Online marketing is moving at a fast pace and in order to be noticed and to be seen as business owners we need to make sure that we are doing everything we can to stay up to date and inline with what is happening. Social media channels are evolving, new initiatives are being added regularly and it’s vital that we stay on the pulse when it comes to social media marketing.
Any form of marketing strategy needs to ensure that it attracts the right audience and is speaking to the relevant people for that market. It’s all well and good having a fantastic marketing campaign if you’re targeting the wrong people. As a business reaching out to consumers, you need to be right where they are and speaking the same language as them.
A Customer Journey
We all know that customers research before they buy and what your brand looks like across all its platforms will sway a customer to pursue or to move on. This ranges right from your website, social profiles, LinkedIn staff profiles to your listing on the search engines; Google, Bing, Yahoo etc. Everywhere that a customer will see your brand, it needs to be consistent and providing a clear message throughout.
The first contact a customer has with your business will be the first impression they have of your brand. You can’t guarantee where that will be, will they land on your website, on your Facebook Page or stumble upon you in LinkedIn? Whichever place they see you first will be their first impression of you. What does that look like? Is it professional? Does it speak of you and your brand personality or tone of voice? Does it showcase what your business has to offer?
If you’re not sure as to whether they all give the same, clear message – they probably don’t!
Getting Started With Your Brand Identity
But don’t worry, now you’ve established that there needs to be some changes, you can get started. Putting effort and thought into your branding is important. You might have started your business on a whim and whizzed ahead in order to fulfill a purpose and that’s fine but if that’s the case, it’s now time to stop, put your thinking cap on and to get creative.
Spend time giving thoughtful and meaning answers to these questions:
Who/what is your target audience?
What are their needs?
How can you provide a solution?
What message do you want to give and be known for in your business?
What style and tone of voice represents your brand?
Your brand is your identity. Your brand is who your business is and it needs to reflect your mission and your purpose, telling a visual story along the way.
It’s about getting down to the nitty gritty of your business and the values and personality behind it all. It’s about understanding what the customer is really looking for and providing a solution to that which is full of value and substance.
Having a clear branding strategy and plan differentiates you from the crowd and other competitors.
Making Your Brand Unique
Your branding needs to be memorable and unique
Your brand needs to give your business a personality
Your brand will enable you to build relationships with customers and help engagement rates
Your brand will add value to your marketing strategy giving your direction
Once you have your clear brand guidelines in place, it will be much easier to keep everything consistent and brand all your marketing material as you go alone.
Keep a shared folder that all team members can have access to which provides templates for all common-used material. This can be set up for all social media posts, for each platform, along with reports, stationery, email signatures and any other material that you may using for customer’s eyes.
It’s important that your clients see your professionalism and consistency in anything that comes their way, it’s all part of their customer experience and journey with you. And also leads the way in them recommending or referring your business to people within their circles. If they like what they see, they’ll recommend you.
If you’re looking for guidance on branding and advice on putting together an online marketing strategy, then we’d love to help. Use our Contact Page to get in touch and let’s take your business to the next level.
Identifying what the fundamental values are in your business and what you determine as your business ethics is VITAL for your brand awareness and shaping the essence of your brand.
Therefore, identifying what those core values are in your business will do two main things:
a) Give you a platform for everything your business stands for to be based upon, enabling a strong foundation for growth.
b) Educates your customers into understanding what your company is about.
Your core values are the most important things that matter in your business – the things that you focus on from the ground up and what you want your clients to know about. You are providing a set of guidelines for you and your business.
It can be a challenging exercise to decide upon core values but so very valuable in the long run. Establishing a foundation that your WHOLE business runs with gives your brand its identity and enables you to stand out from the crowd.
When putting a strategy together for your business and in the initial stages of thinking about direction, it’s important to put values in place that you want your business to stick to. This gives your business direction and allows you to have rules in places that guides the way that your business runs.
Deciding on your core values and understanding those values contributes to your brand identity and this in turn will enable people to know who you are and what your business stands for.
Brand awareness is so important when it comes to being known with your target audience, identifying who it is that you are trying to target and then using everything possible to get your voice heard in a busy and chaotic digital world. Without a brand strategy or a marketing plan in place, it’s so easy to drift away in directions that are outside of your initial goals and although this may not be a bad thing in terms of reaching out, it’s good to stick to a plan and to reach those people that you can truly add value to.
Add value and you will gain respect, become known within your industry and see business growth. It may take time to establish a good business reputation but with effort, dedication and strategy it is possible.
