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4 Simple Ways to Get Started on Your Branding Strategy
Posted on August 7th 2014
Good branding is essential for every business, no matter how big or small. Your branding strategy tells your customers exactly what they can expect from products and services, how your company differs from its competitors, and how they perceive your company overall. You can develop your brand image through many aspects of your business starting with your website, but expanding all areas of your digital and non-digital presence including social media platforms and print materials.
These quick tips will help you get started on setting the groundwork for a great branding strategy whatever your business.
1. Decide On Your Brand Image
Before you can even start developing a well rounded branding strategy for your business, you first need to make a few decisions about exactly what image you want to portray. This means you will need to define the following:
- Your company mission, values, and business goals.
- The benefits consumers can expect to receive by choosing your products or services over those of your competitors.
- The specific qualities you want to convey.
- How your clients currently perceive you versus how you would them to perceive you.
The best way to start defining these things is to first gain a good understanding of your buyer personas. Researching the needs, desires, and habits of your target audience, is typically much more effective than relying on your intuition alone. Really digging into those buyer personas is going to help fuel your strategy for the majority of your branding initiative.
2. Create the Best Branded Content
Your brand is best represented through your use of quality content. Your brand image needs to appear in everything related to your business — you need to infuse it into your content. Thus the concept of branded content was born. This is an overview of a few considerations to keep in mind as you set out to start developing content for your brand:
- Be timely and topical with your content marketing.
- Develop a clear voice for your company that you will use in all written communication and content.
- Keep your mission and values in mind at all times.
- Create content that provides real value to your target audience.
3. Be Consistent
Branding is all about creating an image that you will maintain across all platforms and with your entire audience. Consistency helps consumers relate certain images and ideas to your company, strengthening your brand identity. From a design standpoint, you should be certain that you are using the same logo, color scheme, fonts, and company name in all your marketing and communication efforts. You would be amazed at how many companies are calling themselves one thing in person and another thing online. The more consistent you are, the more trustworthy you will appear to your current and future customers.
Target is both consistent & integrated in their cross-platform branding.
4. Optimize for Social Media
Social media is one of the most important ways you can market your brand; however, each platform requires slightly different branding efforts and types of content. There are two important things to think about in regards to social media and your branding strategy.
- Prior to posting, be sure that all your social media descriptions and imagery are consistent with your website and your messaging.
- Be certain to create a social media strategy that plays on the strengths of each social platform.
For example, sites such as Instagram and Pinterest call for visual content. You should be certain that you are utilizing these platforms to post images that show new product offerings, images that represent your company culture, and images that inspire your followers.
Facebook and Twitter, although similar in terms of purpose, certainly differ in terms of approaching content. For Facebook, you should attempt to publish content that will stand out in the newsfeed. This may be images or written content with attention-grabbing headlines accompanied by an image. For Twitter, on the other hand, snippets of information and time-sensitive links are generally more appropriate.
A strong brand image is an essential feature for any company and should be apparent in every aspect of business. Thinking about your branding strategy should be at the forefront of your digital marketing efforts. Remember, your online presence doesn't stop with your website so be certain to utilize social media and content marketing to mold the perception that your audience has of your brand.