A strong brand strategy in online marketing starts by making decisions about what your brand is and what it will be doing.
And for this brand strategy’s strength to linger and stay, your business would need for your successful campaign to be preceded by an exceptional strategy to make sure it has a firm direction. As experts affirm, if you don’t have a clear brand strategy in place, the campaign may spend a lot of energy, but will probably arrive somewhere you didn’t plan to end up.
That could be devastating. “The ability to define a brand, a brand story and messaging not only allows you to navigate your campaigns more effectively, but makes you less likely to fail,” industry experts further said.
How do we define a good branding strategy via an effective online marketing campaign:
- Answer the true need of your target audience
- Differentiates your brand from other alternatives
- Authentically reflects your brand’s value , and will definitely align with your key performance indicators (KPI) as well as objectives in business
The Importance of Brand Strategy In Online Marketing Brand strategy is a plan of action developed by a company’s leaders to make the business successful by taking into consideration the client’s needs, emotions, and competitors. This is based on the relationship between a company’s brand and its customers.
And If you do have a solid business strategy, you’ll know the message that your business is trying to spread, the values that your business embodies, and the reasons why your business exists.
Check out these studies from recent research:
- 86% of consumers believe that authenticity is a crucial factor in determining which brands they like and support.
- Majority of these brand-conscious consumers admit that they tend to develop trust from brands they have knowledge of and also like, before making any purchases.
- Creating a consistent branding increases revenue by 33%.
- 66% of consumers say disclosure is the most attractive brand quality.
- A recent survey found that more than half of consumers believe that companies should care about the causes they are passionate about.
To summarize, consumers demand and appreciate companies that are genuine, trustworthy, and dedicated to a cause, as well as being more than just a product. And this is reason why having a “why” is important. Companies, on the other hand, do make mistakes. From new studies in online marketing via the 2019 Edelman Trust Barometer
Report : In Brands We Trust , the report talks about global brands adopting values, yet consumers perceive it in a different way, skeptical that these are marketing ploys even, called “trustwashing”. Trustwashing, as the report said, means “all talk and no action.”
Without an effective brand strategy:
- You miss the mark both in communication and in purpose, focus, and understanding.
- You don’t have a cohesive marketing plan, lacking structure and having disjointed content.
- It’s a mistake to make your content consistently unclear or even worse misleading.
- Some people in the crowd feel there’s lack of direction in the movement. The team lacks the resources that tell them what types of content and messages they should create.
- Your brand isn’t memorable or memorable and has low retention rates, no ambassadors, no referrals, and low rate of customer loyalty.
- You don’t have a team that’s assigned to develop your brand’s identity, image and reputation.
The bottom line is: take time and invest in your brand strategy, which takes time and investment. You need to be consistent in your online marketing messages. It should also inspire your customers to develop a lasting relationship with you.
Four Steps To Creating A Brand Strategy
The brand strategy is a reflection of your brand. When people hear a person tell authentic stories, they usually connect with the brand in a way that is emotionally appealing. Your B2B and B2C brand can be an example of this idea.
To figure out your brand story, and to help improve your strategy, the questions you should ask yourself are:
- Why do a brand’s values matter?
- Why does your brand exist?
- What do you want it to stand for?
- What is your value proposition?
- What solutions does your brand offer?
- How are they unique?
- What are your brand’s strengths?
- What are these set mission, objectives and company values leading to your brand’s establishment?
- What are your brand’s weaknesses in the market and in your customers’ eyes?
How do we define our ‘why’ for our brand?
The “what” is the core of your brand and it should be clearly defined, the reason you get up in the morning, the reason you do what you do. True, many people feel that getting up for work in the morning is a waste of time. They don’t feel good about their work, and they are not too keen on the idea on what’s in store for them if they accomplish tasks well on the job. From the new studies, researchers studying about companies’ long-term success found that these companies have great core values, also delved into the customers’ pain points when facing the challenges of doing digital marketing.
In the earlier mentioned Edelman report, we defined our role as assisting businesses in escaping this Catch-22, and achieved the high results that big brands have while working with a limited budget. Consider this scenario: a company has worked incredibly hard to develop a fantastic product or service. They work relentlessly to develop a powerful and effective approach. To spread the word and attract new consumers, this company engages in digital marketing.
It appears to work for everyone else. After some time, this company recognizes that placing advertisements on Google, Facebook, and Yelp isn’t going to work. Getting results from digital marketing necessitates a high level of expertise.
