Let’s be very clear – it is about as important as it gets in terms of successfully engaging with your dream customers!
Very recently I attended a great workshop and the format of the session focused on reviewing and defining how we each wanted our businesses and ourselves to be perceived on our chosen social media platforms.
While I am well versed in branding, this was a really useful exercise as it delved in to some depth about consistency of message, tone of voice, use of words, imagery and call to actions (CTA’s which are designed to get the reader to do something e.g. book a call, sign-up to a newsletter, download a report).
It was really interesting to take a fresh view of all these elements to ensure they were hitting the mark in terms of generating engagement on social media with my ‘ideal’ customers.
Having recently refreshed my entire website content to include much more focus on engaging with my target audience, I was pleased to be on track with much of the advice given in the workshop. A great position to be in but the observations by other small business owners and their staff at the workshop inspired me to write this branding focused piece.
Here are a few pointers I’d like to share with you to make sure you are on or get on, the right track with your own branding.
Define your ‘dream’ customer
I cannot stress the importance of this one – it forms the basis of every single aspect of your brand messaging, in fact, your entire marketing strategy. How can you develop your brand if you don’t have a clear idea of whom you want to buy your products or services? So, if you haven’t done so – you need to develop a customer persona or avatar asap. You may have more than one but, for a small business, you shouldn’t really have more than 2-3 and they should all have common traits. So if you could only have one, make sure those traits are included.
Choose 5 words that really describe your brand (or you if you are your brand!)
These should always be reflected in your branding – no matter what marketing channels you favour – website, social media profiles and content, brochures, infographics, e-books. Its’s not about using the actual words, more that everything should consistently convey the sentiment of them.
Choose 3 core business goals
These might include a certain level of financial growth, the launch of a new product/service or raising your brand awareness as an expert in your sector. Remember these goals when you are developing any content to represent your brand. Whatever the marketing channel – your content should be aimed at engaging with your chosen customer type/s so you can achieve these goals. And remember the 80/20 rule for any content (80% added value/20% soft sell). It can even be non-work related, just keep those goals in mind.
Get your elevator pitch nailed
I have recently joined a networking group and it was key to have my introduction refined so that my message is always consistent when I attend events and get the chance to promote who I am and how I can help others. Yes help, not sell – an elevator pitch is not a sales pitch! Focus on whom you help, what you are helping them with and how you do that – it should be a paragraph at most.
If the term elevator pitch is new to you – it basically means delivering a very short, clear description of who you are, your customer, what you do and how to make their life easier, all within the approximate time it takes to travel to the top floor of a multi-floor building in a lift. Getting your elevator pitch sorted is a great way to really focus in on your key messages (A variation of it can also be used as your LinkedIn profile header too!). I often refer back to it when I am working on any content, just to keep on track.
Develop your style
If your brand is you, this is crucially important but also needs to be considered if you represent a small business for your employer. Your marketing content should be delivered with authenticity so make sure your written style, use of words, slang (if that’s your choice) reflect you (or your company) and how you would come across if someone were to meet you face-to-face.
Remember the style you develop needs to engage with your ideal customers. Just be mindful of the channel the content will be used on – it is important to consider the format may be different – one size does not fit all! Different social channels need a different content format – but that is a topic for another day!
Choose 1 or 2 products/services that really are your speciality
This is a tough one for me because I’ve been fortunate enough to have worked across most marketing channels in my career. I am not claiming to be an expert on all by far and some are not ones that I enjoy working on, even if I can. Instead, I choose to focus on those I know inside-out and that I am passionate about too! If you’re a product-related business – you will have popular or niche ones that your customers love – so, become known for these, then future launches or diversifying with added value services will be easier as you’re already a trusted brand in your chosen field.
Choose where you promote your brand – focus on a few not all!
There are so many marketing channels to choose from and most small business owners focus on social media as this can be cost-effective when marketing budgets are limited, but they are then swayed by the dreaded FOMO. There is a belief that you have to be present on every social media platform, this is something I hear over and over again and is just not manageable when time is at a premium. If I can offer one piece of advice – choose just 1, a maximum of 2, social platforms, as this allows you enough daily time to consistently show up and engage without it having to take up hours of your time.
If you would like to have a chat about your marketing – and get some clarity on your brand messages then why not take advantage of my free 30-minute review – book your spot today!