Monitor and Manage your Brand
The web and its various social networks are packed full of information and so many different brands and businesses trying to be recognized. Consumers have easy access to all this information and they use it to make buying decisions. Social media tools designed for monitoring your brand can help to track wherever your brand is mentioned online. By tracking these mentions you can encourage positive feedback and quickly respond professionally to anything negative that might be out there. Here are two main tools you could consider:
Crowbooster – this is a tool for managing your social networks and has been specifically built for business use. It can auto-post content, manage new fans and provides statistics about your content and how it is being shared. It also shows you which of your fans are most interested in your posts and tells you when is the best time to send out content to engage with the largest number of your fans. It can also remind you to send out posts.
Google Alerts – this is an indispensable tool for checking your online business reputation and monitoring your presence across search engine results. It’s a completely free tool and allows you to monitor your brand across the web. Every time a mention is made of your brand on a website you’ll be sent an email. You can also monitor competitors this way.
Build and Maintain your Presence
Content is king in presenting your business professionally and developing its followers and interested parties. Your website and attached blog form the central base for all your content production and are the place you want to drive your followers too via social networks. You can use networks to reel in customers whilst your website is the prize they receive when they reach the destination. Blogging is a brilliant way of consistently providing up to date, relevant content about your business.
There are many products designed for making blogging easy and straightforward but by far the best is WordPress. It’s an ideal tool for producing great blogs easily and it’s a great way of small businesses creating their first website. WordPress blogs are well optimised for search engines and they’re really easily to integrate with social networks and many of the sites you see online will be powered by WordPress.
Connect on Social Networks
The most powerful social media tools of all are the networks themselves. You can find your customers based on their interests, locations and also make interesting and profitable business connections.
LinkedIn – this network is perfect for business connections. It’s the best social network online for getting new business leads and networking professionally. It has millions of users worldwide and your success is based upon a completed profile presenting a positive professional image for your brand. You can also create a company page at the site to further your influence and customer engagement.
Facebook – you can use the world’s most popular network to create a brand page for your business and then you can keep all your Facebook fans up to date on any business advancements or developments. You can also use Facebook as a sounding board for new ideas and set up discussion groups all talking about and engaging with your company.
Twitter – this is the perfect network for sharing your content. You can track discussions about your brand or related products or services and each tweet is like a short sound bite representing your company. It’s great for publishing links to your blog posts and other interesting content.
Google+ – Google+ Hangouts are becoming extremely popular for business use. It’s a video chat service which allows up to 10 people to get involved and network, discuss business and share potentially beneficial info. Others can also tune in and watch the discussion so it’s great for engaging with your wider audience.
Reach out to Customers
Of course the most basic and popular way of connecting with your customer base is email but you can make it even more effective by using social media tools designed for email campaigns such as:
MailChimp – nearly two million people user MailChimp for their email campaigns and have been getting increasingly effective results. It gives you an easy way of putting together effective and creative email marketing campaigns and you can design the newsletter yourself using templates before sending it out to your subscribers. MailChimp ensures your newsletter will never land in the recipient’s Spam folder.
The emergence of social media as an effective branding and sales tool is a relatively new one compared with mainstays in traditional advertising, such as print ads and billboards. Moreover, the landscape of digital is constantly changing. As a result, older brands that have been deeply entrenched in conventional marketing plans for years, sometimes decades, often have difficulty wrapping their heads around how to begin crafting a powerful online strategy.
Here are a few valuable steps that will make diving into digital more fluid.
Develop a social media platform strategy
Just because a new social media platform pops up in the news doesn’t mean a brand immediately needs to jump on the bandwagon. Instead, brands should identify which platforms their target audiences frequent most. For example, Pinterest has a predominantly female user base; if a brand is trying to attract male consumers, then a different platform should probably be its priority.
Perform due diligence and carefully research each social platform you are interested in so you can clearly see which are priorities for your brand and why. Then lay out a game plan for how you are going to populate each with content, including frequency of posts and content topics, and how you will handle community management (e.g., customer service questions, and complaints).
Figure out how much of your budget is going toward paid media, how much is going toward influencer campaigns, and whether you need to hire an agency or use an in-house person to focus on managing all of your platforms and continuing to evolve the strategy. In social, a good strategy is an ever-evolving one.
Create captivating content with high share value
With so much competition out there, it’s important that brands create attention-grabbing content that users will be excited to share. Content with high share value is more likely to create a viral effect, exposing brands to wider audiences.
Users tend to share content that is less promotional and more personal. Therefore, brands need to look for content inspiration beyond the products they’re selling, and should create or curate content that is inspiring, beautiful, and useful.
Sharing photos on platforms is one of the most common ways for users to communicate their interests and ideas, making it crucial for brands to participate in an effective way that portrays their brand identity. Users are more likely to engage with posts that showcase striking imagery. As an example, Twitter recently incorporated images into users’ timelines, and as a result Tweets that include images now receive 18% more clicks.
Also, YouTube has one of the fastest growing user bases and reaches more US based adults age 18-34 than any cable network. It’s a great story-telling platform for brands, and it can be used to reach large audiences. Instagram is another rapidly growing platform that has embraced video content by allowing users to create 15-second videos.
Keep up-to-date on trends and stay relevant
Brands must remain current on emerging digital trends. There is no better way to gain inspiration for an innovative initiative or strategy than combing through trade sites for exciting developments and constantly remaining aware of what brands in your competitive sphere are doing.
In addition, a brand should research which cultural topics and influences its target audience is talking about. An easy way to discover these conversations is to search popular hashtags on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Brands should pinpoint the overlap between their values and their audience’s areas of interest, and then infuse these buzzworthy topics into their content strategy to excite and engage users.
