In the first part of this series, we laid the foundation for your brand. Now it’s time to start building from the ground up. This is when you’ll begin to inform your buyers of your brand mission, vision, and position. When developing your brand, the design and voice of your brand must be clearly defined so as not to inspire immediate confusion.
Crafting Your Website
We’ve covered your branding design at length. Now it’s time to apply that design to your number-one marketing tool: your website. The moment your prospective buyers land on your website, they will begin forming their thoughts about your brand.
You should have those buyers and your brand in mind as you plan your website development. How do they search for information? Will they prefer copy that makes them laugh or do they need a serious approach in order to connect with your brand? Do they react to images, or will they search first for text to guide their search? Even the SEO tactics you employ should adhere closely to your branding standards. Knowing your brand and your buyers tells you everything you need to know about the search terms they will use to find you.
Engaging with Social Networks
With your website firmly in place and ready to launch, it’s time to build your social media presence. Many brands make the mistake of building a home on every single available social platform. Not only could this be a waste of time for you, it could also confuse your audience.
Take some time to investigate where your buyers live online. Yes, buyers of all ages and psychographic dimensions use Facebook, but Twitter is a different story. Will you really need an Instagram account if your business sells services instead of products? If you sell almost exclusively to buyers over the age of thirty-five or forty, professionals who work in director-level positions or higher, is there any point in investigating the uses of Snapchat?
Once you’ve chosen those networks and begun to build an audience, it’s important that you create social media policies that are used across the company, regardless of who’s creating your messaging each day. Your brand voice must remain consistent with every post and every response.
Educating Your Buyers
However you reach your customers, the end result is always to provide more information about your company, your team, and your products. Whether you’re working at the top of the relationship funnel and working to build awareness about your company, or you’re nearing the end of the buying cycle and have a sale on the line, your brand standards should always be on display.
Information about your company will be disseminated in several different ways. Online sources include your blog, ebooks, white papers, charts, comparisons, reviews, and testimonials. You may also send out information in the forms of catalogs, magazines, letters, postcards, fliers, samples, posters, and coupons. Finally, you may engage in various media placements, with radio and television commercials or videos created specifically for sharing through email, social media, or on your website.
When you create all of this material, will you do so with your brand in mind before anything else? The answer should be a resounding yes.
Protecting Your Story
The whole idea behind building your brand and educating your buyers is to tell your brand story. Sometimes, whether through a mistake you’ve made or an unfortunate turn of events, that story may change.
Consider the current battles between smartphones. Right now, Apple is winning the brand story game, while Samsung’s brand has gone up in flames, literally. Sure, Apple took some serious chances in order to continue pushing the limits of technology by dropping the headphone jack. It was a big opportunity for Samsung to swoop in and gather up those buyers who weren’t ready to evolve along with Apple.
Unfortunately, Samsung’s too busy dealing with batteries that catch on fire or even explode. Instead of being a solid choice for customers looking for brilliant technology that keeps buyers at the cutting edge of technology—without going too far over the line—they’re instead watching helplessly as their brand burns along with their phones.
How will you convey your message to your buyers through your website, social media, and informational content without losing control of your brand story? Of course, we’re always here to help you on this journey, to help you build an unshakeable foundation for your brand. Give us a call, and in the meantime, you can explore my book, Your Marketing Road Map, now available on Amazon.