Regardless of how large or small your company is, it’s important to think of your business as a brand. Your brand is the sum of all perceptions your clients have of you. It doesn’t have to be nearly infallible like Coca-Cola or Apple. But, the more seriously you take it, the more sales you will generate over the long haul.
Here are a few tips to consider implementing this year:
Maintain digital conversations with customers. And, if you don’t already have them going, start. Remember, the real power of social media lies in two-way communication, rather than the “shout your message out loud to as many people as possible” approach that TV and radio used in the 1990s.
Measure social media on shares and comments. Likes and reach are good, but the real SEO value of social media involves generating shares and comments. That means people are engaged and spreading news of your business by word-of-mouth.
Don’t impersonate the big brands. Oreo and Red Bull have very active social media profiles. But don’t just copy their approach for your own. You need to have your own unique identity. Use them as a starting point for inspiration and create your own unique strategy or ask a marketing agency for help.
If you are a small brand, be careful with creativity… In advertising, taking a creative approach is like swinging for a home run. If your approach hits, your business wins big. If not, you lose the money invested and don’t get more clients. In general, it works better to work with a tested, focused, and incremental approach to building your brand. Larger brands can be more experimental because they can afford the risk.
Take responsibility for your own mistakes… You know the traits of bad clients, so don’t be one yourself. If you fall short in relationships with agencies and vendors as you develop your brand identity, acknowledge that and don’t blame them. That way, you can learn, move on, and take your company forward.
Learn more about the customer. Digital marketing focuses on a very personal experience because you can reach very small “micro-niches.” Focus on learning more about your customers, their pain points and what they really want to see from your company. Create a digital marketing experience that addresses these issues and desires.
If you advertise by mobile… Consider getting away from boring text messages. Develop visual content to engage your mobile customer base. And don’t forget to make sure your website is responsive. When your site doesn’t work well on mobile platforms, your users have a bad experience and likely won’t be visiting your site again (at least on a mobile device) which is a HUGE missed opportunity.
Make sure your departments/teams work together. It’s easy to have your various departments turn into independently functioning teams. To create a truly effective brand experience, however, they’ll have to work together. When customer service, sales, design and product development all need to work together there is a cohesiveness to your branding and message from every aspect, improving the overall user experience.
Start Now to Get Your Brand in a Good Position for the Future
Whether you are a small company or a growing agency, now is the time to start developing strategy for a more sophisticated approach to branding. Follow these tips and show your clients that you take your company seriously and watch your company grow explosively.