In our previous posts, we discussed the importance of your personal branding playbook and even shared our own quarterly branding document, easily adaptable to your blog or business.While that document marks an ideal first step, now you must think about what branding tools are at your disposal to accomplish your goals. These are the goals that fall under the umbrella of your overall marketing strategy.
If you are following along with our branding document, this article will discuss some of the “plays to make” or the branding tools and tactics you can use to meet your business goals. This is the good stuff, the meat of the sandwich so t speak. Up till now everything is really just theoretical, so let’s get down to business.
A Logo Tells a Story
When you think about distinguished companies like Coca-Cola or Apple, you can almost immediately picture their logo and recognize what their business sets out to achieve. It may seem insignificant, but investing in creating a strong logo can be one of the most powerful branding tools around.
An important reminder when creating your logo is to ensure it endures. Incorporating a pop culture reference may work for a blog post, but it soon will become irrelevant due to the fleeting nature of contemporary fads. Your logo needs to be more than that. It needs to make your audience feel something, using color and font are an excellent way to invoke specific emotions here so use them well.
When you create a logo, think about how it can be optimized to spread it to as many different viewers as possible. There are many services online that can help you generate a quick logo for free if you’re just looking to match some text with a small icon or graphic. If you want to get your hands dirty though programs such as Adobe Illustrator or Sketch are excellent when it comes to graphic design. Ultimately you want to put thought and detail into this so take your time and map out as many drafts as you need.
Optimize Your Website
After creating a logo, developing and regularly updating your blog or business’ website is another important branding tool. Nowadays a quality website is a necessity and not a ‘nice to have’. You will be judged on your appearance when it comes to your web presence. It may suck a bit, but first impressions do matter.
If you are selling anything such as a product or even your latest blog post, users will interact with at least a part of your website at some point along the way. Therefore, creating an easy-to-navigate, beautiful and clever website will be crucial to your overall marketing strategy.
When creating your website, remember to think about whether it provides a clear way of contacting you and connects to your social media platforms. You should also value the interaction between your products and your viewers and provide ways for them to engage in real time on your site. We use WordPress for our site though other CMS platforms such as SquareSpace, Wix, and HubSpot offer great tools as well. You can build a template from scratch or get something ‘out of the box’, just make sure that it looks presentable and represents your brand well.
Chart Your Course
You’ve got your logo, website, and customer base. Now how do you move forward? Here’s where we shift from getting started to generating progress. Ultimately what you decide to do in terms of marketing strategy will largely depend on your goals and the space your business is in. Ideally you’ll use social engagement along with a blog to build a community behind your brand, though there are many directions you can go in with that. Will you blog daily or weekly? What social persona will you adopt?
These aren’t questions that can be answered in this blog post, however we can ask them to you so you can answer them yourself and build a content strategy from there. Since 2005 or so content has been king when it comes to branding and inbound marketing. It’s still king, it’s just taking different forms such as social media posts as well as video in addition to standard blog posts. Ask yourself the tough questions and map out a blogging and social roadmap to stick to. You’ll see your brand evolve and develop from there.
While interacting with potential customers can happen digitally anywhere, there is perhaps no better feeling than meeting those who enjoy your website or can offer feedback in person.
Networking encompasses attending events with other professionals, sending out press kits and developing a strong online presence. Strong networking demonstrates that one of the best branding tools is, in fact, you and your passion for your blog or business. Get out there and attend Meetups in your area to connect with prospects or potential business partners. Working on your blog to develop a strong community as well along with a strong social presence is an excellent way to spread your reach beyond the four walls of your office.
Ultimately, in order to build and reinforce a strong brand, you need to perfect your pitch and find your community. Through face to face interaction and a strong web network you can do just that, and give your business s0me momentum.
These branding tools are simply some of the action steps you can take in your overall marketing strategy as an introduction to getting started. With a strong logo, clean website, and vibrant community you can develop and fine tune your brand to gain some momentum going forward.
When it comes to mapping out your brand starting with the logo and website are an excellent starting point, fine tuning it to the strategies you will use is the best way to take a next step. Through networking, whether it be in person or online, you can develop a strong community to power your business forward while perfecting your message.