But my business is already on brand
Is your business always on brand?
Establishing your brand seems simple. Just tick off your checklist of marketing tasks, right?
|Designed a logo||Check|
|Picked corporate colours||Check|
|Secured domain & social media names||Check|
|Picked corporate font||Check|
|Aligned website & social media design||Check|
Actually it’s not quite so simple. Think about these questions.
What makes up your brand?
When asked about their brand, many business owners will talk about their logo, their website, their printed marketing materials. But a brand is about more than that. It’s about your actual products or services, but also about how your customers and potential customers feel about them. And about how they feel about your brand when you’re not in front of them. It’s a bit more intangible than a business card isn’t it? Try to think of one thing that encapsulates what you want your brand always to offer.
Remember, your brand is likely to be the first thing people notice, visually. And a strong visual identity is about more than colour and logo and font; it should present a clear understanding of what you represent, and this will be reflected later in your choice of content in social media platforms. They are, after all, basically just a huge networking platform.
How can you start to represent your brand?
As Simon Sinek puts it, you need to Find Your Why. Why should people buy from you?
What does your brand stand for? As Visual.ly puts it, what character does your brand play in your story?
Once you have established the role your brand needs to play for the listener or reader of your story – the customer – you can go about establishing what kinds of things you are going to say, the tone of voice you will say them in and the types of people who will be listening. We cover this further here.
What emotions do your brand colours convey? Colour plays an important part in branding and is part of attracting your target customer who will be attracted by your chosen colours. There’s a great video here from Col Gray at Pixels Ink talking about how to choose your brand colours and why they are important.
How do you stand out?
If similar products at similar prices are lined up and the customer must make a choice, which one will they choose?
The one from the brand which speaks to them, which resonates with them, which they can relate to.
This is why everything you create, you post, you print needs to originate with your brand persona in mind. It’s all part of the ongoing, and hopefully very long-lasting, conversation with your customers.
Your brand strategy will inform all future business decisions and the behaviour of your business in the marketplace so it’s important to get it right, and for it to filter into all of your activity in social media channels.
Just as your brand is made up of feelings your customers have about you, so you must be willing to move your brand as those feelings change. A startup is a fluid entity, we can’t all be the Apples and Nikes of this world, at least not at first.
Even big brands move with new trends, for example most of them have jumped on video marketing and are making active use of Facebook Live or Instagram Stories as part of their marketing strategies. They understand the power of these to speak to their customers, to make them feel involved in the brand, and therefore unconsciously loyal to the brand.
With the new Facebook algorithm for 2018, some publishers have stopped natively posting on Facebook. Others such as Little Things blame the algorithm for the demise of their business. Obviously we hope things are never that dire for you, but it’s important to be aware of developments and to be able to pivot by not putting all your marketing eggs in one basket.
All of these points will populate your marketing strategy (find a blog on formulating a social media marketing strategy here). Make time to really nail them, and you will be one step closer to nailing your social media marketing.
If you’re interested in improving your social media marketing you might like to join my FREE Facebook group here.