Who are you and what does your brand stand for? What values do you hold? And why do you care? That was how I opened my talk on Digital Branding and Marketing last night at the Wealth Creation* meeting organised by International Christian Assembly in Lilongwe. A brief overview of my presentation below.
In order to build your brand and market yourself, online or not, you need to know exactly what it is you are putting out for the world to see, interact with, buy and fall in love with. The need to be authentic and transparent can’t be overemphasised. Only then can you take the correct message to the right audience using the most appropriate channels.
Building your brand online
When developing assets for your brand, like a logo and visuals, it is crucial to get things right the first time. Knowing what you want and communicating the same to your designer is paramount. If you have no clue what you want, neither will your logo designer who needs to translate your thoughts and ideas. The design process will likely be painful and the result half baked. And there starts the never-ending process of constant tweaking and rebranding. That won’t build your brand!
If your designer can, let her develop a style guide for you. This will help you ensure your messaging is applied consistently in addition to being recognisable and memorable. Professional photography is another must. If you are just starting out and can’t afford professional services, invest in a phone with a good camera. Nothing is as bad as bad pictures. Remember, you are not going to win by cutting costs!
So, what’s this fuss about digital marketing? For one, unlike traditional marketing, digital is measurable. And in some cases, very measurable. It is cost-effective and allows you to control your spending. Digital also provides the ease to not only engage with your audience but also to motivate them to take action.
But be warned – ineffective use, especially on social media channels, can lead to brand credibility loss. Always ensure the people responsible for maintaining your online platforms are knowledgeable of the platforms they are using. They should also know the brand’s marketing objectives and ideally be guided by a content calendar.
An important point to note is that there is no one-size-fits-all solution to digital marketing. Approach it properly and you will reap the benefits.
Good marketing means you are able to measure your efforts and the return it is bringing to your brand. Digital media has the ability to measure your marketing efforts across web, email and social platforms.
A hot cup of coffee
After the talk, we all feasted on the zitumbuwa (local fritters) prepared by our host, Warm Heart Coffee & Tea House. Thank goodness for Mzuzu Coffee, we had something to keep us warm while interacting on a chilly night.
*The Wealth Creation forum started in 2016 by the International Christian Assembly. It aims at creating wealth under God’s kingdom in a way that advances the gospel. They hold monthly meetings that mostly target business people and those aspiring to set up businesses of their own. They invite different speakers every month to tackle a range of business topics. So keep your eyes peeled for their next event.
Wealth Creation Forum 2018
In July 2018, the International Christian Assembly organised the Wealth Creation Forum 2018 at the ICA Youth Auditorium in Lilongwe. I made a presentation on Brand Building at this forum.