A startup or medium-sized firm, meantime, does not have access to top-tier online marketing agencies, modern technology tools, or large digital marketing budgets that major companies enjoy. As a result, the small business may be frustrated at what appears to be a cruel and unjust fate for small enterprises — feeling compelled to break through, to be noticed, and to be recognized for what it does best.
Enter LSI Media, providing you with the tools you need to reach your best potential. Indeed, it’s true that the most beneficial component was speaking with our customers and getting inside their brains and experiences, which really aided us in developing our strategy.
For business owners to discover their brand’s “Why”, try to list at least two to four main values which represent your brand promise. With this, all you need to do is just remember the story which led to the creation of your business, the reasons why you and your team are heavily putting in all these efforts to establish your brand strategy.
Aligning your brand with your client. Discovering the so-called “secret sauce”: what makes your brand relevant, and what encourages your potential clients to engage with your brand? The secret sauce could be your brand’s response to the genuine demands of your target market. It’s important that the companies’ online marketing campaigns and brand strategies reflect and solve the needs of your clients and target market.
Check these out: Coca-Cola for “life and happiness”, while Uber is for “move the way you want.” As experts affirm, “the most successful companies either communicated or answered their customers’ most pressing concerns. Recent studies show that 77% of customers prefer to buy from businesses that share their values. As mentioned in these studies, important brands outperform the stock market by a whopping 134 percent!
Bottomline: brand values are crucial, and matching them with your ideal customers is even more crucial, which is why you must first determine what those values are that your customers possess.
Consider the following points:
- What kind of clients do I have? Who may be a good fit for my expansion?
- What matters the most to my clients?
- Make a list of three practical and three emotional advantages that your brand offers to your customers.
- What are the primary impediments to your customers purchasing your goods or services?
- What are the opinions of your customers on your brand?
- What are their opinions of your rivals?
- What marketing campaigns did you run that were the most successful?
- What factors contributed to their success?
Values are the things that we generally do, according to best-selling author and motivational speaker Simon Sinek. Meanwhile, because innovation is “non-actionable,” it is not considered “valuable.”
“Values must be actionable,” Sinek adds, therefore we need to look at the situation objectively. And to be able to answer these questions properly, speak with your customers, check with your sales team, or reach out to unhappy and dissatisfied customers who were not happy with your brand. As online marketing experts affirm: you can never listen enough to what your customers have to say about your brand, rivals, and, most importantly, what they expect and require while developing your strategy.
After completing a study and interviewing some of your current and former customers, these experts recommend generating a list of pain problems that your consumers encounter while managing their digital marketing campaigns, as well as a list of their expectations and the values that they represent. Indeed, these are significant data in developing an effective branding strategy for your online marketing campaigns.
Create a position statement to make your brand stand out Industry experts agree that a position statement is essential in making your brand stand out, which is a brief summary of your product and target market that indicates how you differ from your competitors. These position statements are private documents that assist businesses in strengthening their brand consistency, helping the team as a whole in serving their customers well. Just like Nike’s position statement which helps mold the morale of their team personnel, they are inspired “to deliver inspiration and innovation to every athlete in the world.”
Analyze your best competition
A fundamental stage in expressing your brand and developing your strategy is identifying market opportunities and risks. This data enables you to develop more relevant and intelligent communications that reflect your brand, ultimately assisting you in developing a solid brand strategy. In addition, you’d like to know what your competitors’ main messaging and brand values are. When you map them out, you can see which messages are already overused and which ‘open places’ your business may take advantage of to set itself apart from the competition.
These are the questions we propose you ask in order to better understand your market and competitors, and further develop your most effective online marketing campaign and branding strategy:
- What are the market trends that are relevant to your company’s operations?
- What are the most significant obstacles?
- What opportunities do you have?
- Who are the most important partners for your brand?
- What value do they bring to your company?
- What are the names of your direct competitors?
- Which company keeps you up at night?
- What are your competitors’ strengths, advantages and edges over your brand?
- What are the primary points that your top competitors are trying to get across?
- What are the values they represent?
Another excellent marketing activity to structure your comparative analysis is to create a table that compares your competitors’ messaging by value areas.