However to achieve this you need to be clear in your thinking, clear in the way that you showcase your business and clear in what your business stands for. Having core values that people are instantly able to relate to a) makes good business sense but b) allows people who are on board with your values to connect with you.
Your core values speak about you personally and not only your business so live those values. If you’re a small business or a startup who is just getting a business off the ground, make sure that you live by those values and in everything that your business does, do it in line with your core values.
So, get your thinking caps on and really spend time investing in your business. What do you truly believe in, what values do you base your business upon? When you get your values in place – then your business will start to move in the right direction.
We’d love to help if you’re looking to work on your brand identity and putting a strategy and plan together for business growth. Get in touch today to find out more.
Every post on Facebook, or any tweet on Twitter highlights the voice of your brand. Every reply or comment you make is a showcase for your brand. If you do not stick to the same voice, your brand lacks definition and continuity.
Just as providing killer content and great visuals throughout your social media marketing is essential, so is your brand voice. The key to always being the right voice is brand awareness; understanding the basics behind your business and what you are looking to achieve through it.
Think of all the household names that you recognise today, Coca Cola, Amazon, Fairy Liquid – these are brands that you recognise just by the name. These companies have defined exactly what their products are, defined clear images/logos that everyone knows and relates to – these brands are well loved, well known products. Yes, it takes time to get to that stage but the key to behind an up and coming brand taking off and becoming popular and well-known is having a clear brand awareness and committing 100% to it.
Definition of brand awareness:
“Brand awarenessrefers to the extent to which customers are able to recall or recognise a brand. Brand awareness is a key consideration in consumer behaviour, advertising management, brand management and strategy development. The consumer’s ability to recognise or recall a brand is central to purchasing decision-making. Purchasing cannot proceed unless a consumer is first aware of a product category and a brand within that category. Awareness does not necessarily mean that the consumer must be able to recall a specific brand name, but he or she must be able to recall sufficient distinguishing features for purchasing to proceed.
Having a clear voice
When you understand your brand and know in which direction you want your business to go in, by utilising a marketing strategy, you can create a clear voice in every aspect of your marketing – whether that be online or offline. Your voice is your brand.
Consistency needs to shine through. Every post you make needs to be recognised as your brand and followers and potential clients need to easily recognise your content as being your brand.
As tempting as it may be to become lots of different voices behind a brand to tailor to different audiences – this will not show continuity throughout your marketing efforts and will result in failure. Creating a marketing strategy will enable you to pin point your ideal audience and target those specific people and increase your sales and profits from there.
Your brand has a target audience – do you know who they are? If not, it’s time to get thinking clearly about who your brand appeals to and who you want to target. Spreading yourself thin and targeting every consumer group out there won’t work! Pinning down your target audience will define your brand and will increase your ROI (return on investment).
Once you have a clear vision of who your brand is for, it’s time to understand them – what makes them tick, what they are looking for, what will help them, what solutions are they looking for? From here on it’s time to promote your brand or product around these needs. Creating offers that will appeal to them and their requirements, offering EXACTLY what they need.
It’s a good idea to get talking to your ideal audience and build relationships so people know and trust your name, this way when you create your offers, they already know who you are. Doing this through your social media channels is a good place to start. And this is where your brand voice comes in.
Consistently keeping your brand tone of voice and being the name that people are starting to know and love will help build your business and from this you will see business growth and an increase in sales.
It doesn’t matter if you are a small business or a large business, the basis behind a successful business is about creating a strong business plan, along with a defined marketing strategy and embracing everything included in these to take risks, create culture and to have a brand that your audience loves.
So, when you create your next Facebook post or campaign, ensure consistency in every aspect of that campaign. If you’re a believer of great customer service (and everyone should be if they want a successful business), make sure you showcase this through your brand’s tone of voice and to every prospective customer that comes through your social channels.
Social media is a fantastic tool that every business can embrace to reach their audience. Don’t be scared to use it or to over use it. The more places people can get in touch with your brand, the more chances you have to connect with people on their comfort level and build relationships. But be careful not to spread yourself too thin and to lose the brand tone due to overwork and using too many channels. This can be overcome by reaching out to a social media agency or virtual assistants to help you stay in touch and up to date with your social media while you work on the other aspects that you love to do.
If you’re looking for social media experts who can help you define your brand and create a marketing strategy to see your business move forward, we’d love to chat with you. Get in touch today to find out more.