Your brand is more than just a business, it is your home; it is where you reside. It is a place to call your own, something you can take true ownership over. You need to build any sturdy abode from the ground up. Like any construction project, building your digital brand can be daunting.
Tackling the task step-by-step will allow you to break ground, make progress, and see your brand blossom into a well maintained residence.
Pouring the Foundation: Brand Identity
A house built on shaky soil will fail sooner rather than later. You must build on a strong foundation. Identity is the foundation of your brand. And it functions as such, more than just a strong base; it should insulate your brand, and last forever.
Establishing your brand identity requires introspection. Answer important questions to decide who you are, and what you stand for. Consider the following.
- What are your brand’s values?
- What tone do you wish to achieve?
- What makes your brand unique?
Carve out your Values
Having core values humanizes your brand and provides it with a purpose. A purpose driven brand has built in momentum. Defining your values speaks to your integrity.
Set The Tone
Deciding upon the tone of your brand will focus your content and imbue your brand with a consistent voice. Of course, choosing the best way to talk about your brand depends on many factors. The most important is knowing your audience.
Project Your Worth
Providing a unique service or product is easier said than achieved. In order to standout amongst your competition you must at the very least offer a distinct point of view. If you can recognize an underserved market you can provide with niche service that is even better. Concentrate on meeting the needs of your niche audience before expanding. Focus on what you do well, not on what your competition is doing
Identity is the foundation of your overall strategy, it determines creative work, social media, presence, and should be used to answer any questions that may arise: ask yourself is this on brand?
Framing with a Branded Website
Think of your website as the framing of the walls. In this phase of construction the shape of the home becomes apparent; similarly when you launch your website, your brand becomes visible. Upon launch you need
- A well deigned logo that reflects the identity of your brand.
- A tagline that espouses your core values.
- A site reinforce with keywords to increase SEO.
Create website copy that is concise, a paragraph to summarize each service will suffice. Include a compelling call to action at the end that clearly impresses upon your readers why they should utilize your services.
Social Media Curb Appeal
The foundation and the framing are structural. Consider your social media presence like the exterior of your home, the shutters, the siding, etc. In this day and age curb appeal is as essential to a brand as a sound structure.
- Each platform is different
- Share with purpose
- Engagement is an art
- Turn weak ties into strong ties
Because we live in a participation culture, costumers expect to interact with the brands that they patron Social media fosters this participation and creates a dialog. To build your brand you need a social media presence, Facebook and Twitter are indispensible for outreach. But also consider if LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest, et al. are right for your brand.
Make A Social Media Blue Print
You can never do too much planning when it comes to your social media strategy. Remember that each platform is unique and attracts a different audience. LinkedIn will allow you to connect with business professionals, share content appropriate for that audience. Facebook posts can be more casual, but never off brand. Learn what your audience expects from each platform.
Share The Right Materials
When scheduling social media, share content that matters. Everything you share should have a twofold purpose. It should be meaningful to your followers, and it should serve as a call to action. A thoughtfully written news article shared with your followers is great. But your commentary on an article is better, because everything you share contributes to your brand.
Conversation Is A Powerful Tool
Learn how to converse with your followers. The days of brand sermonizing are over. These days are all about engagement. The key to engagement is humanity, genuine interaction. You are building a house, and moving in, go introduce yourself to the neighbors.
Likes and retweets may increase followers, but followers are weak ties, building relationships with your followers turns weak ties into strong ties. And eventually turns followers into customers.
Utilities: Turn on Your Content
Heat, running water, electricity, utilities make your home viable. Consider the content you generate to be your utilities. The content you generate makes your brand viable.
Take Ownership Of Content
Why should you be generating content? Because when you create the content yourself, you take ownership of it. You are establishing yourself - and by extension, your brand - as experts. If you are only sharing third party content you are doing yourself a disservice by recommending other expert opinions over your own. Link building is no longer a practical content strategy.
Broaden Your Horizons
Your audience will expect a variety of content from you. Diversify your content to keep your brand fresh and your audience engaged. Videos, blog posts, infographics round out a complete content strategy.
Quality over quantity is the best policy when it comes to content creation. You want your content to reflect the values of your brand and demonstrate your ability to provide excellent service to your customers.
Final Walk Through
Acquaint yourself with all the features of your digital brand. Is everything working as it should be. It is never too late for some renovations. You will have to pay close attention to how your website and social media accounts are functioning. Read and reread your content, if you find something that is off brand, revise. You’ve built your dwelling from the ground up, now you have to maintain it.
For more advice with your digital strategy, we can help.