Optimize for mobile
These days, people are glued to their mobile devices, making it extremely important for brands to optimize their social efforts for mobile. Accordingly, all content must look great and must be easy to share on small-screen devices, such as iPads and smartphones.
The number of people accessing social platforms via mobile devices continues to increase rapidly. In the three years since early 2011, the number of people who access the Internet via a mobile phone has increased 60.3%, to 818.4 million, across the 31 markets tracked by the Global Web Index.
Get influencers and users involved
Influencers and bloggers tend to have a lot of social clout. Brands should partner with the ones who are on-brand for them, and create interesting content and initiatives, harnessing the influencers’ large audiences to create buzz, virality, and awareness. For example, an influencer’s involvement can be extremely helpful if a brand is hosting a contest or giveaway around a key sales period.
Hosting contests and giveaways (possibly promoted by a key influencer) is a great way for brands to increase exposure by giving users incentive to “like,” follow, or share information about the brand for a chance to win a prize. Choose a reward that will resonate with your target audience to ensure optimal engagement.
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Perhaps most important of all is the willingness to take the time to explore the world of digital and all that it has to offer. Keep up with new and exciting platforms that are constantly being released, along with the new features that established platforms keep rolling out. Be open to taking risks and chances on innovative initiatives. Think of innovative approaches while always remaining true to your brand story.
The digital space has a lot to offer your brand if you take the time to get to know it.
When it concerns branding, many individuals have the tendency to consider huge brand name advertising: Coca-Cola, McDonald’s and Microsoft spend money on branding. It doesn’t truly use to smaller sized businesses – or does it? Believe it or not, branding is really important to success in a small sector. In this article, you’ll find out why that is, plus several of the huge benefits of having sturdy branding in a specific niche.
Your Reputation Precedes You
Once your site has actually been around for a while, your track record will precede you. That implies that before someone even lands on your internet site, they will have heard about you. They’ll probably already have a viewpoint about you and your items. Exactly what that opinion is depends on your brand. If you did a good job, they must preferably think your products are high quality and that you could actually fix their troubles. In other words, your brand can have a huge effect on your conversions.
Numerous starting online marketers have a difficult time believing that type-in traffic could be a huge traffic source. In reality nonetheless, a company that’s been around for a while and has a sturdy brand frequently gets even more traffic from type-ins than from paid advertising.
For example, Amazon.com gets a whole lot more traffic from people inputing their domain than people who end up there from advertisements. In much smaller sized markets, the same applies: people know your brand, understand that you could help them and type in your domain. This is a significant traffic source in the long run. The only method you’ll succeed with this traffic source is to manage your brand name well.
Who would you rather meet in person or do a favor: Someone in your market who you’ve never heard of, or someone who you’ve become aware of who has a terrific track record?
Having a credibility that precedes you will open numerous doors. It’ll open doors to guest blogging on other individual websites’, to associates, to JV partners, to speaking possibilities, to free of cost backlinks and a whole lot more. You’ll even have individuals approach you to do brand name new business bargains.
You Are Your Brand name
It’s important to recognize that building your company’s brand name means likewise building your own brand name.Not only will this open doors for your company, it’ll additionally open doors for you expertly. Need a book bargain? If you have an existing credibility, it’s much simpler. Need investors for your next venture? Want to take a first-class developer from Google to deal with your start-up? Whatever it is you need in your life, by developing a sturdy brand in your business, you’ll immediately be viewed as even more reliable in practically anything you finish the future. The impacts of an effective reputation can’t be emphasized enough. It’s certainly less quantifiable numerically than ROI or traffic, but its power exists. Don’t overlook it just due to the fact that you’re in a small market.
November 8, 2012
There is such a lot of talk going around about branding, but what exactly is your brand and how do you use it to help you reach more people and market your products or services?
Your brand is the core of your marketing, the central theme around your products and services.
Your brand is not your Logo or your Company Name, unless of course you are Microsoft or the Yellow Pages online directory.
For people to come and hire you, or buy from you in droves, your brand needs to be crystal clear, attractive, exciting and powerful. In fact your brand needs to be powerful enough to rouse your customers into action, and at the same time it needs to actively express you, what you’re about and your uniqueness.
Once you’re sure of your brand you also gain a tangible and easy way of talking to people about what you do. It makes it so much easier to do your marketing when you have it clear in your mind what it is you’re selling in the first place.
When you’re creating your brand you are creating a memorable marketing message that will inspire people to take action and choose you over your competitors.
Here are five useful tips to help you find your brand:
Your Branding Tip 1
Your brand is the core of what you do. What feelings or emotions does your business inspire in you and in your customers? Did you know that peoples’ decision to buy is based on emotions, not facts?
Your Branding Tip 2
Think about how you present yourself, not just on your website but when people see you, talk to you on the phone, or read your email. Is your marketing consistently saying what you want it to? Are people getting confusing messages from you, or is it clear from the start what you do?
Your Branding Tip 3
Think like your potential customer, try to get inside their head and see your products or services from their point of view. How do they experience what you do, and how does it make them feel?
Your Branding Tip 4
What is it you do that makes you stand out from the crowd? If you don’t think you do, then you need to think of a way that you can, because your brand should be somehow different from everyone else’s, its not enough to be just the same as others but better.
Your Branding Tip 5
What are your best abilities, do you know your greatest strengths? Choose an unbiased person, who knows you well, to help you decide what your top attributes are; your brand should be based around your unique strengths and abilities.
Ultimately, creating a strong, memorable, compelling and meaningful brand is essential for successful marketing, and something you can do with a bit of thought, and may be a bit of help from your (unbiased) friends.
Topic Branding: Do You Know Who You Are