Should you be redefining your brand strategy?
Brand differentiation is a huge priority for any organization, but when you focus only on how you’re different, you’re missing the bigger picture. Setting yourself apart from your competition isn’t enough to make someone decide to pick your brand. In addition to differentiating from your competitors, your brand also needs to have its own distinct personality. Your brand’s credibility, promise and, of course, differentiating factors are all elements that make your brand’s personality what it is; naturally, those elements all need to be clearly defined and integrated into your brand strategy.
Imagine: you’ve designed a great marketing campaign that clearly portrays your brand’s message and targets the buyer persona you’ve previously identified. For a while, it works great! Then, one day, you notice business isn’t so great and fewer leads are coming in.
How can you stop the decline?
It might be time to redefine your brand strategy.
If you’re making a bold strategy change, it might take three months or more to develop just the strategy and then years to implement it, so you need to take into account the long-term process when you redefine your brand strategy. Just like Rome wasn’t built in a day, your brand won’t be either, so plan for the future.
You can start on the interior before moving to the exterior. Find employees that embody the values and mission you want to align your brand with. You may find, from employee feedback, that you need to redevelop processes or products to better suit your new strategy.
Long-term, your brand will need to evolve to remain fresh. This can take on the form of brand extensions, new experiences, fresh advertising and more.
Redesign Your Website
Part of redefining your brand strategy is to take a long, hard look at your website and update it. Your website is the hub of all your online activities; you want a robust and well-designed site not only for your customers but also for SEO. Begin by updating the content; good content should contain more than 300 words with relevant keywords throughout the text. This plays to Google’s algorithm and tells it that your site isn’t a spam site. You also want your content to be current and relevant to your customers. If they’re finding outdated information, they may choose to go to your more up-to-date competitors.
After a content audit has been performed, you can begin the redesign process. Let your content drive the re-design. If your current and future customers can’t navigate your site with ease, they aren’t going to try and they’ll end up going elsewhere. A good rule of thumb is if you make your customers work for it, you’re going to lose customers. As for the design, a 90s-era site or MySpace-style background music will make people think you’re not quite with the times and, ultimately, turn them off to what you’re selling.
Just like you prune dead limbs off your trees to make them healthier, trim all the dead links off your site. Customers may feel frustrated and leave your site. If they can’t find the product or service they need or even the cart option, they may go elsewhere. During this step of the process, you can start revising the sitemaps. Most sitemaps aren’t intended for human readers; sitemaps are designed for search crawlers to index the most important content on your site. If you’re experiencing indexation issues on any portion of your site, it’s best to revise and resubmit your sitemap.
Next, check the mobile-friendliness of your site. In our increasingly mobile society, you want your website to look good and feel easy to use no matter the platform. Another incentive to make your website mobile is the SEO benefits; Google rewards sites who have mobile-friendly layouts with a boost in their algorithm, making your site increasingly relevant to Google as a whole.
Revamp Your Social Media
There’s a ton of social media sites with more coming up every day. With such a changing market, it can be hard to figure out where to focus your efforts and what channels to possibly pass on. A great place to start is your buyer persona; where do your buyers tend to congregate? Once you figure out where your users are, you can begin to develop your presence on those platforms.
A clothing store might target more visually-based platforms like Pinterest and Instagram while a music platform might target Twitter and YouTube. Focus your efforts on just a few sites and build your followings there. There’s no prize for the company with the most social media channels.
Also, remember that you’re looking to engage with your past clients as well as new clients. Don’t forget about those who are already loyal to your company!
Promote Your Authority
Content marketing should be taken into consideration when you’re redefining your brand strategy. It consists of articles, videos, infographics, photos and more that work to engage your audience and establish yourself as an expert in your industry. It also gives your customers a reason to return to your website frequently.
Content should be relevant to your industry and you should post a wide variety of types of content. A caterer may post a recipe of the week, photos of events they’ve catered or a blog article on the benefits of using sugar or Stevia. A realty group may post an infographic on housing trends in the area or photos of a staging event for inspiration. With content marketing, a little creativity can go a long way.
On the SEO side, articles between 500 and 1,000 words are usually good to get appropriate recognition from Google. And, like your website content, Google likes to reward websites that update several times a week by pushing you higher into search results.
After all your hard work redefining your brand strategy, you’ll want to show it off. With your list of email subscribers, launch an email campaign to reintroduce yourself to your past clients and update them on what’s new. Add a catchy subject line to pique interest and keep the message short. Another great way to integrate social media is to have links or buttons handy in the email for users to add you right from the email. It’s less work for them which means they’re more likely to do it. Platforms like MailChimp make it easy to design beautiful emails that will catch users attention.
If possible, incorporate frequently asked questions or comments in your email; it lets your customers know you’ve been listening to them and taking their feedback seriously.
Redefining your brand can be a daunting task but it’s not impossible; a new branding program should be an exciting prospect full of potential for transforming your company. Redefining your brand can take time but it will pay dividends in the end.
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