If you're ready to sink some time and thought into brand building process, you're ready to begin!
What is the goal?Firstly, let's set the tone for what we're trying to accomplish. The goal is to make it as easy as possible for customers to approach you and purchase your product/service or to support your cause. Now, more than in the last decade-plus of online commerce, customers are looking for amazing service and quality products and they want to build relationships (we've all moved beyond the low-cost provider).
>> Regardless of the industry your brand serves, you can use your online presence to build your business. <<
1. Begin with existing customers/supportersHow can you increase your SERVICE, QUALITY and RELATIONSHIPS with current customers/supporters? Today's interactivity makes this easier than ever. Some ideas are more appropriate depending upon your industry. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
- Tweet them a message
- Send a personal video Thank You message
- Begin an email list (only email when you have something to say)
- Create an online survey to gain insights
- Start a podcast (even if periodic)
- Have a Facebook contest
- Share behind-the-scenes photos
- Send an ecard on special occasions
- Offer a coupon
- Answer frequently asked questions online
- Respond promptly to emails and phone calls
- Think about the customer process and make one piece better, easier, simpler for customers
2. Expand to potential customers/supportersThe goal of your online (and offline) efforts should be to make the transition from potential customer to customer as seamless as possible. How is this done? By increasing awareness of your SERVICE and QUALITY as well as building RELATIONSHIPS. Noticing a trend?
>> This step assumes you have a website and that it is mobile-responsive. If not, focus your efforts here first. <<Here are a bunch of ideas, categorized:
Build Out Your Website
- No PDFs - if you have valuable info, put it on a webpage
- Address common questions on your website
- Have a Contact Us form and check the email address it sends to regularly
- Maintain website info - if it is out-dated, get rid of it
- Add photos of staff, if relevant (remind customers there are actual people behind your brand)
- Create a Completed Projects section then, set your calendar to regularly update it
- Add a few testimonials
- Link to your social media accounts (if brand-related)
- Set up Google Analytics to track visitors, pages viewed, etc.
- Only add info and web pages that ADD VALUE to the customer, if not, get rid of it
Step Up Your Communication
A website is a great start, but there are a number of ways to continue to gently welcome web traffic as customers. The first step here is to think about an action you want potential customers to take that you feel with increase their sense of your brand's SERVICE, QUALITY and RELATIONSHIP. A few examples might be:
- Watch a welcome video
- Take an online tour
- Fill out a Contact Form
- Download a white paper
- Sign up for the email list
- Purchase a product
- Schedule a tour
Calls to Action
The last step here is to create Calls to Action throughout the website that encourage web visitors to perform one of the actions listed above.^^ If you're convinced the welcome video is a great way to help visitors learn about your brand (RELATIONSHIP), remind them gently to view the video. Do so on different pages in different areas.
When web visitors perform the Call to Action, be sure to collect their email address. Why? So you can continue the conversion with an email or follow up phone call.
Thank you for taking the time to view our Welcome Video. I'd love to send you a brochure about our brand's offering. It contains information on our brand as well as pricing. If you'd like the brochure, simply email me back."
If all of this song-and-dance sounds familiar, that's because it is. This is the very same way we build relationships offline (friendships, a first date, etc.) We get to know someone and then extend the conversion through dinner parties, meetings, emails or phone calls, etc.
Now, we're simply using technology to extend the relationship experience to a much broader audience--one with global reach. Email, social media, texting, websites and a variety of media help brands build relationships with people they would never come across in their day-to-day lives.
The steps we take as we get to know someone, slowly revealing more information about ourselves or simply sharing who we are, is the same we should take as a brand.Note, there are many people behind every brand. And, there are many people who are helped by many brands. Brands and businesses and companies and industries all serve people. Therefore, our interactions should always be mindful of the person on the other end of the transaction.
In your efforts, think about communicating your brand's SERVICE and QUALITY and work to build RELATIONSHIPS through a variety of actions online and offline. The result will be a stronger brand and that leads to stronger sales.
If the ideas and tips sound like something you'd like to act on, but you're not sure where to start, we'd be happy to lend an ear to discuss a path forward for your brand.
^see what we did there?
Best of luck as you build your brand!