Every brand, regardless of its size or category, comes with its own set of opportunities and obstacles. We often encounter small and mid-sized businesses actively pursuing these opportunities or addressing these obstacles before they have essential brand marketing foundations in place. Today I am here to share with you 4 Urgent Action Items for a Stronger Brand.
1. Content Marketing
Many people think content marketing is simply a blog that they publish articles to and promote online. This is a common misunderstanding. In reality, everything you do is content marketing, including your website, blog, social media, ads, videos, packaging, product and more.
If you don’t have one already, make sure you have a Communication Strategy. This outlines the who, what, where, why and how. It also includes the desired emotions, impression and reactions you want people to have when they encounter your brand. A well-done communication strategy will help focus your messaging across multiple platforms to ensure a cohesive representation of your brand.
And remember, quality over quantity. According to a survey done by Pardot, 80% of consumers said “authenticity of content” is the most influential factor in their decision to become a follower of a brand. The same survey showed 63% of consumers had engaged with disappointing brand content and over half of them said it was unlikely that they would read that brand’s content again.
Action: Learn more about building powerful content marketing by watching The Virtuous Circle of Your Ecosystem, from Brand Edge Season Two, now.
2. Customer Influence
We’ve all experienced, whether we consciously acknowledge it, the influence others have on our decision to purchase a product or service. Just the other day, reviews on the Canadian Tire website steered me into buying a Black and Decker Coffee Maker over a similar Cuisinart model. Now take a moment to reflect on purchases you’ve made, big or small. Did someone else’s experience have anything to do with?
A survey by Nielsen reported that 84% of consumers say they either completely or somewhat trust recommendations from people they know, and 68% completely or somewhat trust consumer opinions posted online.
The learning to take from this is to take care of your customers and they will take care of you. Encourage and reward loyal customers who advocate on behalf of the brand and rectify the circumstances that cause customers to reject your brand publicly. Acknowledging and correcting a customer’s experience can go a long way in their eyes.
Action: Add social listening tools to your arsenal and start locating mentions of your brand across multiple social channels today.
3. Brand Standards
The number one mistake I see small and medium companies make time and time again is underestimating the necessity for Brand Standards and abiding by them.
I understand that in any given week you may see your brand hundreds of times. Occasionally you may find yourself saying it’s no big deal if the colour varies slightly. I know I have heard this remark more than a few times and it always makes me wince.
You need to put yourself in the shoes of your consumers. They might only see a fraction of what you’re putting out into the world, and if the brand visuals vary, it interferes with their ability to build brand recognition. Something as simple as colour can increase brand recognition by up to 80%.
Action: Do yourself a favour and stick to your Brand’s Standards. Don’t have Brand Standards? Make building them out a priority, and remember that brand consistency plus repetition builds brand recognition.
4. Web Analytics Implementation
A common misconception that I feel compelled to address is that tracking website analytics is “for big brands” or are “too expensive” or “too complicated”. To address this, I will first ask you a few questions.
Do you want to know who is showing interest in your product/service?
Do you want to know how people are finding your website?
How about, what products people are most or least interested in?
Or even if your site is functioning correctly for all devices and browsers?
If you said yes to any of these questions, and you should, then analytics is for you.
If you’re still saying “it’s too expensive” then I would respond by saying “Actually Google Analytics is free”. The only cost you will incur is a small fee if you have an experienced professional set up your account and a web coder add the code to every page of your site.
Now I wont lie, Google Analytics has an abundance of data and reports available to you, which can make navigating the platform and interpreting the data daunting. Taking the time to familiarize yourself with even the most basic overview reports can be insightful. To unlock the full potential of Google Analytics you should enlist a trusted Google Partner company with Google Analytics certified personnel. Working with a professional will help you capture how your users interact with and experience your brand online.
Action: Learn more about setting up a Google Analytics account today by reading 5 Must-Have Tools for New Brands now.