A branding strategy is essentially a roadmap for how you’ll develop and communicate your brand identity to customers. It involves defining who your target audience is, what type of branding content they might want or need from you and where they can find it (including social media channels). It’s about coming up with relevant brand values that are special to you, defining what makes you different from other businesses in your industry, understanding how people perceive you online (both social media influencers and bloggers) and building an emotional connection with customers. So here are four simple steps that can help ensure your branding efforts are successful instead of a waste of time and resources.
Define your audience
Who are you targeting? Defining your audience may mean more that just demographic descriptions. For instance, are there specific roles or business titles you’re going after? Do these people come from a certain industry or work for companies of a specific size? Perhaps it’s a specific age group you’re trying to reach. Whatever you’re marketing or selling, you need to clearly define who your audience is as much as possible. Without that, you’re bound to fail.
Target them with a specific message
From your social media marketing content to your website’s blog posts, press releases and online ads, every aspect of marketing your company corresponds directly to the way you want people to perceive your brand. Think about your core messaging, your tone of voice and your imagery. In essence, make sure that every touchpoint relates to your “vibe”. Is your brand fun or playful? Is it sophisticated and chic? Generic messaging is never effective. I’ve seen many marketers be indecisive about which value proposition they should focus on. Instead of being laser-focused about one core benefit or use case, they try to do five different things. However, this leaves your audience distracted and confused about what to focus on. Other times, inept marketers will just opt for a generic message that vaguely describes everything. But this just leaves people bored and uninterested since it doesn’t apply to any specific pain point or desired outcome. Instead, make your message as specific and simplified as possible. Focus on one core benefit or pain point, and try to think about a common use case for your prospective customers.
Test and measure to see what works
Effective sales and marketing are always data-driven. I personally recommend always testing multiple variants whenever running any campaign. It is important to measure the right variables. With outbound email campaigns, for example, you can look at email deliverability (how many emails bounced versus were successfully delivered) and open rates. But the most important metrics are positive response rates from qualified customers. I also like to analyze the entire sales funnel to see which emails drove the biggest deals or fastest closes.
Keep iterating to stay effective
Marketers and salespeople who get complacent fall behind fast. Even if you had a really successful ad campaign or email template one day doesn’t mean it will keep working for you in two months. Markets change. Your customers’ needs change. How your competition is targeting your prospective audience will also change and evolve. Eventually, everything gets stale and ineffective. You must constantly be testing and analyzing data in order to stay on top and keep ahead of trends. If you don’t, your efforts and your business can quickly become obsolete.
For more thoughts on branding, sign up for a free mentoring session.
Copyright ©John Trenary 2021