Editor’s Note: Grant Stanley is a seasoned Business Coach and a Sales & Marketing Expert with a 20+ year outstanding Sales and Marketing record. He is also an author on Flevy, where he has published materials from Business Fundamentals to Management and Leadership Excellence. Take a look at all of Grant’s Flevy best practice documents here.
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When it comes to building a brand and marketing a business, social media is a powerful tool that all businesses need to be taking advantage of. Because 70 percent of Americans have at least one social media account, according to Lyfe Marketing, and because social media is considered the most relevant advertising channel for half of Generation Z and nearly half of millennials, social media marketing’s benefits for growth are obvious.
Not to mention that, according to the Sprout Index, 58 percent of consumers prefer content that focuses on the visual, making social media the perfect place to advertise and build a brand.
Although social media marketing understandably gets a lot of focus when it comes to building a brand and business, it is not the only way to build a brand, so it’s not the only tactic businesses should be using. In fact, it may not even be the most effective brand building tactic for your business, depending on the type of business you run, your industry, your target market, and so on.
When it comes to building a brand, the more diverse your strategy is, the faster, better and more effectively you will be able to build the brand you want to. So, in addition to social media marketing, you may want to consider one or all of the following effective brand building strategies:
1. Really know your target audience.
Although knowing your target audience well does not by itself build your brand, it is extremely important if you want to be able to build that brand effectively. So, whether you’re wholesaling phone cases and other accessories or selling your personally designed, handstitched clothing line through an online store, knowing your target audience can help you market more effectively and get a better return on investment in adverts and other strategies.
To really get to know your audience, first consider who your ideal customer is; but just knowing that teens ages 14 to 19 tend to have mobile phones isn’t enough. Instead, you should basically build an entire imaginary “persona” for your ideal customer — from where this person lives to what he or she likes to do for fun. Then you can really narrow down your marketing and start building and establishing your brand with the people most likely to purchase from you.
2. Build a blog.
Blogging helps build your brand; and not only is it easy and free, but when done right, it can also be extremely powerful (businesses that make serious blogging efforts are 13 times more likely, according to Hubspot, to see a positive return on investment).
You can use your blog to do everything from notifying customers of an upcoming or ongoing promotion and educating customers on how to use your product, to improving SEO and, of course, establishing your brand and persona with your business’s own unique voice and value. Blogging does so much more than just act as a journal, and if you aren’t blogging already, you should start now.
3. Create an email subscription.
Offering an email subscription is a great way to build your brand, whether you want customers and potential customers to receive a monthly newsletter or simply get regular updates on sales, promotions and give aways. You can not only interact with and engage customers but also personalise messages to establish a strong brand connection with customers on an individual basis.
4. Focus on customer service.
Customers are what make any business a success — without them, no business would make it past the first few stages of development. Although quality products, effective marketing, a good active presence and a likable content “voice” are all important aspects of a brand, customer service plays a part as well.
Customers greatly value positive experiences with a company, and less-than-great ones are enough to cause them to never shop with a company again. After a good experience, however, not only are they more likely to stay loyal, they will likely tell their friends and family about your company, helping you gain more customers and an enhanced brand reputation.
5. Make your brand visually memorable.
Many people think of logos and slogans when they think of branding, so visuals can be important. Your logo, including the colours and fonts you choose, all have an impact on how your brand is viewed and how recognisable it is. It only takes 10 seconds for a customer to form a first impression of a brand’s logo, so it is important to do all you can to make your brand visually memorable.
In addition, you can make your brand more visually memorable by selling or giving away custom-branded merchandise. The more you can get your name out, the better. The goal is to make your company’s name recognisable at a glance and creating a memorable logo and other consistent visuals can help build your brand.
Brand-building consists of many different aspects; however, a lot of focus is placed on social media marketing. Although social media marketing plays an important role, there are other things that you can do that are just as effective in building your brand.