(VIDEO) It’s Time to Launch Your National Brand. Here’s What You Need to Do. September 18, 2019 Ready to go national? We’ve been waiting for you to say that. Not because we’re psychics or anything, although that would be pretty helpful for our line of work. No, we’ve been waiting because we’re so incredibly excited about how straightforward national launches are in the age of digital marketing that we’re about to burst. Literally, we almost told the guy in the elevator this morning (okay, not literally, but there would be much enthusiasm if asked). Digital marketing was made for national brands. These are the kinds of campaigns we live for. Alright, enough elation, let’s talk about about how to launch a national brand with digital marketing. Launching a National Brand Tip #1: Use Digital Marketing Okay, okay, we gave this one away already but it’s so so important that it deserves repeating. Digital marketing was made for national brands. The era of the internet opened up a literal window (we’re serious this time) for businesses to make a grand entrance into the rest of the nation and the world. Digital Marketing Is Made for National Brands When someone says, “digital marketing,” what comes to mind? You probably think about social media first. Facebook. Instagram. Snapchat. And you would be right: social media is a significantly large apparatus in the digital marketing toolbox. But it’s only half the picture. The primary goal of digital marketing is to put your brand in front of people in the places and spaces they spend their time online. “The primary goal of digital marketing is to put your brand in front of people in the places and spaces they spend their time online.” Social media is one of those places, yes. According to some estimates, internet users around the world are spending an average of 2 hours 22 minutes on social media. But this pales in comparison to how much time consumers spend online in total, which averages 6 hours 42 minutes. How do we capture the rest of this internet time? By tapping into the king of the internet: Google. Google has a market share of 88.47%… …making it the #1 search engine in the world. Adding Google to our marketing mix, we can create touchpoints with our brand across internet users’ entire online experience. Anywhere in the world. Because it’s the internet, we are not limited to our physical location. Did we mention that? So not only are we able to access everyone’s internet time with digital marketing, but we are able to access everyone’s internet time, as in, everyone throughout the nation. In order for a national brand to take root, it’s going to need a lot of reach. Digital marketing is the only kind of marketing that can guarantee that. Let us explain. Digital Marketing Is Highly Targeted Maybe we should talk about the difference between digital marketing and its counterpart (*cough*traditional marketing*cough*) to clarify what we’re saying here. And when we say “traditional marketing,” what we mean is print, radio, and TV. We’re talking about the difference between using digital media such as social media and websites to promote your national brand, and using traditional media such as newspapers and TV commercials, kapich? Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way… Digital marketing is highly targeted. It allows you to show your ads *just* to the people you want to, using information like: Demographics such as age, job title, and income Interests such as hobbies, groups, and the things they follow Location (better known as geotargeting) Traditional media firms can do a lot of expensive market research and they can tell you who they think is seeing/hearing your national brand, estimating things like impressions and reach, but they really don’t know who is engaged. Let that sink in for a minute. With digital marketing, we can not only target exactly the kind of customer you want across the nation, but we can also measure exactly who is interacting with your national brand. Digital Marketing Is Measurable When you start marketing your national brand with a digital agency–if they’re doing things right–one of the first things they’ll do is place what’s called a “tracking pixel” on your website. This is nothing more than a little HTML code that allows them to see where people are coming from and where they are going, so don’t worry about getting bugged here. Here’s what’s so amazing about that. Digital agencies can track clicks, messages, phone calls–real actions taken by internet users from their ads–and more. So the next time you bring in a $10,000 client (if you’re one of those businesses with a high profit margin that we’re all jealous of), your agency will be able to show you exactly which ad they came from, where they visited on your website, and when they finally made the decision to begin working with you. Wow. Talk about measurable ROI. When you launch a national brand, you face a lot of uncertainty, because you’re going into markets that you’ve never been in before. The kind of user behavior data that digital marketing provides will be invaluable for you in the early stages of your national business. So, in summary, USE DIGITAL MARKETING TO LAUNCH YOUR NATIONAL BRAND PLZ! Phew, got a little intense there. Tip #2: Harness the Secret (Not So Secret) Power of SEO for Your National Brand We talked about social media. We talked about Google. These tools are hugely important to launching your national brand, as we said. If you aren’t running nationally targeted Facebook, Instagram, and Google ads, your national brand is going to flop. Period. But a lot of businesses already know this. Today, we want to dive a little deeper into the secret (not so secret) digital marketing tools that can make all the difference when combined with national social media strategies. A big one is SEO. Search engine optimization (SEO) is the practice of making your web presence so search engine friendly that when Google crawls your online information, they know to rank you super high for the searches you want to rank for (as in, the #1 or #2 spots). You typically want to rank for searches regarding the kinds of products or services you offer, of course. How do you do that on a national level? Bonus tip! (cue Beacon theme song?) You still need to niche. Bonus Tip: You Still Need to Niche. Just because you’re trying to reach everybody now