Consistent Branding: The Key to Victory in The Modern Business World
If you consider yourself to be an entrepreneur, then you should be aware of how important it is to create brand-consciousness among your target audience. If you’re not, you’re about to be!
Making people be aware of your branding and viewing your brand in a positive light is a vital first step to securing a client. Let’s take a second and have you close your eyes and think of a fast food place.
Likely, when I said that, you thought of one right away. This means they’ve been the best and most consistent with their branding in your area. There’s a reason you thought of that place instead of another, and we’re about to tap into why it’s so important to get your brand exposure and into the public consciousness.
So how do you get people to develop an awareness of your
brand? The secret is in being consistent. Consistency is the key to developing
a strong awareness of your brand within the minds of your target audience. “But
what about paying for advertising?” I hear you asking! You can if you have the
budget for it, and it’ll speed things along.
You can just pay an advertising agency to aggressively market your brand into the public’s eye, or even use laser-targeted pinpoint advertising specifically for your target audience, but not every entrepreneur has the luxury of having ample advertising funds. If you’re here reading this article, I’m assuming you’re one of the latter.
However, no matter how big or small your business might be, maintaining consistency definitely helps in etching your brand into the people’s consciousness. Organic social media growth can happen, but it takes time. If you make shareable content, give your audience genuine value, and interact, you’ll gain followers who have more faith in your brand than they would with advertising alone.
Identify Your Target Audience
When using using social media, it’s important to be
consistent in the type of voice and diction you use to interact with your audience.
They are, after all, your current and prospective customers.
Figuring out your target audience can be difficult, but it can be made easier by asking the following question:
What is my target age group?
The age group and interests of your target audience should determine the type of voice that you use. For example, if you are selling video games, it is very important to be up to date with the jargon gamers use, follow the latest updates from developers, know up and coming indie game developers as well as professionals in the gaming scene.
If your target audience is middle aged business owners, perhaps advertising showing off how much money or fidget spinners won’t be effective branding. If your market is teenagers, however, it would probably work rather well.
I also tend to see a lot of this misconstrued targeting when trying to brand to a different country or culture. It’s very easy to miss the mark when you’re targeting someone outside of your own cohort. For situations like this, I recommend gathering lots of data from questionnaires, or polls before thinking about branding yourself. Another good idea is to ask someone from that culture to look over your branding plan and give you advice.
Know Your Brand
Do not be a follower who merely goes with the flow and piggybacks
on the latest trends. Being knowledgeable about your market does not mean you
have to constantly follow the dictates of the latest trends and make constant
adjustments in how you present your business to your target audience. This can come off as what it is, fake and
dishonest. If someone can see in your page that you’re just following the
trends, they’ll fail to see the value in your brand as being independent.
To avoid being seen as a sheep of a business, sit down and get to know your brand. Know your brand, what products and services you offer, and define the strengths of your business. If you aren’t sure, that’s okay, take your time, you can mold your brand to be whatever you want it to be. Be true to your business and market your branding around the unique assets that your business brings to the table. You can always ask for advice from public forums but remember to take these with a grain of salt.
A Matter of Balance
So at this point, you might be wondering – Should I be listening to my customers all the time or do I need to stay true to what I believe is right for my business? Actually, the answer is both. Listening to your customers is important to know if you’re reaching them, and in a positive or negative light. It’s also important to remember that listening does not equate enacting change. You can listen to criticisms, and make a conscious decision not to listen, or hear praise and decide that route isn’t for you.
Learn the limits of being dictated by your customers and implement this into the way your run your business. Become comfortable with uncertainty, your backbone will thank you.
Be Visibly Consistent
People won’t remember who you are and what your business is
all about if they only hear about it once a month. Yes, even if you post 7
posts in one day once a month! Remember that time moves differently in social
media marketing depending on the type of business you’re in. In some
businesses, it may be a mortal sin to go missing for more than 3 days, while it
might be forgivable to post only once a week in others.
With that said, don’t go missing for too long. Be consistent and make sure to visibly put your branding out there with consistent social media posts. If you’re not sure how often you should post, this is where more research comes in! Check out how the competition does it, how often do they post, what does their theme look like, what type of copy are they using, which hashtags, what do you like and what do you not like about other’s pages? This isn’t a graded test where you can get caught for cheating – there is no teacher here to penalize you for copying from someone else’s paper. However, please don’t take someone else’s content and try to pass it off as your own. Not cool.
Keep It Simple, Yet Consistent
Planning on making a grandiose video that might take you over
a month to complete? What if your brand has already been erased from the
people’s minds by the competition during that time? You might be able to launch
an amazing video after a month, but who knows whether it will go viral or if it
will even be well-received or not?
Meanwhile, the competition has been consistently posting memes and simple quotations to consistently keep themselves within the public’s eye. By all means, do your video, but also remember to post to tease it. Show it in it’s infancy, make your audience anticipate it’s arrival.
Go big, but don’t forget to also focus on the small.
You Are Your Brand
Your branding should extend beyond social media and all the way into your real life. For example, you cannot live a double life and market yourself with a particular persona in your social media branding and then live your life as the complete opposite of your online persona. Remember that if you own a business, then you are your brand.
Keep your personal social media scrubbed clean. Now that Facebook requires you to have only one page, it’s more important to keep it free of all potentially inappropriate content. Potential employers even check your friends lists to see what type of people you fraternize with. If a potential client looked at your friends list right now, what would they see?
You Can Do It Alone… But it’s Easier With Support
Keeping up to date with social media posts and trying to
ensure that your branding is consistent and aesthetically appealing across
multiple channels could eat up all your time – it’s basically a full-time job
by itself aside from running your actual business.
Doing it alone takes up so much time, and takes away from time that could be spend reaching out to potential clients. Some people are GREAT at the sale part of the job, but just don’t understand the social media marketing part of it.
If this is you, then you’re MY target audience, and I’m glad you made it this far. You don’t have to go through it alone. Keeping your social media profiles updated, interacting with clients, and consistently posting across all your social media channels can be easily managed by a professional VA with the right software tools, leaving you free to manage and grow your business with the peace of mind that your brand is being consistently put out there for your target audience to see.
With my help, we can build and FOLLOW a social media calendar, set goals for interaction, followers, and leads. Social media, when used right can be such a powerful tool for client lead generation. Together, we can get you to where you want to be in your business.