You have your brand strategy and visuals in place. What’s next?
You know who your target is, you know what your brand stands for, and you have your logo, business cards, and website all set up. You even created all your social media pages. And most importantly: you set your brand goals and know exactly where you want your business to be.
I truly believe that every business owner can have a scalable business, but only if they are smart about what steps to take inside the company. In this case, by “smart” I mean following the brand strategy on what, why, how, and when everything needs to be done.
Once you have a road map, you will know where to go and how to get there. From there, it’s up to you to take steps forward and bring your strategy into reality.
Since every business is different, it will be up to you or your marketing team (if you have one) to determine and prioritize your next steps.
The brand strategy that you created will provide direct input to graphic designers, web designers and developers, marketing and advertising specialists, social media marketers, copywriters and content developers, promotion specialists, sales professionals, and any other professionals that provide a service relevant to your brand or target audience. You will need to share your brand strategy with all of these collaborators in order to grow your business.
Everything that falls under the umbrella of “marketing” counts as a strategic element. This includes your content marketing, blogs, books and e-books, videos, podcasts, and everything educational and valuable that you create. You will use your brand voice every time you write an article. You will use your brand attributes every time you develop a new video that you promote in order to reach to your potential buyers. You will also use your content strategy in all of the above.
Then, social media… are you afraid of it? You have probably heard that social media can be good for your business, and maybe you already use it, but it does take time, and it’s sometimes hard to develop ideas and figure out what to post in terms of images and text that people will like.
Now that you have a brand strategy and content strategy in hand, you know exactly who your target is, and you can simply speak to them like they’re in the same room as you. You can give them advice, educate them using your brand voice, post using the right brand colors that psychologically describe what your brand stands for, and be consistent with your visuals (after you develop the brand board) so they remember your company.
You can also use your competitor analysis and brand positioning to stand out from your competitors when posting on social media. Social media is a saturated place, and you need to rely on your brand strategy to make sure that your content is different, memorable, and better than your competition.
You can also consider using paid social media posts and ads. Depending on your business you will need to determine whether this is a good idea or not, and also: are you targeting a cold or warm audience?
A cold audience is not specifically and actively looking for what you offer, but they might be interested in purchasing after seeing your product or services. A warm audience is already ready to purchase, they are looking for a product or services you offer, and they are researching to decide if they should select your company or your competitors.
For example, with my branding company I know that people need to look for brand strategy, a logo design, or a website design in order to contact me. They need to actively search for the solution to their problem. An ad on the side of their internet browser wouldn’t be the defining moment that makes them decide that they need a logo, brand board, or brand strategy session. This is an example of a warm audience.
On the other hand, when people work from home, feel lonely, are on social media, and see an ad about a coworking space – they click on it and they are curious to learn more. Most of them are not actively looking for a coworking space until they see the ad and think “Huh – maybe I should try that out.” Thisis an example of reaching out to a cold audience.
So it depends on the nature of your business and what strategies you think will work for you. Is your target actively looking for a solution of their problem? Or they are not aware that they have a problem just yet? Don’t be afraid to test both audiences and see which produces better results.
You can still use offline advertising and promoting to reach new customers – not everything has to be online, especially if you’re targeting local customers in your area.
Networking events are amazing in terms of meeting new people, building relationships, and collaborating with referral partners. There are individuals who can help you grow your business as well. If you meet a videographer who helps you create an amazing promotional video, and you make money from it because a new client contacted you after seeing the video on a Facebook ad – that sale was the result of both the networking event you attended and your online advertising.
We also still have billboards in all cities and towns, we still have posters, newspapers, local magazines, radio and TV. This can be a little expensive, and you don’t receive the same granular level of data on how many people actually received what you wanted to deliver – in contrast to online marketing and advertising, where you can see how many people clicked on your website, how many people engaged, how long they stayed on it, and what was attractive to them.
But depending on your company and target, offline advertising might be worth it. Go back to your strategy, and then go where your target is.
You can also consider ordering branded promotional material such as swag. Swag is more for brand awareness than for promotion, and you can make stickers, pens, mouse pads… there are so many different product options.
When considering promotional products, it’s important to realize that swag will likely not bring you new business immediately. If you have already spoken to someone, but they lost your business card and don’t remember the name of your company, and they suddenly remember they have a pen that they took from your office – swag can help.
While it’s possible that people will contact you because of the swag, it will most likely be because they have already interacted with you and know who you are and what your offerings are.
When considering which strategic elements to employ for your brand, I would suggest keeping your ideal client in mind and mapping out where you think your client hangs out. Is your ideal client hanging out in a local restaurant or on Facebook?
You already know your brand attributes, your target, and how to communicate your brand both visually and through content. You have everything you need to get out there, take action, and use your shiny new brand to scale your business and reach new customers.
If you crave support around implementing your brand strategy, contact us at Aventive Studio. We would be happy to schedule a session with your Creative Director to see how we can help you scale your business through powerful branding.