Six Easy Tips to Build Brand Marketing Strategy
As an SMB, your brand may be one of the most valuable tool in your toolbox. Because of this, it’s vitally important to nail down your brand marketing strategy as soon as you can.
Your brand tells your company’s story. And that story is what your customers will interact with to get to know more about you. As the founder of Amazon, Jeff Bezos, has said: “Your brand is what other people say about you when you’re not in the room.”
But a brand doesn’t just appear. Everything you do with your business affects your brand, whether it is the logo on your website or the culture behind closed doors.
And what’s exciting is that, you don’t need to hire an expensive agency to create the perfect brand for you. There are several things you can do internally as an SMB to create a valuable brand marketing strategy for your business.
1. Market directly to your audience
You know your audience better than anyone–or you should. But actually sitting down and creating one or more semi-fictional characters that represent your audience is more than a fun exercise. It’s essential.
These characters are called “personas” and what they can do for you and your team is keep everyone on track to make sure you are “talking” to the right audience.
Creating your persona isn’t difficult. You need to brainstorm the ideal profile and consider the following information: gender, demographic information, and buying habits, among other things. Hubspot has a nice tool called MakeMyPersona that walks you through the key attributes you should know about your customers.
Understanding exactly who your audience is will help you determine where to invest your marketing resources. For example, if your audience is 18-24 years old, you won’t want to spend a lot of time on Facebook where the average age is 40.5 years old.
2. You gotta be….YOU
Knowing what sets you apart from the crowd is something that will help cement your brand in your mind and the mind of your customers. Determining your key differentiators and letting everyone know why you are better than the others is another aspect of creating your brand.
What are your values? What do you represent? How do you want people to talk about you when you aren’t in the room? Take some time to think about this and jot down some notes. You may not get all of your superpowers hammered out in one sitting and that’s ok. In fact, you may find that your superpowers change slightly over time. That’s ok too — just make sure you are evaluating this frequently with your team (annually is our recommendation).
3. Consistency counts
Especially when you are new and getting your business started, you absolutely must be consistent in what you say across all platforms. Whatever you tell your customers on your website must be consistent with what you say in your emails and on social media.
Your logo, your colors, the general look and feel of your business should remain similar no matter what platform you are on. A customer reading one of your brochures should be able to look at your Instagram account and know you are the same business in both places.
4. Spend some time on your face to the public
OK it may not be the first thing that you do, but having a strong brand identity is one of the first things you should consider.
And, this may be the one area that you will need to spend some money on to get off to a good start. Investing in a great logo and creating a memorable name creates a powerful impression that you need in the early days of your small business life.
Your colors, font, even the phrasing of the content you use should resonate with customers from your website to your email newsletter to your social media accounts.
Brand identity is all about being recognizable, and having a great look and feel that also tells your story will take your SMB far.
5. Offer amazing customer service
Sounds like a no brainer right? Well, it should be, but in many cases, customer service may be the last objective on your list or one that you take for granted in your business.
Think about this: Offering stellar customer service may actually save you marketing dollars if word-of-mouth gets passed around from your current to your potential customers. Word-of-mouth is free though that “free” can help you or hurt you.
Most companies (whether B2C or B2B… or H2H as it’s being coined now) have customers and those customers have opinions. So, when they leave reviews about your company, those are part of your business and then customer service becomes even more important. Today, people read other customers’ reviews and often make purchasing decisions based on those alone. In fact, more than 90% of consumers consult customer reviews before deciding whether or not to buy a product or service.
6. Start a blog and have consistent social media presence
You can go a long way toward promoting your voice and your brand by generating content and posting regular blog posts addressing your customers’ pain points and highlighting your superpowers (remember, you know who these people are and what they struggle with). HubSpot points out that blogging is a fundamental step of inbound marketing.
This is the place where you can attract potential customers by writing about topics they are searching for. And you can find out what they are searching for with some solid keyword research. If you’ve never done keyword research, Moz has explained it well for beginners.
Once you publish your blog posts to your web site, don’t forget to post them on your social media channels to bring readers back to your website to read your blog.
In the end, much of the work of creating a brand is something that you, as a small business owner, can do. Having a strong, high-quality brand takes time so be patient and more importantly… be consistent.
No matter what type of business you have, you will be a leader in your industry with a strong brand that results from a smart marketing strategy.
Tomato Fish is an Indianapolis consulting company focused on helping small and midsize businesses make good strategic planning decisions.