You’re working to get your new business off the ground, and you know that you need to expand your customer base beyond your local family and friends. But when it comes to branding, you feel like you’re out of your depth.
For entrepreneurs with little marketing experience, branding can seem needlessly complicated – but when you know what your company stands for and who you want to reach, the basics are simple enough! Plus, working with a guest blogging service like Outreach Papa can help you reach new audiences also the best tool Evergreen Funnel for email Marketing.
Here’s how to design an effective branding strategy, from identifying your target market to outsourcing key marketing projects.
If you don’t understand what the term “brand” means in regard to marketing, it’s important to get clear on this term. Tailor Brands states that a company’s brand encompasses visual and messaging elements that convey its big-picture mission and values. Your brand should speak to your target consumers and illustrate what your business is all about with a few core elements.
Branding and the Consumer Experience
Branding is important because it strongly influences the consumer experience. When consumers identify with a company’s brand, they feel a sense of loyalty to its products and services. Basically, they’ll come back for repeat purchases, which means recurring revenue for the company!
With a strong, memorable brand, you can entice customers to keep returning to your business for future purposes. They will begin to form positive, long-lasting associations with your brand.
Determine Your Target Market
When you’re outlining your brand identity, figuring out which customer demographic you want to appeal to should be your first step. Spend some time determining your core target market. Who needs your products and services?
Once you’ve formed a general idea of your target market, it’s time to define your ideal customer, their background, and their consumer habits. For example, you’ll need to break down their income level, their age, and where they live. What if you’re marketing to companies rather than individuals?
Think about the size of the company you’re targeting – it could be small, mid-size, or big businesses. Consider this ideal business’s yearly revenue and specific industry as well. All of these factors will be relevant to your brand scheme.
Your Company’s Core Values
Now, you have a general idea of what branding means and how it affects consumers, and you know exactly which consumers you want to reach. To start designing your company’s brand identity, you need to begin by summing up your core values. What is your company’s overarching goal, and what kind of positive impact do you want to make? Answering these questions will help you decide on your brand’s visual elements.
The visual elements of your brand include your color scheme, logo, typography, and other graphic design elements that you use on your digital and print marketing materials. For inspiration, research competitors that attract your target audience. Think about which elements they use that you like, and then adopt some of these features while finding ways to differentiate your company.
When you think about a famous company’s brand, you probably think about its logo and aesthetic – but branding extends to your messaging, too! Your messaging is any written content that your brand puts out publicly, from social media captions to email newsletter subject lines to print flyers. To optimize your messaging, think about which vocabulary choices, tone, and content will resonate best with your target audience.
Reaching Your Customers
How can you ensure that your branded materials actually reach your customers? It’s all about investing in the right marketing channels. A marketing channel refers to any medium that a business uses to communicate directly with its customers.
For example, if you’re targeting a Gen-Z audience, you’ll want to make sure that you’re heavily emphasizing social media marketing across several different apps. But what if your audience is primarily comprised of seniors? Then it’s probably a better idea to invest most of your time and energy into direct mail marketing or advertising on local TV. Focusing on the wrong channels will end up wasting time and money.
Consider where your customers turn for media consumption and try to establish a presence across these key channels. If you find that some channels aren’t bringing you significant returns, you can always start prioritizing different ones and tweak your strategy.
In-House Branding Projects
Companies often choose to outsource certain marketing projects rather than handling them in-house. But outsourcing costs money, and it takes time to find the right agency or contractor for a particular project. Instead, sometimes it’s best to complete big projects on your own. For instance, you can generate basic digital content and schedule posts with a social media management tool. You should also develop your brand design guidelines in-house – after all, no one knows your own business better than you!
Hiring Branding Pros
Sometimes, handling certain branding projects in-house with your current team will simply be too complicated and time-consuming. You may want to outsource these projects to an agency, or hire a new full-time team member who specializes in graphic design, web design, or social media marketing. You could also work with an external contractor with expertise in these areas for short-term projects.
When you’re communicating with someone outside of your core team and you need to send them a large PDF with several images for a design project, you can organize this file with a free PDF editor tool. With a tool like this, you can add highlights, drawings, text, helpful sticky notes, and more details! This approach allows you to clearly describe any changes you’d like to see or general suggestions that you have – and you won’t have to send long emails to do it.
Overall, branding is a way to communicate your company’s mission. It doesn’t have to be vague or confusing. By applying these tips, you’ll be able to hone in on your target customer, develop a clear brand identity that fits your company, and easily communicate with branding experts on outsourced projects.
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