Small and medium businesses don’t need multi-comma budgets to create an appealing brand culture, or to improve customer acquisition through social and digital campaigns.

Just taking a few photos and allocating a few hundred dollars a month for ad spend isn’t going to work. Wondering why your ad spend isn’t resulting in sales? If it’s not your product, then it’s your process that needs work.

Some of the most popular global consumer brands have a number of key consistencies, most of which can be executed on a smaller scale; and without breaking the bank.

Testing

The first part of this process is the most crucial and is almost always overlooked: testing.

Finding out who your highest value audience types are, who are most likely to actively engage with your brand’s content, is the first priority. Without this, you’re essentially firing blanks.

This can be done fairly easily with Facebook ad testing. Set out a number of varying audience types, create content and copy around each audience, and allocate a small budget to each of these individual ad sets. You’ll already have a fair idea of these test audience types based on your target demographic, but continue to hone in on an exact customer type until you find who is most likely to engage with your ad or post.

Format

Once you have your highest value audience types created and saved, you then need to figure out what captures and keeps their attention. Begin to craft your approach to content around these audience types, and aim to appeal directly to them.

What content formats do these audience types react best with? Short form pieces? Long form pieces? Is the content personable and story focused? Is it focused solely on product?

With each new video, photo and copy you put out, make sure to analyse how it is being received. While testing out these varying formats, compare each piece of content to the others, and see what patterns start to appear. These patterns should be used as the main structure for any future digital or creative campaign brief.

Consistency

Once you have more of an idea of the types of content that your audience favours, begin to create consistency around it. What is the general look of the content? What tone is the copy written in? How are the images and video shot and processed?

The best way to do this is simply to create a list of adjectives based on the types of content that you’ve found are working the best. The goal is to create solid guidelines around your content. Mood boards and other brand guidelines will really help solidify this for all parties involved in this process. Once you have these guidelines created, consistently appealing to your audience becomes a lot easier.

This consistency is key. Once your audience knows what to expect, they can begin to connect with the culture and narrative that you have created around the brand, allowing them to emotionally buy into it all.

Being familiar with you allows customers to understand the message and story you are trying to portray, making you more preferable within the buying process.


Dylan Rogan is founder of digital agency Made and Bound.

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