doesn’t mean that you should try to reach literally everybody. Obviously, you have a particular target audience in mind. But even still, it can be immensely hard to compete with the other businesses across the nation who are also targeting the same audience in the search results. Narrowing your target audience even further can narrow the base of businesses you have to compete with. This time, we’ll explain using some real examples. Get excited! (*woohoooooooo*) National Web Content There are two clients that we have recently gone national with that make for excellent examples of this kind of SEO. The first one is Beacon (suprise!). The second must remain undisclosed (boohoo), but they still provide an excellent example. It is this client for which we implemented a national web content strategy, as in, we rewrote their web content so that when Google crawls it, they’ll pick up a national audience. This client’s industry is highly competitive, probably one of the most competitive industries in the nation. But even in this case, narrowing their target audience enough to create a reasonable amount of competition was not a difficult task. We decided to write pages on their services (let’s pretend they’re business consulting company) aimed toward different sectors of their target audience. So it went something like this, we wrote pages on: (business consulting services) for restaurant (business consulting services) for retail, and, (business consulting services) for medical It would be incredibly hard to compete for the search “business consulting services” on a national level, however, competing for “business consulting services” for a particular industry is a completely different game. By modifying the search term with an industry, we were able to significantly downsize their competition. Digital Marketing’s Hidden Gem: Blogging We did a similar thing with Beacon. At Beacon, we recently decided that we want to work with businesses across the country, but we knew that ranking for searches like “digital marketing” and “social media marketing” nationwide would be next to impossible. So we started writing blogs on searches like “digital marketing for orthodontics” (an industry we like to work with) and “digital marketing for Reno” (a market we want to focus on). Hey, that’s another bonus tip! (Beacon jingle) Focus on a few markets you have traction in first. Bonus Tip #2: Focus on a few markets you have traction in first. We already had some word-of-mouth in the dentistry industry, and our lovely President had recently set up a coworking space in Reno, Nevada. So it only made sense to focus on these markets first in the grand scheme of our national strategy. We wrote these blogs using every SEO best practice in the book, which is a little too much to get into today, but here are a couple of the boxes we checked: 1,600-2,000 word blogs Keyword in the title, headers, URL, meta description, and alt tags These blogs result in direct leads from the industries and locations we target, coming in from the blog through our chatbot. In summary, don’t forget about SEO. It’s a crucial part of spreading your national brand. Launching a National Brand Tip #3: Invest in High-Quality Digital Media Alright folks, here’s the kicker. If you’re going national, you’re going to have to up your media game. Gone are the days where a logo design from the 90’s “cuts it,” especially online. Please do not have your 16-year-old niece or nephew do your social media graphics, no matter how talented he or she may be. The national market is savvy and won’t suffer a low-res image like your local customers did (did they ever, really?). It’s time to invest in high-quality digital media. Let’s Talk About the Elephant in the Room: Your National Brand Is your brand ready to enter the national stage? The answer to this question is not: “Yeah, the logo looks okay.” To launch a national brand, you need: An impactful name and tagline A sleek, modern logo A comprehensive brand guide including icons, fonts, colors, and imagery A website and social presence that reflects this brand guide An impactful brand message that breathes through it all If any of these pieces are not in place, your national brand is going to suffer. Before you go national, have a seasoned agency take a look at the consistency of the image you are presenting to your customers. Going From Good to Great with Graphic Design A national brand’s graphic design should hit the right mix of familiar and novel. It should stand out in a way that makes a statement about your “new,” national business without forgetting to relate to your new, national target audience. This balance can be difficult to strike. As hard as it may be to hear this, the ability to recognize and create great graphic design work can really only come through experience. It takes years of studying popular styles and trends to get a feel for what works. For this reason, we recommend that you hire an agency that is comfortable with launching national brands. You’ll want your brand visuals to resonate with the largest number of people possible within your target audience. Because visual work can be highly subjective, an experienced agency will have practices in place for multiple creative team members from a variety of diverse backgrounds to review material before it’s approved. They will also have a strong graphic designer who understands the nuances of the visual world. Digital Marketing and Video Last but not least (drumroll, please!), a national brand needs video. Not only is video the best format of media for achieving engagement online. Marketers who use video grow revenue 49% faster than non-video users! But video is the medium of modern marketing. When in Rome, do as the Romans do. If you want to look like/be a national brand, you’ve got to act like one! Get together with a videographer and schedule some high-quality video productions. You won’t regret it once you see the national leads rolling in. ~ That’s all the advice we’ve got for today! We could go on and on about launching a national brand, but we can only cover so much in one article. If you’re ready to go national and you’d like to talk more about digital marketing, we’d love to chat. Book a free consultation with one of our founders using our live scheduler. Best of luck to you as you enter this new and exciting season of your business!