I discussed last time the “preparation cornerstones” for business branding. To briefly reiterate, first you need a niche. None of us has the economic bandwidth to market to everyone. The tighter the niche, the easier it is to become the predominate player.
Secondly, you need a website. An often overlooked component of the site is that your niche should feel that it was specifically created just for them. This is what’s referred to as the message to market match. The more your prospect sees a reflection of themselves in your marketing materials, the greater the odds are that they’ll pay attention to you. (Simply being ignore is the greatest challenge virtually all of us have to overcome.)
Next, you need a great offer on the site so that people will opt-in and tell you who they are. Again, this is a surprisingly overlooked step and it’s crucial for building brand recognition.
Finally, you need to drive traffic to the site. Personally I’d use a combination of SEO (search engine optimization) with paid advertising-especially now that Google is going through a huge upheaval with the changes to its algorithm. Plus, there are a lot of other search engines aside from Google that are excellent for driving traffic.
So that’s the set up. However, branding requires more than just this. In order to develop a level of awareness (which is what branding is ultimately all about) repetition is crucial. There are a lot of business branding ideas about what channel (marketing speak for method) is the best.
Could it be advertising? Sure. That’s how we did it when I was with Pepsi and Kraft Foods. You can too, as long as you have a multi-million budget. Don’t have one of those? Then advertising will be used for lead generation rather than branding. Plus advertising has a huge liability when it comes to branding-it’s not particularly trust worthy. Sure I may click on a link if the hook is right, but that’s a considerable difference from building trust, which is the cornerstone of a brand strategy.
So what’s the most trusted channel of communication? It’s definitely not Twitter…or your Linked In post…or your facebook update. Nope.
It’s actually the one-two punch that’s provided by your blog and an email that alerts your list to new messages. When done right, your blog is your voice…and your voice becomes your brand. But we can’t just hope that your new blog posts get read, you’ve got to promote them-to your list-via email.
Which underscores why it’s so important to capture contact information by offering a great free report, video, podcast, survey, ect when people come to your site.
If you’ve been on my list for a while, you’ll notice that this is how I’m building a relationship with you. You can do the same thing-BUT-yes, it requires work. Naturally you can either do the work yourself or orchestrate the work and have it done by others. But this is the process, that if I was serious about branding myself, I’d implement.
And implementation is what it’s all about.
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Mark Satterfield, Gentle Rain Marketing — Author , Marketing Consulting Expert, Lead Generation, Business Development, Marketing Strategy, Get More Clients, Increase Revenue — Click here for his Facebook Twitter LinkedIn YouTube