Even though you’re spending hundreds (or thousands) of dollars on marketing each month, your audience isn’t growing. You’re only followed online by a few clients, some bots, and your mom. (Yeah, not even your dad is paying attention to your brand-building efforts!)
And so, for a change of pace, instead of a lengthy introduction to our subject by explaining how difficult brand building is and why it’s so important, let’s do this. Let’s assume you already know those things and are frustrated by the time, effort, and expense to do it. That way, we can go straight to how you can get it done.
5-Step Brand Building Strategy
If you’re like many entrepreneurs and small business owners, your business hasn’t grown despite all the work you’ve done to market yourself. But, despite the poor return on all of your efforts, you feel obligated to continue because you know you need an online presence. Of course, we can help you with that if you’d like but, in the meantime…
1. Consistent Messaging is Marketing Gold
Consistent messaging throughout every platform is vital to building your brand. This includes the content you create, the logo and graphics you use, images, and the calls-to-action for your target audience. This last can change according to the type of strategy you’re promoting, e.g., list building, engagement, special deals on products or services, etc.
Inconsistent messaging does more than simply confuse your audience, it also creates doubt in your abilities and expertise. For example, if your social media content diverges significantly from the messaging on your website, you create uneasiness and questions in the minds of your audience. When this happens, rather than contacting you for answers, it’s far more likely they’ll simply move on to a competitor whose messaging is clear and (yes!) consistent to them.
Once they leave, it’s unlikely you’ll ever be able to bring them back.
2. Your Identity is Unique, Make Your Brand Unique Too
Separating yourself from your competition can be challenging in the extreme. However, being unique in some way(s) is what brand building is all about, i.e., creating an identity that has a singular impact on your target audience.
Focus on who you are. Share your vision and mission, which stem from your purpose. Do all you can to make yourself real in the virtual world where you’re doing business. These are the things that make you more human and will separate you from your competitors before you even describe your business, your products, or your services.
Video is a great tool for doing this type of brand building. The cool thing about using video to create an identity and reputation online is that they don’t have to be long. In fact, the best videos are quick, laser-focused on solutions, and highly targeted to your audience.
What should you include in your 2-to-3-minute branding videos? One subject. Expert analysis. Solutions. Call-to-Action. That’s all you need to gradually build your brand and online reputation through video marketing.
3. Poignant Messaging is Powerful Messaging
Emotional appeals are an incredibly powerful part of your messaging. This requires consistent messaging about the benefits of doing business with you. Not features. Not tech. Not changing the world. Benefits to your target audience!
If this somehow sounds selfish, that’s OK. Your goal is to cater to the self-interest of your audience after all, so don’t get distracted by things that do not reinforce that benefits-based message. Always work to answer their most important question, “What’s in it for me?”
Whether your goal is to make people feel better, look better, think more clearly, or be more productive, a positive result is what they are looking for. At this point in your messaging, it is absolutely not about you… It’s all about them!
4. You Need a Loyal Audience
Creating loyal followers (and eventually paying customers) is only possible if you display your expertise and honestly share the benefits they’ll receive from first engaging, and ultimately working, with you.
Your audience is your most valuable asset and by engaging with them and showing interest in their comments, you can keep them coming back. Once they show interest, by subscribing to your email list for example, you have a valuable opportunity to pique their interest further and engage on a deeper level.
This is the stuff of dreams for any online marketer because you now have a chance to build a relationship that has a high probability of conversion. How you handle these opportunities will determine the long-term success of your business. And it all comes from implementing a solid brand-building strategy.
5. Always Ask Them to Take Action That Benefits Them
Ultimately, the goal of your marketing is to compel your audience to take action that benefits you, and them. (Don’t ever forget them!) Whether your short-term goal is to get them to subscribe to your email list or take some other step that will lead to increased engagement, you need to get them to act.
These various types of activities are designed to help you begin building a relationship with them that will, eventually, lead to conversion; that is, making a sale. Your consistent emotional messaging combined with your unique identity and poignant appeals will create the loyalty that will entice them to act and do business with you.
Now, back to the intro we didn’t make you read… Yes, building your brand and a unique identity may be the most challenging part of your marketing strategy. But, just like that marketing plan, a strategic approach will be a huge benefit for enhancing your online reputation and your brand.
If you’re ready to get started on a foundation for successful marketing that emphasizes brand building, click here.
If you still have questions about how we can be your strategic marketing partner for 2021, click here to schedule a complimentary consultation and get your questions answered.