by Kevin Hourigan, President and CEO
Every day, new online marketing communication channels are introduced and businesses scramble to leverage these in hopes of driving traffic, generating leads and converting sales.
Unfortunately, in their effort to maximize the Digital Marketing opportunities available, many businesses – old and new – quickly lose sight of their overarching strategy and the brand itself. The result is a plethora of competing brand messages driven by promotional offers and inconsistent chatter on social networking sites, blogs and online video.
Certainly that approach can deliver a few short-term wins, but will it help your company achieve its long-term goals of building an online brand for sustained growth?
The results we often see say: “Very doubtful.”
While online marketing is hands-down the most effective way to deliver your brand message, it still requires an overarching strategy that weaves a consistent brand identity and message across all of your Digital Marketing channels, including your website. It is also important to have this messaging be consistent with any offline channels, such as brochures, trade show booths, event marketing, Power Point decks, your sales staff’s “elevator speech” and more.
Whether you are working with an agency or managing your marketing efforts in-house, here are a few tips to help you build brand consistency online:
Website – When designing your website, don’t abandon core design principles and create clutter. Your web design should incorporate the consistent use of your brand’s color palette, photography styles and typefaces. More importantly, make sure that the voice of your brand is reflected in the way the copy is written for your website. Make sure that copy showcases your company as the thought leader in your industry, the clear “go to company” when your prospects are evaluating your organization versus your competition. Your goal: for the prospect to absolutely understand what makes your company unique and that you stand over and above those you are competing with for the same market share.
Social Media – It’s easy to get caught up in the conversation and forget what it is that you wanted to say. The best way to ensure your social media efforts deliver a consistent brand message is to create a social media messaging plan. At Bayshore Solutions, we call this a “Content Calendar.” The calendar is a plan that documents the area of expertise you will be publishing content on, who will create the content, where, when and who will publish it and what other types of tags or links are appropriate to reinforce any Organic SEO that can benefit from the content publication and syndication. In addition, the calendar ensures that whether on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, blog and other online destinations, your posts reinforce your competitive differentiation and brand values no matter who on your team may be involved.
Blogs – The first element of a great company blog is content, but the content has to reinforce the brand message, thought leadership, your company’s positioning and competitive differentiation. The best way to ensure this happens is to stay focused on subjects and information that is relevant to the audience your company is seeking to attract, engage and convert to a new customer. Blogs also become a great complement to your Social Media posts. They are a part of your Company’s Content Calendar and the blog can be promoted and syndicated through your social channels.
Online Video – You no longer need a high-end production team to create video to leverage in your marketing, you do not even always need a script to get started. Online video works best when it engages the viewer with a relevant message that is supported by the brand. One easy way Bayshore Solutions helps our customers start with video is interviewing key leaders within an organization and video them answering 5 – 10 Frequently Asked Questions in their industry. The key leaders all have great content in their heads, and asking them the FAQ questions takes little preparation time from themselves and produces multiple “A Roll” and “B Roll” video as well as blogs and social posts to be used for months. Publishing this video on your website in a FAQ section, as part of a blog, and publishing to your YouTube Channel are some of the fast and easy wins to generate awareness and convert interest into action from your audience.
Email Marketing – Brand consistency for email marketing involves not just the content, but the overall look and feel. As with your website design, you want to make sure that there is a consistent use of your brand’s color palette, photography styles and typefaces. Content relevancy for both the reader and the brand message is a must. Email has had its “ups and downs” as far as success and today, with the right CRM technology, list segmentation and marketing automation, email has become highly effective. From using email for eNewsletters, auto responders to actions, drip email campaigns, email is not to be overlooked and is a great part of your overall supporting content for your thought leadership and brand message to be syndicated.
The key to building brand consistency online is to stay focused on the brand marketing strategy and not get caught up in the tactics. Remember, the communication channel isn’t what matters. What matters is what you say, how you consistently say it, how it separates you over and above your competition as the thought leader, subject matter expert, and lastly, who they want to call to engage with.
Want to take more Market Share? Contact Us us or give us a call today at 866-352-4791.