There is a reason why you will never confuse Walmart and Target or mistake Chick-fil-A for McDonald’s. These companies go through great trouble to develop branding strategies that are woven into the fabric of their operations, sales, and marketing. Cohesive branding will increase your credibility, reputation, recognizability and overall awareness of your product or service with your audience. Even your employees are likely to be proud of, and be more organized behind, a strong brand presence. This process of creating a unique voice and image of your company helps to distinguish your business from your competitors, builds value in the eyes of the consumer and communicates trust. As a marketing agency that has been helping brands establish themselves for almost 30 years, Strategic Marketing is keenly aware of the branding strategies necessary to build a business vision. Below are nine branding strategies that really work if you work them.
Develop Your Brand Assets
Step one to building any brand is to come up with unique, relatable and impressive brand assets like a logo, color scheme, tagline, established values and mottos. Identify what you want your company to convey and what your ideal customer is interested in. Is it trust? Is it adventure? Is it leadership? Develop your logo and other brand elements with your identity in mind and then implement these assets throughout all parts of your business. Creating taglines and catchy brand elements will help your audience to tie a catchy phrase with the quality of your product or service. This image that you build with your assets will be how your customer views your business and will be the first interaction people have with you (whether they buy or not). This initial exchange of perceived value will dictate the interest you spark in someone who runs across your business. Once you have all your assets in place – use them!
Consistency in branding refers to ensuring that employees, partners and customers of your business will hear and see a cohesive brand and message at every interaction with you. Consistency helps to create customer loyalty as people begin to expect a certain experience from your business. Extend this thought to delivering this brand consistency through all parts of your business including your accounting department, paid marketing efforts or customer support. Anything related to your organization should be branded, leverage your chosen colors and support your company image to build familiarity with your customers and employees.
It all sounds like a lot! All too often, companies get carried away with this and brand strategies become disjointed or cluttered. Keeping it simple will help you to carry one concise message to the consumer. An agency partner like Strategic Marketing can help you develop brand continuity that builds trust with your audience. Once your assets are all in place, the story you tell about your business will thread all these pieces together.
Branding Strategies That Tell Your Story
Today’s consumer craves value with their purchase. The days of hard-selling are over and the days of cultivating relationships are here. Stop bragging and start relating to your audience. Building a story for your brand helps customers understand why they should buy from you, what you’re all about and emotionally connect to your product or service. This is what makes your company memorable in the sea of other competitors. Share your circumstance, characters and conflict while encouraging conversations and curiosity. These 5 C’s will help your business communicate what matters to your audience. Use every opportunity to tell your story whether you’re piquing curiosity through your email subject lines or serving relatable content on your Facebook page. Sometimes, a good story will yield more results than a great product on its own. Brands that customers are proud to shop from tend to have high customer loyalty and repeat business. The question becomes – What does your audience want to hear?
Know Yourself Well. Know Your Audience Better.
To truly understand the positioning your company should take, it’s important to evaluate yourself first. Why do your customers choose you? Do not confuse this with why you think customers SHOULD choose you. Look at the numbers, listen to the feedback and identify why customers purchase from you instead of a competitor. More importantly, identify what your audience relates to. What does your customer look like? What are their interests, concerns, goals and aspirations? Where do they live and work and how does the local environment factor into their purchase behavior? Answering important questions like this can help you tailor your message, products/services and branding to relate directly to the customers you’re looking for. Marketing companies like Strategic Marketing will help you pair your brand identity with the needs of your audience so that your branding strategies have the maximum impact on your results. From here, transfer your voice to the platforms that your customers use most.
Branding Strategies in Social Media
The average customer now evaluates brands on several different platforms. This means you need to meet your customers on the apps they use most with the same authenticity you show on your website or other advertising platforms. Decide what your “voice” should be on your business social media pages by mirroring the interests of your audience. Are you funny? Are you informational? Unlike paid advertising, your goal in organic social media is to relate – not sell. Dividends from a thorough organic social media campaign will come from brand awareness and engagement. Provide content your audience wants to click on, even if it’s from someone else. For the pros, go ahead and develop your own content to drive website traffic.
If you want to really engage your audience with your brand, develop content they want to see and develop it in varied, digestible formats. Once you know what interests your audience, work on creating infographics, whitepapers, articles or blogs that relate to what they like. By keeping your branding at the forefront of these materials, you can cater to their interests and establish yourself as a source of information, fun or other identity. The best part about this type of content is that you can use it for a variety of purposes. You can add it as a downloadable element on your website to get signups, post it as a link on your social media account, share it as part of an email campaign or add it to your Pay-Per-Click landing page. This does get time consuming so working with an agency like Strategic Marketing can help you save valuable time by having us focus on content strategy and development.
This one is fairly simple. Participating in your community, fundraising, sponsoring events or other altruistic company endeavors favors greatly with buyers. Not only is it trust-building, but it’s an opportunity to cultivate brand awareness and word-of-mouth advertising through things that help the community! Your brand being featured in the local paper or on sponsored flyers is a simple way to build goodwill with local shoppers.
Choose Your Channels
Once you have developed brand assets, created a voice, found your story and your audience, you can begin to expand your brand to your paid tactics. Get your brand out in front of new people on as many channels as you can (keeping your audience in mind). You can no longer just rely on one or two paid tactics to get the same results. If you take the average radio listener, this person no longer just listens to radio. They stream music on different platforms, watch videos on YouTube and scroll through social media. Make sure you reach new and existing customers in a variety of different methods with your branding elements. The more they are seen, the more recall a potential customer will have.
