By: K.C. Hastings

Every minute, there are 290,000 new statuses on Facebook, and in just four years, 16 million local business pages have been created. Meanwhile, the Twitterverse is seeing rapid interaction with over 6,000 tweets per second. In the world of marketing, social media has become a highway with a traffic jam of people trying to get noticed. The question is, how can brands get people to remember their virtual billboard when shopping for their next product or service?

The key is a consistent brand strategy.

Uniform practices across traditional and digital platforms create brand recognition, which, in turn, increases return on investment (ROI). Here’s why:

They remember you.

The moment a need arises, whether it’s for a replacement product or a new dress for an event, potential consumers think about who the go-to person is. If they have seen your marketing consistently on social media—through Facebook-sponsored ads, for example—they are going to remember your company’s name. Instead of searching “place to buy a dress,” they’ll be searching for your store by name. People are more likely to trust a company they have heard of over a company whose advertising they’ve never seen.

Pop culture

The pop culture status goes beyond just brand recognition; rather, it gives the brand its own fan following. Geico and Progressive are old pros at this, sparking everything from merchandise to Halloween costumes. They aren’t just selling their product, but they’re also selling the idea that their mascots are entertaining, are worth watching, and are almost like old friends. This pop culture status creates fierce loyalty to the product that can only be managed through creativity and consistency. Potential clients, as well as current clients, need to be highly familiar with the ad, mascot, and catchphrase to the point that the brand is a household name.

Search engine optimization (SEO)

Google really likes consistency. When it comes to your advertising, use the same keywords, taglines, and descriptions on your website and boosted posts. Your SEO is reliant on Google recognizing your consistent messaging. When people search those keywords or phrases, Google will put you at the top of the page to match the searcher with the most relevant content.  If you use a different catchphrase or ad on every page of your website, Google is less likely to send you traffic.

Return on investment

Change can be good, but too much transformation creates brand confusion along with mounting costs. If you’re changing your advertising every six months, you’re spending unnecessary money and time (which, as we know, is also money) creating new logos, brands, photos, and commercials. A clear brand strategy for all social media platforms, billboards, park benches, etc. allows you to focus on your actual product and customers. This consistency increases your return on investment as you stretch your dollar further.

Companies who understand uniformity succeed in and beyond their market with ease. Tootsie Pop is one of the best examples of this, as they have been playing the same commercial since 1969. There have been very few changes or additions to their advertising or even to the packaging in that time, and they are a childhood classic with a cult following. Existing long before social media, they almost don’t even need a social media presence. They have a modest 9,482 followers on Twitter, but their sales for 2017 are over 32 million dollars. They don’t need gimmicks or new commercials. There are over three generations of loyal followers who giddily point at the TV when the old commercial comes on and nostalgically reminisce about the brand and product.

Companies like Tootsie Pop and Geico understand the power of marketing and this simple truth: Consistency creates loyalty, and loyalty breeds success.