Strategic branding builds credibility and gains trust, connects others to your brand and increases the impact of marketing efforts and online presence. Answer the following 15 questions to identify key areas for improving your brand identity.
1.What is your story?
Humans love stories, often connecting with the story and the storyteller. Share your story for an opportunity to show others the human side of the business, making it easier for others to connect with your brand. A website’s ‘About’ page is a strategic tool for teaching others about how your business was formed and also about the influencing factors behind it. Focus on making the page more personal by adding images to tell your story to give it meaning. Answering questions such as who? why? where? and when? has the potential to influence clients to choose your business. Also, share about your mission, core values, why people matter to you, telling them why they are the priority in your story.
- Tell your founding story. adding your mission and vision statements
- Explain the cause and answer why your company or small business exists
- Add single person profile images or staff images, photos of the founding fathers, CEO and staff images can be useful here.
- The use of content such as video or links to blogs is optional as it can be helpful. But be careful not to overwhelm with too much information.
2. Who are your ideal customers?
The first steps in marketing are to fully understand what you have to offer, how it adds value to others and knowing your typical ‘buyer persona’ or ‘ideal client profile,’ (also known as your ‘demographics’) which is about understanding who is likely to buy from you, male, female, age bracket, location and more. Use your demographics to shape every aspect of brand identity. Targeting demographics in your marketing efforts helps to prevent wasting money on a broader audience unlikely to buy from you, by targeting actual potential clients who will most likely pay for your goods and services.
3. What pain points can you solve?
Search engine users are potential clients looking for solutions to everyday problems. When creating content avoid cold selling, but rather aim to tell others how your products and services can make their life easier and elaborate on what problems your products or services can solve. Sell the value and the benefits rather than the products or services themselves, and carefully watch the language you use. Your ability to connect with your client needs to be at the heart of your brand identity. Ask yourself, “what do my clients get out of it and how does what I have to offer meet or exceed their expectations?”
4. Who are your top 3-5 competitors?
Analyse the competition for leveraging your marketing strategy and work to improve on your competitors fail points to simply do it better. Use Neil Patel’s free SEO Competitor Analysis Tool to discover your competitors to discover the keywords they rank for. Use the top keywords to tweak your on-page SEO and to craft new content using the top keywords on your web pages.
5. Are you using backlinks?
Link to other reputable websites and have them link back to you. In SEO terms these are inbound links and outbound links. They are links that exist between two website’s pages. Backlinks are great for ranking websites. Google loves linkable content. The more people that link to your site, the easier it is for Google to find your site which works to improve ranking.
6. What are clients saying about your business/product?
What are they saying? What are your Google rating and feedback? What is being said about your brand on social media? Good and bad feedback is simply, ‘feedback’ providing an opportunity to excel in those areas falling short. Social listening, surveys, polls and quizzes are useful for gathering information about how others respond to our brand. Pay careful attention to all of it and pause to think hard before replying online. There may be potential issues needing to be resolved. Risk management is also about the way approach and respond to feedback
7. What is your audience’s language?
What are the words and terminology customers use to describe your business? Do you speak their language or are you communicating in jargon? Depending on your profession, communicating clearly in a less formal tone makes it personal and so much easier to understand and to connect with. The overuse of unfamiliar terminology may turn others away.
8. How are you different to your competitors?
What do you do that has the potential to make your business stand out. How are you improving on what is already out there, or what do you have that is new and what are the features of that? How does it add value to others?
