How to make the most out of your brand
What does it mean to make the most out of your brand? To us it means being able to use your image, identity and presence to turn as many people into loyal customers as possible.
This article is not going to be about increasing your revenue via branding. It’s going to focus on a long-term approach that will allow you to make the most out of your brand and, in turn, turn more people into loyal customers. The goal is the same – increasing sales – but the path is different.
Today’s business is about creating relationships that last. It’s about driving customer loyalty by being transparent and true to yourself.
In this article, we will go over several great ways to unleash your brand’s potential and open your business to new people!
Take care of the exposure
It’s a harsh truth, but no one will know about your brand if you don’t take all opportunities to allow them to see it. Social media as well as your offline presence are great and genuine ways to increase your exposure and allow you to make the most out of your brand.
Let’s be honest, if your business is not on social media, it’s missing out on massive exposure opportunities! Using social networks correctly will give your exposure a huge boost and will allow you to make the most out of your brand!
Pick your channels
Every social network serves a different purpose and has a different audience:
Facebook – Everyone’s on Facebook! Despite the fact that the new Facebook’s algorithm has significantly reduced brands’ organic reach, you can use their paid advertising and PPC options. And boy, are they effective! Just have a look at this video, in which two friends set up a Facebook page and, by spending $500 on ads, managed to reach 6000 followers and 1.5 – 3 thousand likes per photo!
Instagram – Focused on visual content, it’s perfect for brands in food, fashion, design or art industries. Of course, Instagram’s applications don’t end here, and there are plenty of businesses from all fields that used this social network to build a loyal following. With its audience recently hitting one billion, it should definitely be
Twitter – Twitter is known for its 280 character-per-post limit. What one could see as a hindrance, you should see as an opportunity! Twitter is perfect for quick and frequent updates.
LinkedIn – LinkedIn is a bit like Facebook, but for professionals! Use it to share your achievements and build a professional network. Keep in mind that its similarity to Facebook only goes so far. It’s definitely not a good place to share your holiday pictures or talk about your personal life!
Snapchat – Snapchat is flashy, bright and fast. It’s filled with opportunities for banter and building a positive, carefree brand image. It may not be good for every business though. Snapchat is the most popular among teenagers and early-20-somethings, so use it if you cater to such an audience.
Hashtags originated on Twitter, but they spread over all social networks. Use them to highlight themes of your content and expose your business to like-minded people. Hashtags work quite simply. When you click on it, all the posts bearing it will be displayed for you. If, for example, I would use #branding to promote this article, my post would be allocated with others bearing that hashtag. It’s a great way to get discovered by potential future customers!
Keep your hashtag strategy smart! It would be tempting to just go for the most popular ones, but then your posts could become a tiny drop in a sea of similar statuses. A good idea would be to try out some of the less popular hashtags, where your social media presence could really stand out among others. You could also try creating your own custom hashtag that would group all your posts in a single place.
You need to be consistent on social media. That doesn’t necessarily mean you have to post several times a day (unless it’s Twitter!), but you need to have a structure and a schedule to your strategy.
The best way to have a clear social media schedule is to start using tools such as Buffer. It allows you to easily distribute and schedule your social media posts. It’s also free with its most basic plan!
You also need to plan out the content you are going to post. Whether these will be infographics, posts from your blog or status updates, you need to decide upon two or three content pillars and stick to them. This will make your online presence consistent.
A great way to make the most out of your brand is to be present offline. Not everything happens on the Internet after all! That means, for example, organizing events, fundraisers or simply being there in your office and letting customers meet you in person. It’s easier if your business is offline-centric like a shop or a restaurant and an online presence is just an addition. In these fields, you are always there and people can easily interact with you or your employees face-to-face. However, if you run an online-based business, it’s easy to forgo personal connection.
That’s why, you need to start creating opportunities to meet your customers and prospects. Think a networking event or a conference organized by you. This will surely give your brand a boost and potentially introduce you to new partners or buyers. If you don’t have the means to do this, consider a little live Q&A! There’s always a way!
Take care of the content
Your content is your way of sending out a message about your business, or rather, a way to build its image. You don’t want it to be subpar, because in that way your entire brand will be perceived as subpar.
Content is everything from blog articles, social media posts and photos, to videos, graphics and podcast episodes. Whichever of these you are focusing on, make sure it’s always the best possible quality and that it fits your brand identity.
Writing blog articles and social media posts is a great end effective way to reinforce your brand identity.
Make sure you proofread what you’ve written everytime! There’s nothing more harmful to your reputation than a piece of text with typos or stylistic mistakes.
If you’re not a writer yourself (or just simply running out of time), consider hiring a freelancer to run your blog and social media.
Photos, graphics and infographics
With images, you need to make sure they are of high quality. That doesn’t only mean the composition or light on a photo. Color scheme, size and resolution are also crucial.
Podcasts are a perfect type of content for people on the go. You can simply put them on on headphones or speakers during your commute, a walk, or even when you’re in bed! There’s no need to look at the screen and scroll, just listen and zone out!
