Today’s #RainyBrandingTuesday’s appointment is talking about branding in a different way. As they say in Spanish: ‘renovarse o morir‘. Just as I always repeat that branding permeates everything we do and everywhere we go, the same is for advertising. And in this sense, it’s innovative, creative advertising – the renovarse bit above – that combines with branding and makes you stand out.
Branding is finalised to ultimately make yourself known and visible – I know, I repeat this as a mantra now but that’s what everyone who’s running a business should be looking at achieving. Traditional means of advertising may work very well for you – it’s not unusual to see ads in magazines, esp. locally and esp. in specialised magazines, like The ITI Bulletin which is what a sector professional will naturally be more receptive to. And it’s fine! Stick to what works for you, if it does work and provides good ROI results. Still, with the advent of social media and ready-to-use apps, a wide range of possibilities is now at hands, even to give the usual channels a so-called stylish makeover.
So why not making the most of them?
The classic solutions we’ve always used and loved are now enhanced by new technology:
- Newsletters: the classic way to send marketing content to clients. All you need is to have them register or willfully give you their contact and – being careful to not inundate them! – you can reach a wide audience on a regular basis. Sexy content “sells” more so now with the help of applications that makes this more intuitive and user-friendly, life is much easier.
Resources: Mailchimp allows you to customize newsletter and messages and has a catchy, nice design too.
- Social media quotes and announcement notes: I like writing and I tend to be concise and to to the point, so micro storytelling is great for me. I do that in the form of short aphorisms or simple tips on what I do and my work. Or ideas and suggestions for clients and colleagues alike (you can find them under the hashtag #rainytips on Twitter or Instagram).
Resources: I love Notegraphy that lets you use fancy design to write your own phrase and share it on different platform; Paper, if you like drawing and have a tablet and a stylus; Phoster, to apply words and graphics onto photos to create nice photo-posters; Over, provides a tool to write over images with a selection of fonts and colours. And these are only some (iPhone).
- Event promotion sites: if you organize events or conferences, advertising and ticket sale is easily done online now.
Resources: Eventbrite – a platform that connects to PayPal and has a wide range of functions for organizers and participants alike. There’s an app too to download your ticket and show it in e-format at events. With Lanyrd you can discover all conferences in your area, so it’s a useful little tool to bear in mind.
- Customised e-brochures or presentations: they are the e-version of printed material. I personally try to not print on paper anymore and use my tablet to carry all these with me so why not providing your existing and potential clients with a practical e-book, or PDF or e-brochure?
Resources: : you can use InDesign to create functional brochures but of course you will need to have the program and be familiar with it. You can always have the support of a professional if you’re ready to invest.Presentations can created and shared with Prezi or SlideShare, equally useful tools. Just create an account and go ahead.
- E-shops: Of course not everyone is willing or interested in selling something but gadgets – as you can see in my other entry on gadgets and customization – are a good way to catch attention.
- Alternative print material: you can make business cards, postcards or other small paper material with your logo or content on.
Resources: Moo is an affordable solution, with easy upload, longish times for delivery but with a good value for money and nice quality.
- Podcasts: if you feel comfortable talking and have something to say that can drive more clients or contacts your way, why not record a podcast?I’ve done that recently, with Tess Whitty on her Marketing Tips for Translators. Listen to my branding talk – it’s free and can be downloaded!
- videomaking/casting: screen casting is a fairly new thing but it’s not, after all. A screencast is a digital recording of computer screen output, also known as a video screen capture, often containing audio narration. The term screencast compares with the related term screenshot. Showing your clients how something’s is done may help them choose you over someone else. Tutorials are a simple way to show you know your stuff! Also, classic videos help you get known. People like storytelling (even though it’s easy to write but not to narrate) so one of the main key to going viral is sharing and tell something personal. Virgin’s CEO does just that in his blog. And as much as photos, videos are powerful tools to create engagement and establish personal closeness.
Resource: I’ve been using Camtasia but there are other good solutions like Screenr.com. Also check on SourceForge to see if you find anything. I’ve done this promo to advertise a series of video on how to create a successful business with Camtasia and then uploaded it online on Vimeo.
- Audio: good ol’ recording can always be effective. I recently updated my About.me page with audio samples of my voiceover work so potential clients can hear me and see what I sound like.
Resources: record audio with WavePad or Audacity and then publish on SoundCloud for instance.