Smart marketing is often referred to when you find clever ways to make your marketing…
Are You Overwhelmed by All the Marketing Options? Develop Your Brand Strategy
Every twelve seconds your latest tweet gets old.
Your Facebook page needs a post at least twice a day.
While you’re at it, post a blog at least once a week and repurpose it to all your channels.
Oh, and go to at least one decent networking event this month.
Then don’t forget to update your headshot on LinkedIn every six months.
Modern day marketing is exhausting!
No wonder most business owners and entrepreneurs suffer from overwhelm. The pressure to keep up with everything you ‘should’ be doing to promote your business is immense. Thankfully Google, YouTube and LinkedIn are bulging at the seams with marketing ‘how to’s’.
Yet, while recently assisting with event management at the local chamber of commerce, I noted 90% of feedback forms indicated the topic most requested was marketing advice and tools.
It seems that, regardless of the plethora of webinars, articles and workshops on the topic of marketing, there is still a desperate need to understand how marketing works and exactly what you should be doing in the limited time you have to spend on it.
So, it’s not a case of missing information or lack of content that’s the problem; it’s more a lack of direction needed to disseminate the knowledge available. Most importantly when looking for answers to the marketing puzzle, business owners should know that sadly, there is no magic bullet.
In today’s disruptive marketplace marketing is certainly not ‘set & forget’, it’s something you have to work at to get right, but there is a formula that makes knowing what to do with your marketing easy and more effective.
The answer to saving your business from WOFTAM (Waste of Flipping Time and Money) with your marketing is to get your brand strategy right first.
It makes marketing so much easier and way more effective. The fact is, if you are lost and can’t see the wood for the trees when it comes to promoting your services then all you need is a ‘map’ and compass to find the path to success.
Your brand is your compass, pointing you in the direction of your True North, keeping you focused on standing out as the go-to specialist for a particular thing you do with ease that others find difficult.
Your ‘map’ is your marketing action plan; it shows you where your target audience is, what they are doing and how to reach them. It also indicates your competitors’ positions and the market conditions.
Make sure you use both of them though, on their own a map and compass are totally useless to you. A compass simply shows you North but doesn’t indicate where you are. A ‘map’ gives you an idea of what’s around you, but if you don’t know what direction to go, you might as well use it to light a fire.
Going about your marketing using only a ‘map’ with no brand strategy or thinking you just need to build a brand and people will flock to you is folly. The magic really happens when you combine your compass (brand) with your ‘map’ (marketing action plan). Suddenly your path becomes totally clear, and you know instinctively what to do to grow brand awareness and create effective marketing tactics at the same time.
With a brand strategy, you also know when your brand compass is pointing North and when it feels off. You must listen to that instinct when you have a marketing opportunity or partnership offer because it will dictate the marketing tactics and activities you invest your time or money in.
Living your brand keeps you on track instead of charging off in all directions, so to help get you started here are three vital aspects to develop your brand strategy:
- Decide the #1 thing you want to be known for and instantly recognised for being great at.
Use this to develop your brand personality, making your message clear in everything you do. This is reflected in your brand identity, the colours, logos, fonts, tagline and all the images you use and content you produce to keep your message consistent.
- Define exactly how you want to make people feel.
Consumers make purchase decisions based on memory and emotion, so paint the picture of what it’s going to be like once they have used your services. Use compelling images and language to tell your brand story and understand how colours are seen by your prospect with emotion and a physiological response.
- Choose exactly who your target audience is and focus on appealing instantly to them.
Stop trying to be everything to everyone and consider who your raving fans are and what you want them to say about your brand to others.
Once you have your brand compass set, choose your channels then learn how to market and promote in bite-sized chunks so you can implement what you learn and quickly measure the results.
Selling services is one of the fastest growing sectors, so you need to stand out from the competition, and if you use smart marketing practices, guided by your brand, you can shine like a beacon.
Choose a clear brand message, align it with you, your brand and your brand culture, then you can test and measure, knowing that even if you do get it wrong, you have built brand awareness in the right direction.
Most importantly, once you have your brand strategy set, it’s all about consistent, regular action steps to take your brand where you want it to go.
In a world where the attention span of the average human being is now less than a goldfish, it’s more important than ever that you have a single-minded purpose with your brand, so your marketing supports the message you clearly want your audience to see, understand and act upon.
“The opinions expressed by Smallville Contributors are their own, not those of www.smallville.com.au"
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