That’s why if you’re planning to focus on podcast as a part of your content strategy, it would be a good idea to invest in a recording microphone and ideally an external recording interface (you can also get a USB-connected mic!). You can get them really cheaply and the sound quality will be so much better, making the entire listening experience pleasant.
In the age of smartphones, everyone can go out and record a decent-looking video. But for purposes of building a brand identity, you need something better than a a long shaky, vertically-shot scene. Consider investing in a camera. It doesn’t have to be professional at first, just something that will allow you to create professional-looking videos. A good idea would be to take a free course on video editing – there’s plenty of them online.
Don’t pretend you’re somebody else
‘Be yourself’ – that’s what all of these motivation coaches keep telling you. And there’s a lot of truth to that! It’s so easy to pretend you’re someone else, especially on the Internet. But it’s so easy to get caught up in all this pretending. They say a liar needs to have a great memory, while a true person doesn’t need to remember anything. Don’t lie about yourself, just be yourself! Embrace your quirks and imperfections. That’s what makes a great brand – being human. Not everyone needs to be a Bill Gates or Elon Musk type of person, unreachable for mere mortals. Being yourself and acknowledging your limitations and strengths will make you genuine and relatable thus allowing you to make the most out of your brand. To put it simply, it will make you trustworthy.
Let’s talk a bit more about trust. It’ a glue to any business. 99.999% companies need to be trustworthy or they risk losing their customer base to their competitors. Why not 100%, though? The remaining 0.001% are your McDonald’s, Apple or Coca-Cola – businesses ingrained into our cultures to such an extent, that they can weather some mistrust.
Why do you need transparency
It’s 2018 and customers are more and more aware of their impact on the planet, what they buy and who they buy from. They value businesses that are genuine and open about their practices. And they’re quick to drop companies that engage in shady practices. That’s why they often choose farmers’ market over chain supermarkets and independent coffee shops over Starbucks or Costa. Small businesses are the best example of transparency and building trust. Look around your neighborhood for local companies. Visit their social media channels and websites. How do they build their trustworthiness?
How can I be more open?
Engage in conversations. Reply to comments. Share photos that show your production cycle. Share stories of your employees and customers. Be open about your mistakes and struggles as much as you are about your successes.
Narrow your brand down
It might seem plausible to try to appeal to everyone. A wider circle of prospects means more customers and that means more money, right? Well, not really.
If you try to appeal to everyone it means you play on many fronts. You’re like Yamaha, which produces everything from laundry machines to guitars. But whole Yamaha is an established company with a long history, your business might not have such a grounded reputation. to put it simply – if you try to please everyone, you’re in fact stretching yourself over too many areas and end up being unfocused. You become a synonym of a dollar store, where you can buy everything, but you know you can get a better product in a store that specializes in a single thing.
Find your focus by defining your niche. Whether it’s handmade oaken furniture, vegetarian burgers or custom wedding invitations, find one thing you would like to specialize in and build your entire business around that. In that way it would be easy for you to establish yourself as the top provider of a small number of services or products. Don’t worry about missing out on potential customers – being in the niche will allow you to gather a group of loyal and returning buyers that will truly relate to your brand’s mission.
Focus on people
Business is about people. Of course the ultimate aim is to make money, but how you do it depends on you. In recent years there’s been a growth of more sustainable and people-oriented practices. Businesses eagerly engage or launch projects aimed at enriching their local communities. And that’s a great thing! To make the most out of your brand is not just to drive revenue. It’s to create valuable connections and relationships with people. It’s them, after all, who buy your products, but also work for you! Celebrate that – share their stories and encourage them to leave review. Improve upon feedback. Be there for the people who buy from you and the people who work for you.
Create content that solves problems
What issues may the people interested in your business face? What sorts of niche-related problems they might need to solve? Find that out and then create content about it!
Let’s think of an example. If you have a woodworking company that produces furniture, a good idea for a piece of content would be ‘how to repair scratches on your table’ or ‘how to repair a broken chair’.
Problem-solving content that suits your target audience’s interests is likely to get you found. People often turn to Google if they need to solve an issue. If their chair just broke down, they will probably type in ‘how to repair a broken chair’. Voila! They’ve found your page! This is the beginning of a trust-building process that, best-case scenario, will turn a visitor into a loyal customers!
Branding is all about being genuine, transparent and true. It’s about establishing relationships and making people satisfied. In this article we’ve covered seven ways, which will allow you to make the most out of your brand: exposure, content, being genuine, transparency, niche, being there for the people and solving problems. They are all aimed at one thing – to make you a people-oriented business, fit for the time of transparency and genuineness.
You can call our Design and Technology Team or use the form below if you need a new website:
0333 014 2035
Author: Seb Waligorski
Digital Media Manager at Ionize
I am a Branding and Digital Media Specialist creating Business Recognition and Online Visibility since 2010. I make sure that businesses stand out from their competitors and benefit from increasing customer loyalty and sales.
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