“I already have some branding for my business, but how do I know if it’s working?”
“When it comes to finding new customers, where should I even start?”
“Do I really need a logo design for my business?”
As a brand strategist, I hear these types of questions all the time and want to provide a framework to help entrepreneurs improve their brands and fill in any gaps. Here are the top 10 branding and marketing practices to help you reach the right customers and scale your business:
1. Know Your Target
Everything your brand creates, such as the colors used in your packaging, the details of your logo, and the tone of voice you use on social media, needs to be crafted with your ideal client in mind. Your brand will look and feel differently if you are targeting fourteen-year-old girls at the mall versus targeting business professionals in downtown Manhattan, and being able to get inside the mind of your target is key to developing an effective brand.
2. Positioning & Messaging
When you position your brand, you pinpoint the unique things that make your offering different from anything else on the market. What distinctive touch does your business bring to the table that would make your target choose you over your competitors? Successful brands focus heavily on these characteristics to differentiate themselves when communicating through content, colors, testimonials, marketing, and visual designs.
3. Must-Have Designs and Visuals
There are a few must-have visual designs that every business needs such as a logo, business cards, website, brand board, and packaging (if your business sells products). Businesses may also choose to create additional designs such as car wraps, menus, signage, social media templates, stationery, and more.
Your business will need to have a brand strategy in place before creating these designs to ensure that your visual branding matches your brand attributes and communicates your brand in an accurate way.
If you aren’t sure what brand attributes best describe your business, I created a free mini-workbook that shows entrepreneurs how to define their brand attributes in five simple steps! Download your copy here:
4. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
SEO involves using keywords on your business’s website and blog as well as receiving hyperlinks back to your website from other reputable sites. When a brand has great SEO, results from that brand’s website will show up higher in search engine rankings which can be a powerful way to grow organic traffic for your brand. Media mentions are one way to improve SEO, and another SEO growth strategy is to write guest posts for other websites in exchange for a backlink.
5. Social Media
The average adult spends over 2 hours per day on social media, so it makes sense for most brands to have a presence on at least one or two platforms – preferably the ones where your ideal clients are the most active. Consistency and quality are much more important than trying to post all the time, so make sure the photos and messaging you use on social media align with the brand attributes of your business.
6. Google Ads
Google advertising is a great way to reach potential customers who have not yet heard about your business. When targeting a cold audience, it’s important to use keywords that your ideal client is searching for – even if those words don’t precisely describe what you offer. For example, if your business sells healthy granola bars your customers might search for more general keywords like “healthy snacks,” “dried fruit,” or “road trip food” and discover your brand from there.
7. Facebook and Instagram Ads
When it comes to advertising, Facebook and Instagram have extremely specific targeting abilities that can help you reach customers within certain demographics, interests, and locations. These platforms are highly visual, so Facebook and Instagram ads are especially effective if your business uses memorable images that catch the eye of people who are scrolling through their feed.
8. Email Marketing
While people within your target market could decide to delete their social media accounts en masse tomorrow, and certain online platforms may fade into obscurity, nearly all of your customers will still need to have an email address for day-to-day use. Your brand can offer a valuable lead magnet to your website visitors such as a discount, coupon code, e-book, podcast episode, or free video training in exchange for them entering their email address.
Don’t miss out on the opportunities to meet clients and referral partners in person! Get out from behind the screen and out into the world where you can meet others who can help grow your business. Networking is not about making the sale in that moment, and in fact you should never attend a networking event with the intent to sell – it’s about building relationships with people who can later refer others to your business.
10. Public Speaking
When you speak in front of an audience, you automatically position yourself and your company as an expert. That audience can be a local networking group, attendees at a workshop that you schedule yourself, a business lunch-and-learn, or even a series of online videos you create and share. The format is not as important as the content and the willingness to share useful knowledge that resonates with your target.
If you’re ready to learn how to turn these best practices into a successful and thriving brand for your business, I created an incredible new resource for you!
The Brand Clarity course is a self-paced online program that teaches entrepreneurs how to create a brand strategy that grows their business. With 15 video lessons, a workbook, a free copy of the book BrandFix: A Brand Strategy Guide for Busy Entrepreneurs, a marketing bonus, and a brand strategy consultation with me, the Brand Clarity course includes everything you need to develop a memorable brand and scale your business.