We all want better results from our marketing efforts, but how to achieve this improvement is often elusive. In this post, we talk about linking marketing and branding to increase the impact of your promotions and gain lift.
If you want to improve your online marketing results, you should pay as much attention to branding as you do to promoting your website and social media posts, because marketing and branding go together like peanut butter and jelly (unless you’re allergic, then think hot dog and bun). Unfortunately, there are limited resources that provide guidance on how to build a strong and successful brand, therefore, the best approach is to build your strategy around your digital marketing plan.
Developing a Strong USP
It is important that you make your brand stand out from the crowd and help your audience remember and recognize your brand. There are various ways you can identify your strong USP (unique selling proposition) and get help with creating brand messages that speak directly to your audience. You will need to take the time to write your mission and vision statement, as this will help you identify your unique selling proposition. Your website and social media visitors will want to know why they should choose you, instead of another seller or service provider.
A USP should resonate with your target market, not just fit the company’s own notion of why customers should buy from them. Often, at least with my clients, there’s a mismatch between the two and it really only matters how customers view your brand and its USP.
It is also crucial that you create consistency in your digital marketing and branding. Many small business owners are too busy to post on social media and have no idea how to find the right tone on different platforms. You should always use the same brand colors and fonts, and create a consistent theme for your messages and blog posts. Take out a few minutes to create a style guide containing your logo (versions of it, if you use alternatives for different purposes and sizes), your colors (as hexcodes and RGB colors) and core images that define your brand. That way, anyone in the organization or media has a leg up on maintaining your consistent brand messaging. If you are simply feeling overwhelmed and would like to get help with your marketing and branding, you might want to take advantage of social media packages for small business owners online using a full-service digital agency or a freelancer.
Image via Nellis Air Force Base
If you would like to brand your business online and offline, you need to show up wherever your target market hangs out. This is easier said than done, though. You might want to create downloadable leaflets and printed ones, being sure to use your style guide so that your clients will recognize you, and be present where your audience is hanging out. You might want to improve your visibility by advertising in popular magazines related to your niche or creating press releases that help raise your profile.
Focus on the Right Niche
One of the main mistakes small and medium-sized business owners make is that they end up shooting in the dark, trying to please everyone. If you don’t know who your ideal client is, you will never be able to find the right communication channels and messages to reach them, You need to research your niche and find out what is missing from the offers your competitors have, so you can bridge the gap and provide more value to your customers.
Remember, customers buy solutions, not products. So be the solution. If you own a smaller business, you can’t always use the tactics of a global company, simply because you don’t have the branding and marketing budget they do. But, if you think local and brand your company that way, you can stretch your budget and still reach your market.
Improve Your Brand Value
Branding can help you raise your business profile and increase your value. You improve branding by teaming up with other businesses offering complementary products or services, educating your customers, or being present in the press. There are so many ways you can create free publicity, for example, a giveaway event, a fundraiser, or a free launch event that will get people through the door and stimulate them to want to learn more about you and what you do. These events are going to cost you less than you would think and you might get free publicity from the local media, especially for fundraisers or non-profit activities that support the community.
Market Research Tools
If you want to reach the right people with the right messages, you should add market research tools to your marketing campaigns. Surveys, for example, are very effective when you are trying to get your foot in the door, as you can reach people without being accused of delivering a sales pitch. Further, you will create reciprocity and make them feel special as you are showing that you are interested in their insights.
Social media is useful, especially if you don’t have the budget for traditional marketing research. Listen to how users frame their problems and complain about the failures of existing brands.
Professional Brand Image
No matter how small your business is, it is crucial that you appear professional and reliable. Apart from printed and online marketing and branding materials, you will also need to pay attention to the information you are sending out about your business, You might be running your business from your spare room, but nobody needs to know this. You can get a professional mailing address from https://physicaladdress.com and display that on your site, in email marketing, and leaflets instead of your home one.
Blending Marketing and Branding
The main reason why most digital marketing campaigns fail is that business owners don’t have a clear idea about who they would like to reach and how to deliver their messages. You might have spent a lot of money and time creating your website, getting your branding kit, but if you don’t get website visitors and sales, it was just a waste. You will have to put yourself in your potential clients’ shoes and find out exactly what they are looking for online.
Making your digital marketing work will not happen without branding. Use the above tips to raise your profile and increase your brand visibility.
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Hausman and Associates, the publisher of MKT Maven, is a full-service marketing agency operating at the intersection of marketing and digital media. Check out our full range of services.