How to be a brand and not just a business is a question on many small business owners minds. Creating a strong, consistent brand identity for your business is essential to having an effective online presence. Getting your branding right will immediately set you apart from your competitors and allow you to stand out from the crowd but before you get started you should ask yourself these three questions.
- ‘Who is your audience?’. Knowing who you want to target is extremely important and will impact everything you do. First impressions count which is why it is important you get it spot on and send out the right message to your intended audience.
- ‘How are you different from your competitors?’ Using your USP’s in your branding will make you distinct and set you apart from the rest. Focus your branding and content on your target market and stick to that.
- ‘What is your brand’s voice?’. The tone of voice you portray through your content needs to suit your company and your audience. To discover your tone of voice, firstly think of a few words which describe your brand’s characteristics as if your brand was a person (e.g conversational, casual, young). Once you have discovered your personality traits, find out what your audience wants from your voice. A way to do this would be researching blogs, social media channels and other websites your target market may visit. Finally, think about it- your word choice is very important, as is whether you speak in 1st or 2nd person, so plan ahead and be consistent.
Being consistent across all platforms with your image and message will make sure you are easily recognisable amongst existing and potential customers. Below are a few tips on how to promote your brand through relevant online content.
Social Media Branding
Choosing the right social media platforms for your brand and audience is the first step to being successful. Focus on the ones which are most relevant to your customers and put all of your efforts into the select few. This will help you to speak directly to your customers, promote new products and services and offer your unique knowledge and insight.
In order for your social media strategy to work your content, and as previously mentioned, your tone of voice needs to reflect your core values and image. Your social media profiles should each reflect the brand image and portray the same message including logo, colour scheme and tone of voice.
Getting noticed is all down to the content you put out there. Creating and sharing content that is relevant to you and your audience can increase your online presence and set you apart from your competition. Finding an image/content style that suits your brand and using a template to recreate this is a great way to ensure consistency. When you are creating content for social media whether it be a blog post, or Facebook ad – keep in mind your brand colours, font, style and tone of voice.
All of your branded content and social media channels will direct customers to your website, making it the fundamental part of your online presence. A clear brand image will only be effective if your website offers engaging content, clear design and great UX (user experience). If your customers can’t easily find their way around your site it will only encourage them to go elsewhere.
Keeping in mind the above steps will help to boost your online presence and ultimately increase sales. If you keep on top of your branding you will soon see the conversions rolling in.