What is that magical formula that allows one business to stand out from the rest?
Branding is the way others see you, but you do have a big influence on the image you present to the outside world.
You’ll find tons of advice on ways to brand your company and ideas for strategies to use. It can be difficult to know where to start and which information to trust.
Fortunately, there are some basic branding strategies every business owner should focus on if they wish to be memorable.
In its annual survey of over 1,947 marketers around the world, Content Marketing Institute found that 90% of the top-performing promoters put the informational needs of their audience first.
Before you implement any other strategy, you must get to know your audience and understand them well enough to discern what problems they need solutions for.
Once you know who your audience is and you’ve created buyer personas, look at these 12 branding strategies as a way to effectively reach them.
Branding Strategies for Better Business Exposure
Here are a few very simple yet effective branding strategies that can get a lot of exposure for your business. While these aren’t new, these are strategies that are often overlooked and hence it becomes important to reinforce them.
Let us look at these –
Utilize Branded Content
Content is one of the most powerful marketing tools you have. A whopping 74.5% of communication specialists use branded content in their approach.
They might use multimedia formats to disperse the content, but there is an overriding message behind all the campaigns, and the brand has an unmistakable voice.
More than likely, the business has a strong style guide to ensure branding is consistent throughout different platforms.
Teach Through Videos
Remember the research that found the top-performers in the marketing world put customer informational needs first?
One way you can effectively reach new clients is by offering information that helps them. Upload instructional videos to YouTube, for example.
This is a great way to reach the younger generation, as about 70% of millennials have viewed at least one video in the last year to learn how to do something.
Take Your Message Everywhere
Once you have a strong brand image, share it everywhere you can think of.
Take out a billboard, put flyers in newspaper boxes, advertise on social media and wrap your vehicle so anyone who sees you driving around town recognizes your unique message.
Create a Custom Hashtag
It only makes sense to interact on social media. It only costs you a little time and effort, but can have a big payoff in exposure.
Sites such as Twitter and Instagram lend themselves to the natural use of hashtags, so come up with one or more that define your business.
If you offer pest control, for example, you might use #DeadBug or #EvictBugs in each post.
You can also use the hashtag in your print advertising, on your website and elsewhere so users come to expect it and can even look for it to find valuable social media posts from you.
When you tag someone on Facebook or another social media platform, the post also appears on their timeline, giving you access to their friends and followers.
However, don’t abuse this privilege.
For example, if you have business clients and you want to profile one of them, write up an in-depth interview.
Then, post the link to the discussion and tag them on social media. This is a relevant post that their followers will be interested in.
Don’t spam people by posting an ad and tagging people just to get exposure. You’ll lose fans that way.
Release Consistent Images
All the images you release, whether on your website, social media or in a print ad, should have a consistent look, tone and quality to them.
Set up some parameters for the types of photos that represent your brand. Perhaps you cut hair, so you want only images highlighting your clients’ hair after you’ve styled it.
The size of the photos, the quality and the content should all be somewhat similar. You can even place a small watermark logo in a corner if you want to further brand images.
Watch Your Reputation
In a look at 4.7 million consumer reviews, researchers found companies with a higher online reputation score had 3.9% more growth in sales than companies with lower scores.
Pay attention to your online reviews and what others say about your brand. If you notice a particularly negative review or a complaint on social media, step in immediately and offer to fix the issue.
It might not change the low review score, but it will show others that you care and are trying to make things right, which can gain you reputation points.
Stackla got feedback from 2,000 adults in the United States, United Kingdom and Australia and found about 57% of people think fewer than half of brands create authentic content.
Make authenticity a part of your brand goals. Don’t try to be everything to everyone. Figure out who your target audience is and how you can serve them best.
Deliver on every promise you make, and don’t worry if your voice or story doesn’t resonate with everyone.
It only has to work for your specific audience.
Team up With Influencers
You can state who you are as a brand over and over, but people will pay far more attention to who others say you are.
Find a few influencers you respect and who reach people in your target audience, and develop relationships with them.
If they love your brand and what you stand for, ask if you can hire them to be an ambassador for you. The more the influencer talks up your brand and how much they love it, the more likely the customer will see your company the same way.
An example of this has occurred on the radio for many years. A popular talk show host touts the latest comfortable pillow, and suddenly everyone wants one.
Tap Into Emotions
The way consumers view your brand may have more to do with emotions than anything else.
The working single mom who doesn’t know how she’ll find time to make it to the grocery store sees an ad for a delivery service and feels sudden relief that her problem is solved.
She then associates that brand with the emotions she felt.
Think about the issues your customers face and how you can solve them.
Monitor Your Competition
Even though you never want to copy your competition, it’s important to know what branding strategies they use so you don’t fall behind.
You want a presence where they have one.
You should have your own unique message, but think about how you can compare in a way that doesn’t attack the competitor but shows why you’re the better choice.
Imagine you’re the consumer, and you are looking at the ads side by side. Why would you choose your brand over the others?
Track and Adjust
Look at your messages and tactics and track how well your branding campaigns work.
Conduct consumer surveys to make sure your customers see your brand the way you want to be seen.
Make any adjustments needed to ensure your strategy is on target. With a little time and attention to detail, you should wind up with a strong image.
New competitors enter the marketplace every day, and your brand will grow and change over time. Customers will age out of your range and you’ll need to reach a new generation you don’t know as much about. One of the most important branding strategies you can embrace is flexibility. Be ready to shift and adjust as needed to meet current market demands and stay ahead of the competition.
Lexie is a web designer and branding enthusiast. She loves checking out local flea markets and taking her goldendoodle on hikes. Follow her on Twitter @lexieludesigner and check out her design blog, Design Roast.