remember: repetition aids learning. Marketing your church or non-profit using repetition of words is vital. Just like with your visual cues, you want to use the same terminology with your audience so they keep recognizing your brand. “You’ve got questions, we’ve got answers.” was RadioShack®’s slogan for years. Beyond just the slogan, Radio shack as very professional informative organization. You would never hear “dude!” out of one of their mouths. From their fliers to their tweets to their in-store conversations they are professional and informative.
Find sayings or catch phrases that work for you and express your heart, then use them across the gamut of platforms. People will begin to give you credit for words that you don’t own because you linked those words to yourself. Ex: If someone asks about their outfit and you say “I’m lovin’ it!” then you automatically have the McDonald’s jingle going off in your head. They've made the connection by repetition.
4.) Be Platform Specific
Each platform has a different user and a different experience. People don’t get on your website for the same reason they do Facebook. They also don’t want the same thing from your business card that they do a radio ad. Imagine it this way, you are the same person but you will talk to someone differently if you just met them at a conference, they are running to catch the bus, or they are sitting in your living room after dinner.
Let’s give a quick breakdown each channel and what your end goal is:
Your website should start with a general introduction of who or what you do. It tells about you, your background, your vision, has a call to action (Contact Us or Buy Now), and a lot of information in between that they can read when/if they want to. This is their place of truth where they will come to for certainties. If they saw it on someone's social media or heard about you on the street - they are coming here to know all about you. It should also be a mobile responsive website so people continue to interact with your brand without frustration.
Engagement and awareness. Social media is great if you are willing to invest in this…and you should be. People are still Googling for car mechanics and asking SIRI for directions, but social causes and group gatherings are done through social media accounts. Your website is great to give them information, but the engagement is going to happen through tagging friends, common hashtags, uploading photos, and sharing posts. This is how you will grow your following and keep engaging with them, but you need to be active.
Since most people are streaming their shows, watching YouTube videos, and reading news articles on the internet, you can use YouTube ads, Facebook ads, and a remarketing campaign to easily put yourself in front of your audience without having to constantly create new content with for social media. You are re-using some content to continually remind your audience of your brand (who you are and what you’ve promised to them) and that you are around.
Since everything is going digital now, is there any reason to have things printed? YES! A person in a city see’s upwards of 5,000 ads per day. That’s a lot of messages screaming at them, but if they have your card in their wallet - that message will come back 2 days or 2 weeks later as they are going through their wallet. Give them something to hold onto. Focus on short specific information that will entice them to get more information. Always have your website, social media links, and hashtags on your printed material which gives them an opportunity to engage with you and join your cause.
5.) DON'T TRY TO HIT A HOME RUN ON EVERY PLATFORM
Relax. Rome wasn’t built in a day. Know where you’re audience is, then go there and reach them. If you never see them, don’t worry about having a large print inventory. If they are over 55, social media won’t be your main focus. Narrow your efforts.
Example: LiveStrong™ is the organization that started the rubber bracelet trend. One bracelet was one dollar and that went to support cancer research. Since then they’ve continued to grow and are living loud and going strong after cancer. They use high contrasted photos (as many sports/athletic brands do) then implement a strip or block of yellow with a large clear sanserif font to pull people back to their memorable LiveStrong™ bracelets. They are doing great! On twitter, they have more than a million followers. On Instagram, they have less than 7,000. Their focus is on inspirational one liners, new news, and re-tweeting others stories. They've focused on where their audience is and are dominating it.
6.) have fun
Marketing may not be easy or fun for you. The different platforms may be scary because you have no idea how to do it or what's what. Enjoy the process. Don't forget that the whole reason you're doing it is because you're burning with passion and ideas and want to gather more towards your cause. Enjoy the interactions as you go.
So let's boil it all down to something you can walk away with. Think consistency. You've worked hard to define your brand so continue to use it through words, phrases, pictures, and design elements. Think about how you can craft it for the platforms where your audience is. Don't feel bad if you're not hitting them all, enjoy where they are and don't forget to have fun with them. Remember the joy and share your passions.
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