Introducing Brand Affinity Marketing: The Best Way to Build a Brand People Love

Brendan Schwartz

Founder, CTO

Chris Savage

Founder, CEO

In 2019 alone, it’s estimated that businesses have spent over $666B on advertising. This number, while staggering, is not all that surprising. After all, spending a ton of money on advertising has been the way most businesses have attempted to tackle brand marketing over the years. But the truth is, this strategy is not only unsustainable — it’s also ineffective.

We’ve noticed that companies like Netflix, Patagonia, Redbull, Peloton, Mailchimp, and more, are all marketing their brands differently, changing with the times, and tailoring their approach to mirror consumer behavior and expectations. Instead of spending a fortune on ads, they’re investing in creating original content.

Did you miss our livestreamed event, Change the Channel? Watch the recording of our co-founder’s keynote address, right here.

Why building a brand is more important than ever

These days, people care more about company values and authenticity than ever before. We’re quick to tune out and distrust ads, and to top it off, we expect engaging content to exist at our fingertips on every subject imaginable. Because of this, brand marketing has to change.

It’s no longer the case that by exposing an audience to a compelling tagline or 10-second video upwards of seven times, that they’ll come to know and trust your company name. Most businesses run these types of campaigns with the goal of bolstering their brands — create a few short, creative assets, pay Google and Facebook to provide as many small interactions with as many people as possible, and then hope to win them over and create life-long fans.

But, generating awareness for a brand has long been falsely associated with building affinity for it. While more people may know of your business after running a multi-channel advertising campaign, that doesn’t mean they necessarily care about it. So, what’s a marketer to do? We’ve felt this pain here at Wistia over the years, and we know our audience feels it, too. How can your business stand out in a world full of unlimited distractions? Not only that, but how do you make people actually like your brand?

“While more people may know of your business after running a multi-channel advertising campaign, that doesn’t mean they necessarily care about it.”

We’re super excited to share today that we’ve created new tools and a new strategy to help businesses succeed in the modern marketing world. We’re going all-in on Brand Affinity Marketing, and we hope you’ll join us on this journey. We’ll get into what this strategy is all about, but first, let’s cover some basics.

What exactly is brand affinity?

Think about your brand in terms of awareness and affinity. Awareness means people know of your brand, and affinity means they care about it. We think businesses need to focus more on the “affinity” part of the brand equation.

In the traditional sense, affinity is just the sum of all the interactions someone has with your business — support, sales, success, your website, and more — and how those interactions make them feel. When all of these touchpoints are positive, resulting in people liking your brand so much they spread the word to their friends and colleagues, that’s brand affinity.

But before your customers even get into your ecosystem, you first have to attract them. Most of us rely on digital advertising to do that, but ads at their best interrupt, and at their worst, are super annoying. So, how do you pique interest without relying heavily on ads?

Well, for businesses to build a lasting brand in the modern world, we need a new way of marketing to potential buyers in a way that resonates with them on a deep, personal level. This is where Brand Affinity Marketing can help.

How does Brand Affinity Marketing work?

To start, let’s define Brand Affinity Marketing.

Brand Affinity Marketing is an approach to marketing where businesses create and distribute binge-worthy content with the goal of positively impacting the overall sentiment, perception, and value of its brand.

You can’t build trust and affinity with your audience using tactics designed around optimizing for conversions and impressions. To build brand affinity, you need to make people actively want to spend time with your brand. But, how do you do that? Today, we released the Brand Affinity Marketing playbook, to show you how.

At its core, this strategy revolves around the basic understanding that in the modern marketing world, resonance matters far more than reach. Businesses need to focus on creating content that adds value to their audience’s lives and doesn’t just aim to push them towards the next stage in the funnel — this is how you’ll create resonance with your audience. And because of the quality and quantity of entertaining media that exists out there today, it’s crucial that your content is not only great but that it’s also super targeted toward attracting the best niche within your customer base. Businesses can then market that content like a media company to their niche and drive deep engagement, ultimately, creating more brand affinity.

“Businesses need to focus on creating content that adds value to their audience’s lives and doesn’t just aim to push them towards the next stage in the funnel.”

Luckily, tons of businesses are already making content like this with the goal of building affinity, so there are tons of podcasts, books, video series, and more out there that you can look to for inspiration. And the good news is, it’s not just big consumer brands that are doing it, either. B2B companies like Mailchimp, Invision, Help Scout, Drift, and of course, Wistia, as well as B2C companies like Redbull, HP, Patagonia, Yeti, Johnson and Johnson, and more, are all investing in creating binge-worthy content.

If you want an in-depth look at how to actually execute this strategy, we’d recommend taking the time to read through the Brand Affinity Marketing playbook. Also, be sure to join our live Q&A next week where we’ll answer a ton of your questions about what’s involved in this new strategy.

Action Item
See what the Brand Affinity Marketing playbook is all about and how you can start executing this strategy today.

How does Wistia help marketers with Brand Affinity Marketing?

You might be asking yourself, “Okay, so how is Wistia going to help with this strategy?” We thought you might ask that! Today, we’re super excited to share some of the updates we’ve made to our product that’ll help marketers in any industry execute on a Brand Affinity Marketing strategy.

While we’ve kept all the features you already know and love in Wistia, we’ve got a new streamlined look within the product itself, and new tools to help you grow your brand and your business with this strategy. Keep in mind this is just the beginning — we’re going to continue to add more features and tools to Wistia that’ll help you succeed with Brand Affinity Marketing over the coming months and years.

We cover all the details in depth in this product update post, but here’s a high-level overview of what we’ve released today:

  • Wistia Channels: We’ve made a bunch of updates to the look and feel of Channels, and have added some new customization functionality. Another bonus? Free and Pro users can get started with Channels now, too.
  • Channel Subscribers: You can now add our subscribe functionality to your Channel, allowing you to grow your fanbase and automatically communicate with subscribers. That’s right, thanks to our new, customizable email functionality, viewers will be notified whenever you publish a new video to your Channel.
  • Custom Audiences: As of today, you can now send viewer data from your Wistia account to your Facebook Ads Manager so you can retarget viewers with ads based on how they’ve engaged with the videos on your site. You can use this data to create Lookalike Audiences as well, giving you the opportunity to find more similar viewers for your content.

In true Wistia fashion, we’re going to be sharing a ton of content over the coming months to help folks get up to speed on Brand Affinity Marketing and how they can start making and marketing content like this. So stay tuned for much, much more! In the meantime, jump into our new Brand Affinity Marketing Slack community to share your questions, thoughts, ideas, and more, and to get the conversation started today.

The future of Brand Affinity Marketing

We’re super excited about what the future holds for businesses (including ours) that start shifting resources away from traditional digital advertising and toward this new brand-building strategy. From a product perspective, this is just the beginning for us as we think through all of the tools and features businesses might need in order to get off the ground running. So, please keep us posted by joining the Brand Affinity Marketing Slack community and getting in on the conversation. We’ll be answering your questions, sharing resources and the learnings we’ve accumulated so far, and much more.

By creating binge-worthy content like One, Ten, One Hundred, Brandwagon, and more, we’re striving to both build brand affinity and be our own best customer. We promise to share everything we learn along the way and hope you share your successes and failures with us, too.

Brendan Schwartz

Founder, CTO

Chris Savage

Founder, CEO

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