Today, most startup businesses as well as established companies are mastering, to some degree, the art of creating their own brands. Although a few years ago, companies of all types and sizes were still engaging experienced advertising, marketing and promotions firms to do their branding, the current accessibility of Internet technology and information exchange make it possible for nearly everyone to create and promote a brand. Most branding experts agree that an essential ingredient of the branding process is authenticity. Unless you present a clear, concise and true profile and image of your business purpose and goals through branding, the public will most likely get a murky or somewhat confused picture and understanding of who you are and what you do. Your products and services will probably also be misunderstood by consumers. Before people can desire or want to try out new products, they need to fully comprehend and appreciate all aspects, facets and capabilities of each item, concept or amenity being offered.
How to Begin Your Story Along the Path to Creating Your Company’s Brand
Goethe is quoted as saying, “To think is easy. To act is difficult. To act as one thinks is the most difficult.” Yet without this kind of thorough, 3D verity, it just is not possible to transmit to your clients and potential customers exactly what you are offering them. Just as you confuse children by telling them how healthy orange juice and milk are for them and then drinking coffee yourself, you convolute or shade your business impact whenever you paint less than a clear, valid image or definition of your core message and intent. When you think, feel, believe and act on pure realization of your company concept, goals, products and raison d’etre, you cannot help but transfer a completely understandable and sensical idea, picture, usefulness and attraction for your business. By doing this, you create a dynamic and engaging brand that will grow in accountability and resulting popularity among consumers. As more people recognize your business, what you are about and the value of your products and services, your company will gain increasing benefits of greater sales conversion rates and profit levels. Ultimately, your brand can become a rising and prevailing star as an industry innovator and leader. Which reminds me you should take a look at a post I wrote a while back The 4 Layers of Branding.
What Can Build Your Brand for Continued Success in Today’s Marketplace
According to Simon Mainwaring, “The keys to brand success are self-definition, transparency, authenticity and accountability.” When you immerse yourself in every aspect of your enterprise, from its very inception to finished marketable product, you walk and talk its very essence. Strong fashionable trends are contagious, especially when they are fresh and new. When you wear the banner of your business, so to speak, the public catches and captures your enthusiasm, gaining desire for what your company is and markets. By building and refining a powerful brand that continually gains more validity and marketplace attention, you are steering your company ship toward the golden port of enduring success.
Major factors vital to building the ultimate brand recognition and enduring business popularity include:
Your Company Brand
Your brand is actually the foundation of your marketing plan, strategy and implementation. If you visualize and build your marketing process as a pyramid, your brand is its supporting base. Although many essential aspects play important roles in your marketing plan, your brand is the true essence of you and your business. All other major aspects build on the brand as pyramid base, including SEO, copywriting, content design and development, social media networking and Web persona management. You should consider your brand the primary layer or level of your business marketing pyramid.
Your Business Website
Your company site is the second level or layer of your pyramidal marketing structure. Many qualities of your website strongly affect how visitors and customers view, perceive and respond to your brand. Site design, layout, content, audio, video, and interactive features are all major assets or detractions, depending on their qualities and strengths. SEO, CRO and analytics are all important to the overall effect of your site as second level of your Internet marketing pyramid. A highly accountable and transparent website is crucial for direct delivery of your brand’s core message to your site visitors. Since your major operative goal is to transform even casual website visitors to first time buyers, then to regular customers and finally to loyal members of your client base, your site must be dynamic, authentic, engaging and user-friendly.
Expert SEOs are skilled at formulating page titles and crafting descriptive text. This requires use of three-dimensional thinking and language. There is no room for careless wording or spelling mishaps when creating empowering Web page content. Good use of key terms and phrases is essential for top-level page ranking. Site content must be relevant and well focused to best deliver your brand’s authentic purpose and message. Effective site content requires relevant action words and anchor text well-suited for strong site optimization. A powerful SEO campaign for your company brand and products will highlight and enhance your brand’s definitive essence and intent.
Web Content Development and Off-Site SEO
Link building, now that’s a slippery slope in light of all the Google FUD going around. But for the sake of this article let’s throw it in here as an organic strategy that can and does work. The deal breaker is intent, what you are looking for are organic results and not “gaming” Google. As your marketing pyramid’s third layer, this step is crucial for effective off-site SEO. Whether it’s link building or building your brands authority your actions will depend on who and what sites link to or connect with you. Always link to sites that are relevant to the topic. Ask yourself this question. Will my linking to this site benefit the reader or will this help me with SEO? Don’t do it for SEO. You may get a boost in results, but eventually Google will see this as a red flag and your site/business/brand will disappear from the SERP’s. Another option is to write guest posts. Once again only on sites that will help you build a community and give you qualified traffic. Obviously backlinks are helpful for your business when positioned on high quality sites, therefore think before you throw away great content to a site that’s not relevant to your story. Authoritative off-page SEO breeds healthy brand visibility, acceptance and ultimate star quality in your industry.
Social Media and Brand Reputation Control
A strong, attractive and durable brand is dependent on social media and brand credibility campaigns. This level of your pyramid serves as the complete public layer, open to all eyes and perceptions. Since your companies brand has a creative dialogue with a wide range of consumers, your business reputation and social media campaigns must be planned, enacted and overseen with extreme caution and care for best results. One suggestion is to break your brand voice and communication into a variety of “characters”. From addressing the anxious consumer who is concerned about safety, benefits, and value. Or addressing the consumer that’s more concerned about costs, features and longevity of the product. There are always going to be differences in who your consumers are, therefore, make sure you know everything there is to know about them given you have an open window into their social footprint.
Quoting Peter Gruber, “Truth is a point of view, but authenticity can’t be faked.” You need to be involved to some degree in every aspect and stage of your company’s marketing pyramid. Only by doing so can you ensure the ongoing validity and purity of your brand and its message. By treating your brand with dignity and respect, you will best maintain its power and attraction along with your business reputation. Rebranding can be essential when restructuring your enterprise or introducing new inventories and services. Although some business owners and executives worry about losing their former reputations and credibility with rebranding, the empowering results of this process will most often far outweigh any negative effects. Brand strength and popularity are essential to your company’s rising visibility, sales conversion rates and ultimate profitability. By being authentic and transparent as a person, industry leader and marketer of your brand, you will enable all signs to point toward your continued business success as you build your multi-layered company story and vibrant brand.
If you’re not sure what to write about, keep your ears open and listen for the most common questions people are asking. Listen for topics where your unique experience and skills can add something valuable. Then, look around for blogs and columns that match your vibe. Some blogs openly welcome submissions, others accept them only on occasion. The best way to start blogging is to reach out to your peers, who are more than likely hungry for fresh content to nurture their own brands.