Have you ever taken the time to Google yourself? What about your business?
Your potential customer or client is if they need your product or service. Your banker is if you are applying for a loan. Even your potential mother-in-law has done her research on you before you show up to meet her. I promise you, everyone else is Googling you.
When people stumble upon your business's website or your Facebook page, how will their perceive your brand? Whether you like it or not, people do their research online and have an impression of you way before they even meet you in person.
Every business has a brand. Wikipedia says, “A brand is the most valuable fixed asset of a Corporation.” So what's in your branding strategy? Whether you like it or not, you are the CEO of your brand. You are responsible for the message that is sent to your customers, potential customers and industry peers.
Here are five ways you can build a consistent, successful brand for your business.
1. Develop An Identity & Voice
First thing's first. You must develop a strong identity and voice for your business. But how do you do that? You create a code.
All of the most iconic, successful brands have a code. Think of Nike, Starbucks, Apple, Coca-Cola. What do they all have in common? A devout community of followers. They built a community by first building their code. Best-selling author, advertising exec and founder of Thinktopia, Patrick Hanlon, created seven elements to help brands discover their code. Global brands like Kraft, Levi’s, and Johnson & Johnson have used this framework to develop a community of zealots. And you can, too.
2. Understand Your Personas
After you nail down your code, you must then discern your buyer personas. Buyer personas are semi-fictional representations of your ideal customer. In order to attract the right people to your business, you must fully understand their wants, needs and buyer's journey.
Download our free buyer persona eBook to learn how to create and utilize your personas.
3. Be Consistent On Social Media
Social media remains one of the most powerful marketing tools today. No matter your business's budget or audience, you can use social media to spread brand awareness and generate an avid following. In order to be successful on social media, however, you must be consistent and understand each platform's individual audience. Your branding must be consistent; your scheduling must be consistent; and your voice must be consistent.
Make sure your social media graphics are the right size with our free cheat sheet.
4. Create Content Your Audience Wants
Remember those personas we mentioned? Well, those are how you determine what type of content your audience craves. Create original blogs posts, offer free premium content, such as checklists, guides and infographics, and make your website content easy to navigate and understand. ROI Online has adopted the StoryBrand framework to help our clients clarify their message. We are also a StoryBrand Certified Agency.
Learn more about StoryBrand and how it can help grow your business.
5. Nurture Your Community
Continue to nurture your community by providing them with content they want. Engage with them on social media, answer their questions and respond to their comments. Give them free offers and resources, and opportunities to interact with your brand.
Editor's note: This post was originally published in 2013. It has been updated for freshness and accuracy.
Need help with your business's branding? ROI Online is the first agency to become certified in Primal Branding by Thinktopia! Schedule a free strategy session with us today!