Be a “Purple Cow”
Seth Godin, author and entrepreneur, writes “The world is full of boring stuff — brown cows — which is why so few people pay attention. Remarkable marketing is the art of building things worth noticing right into your product or service. Not just slapping on the marketing function as a last-minute add-on, but also understanding from the outset that if your offering itself isn’t remarkable, then it’s invisible — no matter how much you spend on well-crafted advertising.” The moral here? Be a purple cow. Strive to be a leader with a unique brand value and something interesting to say.
If you need help becoming a “purple cow,” let Strategic Marketing help turn your brand into something truly remarkable. From concept development and initial branding elements to content creation and paid tactics, Strategic Marketing is a partner to help you manage branding end-to-end. Fill out the form below for a free marketing evaluation to stop your brand from being invisible.
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If you haven’t started using video marketing as a consistent component of your campaigns, then you are likely behind your competitors. Thanks in large part to social media, video content consumption has been on the rise for several years and is now crucial to your paid campaigns. Not just ANY video either. Marketers, business owners and entrepreneurs are looking for new ways to engage their viewing audience with a variety of video tactics and are developing content that is tailor-made for their specific audience. Paired with a streamlined follow-up strategy, video is guiding customers right into the sales funnel and having a big impact on businesses’ return on investment (ROI).
An agency like Strategic Marketing will help you to finetune your video marketing strategy, backend logistics and creative development to make sure you are getting the best results from your content. Below are some things to consider when developing your video marketing strategy.
Creating Video Content
From interviews and explanation videos to webinars and entertainment, if you can think it – you can make it. Make one of every style if you want! Your video content should showcase your brand while being relevant to the viewer. The more you cater to your ideal audiences’ interests and needs, the more success you will find with your video strategy. Make sure to opt for “suitable” instead of “salesy.” Be mindful that your video brings something of value to the customer and is not just about your product or service. There is a time and place for every kind of video. From shaky behind-the-scenes clips to professionally shot drone footage, it’s about what you are evoking with your content. Here are some tips to get you started:
- Develop a library of clips that you can reuse and reorganize to keep your content fresh.
- Work with a professional to shoot quality footage worthy of your brand name.
- Tell a story – not a sales pitch.
- Choose the best thumbnail. This is the first thing people will see prior to ever clicking your video.
- Stay relevant and relatable to your ideal audience.
- Use people (if applicable). A smiling face can be the connection between the buyer and your product.
- Use “supers” to support your audio since many watch videos with the sound off.
- Research budget-friendly video software. You may be able to start with some simple clips.
- Above all, invest in your content as it will be inextricably tied to your brand identity.
Video Marketing Platforms
Not sure where to put up your new video marketing footage? Luckily, pretty much every platform offering advertising is set up for video. Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and many others are beefing up their ad formats to include a variety of ways you can present your content. This is where it gets tricky. Each type of format is going to come with different costs, audiences, and responses. Campaigns have a myriad of targeting parameters and audience segments, which is great – if you know how to use it. Products and services are unique for each business and results can differ depending upon each variable. This is where working with a company like Strategic Marketing can help you to keep your campaigns straight, on budget and optimized for performance. An agency partner can help you to realize your campaign goals with a flawless execution.
If you don’t plan on using video in your paid campaigns, then posting video organically can generate some traffic as well. Post the video to your business Facebook page or YouTube channel and share the links in places where your customers would find it. Most of all, make sure you are leveraging video on your website where people can engage with your product right on the page.
Driving Leads Through Video Marketing
Success begins once you can translate your video views into revenue! By using targeted messaging and strong calls-to-action in your content, you can drive people to your website, product page, or sales funnel. The easier you can make the transition from video to sale for the viewer, the more results you can generate. For example, it is more likely for a viewer to hit a button under the video to navigate to your site than it is for them to type in your full URL into the search bar to find your product. Creating a frictionless sales funnel will help you to convert more people, faster. Make sure you are driving leads to precise pages relevant to what they watched and provide a clear path for them to follow. Busy pages full of links or pages that do not load are bound for failure! If you think you can improve, Strategic Marketing can help you develop clean sales funnels that maximize your ROI.
Have a common thread across all of your marketing efforts. Simple branding elements can help you stay on track while creating your content. Make sure you stay within your color schemes, add your logo and stay consistent with your story. From there, the more places you put your video marketing content, the more chances it will be seen. And seen again. And seen some more. For example, tying video into your email campaigns can boost your open rates by 19%. Just add “video” to your subject line! By nature, marrying the different tactics increases the frequency a customer sees your ad while also cultivating a sense of brand consistency – an element perfected by the high-end brands with padded marketing budgets. Try your content across all of your marketing efforts. After the initial launch, you can see which platforms yielded the best results and you can finetune your strategy from there. Don’t be afraid to switch creative if it is not resonating with your audience the way you imagined!
Apart from creating your videos, the most important part you will need to do is monitor the performance of your new assets. The results you see from your content will tell you what to do next. Perhaps you need to switch creative, put your video on a different platform or maybe toggle some campaign settings to adjust who sees your ad. Robust reporting and thorough monitoring will help you to optimize your campaign to reach the highest ROI possible from your video marketing efforts. However, just tracking the campaign is a full-time job and you have a business to run! Working with a partner like Strategic Marketing can ensure that every aspect of your video marketing campaigns is being tracked and reported back to you with the appropriate suggestions for improvement.
Video marketing to online shoppers is perhaps your best chance to capture the attention of your audience. Although there are simple tactics you can incorporate into your marketing routine, your best bet would be to work with an agency partner who can help you develop your video marketing campaign from concept and creative to monitoring and reporting. Strategic Marketing has the technology, experience, and creative eye needed to help your business boost ROI through robust video marketing strategies. Get started with a free evaluation by filling out the form below.