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Oh Sierra

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Offline Reputation in an Online Marketing World

We help creative leaders harness the potent power of community (online and IRL) with content strategy, education, and events.

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As I write this, earlier this week there was a day where, for several hours, all apps owned by Facebook – including Instagram and WhatsApp – just stopped working. 

Once the platforms were back in action, this “outage” was followed by an avalanche of digitally-driven agencies (much like our own) shouting from the metaphorical rooftops about diversifying your online marketing platforms. 

Not on Pinterest? Ouuuf, better safe than sorry! 
Is your email marketing on point? Let’s make sure. 
Do you blog, yet? Get writing. 
TikTok not your thing? Who cares, give it a try. 

(Of course, these calls-to-action were followed with information on how these agencies can help, because it posed a powerful marketing opportunity.) 

Honestly, if you’re looking to expand your digital marketing reach WE can help, too — we have no disrespect for the agencies who put a call-out to offer marketing help in response to the situation. Our first instinct *was* to make sure our community is aware of the digital marketing support our agency offers…

But that’s not the post you’ll find here. 

Today we’re talking about the most widely missed opportunity to create a lasting brand impression and a reputation that extends outside of the webisphere and into the real. Not to scare you into action, but to inspire you to start breathing new life into your brand presence, OFFLINE. 

I’ll start by being super real:

The “outage” freaked us out. We even panic-made a TikTok account, because IT SEEMED LIKE A GOOD IDEA AT THE TIME, OKAY!?

But then we paused to process. 

What was so rattling about this outage? 
That one of our major marketing platforms went down for a couple hours? 

Not exactly. 

It’s that ANY of our major marketing platforms CAN go down. We’ve chosen a marketing strategy in the digital space that, by design, is beyond our control. 

While some have said Pinterest is a safer platform, or that you “own your mailing list,” we beg to differ. Unless you’re regularly printing out tangible copies of your email list and fossilizing it somehow, it only exists in digital, just like everything else. 

And, okay – I’m absolutely not assuming that all things cyber will crash and burn (all at once) leaving us in the dark. I’m an optimist, promise. 

But, when it comes to taking ownership of your brand and community… there’s a better way. 

The conversation around this outage has primarily been: 
“If you were dependent on Facebook and Instagram for your business, here’s what you should become dependent on next.”

We want to change it to:
“Here’s how you can ensure you don’t become dependent at all.”

Let’s explore that. 

There are three elements that make for a brand that lives – and thrives – beyond it’s follower count:

  1. Tangible Experience
  2. Strong Reputation
  3. Loyal Community

AND FRIEND, I listed those things in order for a reason. 

Tangible brand experiences build reputation. Reputation turns into loyalty. Brand loyalty is brand success. Period.

The only way to find true security in your business is brand reputation, supported by a community who will follow you – not just on Instagram, but through the ups and downs of the economy, as your business shifts and transitions, when you launch a new product or vertical, to the ends of the freakin’ earth. 

Tangible brand experiences create real community connections. 

Okay, you get it. Ready for the HOW? 

Answer these questions one by one:

  1. What would your brand feel like in someone’s hands?
  2. What does your brand smell like – and what memories does that smell evoke?
  3. How does your brand take up space in a room?

We’re not asking theoretically. 

We’re asking because it’s time you start developing the physical elements that tell your story in a 3 dimensional way. 

These are the building blocks of what we refer to as destination brands.

If your brand had no social presence, or no website, or no newsletter, could your people still reach out and touch it?

Maybe it’s a physical space or in-person event. 
Maybe it’s a welcome gift or your product packaging. 
Maybe it’s an extremely intentional business card design. 

Something so small can say so much about what your brand stands for.

We haven’t even established our 3-dimensional brand experience to the degree we’re imploring you to, here – but you’d better BELIEVE we’re more focused than ever on our path to creating it. 

How about you?

Cheers.

Click here to learn more about how Oh Sierra can make your brand vision a tangible reality.

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About The Appleyards

We Are Passionate Community Cultivators, Partners in Life and Business, And Firm Believers That Work Should Feel Like Play.

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