Get People to Love Your Brand
We’re sharing some great tips for increasing your brand’s impact online, along with some awesome local Maltese businesses that are doing everything right.
Align with your audience
The tone of your marketing message has to make sense with your audience. For example, a brand whose audience is part of a young demographic, say, youths aged 15 to 19, can take advantage of phrases in the zeitgeist. The same phrases would not make sense to an older demographic, and would make the brand look like they are trying too hard.
Let’s look at a bank. Sure, their audience is made up of many demographics. However, the serious nature of their business means that a serious tone is applicable. It would be dissonant to receive marketing messages from your bank in a wacky tone.
Avotaco is a local restaurant specialising in Mexican cuisine. They combined their usual mischievous tone with a topical subject: the daily health updates informing Malta about the ongoing COVID-19 situation. They produced a graphic mimicking the health update, but instead of the figures describing new cases and recoveries, they featured new tacos, total food comas, and number of leftovers (zero). This on-brand message had something of a viral effect as people shared the joke with their friends.
Get in the conversation
You can build up your brand as an industry expert by weighing in on relevant conversations online. Facebook groups are the best platform for this strategy, because Facebook is currently the most popular social media in the Maltese Islands. International brands also weigh in on Twitter, Reddit, and Linkedin using relevant or trending hashtags.
When Brexit caused chaos in the delivery of packages to Malta, introducing new tariffs and taxes, Maltapost was ready with an informative webpage to answer questions. They could have had greater impact and built brand equity by actually being present on those conversations with a quick answer and a link to the webpage.
A common question asked in Maltese Facebook groups is about what kind of countertop to choose for one’s kitchen. A supplier of countertops can really benefit from jumping in on the conversation, discussing the pros and cons of each option. The best way to do this is without any bias, intending to inform rather than sell. The ultimate win is when others tag your brand in conversations without prompting.
Show your voice
Once you’ve decided what tone to use with your audience, you need to be consistent by using it in all your communications. Whether you are communicating on social media, print, email, or in store – consistency is key.
Benna is Malta’s provider of fresh dairy products. Their branding is fun & perky, making use of bright colours and big shapes. Because a lot of their consumers are young, they often create games related to dairy products. Their merchandise, such as cooler bags which were given out as a promotion, carries their distinctive branding – making it stand out.
The Dr Juice food truck, complete with surfboard menus
Respond to feedback
You should always respond to feedback, be it positive or negative. Answering positive feedback shows that you care, you are highly responsive, and you pay attention to detail. Negative feedback is tricky – it can be tempting to ignore it in hopes that it will go away… but silence will make your audience think you just don’t care.
It’s quite common for businesses to face criticism on Facebook. Whether the criticism in justified or not, your response can be your saving grace. Sure, some people will just take a poor review at face value, but many will want to know the full picture – including your side of the story. A poor review with no response almost gives validation to the bad experience. However, when responding to poor feedback you must be gracious and not accusatory.
There are plenty of bad reviews of places to stay on Airbnb, but some hosts are so skilled at responding to criticism that they turn a bad review into an opportunity to show their professionalism.
Celebrate those who love what you do
A great way to understand how your audience interacts with your brand is by engaging with power users. Power users enjoy sharing what they like and don’t like about what you do – start conversations and build a relationship with them. They will guide you towards improvement. You never know – a power user might come up with a great idea you’d never think of!
This is exactly how New York Best, formerly a fast-food restaurant, made headlines in 2017. They uploaded a spoof image on Facebook turning the Last Supper by Da Vinci into a fast-food feast. A fan dared them to turn it into a billboard, and the rest is history! Sadly, the tongue-in-cheek advert didn’t last long as a group of disgruntled Maltese citizens peeled off the image within hours.
Part of the controversial Last Supper billboard
When your brand has superfans, you can leverage their enthusiasm for what you do. Superfans are great as brand ambassadors, because they have genuine love for your product. Of course, make sure to give them something in return.
Give something for free
This is a great way to get noticed by the right people. When you offer something for free, you can attract new and returning audience members. This is an opportunity to provide value and again position yourself as an industry expert.
Of course, what you offer must be something worthwhile that makes sense to your audience. Banks have started offering preliminary loan estimates, and fitness gurus offer workout programs online for free. In the digital marketing world, many have started sharing their expertise via highly-detailed, well-written ebooks. These are offered for free, but a user would have to share some information in order to download the free content. This way, the user gets the information they want, and the business gets some data on their audience.
Bring in a Complementary Partner
Why not partner with another local business? This strategy works if you offer complimentary products and services, for example a gym and a sportswear store, or a nail salon and a shoe shop. Have a think about a complementary partner that you could run a Valentine’s Day promotion with. It can result in the reach for both parties, win-win!
Your brand stands for something. Whether it is guided by a strong sense of fairness, sustainability, equality, style or something else – your messages have to strongly represent your mission. When you achieve this, you resonate with your audience. Get in touch with Norr and Echo to get started on a comprehensive strategy and marketing plan.