Branding is a key element in marketing your business. It sets the tone for your business, and lets people know more about your company’s values and beliefs. It needs to be consistent throughout all marketing avenues in order to project the same message.
There are a variety of ways to highlight your brand. Here are a five ways entrepreneurs can brand their businesses.
It’s important to establish your brand as an authority in your field. One way to do that is to position yourself as a thought leader in your industry by starting a blog.
Research your audience to find out what resources they could use to make their lives easier. Then, provide those resources on your blog. Answer their questions with a comprehensive, in-depth analysis no one else is providing. Use videos, images and infographics, too. This will help build trust with your audience and give them confidence to work with you. Be sure to proofread everything, as poor spelling and grammar will hurt your credibility.
2. Social Media
Use your audience research to determine which social media platforms they use the most, and select two or three to engage with them. It’s important to not stretch your resources too thin by trying to use all of the platforms at once; instead, focus on the platform that’s right for your business. Plus, what’s the point in posting on a platform your audience isn’t using? Limiting the platforms you use also allows you to tailor your message more specifically. Cutting and pasting the same message across the board is lazy and reduces your engagement.
The key is engagement. Like your blog, don’t fill your social media pages with a bunch of self-promotional posts. Share and like your followers’ posts and they will do the same for you; just be sure their posts match your values and branding. Respond to people’s comments and queries in a timely fashion—even the negative ones. Include images and bold colors in your posts so they stand out in people’s newsfeeds; red and orange are great because they create a sense of urgency.
3. Direct Mail
Get into potential customers’ homes, but not in a creepy way. Send information about your brand using direct mail. With this method, you can target specific neighborhoods or demographics. It typically has a longer shelf life than an email, as many people save it as a reference. There is also a greater chance the recipient will see it—as opposed to email, where many messages get lost in people’s inboxes or end up in their junk folders.
You can send information about upcoming sales or events, invite people to check out your website or social media, or send out your business newsletter. Be sure to use stationery and envelopes that match your business’s brand. Keep the envelope professional looking, and use fonts that mimic handwriting to increase your open rate.
4. Become a Guest Speaker
Another way to establish your authority is to become a guest speaker. Give presentations about upcoming trends in your industry at conferences or other networking events. Alternatively, speak at local community meetings about common issues you see customers deal with in your field. For example, if you are a realtor, your speech can include tips for staging your home for a sale or what to look for when touring homes to purchase.
Meeting people in person helps them put a face to the name they might see on yard signs and in ads. It also helps build a connection, which they will remember when they are in need of the goods or services you provide.
5. Loyalty Program
Loyalty programs are a great way to reward existing customers and entice new ones to come to you. If customers are satisfied with your program, it will speak well of your brand. You can set up a few different systems, such as a stamp card that allows customers to receive a free product after purchasing a specific number of products. You can also count dollars spent as points and provide a free product or discount once a specific number of points is earned.
When designing loyalty cards, get creative. You can put the tracking information on the back of your business card, so that customers will always have it handy. Or try giving out keychain tags that can be scanned with each purchase to track things digitally. If you don’t want to use tags, you can use an electronic tracking system by requesting customers’ phone numbers or email addresses to enter into your computer.
Developing a plan for branding is one of the first things business owners need to do. It’s important to reach your potential customers through a variety of avenues online and offline. Hopefully, these five tips get you started.
Do you have any other tips? Leave them in the comments below.