Branding and marketing are just as important for small businesses as it is for big names. Many small business owners understand that branding and marketing are important, tho do you understand why that is and how to use it, to help grow your business?
A brand is more than just a logo, poster, and or letterhead.
According to Marty Neumeier best selling book “ZAG”, A brand is a persons gut feeling about a product, service or company. This is influenced by the customer touch points, such as the visual aesthetic, the sound of their messaging, and their overall position in the market.
"The technique of influencing people’s perception of a brand through experience."
Branding is the art and science of influencing public perception about what you’re promoting, whether it be yourself, your company, products, services, etc. Pretty much everything your users see influences their “Gut” feeling about your brand – your logo, promotional materials, website, social media pages, etc. So branding is just making sure your intentional about the message you’re conveying through those experiences.
The attempt to start a conversation with your target market.
Marketing is necessary for all stages of a business's selling journey, and it can use numerous platforms, social media channels, and teams within their organisation to identify their audience, communicate to it, amplify its voice, and build brand loyalty over time.
It's a strategic effort, usually paid for, to spread awareness of a product or service as a part of the more holistic goals. Put simply, it's not the only method used by marketers to sell a product.
Let's say a business is rolling out a brand new product and wants to create a campaign promoting that product to its customer base. This company's channels of choice are Facebook, Instagram, Google, and its company website. It uses all of these spaces to support its various campaigns every quarter and generate leads through those campaigns.
To broadcast its new product launch, it publishes a downloadable product guide to its website, posts a video to Instagram demonstrating its new product, and invests in a series of sponsored search results on Google directing traffic to a new product page on its website.
This form of marketing I’ve coined as “Content Segment.” More on this in a bit.
If you’re running a business or a marketer, you’ve probably heard of the terms “inbound marketing” and “outbound marketing”. You might think that these are just some buzzwords that marketers made up to sound cool.
Tho this is not the case, we should really understand the distinction between these two marketing approaches and how they work in today’s digital age.
Inbound marketing, where the customers find you when they need you. Examples of inbound marketing include content marketing, blogging, SEO, and opt-in email marketing.
Consider the last time you made a purchase. Where did you go? Did you look for ads in the Yellow Pages? Attend a trade show? Search for the product online? Most likely, you gave a quick google search online to find what you were looking for.
Inbound Marketing Strategies
• The Giveaway – What promotional item or gift can you give away that would entice people to trade their contact information to receive? Maybe a free trial or consultation?
• The E-Guide – What are the top 10 questions you’ve answered 100 times? Answer those questions, and turn it into a guide (or several). Put it behind a lead-capture page so people can download if they leave their email address.
Think about what resources you could create that would add value to people’s lives, then display them where their attention is. The goal is to be found when your target audience is looking.
Outbound marketing refers to any kind of marketing where a company initiates the conversation and sends its message out to an audience. Outbound marketing examples include more traditional forms of marketing and advertising such as TV commercials, radio ads, print advertisements (newspaper ads, magazine ads, flyers, brochures, catalogs, etc.), trade-shows, outbound sales calls (AKA "cold calls"), and cold emailing.
Outbound marketing is generally harder to track and less profitable than inbound marketing, yet ironically, organisations still spend as much as 90% of their marketing budgets on outbound marketing. Organisations looking to improve their sales and return on marketing spend would be well advised to re-allocate an increasing percentage of their marketing budget on inbound marketing techniques.
Outbound Marketing Strategies
• Networking – Networking is about meeting people and building relationships so that whenever they may need your help (or know someone who does) you’ll be top of mind. Every city has networking groups you can plug into.
• Email Marketing – Getting emails often requires inbound marketing (incentivising people to give you their contact info). But once you have an email list, it’s time to start outbound marketing. Send regular emails, making sure to add value more than you ask for a sale. Even if people don’t open your emails, they’re seeing your name in their inbox every week.
The main difference between inbound and outbound is, inbound is when the users come and find you natural and outbound is when you come knocking at their door without expecting you too to be there.
With marketing your brand, you need to do both types.
With marketing where you can go is endless; as long as you make sure it's on brand and aligns with your target audience, you can pretty much do anything. Tho in-order to make sure your marketing will succeed we recommended implementing both inbound and outbound marketing strategies.
Who are you as a brand?
Do you know who you are as a brand? If you in a company with more then one employ do you all share the same gut feeling? You need to know who you are as a brand and your target audience to be able to talk to them in the correct manner and in the correct places.
Can you (with clarity and confidence) answer the following questions:
What are your F.B.V? (features, benefits & values?)
• Features are the tangible products (What is the service/ product you sell)
• Benefits are the advantages users get from them (a brighter smile).
• Values are the underlying motivations that cause people to buy (self-confidence).
What is your value proposition?
• What value do you add to people’s lives?
• What Value do your end users get out of it?
What is your elevator pitch?
• In 30 seconds can you tell someone about your business? Narrow down what it is you are and what you do, then go out and tell people, after the 30 seconds are they confused by who you are? How you make people’s lives better, and how they can take advantage of it?
What is your Global Business Objective?
• Your GBO is the driving force that motivates all you do as a brand. It is your overarching WHY. Why do you do what you do?
What are your K.P.I Key Performance Indicators?
• How do you know if you’re on track with reaching your GBO? By what measures are you gauging success? (By the way, if you say “money”, that’s the wrong answer)
What is your process?
• How do your users take advantage of your offer? Can you simplify the process in 3-4 steps, helping your customers visualise what it’s going to be like working with you?
If you can answer those questions, congratulations! You should have some solid marketing copy you can use when promoting your brand!
You may be asking your self why? How do you know this? Well, If you copy and pastes these questions or wrote them down on paper, then within that you have written keywords to help drive your business forwards, these words paired with information on your target audience can help you write the copy within your printed and online marketing.
That's it for this post, you should now have a better understanding of what branding, marketing and the type of marketing you can use. On top of this, you should have hopefully answered some of the questions above giving you a better idea on how your brand sounds like within advertisement. (those questions are highly recommended that you do them since they WILL lay the groundwork for moving forward with marketing)
Obscurity is a great brand killer. Many brands can offer a lot of value to the world, but never will, because no one knows they exist.
In the next marketing blog, I will be talking about “Do know your Consumer” Don’t forget to head over to the Marketing blog section to see all our other marketing posts http://bit.ly/2JksZN6