Digital marketing is pretty much just the same thing over and over, right? Post blogs, tweet, release videos, lather, rinse, repeat… If this is your plan for marketing your business, you’re missing one crucial step: branding.
Your brand should come first, always. Before you plan out your marketing tasks for each day, week, month, or year, you must revisit your brand standards. They’re the bones on which the meat and muscle of your marketing must build. Without it, your marketing plan can’t stand up, much less run. So, how can you make sure your plans have your brand at the center?
Start with Your Buyers
You can’t start marketing if you don’t know who’s buying, right? A big part of the branding process is identifying your buyer personas, learning what makes them tick, and devising plans to soothe their pain points. How could you possibly start marketing your products if you don’t know these things first?
Meet Your Competitors
We don’t mean you need to go door to door and introduce yourself, but you do need to have a working understanding of all your competition. Study up on the companies that offer the same or similar services. What sets them apart from the crowd? How will you be different? Is there even enough room for one more company out there?
Perfect Your Value Proposition
Now that you know your competitors, you may need a few minutes to rethink your unique value proposition. This is the one thing that will set you apart from the crowd and convince buyers they want you instead of your competition. Is it strong enough? Does it speak loudly enough to be heard over the rumblings from other brands?
Now you’re ready to start developing your marketing strategy. Does that mean you can start writing a blog right away or take to social media to start peppering Facebook with updates?
You still have a few more steps to take before putting your marketing into action. The last thing you want is a lather, rinse, repeat campaign. So, what’s next?
Develop Your Voice
With your customers, competitors, and value proposition in mind, you can develop your brand voice. This voice should be applied to absolutely every marketing item you deploy, from your tweets to radio and print ads. If you don’t get the voice right the first time, or if that voice slips due to inattention or laziness, your brand will suffer. The internet might make it easy to market these days, but it also makes viral smear campaigns easy, too.
Know Your Objectives
Objectives aren’t the same as goals, so don’t make that mistake. These are the greater outcomes, such as creating a network of professionals, building a reputation for quality, or being known as the latest trend. If you don’t have a bigger ideal in mind—something more than just selling a bunch and making a lot of money—then you’ll struggle to create goals.
Create Your Goals
Ah, your goals. Of course you want to make a lot of money, but is that all your company is about? Take a look at your value proposition and consider your objectives. Can you determine goals that help you meet those instead of goals that simply boost your bottom line?
The most favored outcome, of course, is to develop a company that wins respect and longevity through branding that really reaches people. If you market before you brand, you’ll never achieve this outcome.
To get some help with the branding and marketing process, always feel free to give us a call. We want to help you make your mark on the world.
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