You’re working on building your brand, as you know you should—but no matter what you do, you’re left feeling like your target audience isn’t connecting with your brand as well or as frequently as you’d like. Sound familiar? Hey, it’s a common feeling: that nagging in the back of your brain, constantly saying, Do it More and Do it Better!
But what DO you do? Maybe you don’t know what else you could be doing to boost your brand recognition. Well, here it is: that insider branding information you’ve been waiting for. This week I’m going to offer up five of my BEST tips for better branding. These 5 hot tips are your foundation. Read them, use them, click the links to read more, and finally bring your branding to the next level!
Prepare Your Content & Social Media FRESH
Be sure your website content is always fresh and relevant to your niche market. Do you have a blog? You should! A blog is a great way to consistently produce relevant and timely web content. This (combined with the use of industry keywords and phrases) will really boost your search engine optimization (SEO), allowing more potential customers to find your business online. And the really great thing about having a business blog? Additional content for your social media sites.
It’s true: just having a website nowadays isn’t enough. You need to be present on a variety of social media platforms to really gain that brand recognition you so desire and deserve. It’s about creating and sharing great content, and in a myriad of formats: from blog articles to videos, from photos to podcasts, and more. Create both free and priced material (e-books, for example) to boost your credibility.
The rule is Share Everything. Create great content, find great content, and share it all on social media to show your target audience you know your stuff. Posting daily, or even multiple times a day, is usually best. I’m serious: if you’re only posting to social media once a week, you’re barely making a dent or a difference. Too much of a time commitment? Don’t worry—you’re not alone! Hire a ghostwriter and/or social media company to create and manage your online content.
Construct CREATIVE Collateral
My Spot-On Branding business cards are circular. Why? Because not only does the circular shape represent my spots-and-dots branding theme, but the unique shape means my business cards are fun and memorable.
When printing marketing collateral items, don’t use standard sizes and shapes. It’s time to think differently and stand OUT! Those who know me in person know I detest the standard shape tri-fold brochure. Sure, it’s often used because it fits in a standard #10 envelope, and also in those inexpensive standard-sized holders available at any office supply retail store. But seriously? Boring, boring, BORING! Why do you want to—and worse, CHOOSE to—look like every other business out there?
Want to mail your brochure? Envelopes come in tons of other sizes! Want your brochure in a holder? Holders also come in all kinds of oddball sizes. It’s time to get noticed with a creative new look. Be bold! Be daring! Just DON’T be boring.
Be Consistently MEMORABLE
I say it all the time: when it comes to memorable branding, consistency is one of THE best strategies for your brand. Everything about your branding must be cohesive to produce that repetitive interaction required to build a recognizable brand. If you change your logo every six months, how will anyone remember your business over time? Well, they won’t—and that’s no way to build trust with your target market.
You need a great and appealing logo, a consistent and solid look and feel to your brand, and exact color choices—every time. Only repetition paired with eye-catching typographyand design will ensure your brand remains memorable and recognizable. Choose contrasting colors and graphics that work cohesively with your established look. Added bonus: one look and feel means your branding, marketing, and advertising are much more affordable because you don’t have to recreate your look EVERY time.
KNOW Your Target Audience
Picture your ideal customer. What are their demographics? What are their likes and dislikes? Where do they hang out on the weekends? What are their hobbies? Can you answer all of these questions? If not, NOW is the time to sit down and define your target audience.
If you don’t know exactly who you’re targeting, you’re going to have a heck of a time developing an effective brand. You must know every little thing about your target audience. I find this is often one of the hardest things for small business owners to really understand. Either they cast too wide a net, trying to catch every fish in the sea—or they focus too narrowly, on a target that isn’t viable and thriving.
Your best bet is to start with a vision statement. If you cannot articulate your business’ vision in just a few sentences, then how can you figure out who you really serve? Discover your vision and get to know your target audience. Only then can you really get to know those individuals or businesses, discover those viable niches, and figure out what they actually need before they even realize they need it!
SPEAK Your Mind
Here at The Branding Spot, we like to say You Are Your Brand. This means that YOU are your best-bet representative of your brand and your business. A great way to get out there and show your stuff is to become a speaker (or sponsor) at an event, workshop, seminar or webinar.
Sponsoring a local charity event will raise awareness of your business and your products and/or services within your community, and enhance your brand with that positive light. You’ll not only find yourself networking with like-minded business people, but you’ll also establish and build trusted, lasting relationships in your community and your industry. Your presence heightens the chances these connections will purchase from your brand when they need your type of product or services, and they’ll also likely recommend your business to others. Workshops and seminars will help you establish yourself and your business as the go-to experts in your industry.
What are YOUR best branding tips? Which of these branding areas do you struggle with the most? Get in touch with Spot-On Branding on Facebook or leave a comment below!