9. How does your logo & business name communicate your story?
Logo: If you have a logo or need one it should potentially communicate what your business is about. Relevancy is key. Choose wisely. My ACT Websites logo is about Websites in the ACT with a focus on business growth. Notice the growing tree above the ‘e’ in Web? For an SEO business name strategy, opt for a keyword-rich business name, using words descriptive of what you do or where you are located, is probably the better choice for helping others find your business on Google Search results. Keep it as short as possible. Domain names using 13 letters or less are ideal. 6 Strategic Logo Design Essentials 1. Authentic Design – each logo needs to be an original design. 2. Appropriateness – select all design aspects carefully, while considering the need to keep the design consistent with all other visual assets. Design a logo that makes sense to your demographics. 3. Minimalism – keep it simple. Cluttered designs can be confusing and potentially cause a disconnect. 4. Clarity – simple designs without subtle effects. Avoid shadows or bevelling for your design to work best across different digital platforms. 5. Colours – colours have meaning and are known to evoke emotions and give impressions about your brand. Choose carefully. 6. Versatility -create logos in various formats such as *.png *.svg and *.jpg to name a few. Logos can be created in various sizes and layouts, such as horizontal, vertical and square versions. A white transparent copy of the logo enables us to add the logo on darker backgrounds.
10. What does your URL (link) structure look like?
Your page links structure matters a great deal to your SEO. Use keywords in your URL structure. Avoid using dates in your URL. Only letters, numbers and dashes only in your link structure as Google will lower the ranking as it dates in the future. Also make sure you’re using an SSL Certificate to keep your site secure, as it helps with ranking and conversions. Secure sites that use an SSL certificate have a web address starting with HTTPS://. Front slashes are used in URLs to create folders. Use no more than two folders or slashes like ‘/’ in your URLs to save search time for those requiring to type in your link into an address bar.
11. Are your headlines extraordinary?
Whether you want others to click on a button, take action or notice a product, headline writing needs to be attention-grabbing. Match the content and craft headlines to incite interest and to provoke curiosity. How to, or ways to are great ways to start a headline to get more hits. The formula I use is simple. I add keywords to the headline, keep it short and sweet, sometimes I use numbers and always match the content. Take an expert lesson on creating headlines and subheading writing and learn why it matters to your brand and why it helps to improve your marketing results.
12. Are your brand colours and fonts relevant?
Match fonts with the industry or niche. Curly fancy fonts, for instance, aren’t a wise choice on a Truck Repair business Logo. Find a huge assortment of free fonts on the Google Fonts website. Choosing the right colour or colour combinations are essential for good branding, as numerous studies show there’s a psychological aspect attached to colour. People have natural responses to colour. Some colours may evoke hunger or joy in others. Use colour to attract others to your brand. The key is to market to your audience, not to yourself with colours that you personally like. Creating a relevant brand that resonates with your audience is the key focus in branding. Yes, you must like your colours, however, using colour combinations that attract your demographics can be as simple as using soothing colours or colour that evokes confidence or feelings of well-being.
13. What words can describe your brand personality?
Brands with a likeable character generally get noticed first. Remember tv ads that you might have liked. Was it a catchy jingle that you can’t get of your head or the humour used in the advert? What opinion did you form about the company, consciously or subconsciously? Bad ads affect branding personality. People generally connect a human set of characteristics to your brand. E.g., bold, funny, exciting, optimistic and rebel or some.
14. Do I use keyword-rich content and are they the right keywords?
Knowing if you’re using the right keywords for the best possible search engine ranking to help your brand get noticed organically has its rewards. Do the research using Ubbersuggest by Neil Patel to find out which keywords to compete for and use in your content creation. Monitor the performance of your keywords to see how they compare to your competitors. Alternatively, you may require keyword, research and monitoring services, to analyse keyword performance and adjust your web pages and your on-page SEO in an attempt to outrank your competitors for those keywords.
15. Is your marketing true to the brand?
So you’ve got it all down pat. Your branding has been tweaked to answer all of the above questions. But what about brand consistency? Do your branding colours and fonts change often in your marketing efforts and on your banners and headers? Keep your brand consistent for easy recognition to help gain a loyal following, extend your organic reach and build consumer trust.
Canberra WordPress web design and development services are available for small businesses, sole traders, startups and DIY WordPress. Need help to create your brand or to improve on your existing branding? For a non-obligatory quote, contact Sandra with your enquiries.
Further reading about Business Branding, Sources: Forbes – 13 Straightforward Ways To Improve Branding Strategy