Web is the new marketplace. Clothes, groceries, diapers, medicines, household goods, handmade paper, pizza, you name it, you get it. With social media taking the front seat, this is indeed the time to go ‘glocal’. For everyone launching a new product or service, budget has always been a concern. But above all is the dilemma of how to sell on social media. So here’s a quick checklist to follow (and repeat if needed) if you’re planning to build your brand and sell through social media.
It’s a new product and nobody knows about your business yet. So the first thing you need to do is to build the brand ethos around the product and identify your Target Group. It might not be very well defined at this early stage but you’ll surely get an idea of who are you talking to. Define a brand persona of your TG with the answers of the questionnaire below, identify a person (who is the closest match with this persona) whom you meet or interact with in your daily life, figure out his/her likes and dislikes and design your communication around him/her accordingly.
1. Describe your brand/product as a human being, its characters and attributes.
2. Out of all the emotional quotients (EQs), which 5 would you associate with your product? (like compassionate, understanding, thoughtful; you can come up with adjectives)
3. How did you arrive at these 5 EQs? (Give minimum 3 reasons)
4. What do you sell? (Apart from the product.)
5. How do you sell? (Don’t talk about the marketplace method. Talk about one unique thing you would do with others don’t or won’t.)
6. What your product/brand isn’t?
Once you have the TG defined, do a research on the colours, language and cues that your target audience will relate to and understand. This research would help you in getting your website or platform in place. Simultaneously, make a content roadmap of your website; topics you would want to cover or highlight, products you would want to up-sell and USP that you would want to highlight. The roadmap would be useful since you would know what exactly you would want to put up on Social Media and when. Also, it would help you build relevant content.
This phase is very important and critical since this is the first time your product will be seen, read and heard of on any media. Before the main launch, it’s always good to do a soft launch. Choose any two social media platforms where you think your user-base would be the most. Hard hit on those 2 platforms and make a clear communication of three things — who you are, what do you sell, and how do you sell. Remember, don’t spend anything at all on paid clicks yet. Hold on, study the insights and read the data carefully. Analyse the response of it — what’s the time the traffic was the highest on your platform, which post got the post number of views/likes, what was the content of the post and what kind of creatives are getting the most amount of shares.
All throughout your soft launch phase, remember to use only one emotional quotient of your brand (derived from the exercise of Point 1). For example, if you are an online medicine delivery platform and one of your key EQ is ‘trust’, you need to convey just that aspect. You should do more customer testimonials, talk about how will you assure on-time delivery and how your processes are in place so that nobody can misuse the drugs ordered. Basically, build the EQ ‘trust’ over time. Never confuse your TG with too many emotional quotients right at the beginning of his/her contact wit the product. So when your launch phase is over, you can do a quick research and find out what does your TG perceive your brand as. If the answer is ‘trustworthy’, you’ve done it right. If it’s not, you know where you’ve gone wrong.
Deciding how to convey the attributes of your brand is a very important part of online brand building. You should constantly sell, up-sell and re-sell yourself your particular EQ. For that, you need to keep talking about it. And how? In the form of small campaigns. You can see a sample campaign planner below.
Name of the Campaign:
Solution you’re providing:
Immediate response desired (from the target group):
Has your competitor done something similar?
How are you going to be different?
List down some thought starters.
Put up some links of creatives that really inspire you.
When you reach the campaign stage, you can choose to invest in marketing them. But just keep in mind that you should not spend a lot at this stage. Build your audience on social media platforms, target the mobile devices they would be using, the locations they’re mainly from and the age group that they primarily belong to. When you’re investing in marketing, it’s important to be very specific about the audience you plan to reach out to. This will help you in checking your ROI with the number of conversions or clicks on your platform.
Depending on the results of your ROI check, you can choose to improvise the group you’re targeting on social media, or work on the communication strategy that you’ve been using to talk about your brand, or re-manifest the strategy that you’ve used until now to build your product’s brand on social media.
This check list will ensure that you can build your brand in the initial phase of your business launch online without spending a bomb on marketing or a Brand and Marketing Advisor.