WHAT IS BRANDING?
According to Philip Kotler, Branding is "a name, term, symbol or design or a combination of them which is intended to identify the goods and services of one seller or a group of sellers and to differentiate them from those of competitors."
So how are you going to create your brand that stands out with those of competitors?
Here are top 10 ways to create a brand:
Create a Consistent Online Identity:When it comes branding, you need to create an online identity for yourself and keep it consistent across multiple platforms, thereby allowing people to recognize and remember you and your brand. Create consistent social network profiles and domain name extensions to manage your online reputation. Pick an interesting / memorable name and stick to it.
To aide in selecting names it is helpful to use tools that allow you to check if your desired user name is available. This saves time especially if you are just beginning to build your brand. One such tool is Name Check. Just type in your desired name in Name Check and you will be notified of its availability.Social media channels are constantly changing and we really do not know when a channel will soar with popularity. Snap Chat, Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter are just a few examples. If you have a profile already created in the platform, you lessen the risk of having your "identity" taken.
Create a Digital Destination:
Like any good host/hostess knows, you need to keep your home inviting. You accomplish this with your personal website by keeping it fresh and updated with your blogs, compelling content and accomplishments; making sure all your social links point to your home base (personal website).
Create and Share Valuable and Compelling Content:
Yes, blogging can be a daunting task because creating fresh and unique content is not always easy. However, a consistent blogging presence that showcases you expertise is a surefire way to stamp your name in the minds and hearts of your consumers. View blogging as story-telling; a way to share your brand narrative.
Scoopit, Swayy.co, Feedly are some wonderful tools for content creation, curation and sharing. Providing ideas for top performing blogs. These tools suggest posts on your home page and offer ways of curating content. Scoopit has an added benefit in that it also allows commenting on content that is most popular in a community.
Engage with Social Channels:
Although spending a lot of time on social networks is neither possible nor feasible for all, especially considering most people have a busy day to day life, it is important to keep yourself engaged with social communications. This helps you keep abreast of trends in your field and aids in expanding your knowledge and reach.
With the increase in number of social media networks, there are several new tools available to manage social engagement. HootSuite stands out as it allows you to organize popular social channels in your home page easily. You can also setup "Social Listening" - tracking hash-tags, brands or people to follow as well as providing analytic tools to track and discover more about social media interaction. If this does not cater to your needs, there are options such as Sprout Social and Raven Tools that may be better suited to you.
Engage through Emails:
You can get explicit permission to engage with your audience when they sign up to your mailing list. Think of it like the family that sends out a monthly newsletter to their friends and family, updating them on what is going on with them presently and what is to come. Similarly, a mailing list can serve you as newsletter to keep your guests up to date.
Mail chimp is an excellent tool to create and manage email lists and email templates as well as manage and track your emails. It enables you to share your recent blogs with email subscribers thereby promoting your business offers.
Budget Unlimited or Limited - Use On Line Tools:
As a small business owner, you do not have the luxury of an unlimited budget. Never fear, even on a limited budget, you can build and maintain a quality brand. And therefore you think of completely ignoring the need for a brand, remember that a product without a brand is just a product. It has very little to draw in and keep the consumer.
Make use of plethora of cheap / free online tools that help you build your brand.
Actively Remind People - Keep Shouting:
The first thing you'll want to do is some spring cleaning. Cleat out the cyber-clutter by determining what you can handle and ditch the rest. There is no point having 20 social media profiles if you can only stay active on 3 of them. Invest in the areas that will give you the most output and grow from there.
- A great website.
- A Facebook account.
- A Twitter Account.
Create Brand Identity:
Then establish how you plan to use these platforms. The more places you can present yourself the better.
Create Gateway Content:Gateway content is branded content that begins in a state of impartial advice, transitions a reader to a potential customer, and conclude in a state of brand advocacy. Gateway content is different from the more traditional inhabitants of the "mid-funnel", such as white papers, case studies, or landing pages where a band's advocacy is made explicit throughout.
I myself have used online tools mentioned above while writing this post and creating images. You guys can try them out and let me know in the comment section below about your essential feedback what you feel about it. Keep Blogging! Happy Programming!