Last week, we mentioned that all branding exercises need a vehicle to spread its message across. This vehicle is mass media, ranging from the traditional print media to the modern day electronic media. However, there exist a secret weapon that we didn’t know we had with us all along… More on this further down this article.
Two Major Expenses In Branding (And Advertising)
(1) Production Cost
This is the cost to actually produce the contents of your branding message. Anything from concept and graphic design all the way to photography and talent fees, these form the bulk of this production cost. There is also the printing or video rendering cost, which may not be much when compared to the former, but is still there nonetheless.
The bulk of the production cost goes to the intangibles, mainly for creative fees of one type or another.
Media buying is the cost of the execution service to spread your message. It can be as cheap as hiring some college students to distribute your leaflets. Or it can also mean paying mega-bucks, to buy air-time on prime time radio or TV ads.
Generally speaking, the higher the exposure rate (e.g. newspaper circulation, traffic density next to the billboard, proximity to dense population, etc.), the higher the cost. A 30-second ad on a TV channel at 3am would probably cost peanuts when compared to the same 30-second ad on the same TV channel at 10pm.
The reason is simple, there are significantly more people watching TV at 10pm than when compared to 3am, hence the more expensive air time cost. But then there is also the cost of missed opportunity to consider too. Fewer people watching your ad on TV will lead to fewer customers buying the product as advertised on TV.
Likewise, there is a higher probability of newspaper readers seeing your full-page ad on page-3, than the same readers even noticing your ad, in the middle of the classified section on page-27.
The Secret Weapon You Never Knew You Had
Almost every company have their own corporate websites. Unfortunately only a handful of them truly know how to fully utilise it as a media platform to air your branding or advertising message. Sadly, most are pretty satisfied with merely having their website as an online version of the 20th century telephone directory.
The biggest advantage is that with a website, you are online literary 24-hours a day, 7-days a week. No media platform I know even come close to it. Plus, you are paying literary peanuts just to keep the website up and running.
A website as a media platform is a good as free, but only if the owner knows how to fully utilise it.
Secret 1 – Run The Website Like A Newspaper
A corporate website is alive, or at least it should to be alive. So make sure that you have an in-house editorial team servicing it regularly. If you are unable to maintain an in-house editorial team due to economic reasons, then at least keep a third party editorial team on retainer. And if you still can’t afford to keep a whole editorial team on retainer, at the very least, keep a Chief Editor on retainer. Let him or her run an independent editorial team externally.
Never, ever leave the website idle. Not even for a single day.
Secret 2 – Get Your Creative And Editorial Teams To Talk To Each Other
Your Creative Team is responsible for creating your branding and advertising contents. That is what they do best, so leave it to them to do the content creation work.
Your Editorial Team is responsible for publishing and spreading your branding and advertising contents. That is what they do best, so leave it to them to do the media hosting work.
Never assume that the Creative Team can do the media work. Likewise, never assume that the Editorial Team can create contents. But as a corporate management, it is your duty to make sure that these two non-mutually exclusive teams are in constant communication with each other.
Secret 3 – Play Social Media To Your Advantage
I know some corporations actually block social media from being accessed on the office network. The common assumption is that accessing social media during working hours will negatively affect employees’ productivity. This decision is highly unpopular with employees. Besides, there is no way you can prevent them from updating their Facebook profile, or tweeting on their smart phones during working hours anyway.
Instead of shunning social media, you should consider making use of them to your advantage. You make use of social media as a springboard to further your reach. Link the articles and updates from your website to social media channels, and use them to spread your contents even further. For this to happen, you need to assign a social media savvy employee to maintain your corporate social media accounts. Make sure that the messages from across the whole social media spectrum is consistent with your corporate website, and with the rest of the other traditional media too.
- You need a full-time, in-house Chief-Editor to run your website.
- You should run your website like a newspaper editorial.
- Make full use of social media to your advantage.
- Never, ever leave your website idle.
- Most importantly, you have already saved a lot of money on media buying by using your corporate website. So consider rewarding your Editorial Team handsomely.