Your brand is far greater than your company’s logo – It is the voice of your business.
It shouts about what your company values are and the kind of culture you embrace.
>Having a strong online brand image so important because:
- It is often the first introduction to your business for prospective clients.
- It can be extremely powerful in building customer loyalty.
- It can generate recommendations.
- Businesses use the internet to research potential new partners.
- Employers use the internet to gather information about potential new employees.
- Marketers use the internet to find and connect with industry thought leaders and promote their content.
I could go on, the list is endless. The important point here is that if your brand is not up to scratch, then you will almost certainly be missing out on opportunities that you didn’t even realise existed. Please, don’t make that mistake!
Keeping your brand fresh and relevant is absolutely essential. If your business focus changes, so must your brand; the two are inextricably linked.
So, would you like to know how to increase brand awareness and improve brand loyalty? Yes? Great! Let’s take a quick look at some of the key elements you need to consider…
Tell your story
Be brave. Be generous. Tell people about the origins of your business, its evolution, what it means to you. Show the human side of your brand, it allows people to gain a more rounded understanding of your motivations and values. Your story is unique to you, nobody else can tell it.
Remember: Storytelling is a great way to improve brand loyalty.
Set the tone
The tone of your brand is the expression of the people behind it. It not only embodies the brand’s personality, but also lays bare its core values.
Make sure the tone of your brand is distinctive, unique, but ultimately recognisable.
Remember:A clear tone helps people to develop trust in your brand. This increases familiarity and builds confidence.
Create a set of brand guidelines which everyone, across all departments, adheres to. This provides a sense of coherence and helps to build and improve brand awareness.
Here’s an example of what you might include:
- Overview of brand (including history, vision and personality)
- Logo specifications and examples of usage
- Typography palette
- Color palette
- Image use specifications (including photography style)
- Letterhead and business card design
- Design layouts and grids for print and web-based projects
- Brochure guidelines
- Specifications for signage and outdoor advertising
- Writing style and voice
- Social media guidelines
- Visual examples to support each rule (provide examples of proper and improper use for clarity)
Remember: Brand guidelines are essential. Without them, you send a confused and disjointed message which makes it very difficult to improve brand loyalty.
Make sure that all branding is consistent across all channels. This ties back to your brand guidelines. Avoid using a random mix of colours, graphics and logos to represent your brand online, it will confuse people. It also makes it difficult for them to develop a sense of loyalty.
Remember: Ensure that all channels that promote your brand carry a consistent message.
A call-to-action (CTA) is a button or link that you include on your website to drive prospective customers to become leads by filling out a form on a landing page. CTAs are the link between the regular content that your potential customer is interested in, and a page with a more high-value offer on it (the landing page) that is relevant and interesting enough to persuade your visitor to complete a short form.
Here are a few examples of the type of CTA wording you might use to attract attention from qualified leads:
- Contact Us
- Make an appointment
- Start a free trial
- Get a free consultation
- Download your free ebook now
- Tell us about your project
Remember: CTAs are vital.
Be committed to social media
Use social media to promote your brand and develop customer relationships. It’s essential that you understand the benefits that each channel (ie. Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, G+, Pinterest) offers your business. Spend some time developing a social media strategy that is sustainable and then consistently use each channel to support your brand’s focus.
Remember: Focus on developing a sustainable social media strategy. Be consistent and it will pay dividends!
A Shining Example
Graham’s Family Dairy is an object lesson in how to deliver a strong online brand message. Let’s take a look!
They tell their story
In fact, they tell four stories! Each one carries the personal tone that underpins every element of the brand and its various marketing channels.
- Family: A look at the individual family members in the Graham family.
- Business: Where it began and its journey to where it is now.
- Cows: “Happy, healthy cows make the best-tasting milk.”
- Farmers: The relationships that they nurture with other farmers that they do business with.
They have a clear, unique tone
As soon as you land on the website, you get an immediate sense of the business. It feels friendly. It is engaging, easy to navigate and humorous. All of the content found on this site carries the same informal, welcoming, knowledgeable and passionate-about-their-industry tone.
They follow brand guidelines
Graham’s Family Dairy clearly have adhered to their brand guidelines. There is total consistency and continuity across the website and social media channels. This presents the brand as professional and confident and helps to improve brand awareness.
They are consistent
Graham’s use Twitter and Facebook for their social media. Both of these channels are well-managed, consistently used and thoughtfully presented. They use the same profile and cover image for both, maintaining a consistent brand message. The main website is also well-maintained and regularly updated with news, incentives, a daily farm forecast, recipes and more. This shows care, attention to detail and a strong commitment to the brand and its values. Consistency and clear understanding of their brand’s tone and message helps to build and improve brand loyalty.
They use effective Call-To-Actions
Call-to-actions are used to great effect on this site. For example, you can ‘Follow our Herd’ on Twitter, or, ‘Sign up to receive updates with Graham’s Grazette.’ These examples also highlight the inventive use of language with well-chosen puns!
They are inventive with their social media
Graham’s use puns regularly in their social media posts. They even create and use hashtags like #MOOvies, which is used to accompany images of famous movies that have had dairy-related puns added as captions! It’s a engaging, amusing and clever use of content and something that their followers enjoy!
So, there you have it. A short overview of some of the key elements involved in building brand awareness!