The facts are simple: you can’t sell much until people know what it is that you’re selling. A product? A service? It’s a common misconception that you can blast ads and information all over social media and people will organically pick it up. You need to be highly methodical with who, what, where and when you are targeting your consumers. A deceptively simple concept, awareness is critical to your business goals but also one that can be glossed over with incorrect assumptions about your core demographic or the ease of understanding your product’s use.

Below we dig into awareness and create a checklist for things to look out for when creating the strategy you will use to enter into the public sphere, helping you avoid some common pitfalls along the way. Here are a few questions to ask yourself before you start spreading information and to ensure you get the most bang for your buck.

Who is your target market? Have you researched thoroughly to see if you’re missing a key demographic?

It’s easy to assume you know your target, let me guess, 18-35… but you might be missing some key consumers that are outliers, so be sure to find out who has the buying power.

What drives your consumers? What are they passionate about, and how can you attach your product to these passion points?

The consumer experience should drive your marketing strategy. If you build core features into a product experience consumers are more willing to integrate it into their daily habits and share information organically with their peers.

What is the key takeaway you want for consumers? Are you consistent in your messaging? Do you have a firm identity?

Dig deep into what you want people to know about your brand and how you want them to absorb it. Then, give them clear actions to take. You should always use a consistent tone with your potential consumers. It’s never cute when someone thinks you’re being serious but you’re being sarcastic.

Is your content robust enough to get noticed? Are you word vomiting, or are you giving them something memorable through videos/images?

If your product is detailed and requires a robust explanation, figure out how to give them snackable content to consume in pieces. Attention spans are short, so use your time wisely.

What social platforms do your consumers use? What is the engagement/outcome you’re looking for?

Potential consumers absorb and engage on different platforms in different ways. Avoid pushing information at your potential consumers, and instead work on engaging with them by providing information that is relevant to their lives. Again, this creates an opportunity for them to share organically.

Influencers are key to awareness, but are they the right influencers with the right followers? How are you engaging your influencers and creating an authentic partnership for long term results?

The influencer space may be the wild west of marketing, but I have yet to see a successful campaign with an influencer that doesn’t genuinely care about the product. With small businesses, we recommend focusing on micro-influencers that have a niche following who will use and love your product rather than a bigger name who just wants the cash.

There you have it, a jumping off point for a whole heck of a lot more decisions. We’ve given you the WHAT and WHY here, if you want to chat more about the HOW- let’s set up a discovery call and see if our insights and two phase approach are the secret sauce to keep your brand awareness more fire and less Fyre Festival.

Tips: Make Your Brand Stand Out at SXSW

Tips: Make Your Brand Stand Out at SXSW

The sun was shining last weekend in Austin for SXSW Interactive- whether it was actually hot or cold out depended on the day but as the saying goes, if you don’t like the weather in Texas, wait a minute. SXSW is an excellent way for brands to showcase their latest and greatest while incorporating some fun elements (we see you, baby goats at Viceland) and free schwag. After attending countless SXs, we thought it might be helpful to share some of our key take-aways and tips for success as more brands begin to enter the fray.

Don’t get lost in the clutter

SX has becoming a melting pot for brands to showcase the latest and greatest- there are a ton of activations to experience and it’s easy to get lost in the shuffle. There are some key factors to consider while creating your buildout to alleviate this common pain point and help you stand out.

  1. Differentiate yourself by creating authentic moments that enhance your brand. You can do this by being clear about your objective.THis is a chance for you to tell your brand’s story in an organic way, don’t fall into the hype of doing too much. It’s better to have one memorable moment than 5 “eh” ones  While building out your activation around your objective (sales, email capture, etc), develop clear branding and have a logical and immediate call to action. Develop clear signage with key takeaways so participants know what’s going on when you can’t greet them immediately.
  2. That being said- hire great talent. They WILL be the face of your brand. If they are excited about your product, it resonates so much more with visitors.
  3. We all want to reward guests for stopping by, but don’t get caught up in the schwag game. At an event where everyone is handing out schwag, make sure you develop memorable  takeaways that relate to your products

Have a little something for everybody

Not everyone who attends SXSW is a badge holder, and if your activation is limited exclusively to people with a badge, you’re missing out on a core demographic.

  1. Negotiate your activation smartly. When you’re working with a large property like SXSW, they have specific requirements to activate. Look out for your goals and your core consumer by making sure you get what you pay for and allowing access to everyone.
  2. Kitschy activations are fun, on this we can all agree, but make sure you’re extending your reach by creating shareable social moments and valuable content.
  3. SXSW has become a playground of places to pitch and get your hands on products- the problem is it’s also become a schwag branding war. People will walk with items that are useful or unique. Don’t overthink the schwag component and instead focus on creating memorable moments in your activation itself.

Be true to your brand

Now more than ever, buzzwords are everywhere- specifically those attached to movements. Attaching yourself to a meaningful movement is very important, but make sure it doesn’t come across as unauthentic or not thought out.  Make sure you ttach yourself to movements that tie back to your core values. If it doesn’t make sense or feel genuine, it won’t resonate and may actually hurt more than it helps.

  1. This year the women’s movement was heavily promoted, but we saw several activations where there was no tie-in or clear goal as to how you’re helping the movement. Find a balance between what your company does and what you’re preaching.

Now, about the word “experience”

Let’s be real here, despite our usage of the word experience several times in this blog post- it’s more than a hair overused. Everyone wants in on the experiential game, so you need to thoughtfully consider what that means to your brand before activating.

  1. Giving away free snacks is not an experience. Thanks for the turkey burger/fish taco/protein smoothie/etc, but that does not mean it’s an experience. . Keep up the free snacks- keep out the word experience.
  2. SXSW has become a playground of places to pitch and get your hands on new products- the problem is it’s also become a schwag branding war. People will walk with items that are useful or unique. Don’t overthink the schwag component and instead focus on creating memorable moments in your activation itself.
  3. With a clear message comes a clear name. Use your brand’s name in your experience and be straightforward in your lingo. The Fast Company Bar & Grill is a great example- you know exactly who the activation belongs to and exactly what to expect when you walk inside. Clarity is much more valuable than cleverness when competing with dozens of other activations.

It’s time to get prepared for SXSW 2019. Let us assist you in making sure your band stands out! –