If one rival says, “My product is simple to use,” another adds, “My product is easy to use,” and a third says, “Using my product is straightforward,” they all chose the “simple” category. Advice for the business owners: consider adopting a different value for your firm to stand out, also to ensure that you make an effort to distinguish your brand unique from its competition
Because we are a disruptor in our business, the first objective was to identify our competitors. After that, we evaluated what they say to our potential customers to make sure we were communicating our value in a different way, and to make sure we were on the right track.
Experts further observed that in a competitive context, marketing communications emphasize service and reasonable criteria. This gives us a lot of room to combine rational and emotive components in our messaging and brand values, which aided us in developing our strategy.
Create a distinct brand voice.
Building a brand voice is the best method to ensure that your company has a consistent presence and brand personality throughout your whole marketing funnel. Let’s start by defining basic terminology and then see how everything fits together.
What exactly is a brand?
Companies use a brand as a distinguishing symbol, mark, logo, name, phrase, and/or sentence to differentiate their product from others. A brand identity can be created using a mix of one or more of those factors. Meantime, regarding trademarks, these would be the legal protection provided to a particular brand.
What is a brand’s tone of voice?
The personality and emotion injected into a company’s communication is referred to as the brand voice. It’s how a consumer perceives (or hears) your brand across all channels.
The “We’re This, Not That” exercise is another technique to come up with your brand language. It’s as though you’re going through a process of elimination, so you can then figure out who you are by figuring out who you aren’t.
- “We’re not snarky, but we’re humorous.”
- “We’re honest, but not pessimistic.”
- “We’re serious, but not too serious,” says the group.
This is a fantastic approach to pinpoint exactly what your brand voice should be. After accomplishing the mentioned steps, it is best to place everything into a brand voice chart. This graph depicts your voice features, defines them, and then categorizes them as Dos and Don’ts.
Recognize the customer’s path
The way you present yourself should be similar across all marketing platforms, yet each platform will have its own quirks. As a result, you’ll need to figure out which platforms/channels your clients already use to find you and prioritize which ones you want to devote more time and effort to.
Place a premium on the omnichannel experience
You’ll want to communicate with customers via a variety of channels, and you’ll want to employ a variety of channels in your marketing campaigns. According to research, marketers who employ three or more channels in their campaigns have a 90% greater client retention rate. If you want to keep your customers and develop your business over time, think of the customer journey as a loop that feeds back on itself, where your customers become brand ambassadors and refer their friends to buy your product.
Put your branding strategy in your action
Now that you’ve written your strategy, it’s time to put it into action across all of your channels. There are a few crucial steps in this section.
Make a brand identity
Your brand’s visual identity — also known as a brand style guide — is its public face. It’s the logo, colors, typography, and any other visual stuff we’re talking about. Now that you’ve developed your strategy, it’s important to develop your brand’s visual identity in order to effectively communicate your brand’s principles.
Inform the team on the strategy Last but not least, you’ll need a great team to put your branding strategy into action. Someone must develop the strategy, a designer or creative lead must develop the visual guidelines, and a marketing lead must ensure that each campaign and piece of creative truly reflects the brand’s voice and values.
When you’re redesigning your brand, it’s critical to get your entire staff on board. You want to make sure that everyone in your company understands your brand’s goals and positioning strategy. If you’re a larger company, you should surely include the people in charge of managing teams and communicating with consumers and other stakeholders. Further, create a Brand Manager role who will be in charge of these branding strategies and online marketing campaigns.
Brand managers are the go-to professionals for any questions about the company’s brand and visual identity. They’re in charge of defining the brand at the start, then developing brand rules, and lastly matching the company goals with the brand. Effective branding necessitates the presence of a leader, someone who takes command and assures long-term brand consistency.
One of the most effective ways to improve revenue, retention, and long-term growth in the world of digital marketing is to devote effort to developing a great brand strategy. Small and medium-scale businesses’ sole goal should be to build a distinctive brand, one whose values resonate with your clients and inspire them to become your most ardent supporters.
Here at LSI Media, we aim to empower our customers and marketing experts so both will be able to fulfil their potential. With more than a decade of providing digital marketing strategies to our clients, our strategically-designed branding campaigns are custom-tailored to meet our target market’s specific needs and concerns.
We make sure our clients are able to create an emotionally compelling connection and deeper relationship with their customers, which results in increased brand awareness, revenues and return on investment. For more of these online marketing campaign strategies, follow our website to be always in the loop for new trends and updates in digital marketing.