When you're just starting a business, you ask yourself many questions. Many of those have to deal with how you're going to develop a product or service. What is your target demographic? How does your project solve a problem in the market? What makes your company unique? These are all fundamental questions you should be able to answer about your company, whether it's been open for a few days or several decades.
How you communicate this essential information to current and prospective customers is through your marketing. The success of marketing hinges on a few things, including the strength of your branding.
If you aren't getting the conversion numbers you want from your website, social media, or marketing campaigns, that means you aren't landing as many customers as you could be. It could be that your branding isn't as effective or consistent as you think it is. Poor, unmemorable, or inconsistent branding could be what has been stopping customers from being more interested in working with your business.
Branding is far more important than you might initially think. But why is that? Can branding help increase lead conversion rates? And how can you tell if your branding is effective? These questions and more will be answered below. We'll also offer you some possible solutions to your branding issues.
Why Is Branding Important?
Branding is how customers know you. Your branded selling and marketing materials are how customers conduct research on your business. How these items are branded creates an image of your company in the eyes of that consumer. Your business wants to use every opportunity to shape a customer's expectations. They want to inform them about what the business does, and why it's different (and better!) than the competition.
The problem? Most customers are going to shop with a company that they are already familiar with than to try a new place of business.
So, you have to put effort into convincing customers to shop with you. That's just the first hurdle. Nowadays, many customers find out about a business through social media marketing, website landing pages that answer common questions, or through their own research. Harvard Business Review reports that nearly 75% of customers use more than one channel during their research and shopping journey. Shoppers often use several devices to research and shop as well. Meaning there are a lot of competitors you have to contend with to gain a customer's interest.
Aspects of Branding Which can Influence Conversion Rates
Building up your business's brand online allows you to reach out directly to your target audience. This can help you skillfully convince people to choose your business over others in your industry. But what factors influence what potential customers think about your brand?
The first aspect is awareness. Awareness is all about how customers know that your company will add value to their lives and help them solve problems. Relaying this information to them is how you raise your brand awareness.
The second aspect is differentiation. How are you different? What makes your company unique? Can your customers tell what makes you unique? When you consider your differentiation, ensure that you are showing your audience why your business is unique. Do you ethically source materials? Are you a family man with 30 years experience? Is your new software innovative, attractive, and easy to use? Let them know!
The third aspect is perceived value. How do your customers currently see you? How your audience perceives the quality of your product and service, the quality of their interactions with your digital content, and actual customer reviews all affect how your business's value is perceived. If you have a history of positive reviews or satisfied customers, you have higher brand credibility.
Capitalizing on Brand Awareness
Nowadays, consumers want fast answers and move more quickly and erratically through traditional outlines of the selling process. The older models of tracking customers through the sales funnel are no longer as accurate as they once were.
For people to consider buying from your company, they need to know that your company exists in the first place. Getting this information to them is called brand awareness. Not everyone can have the same brand recognition as Coke-a-Cola! But that doesn't mean attempting to grow your recognition isn't worthwhile. You can still make a name for yourself in your industry, even as a small business.
A strong brand identity can help make your business immediately stand out from others in your industry. With a strong message attached to that brand, you can start building up your authority and start building yourself as if you are already the go-to brand in your industry. Start building up the references your business can use to create this sense of authority with your customers, even if they've never heard of you before.
This can include publishing work in publications that are important in your business. Build up a social media presence that allows you to post value-heavy content or get your business in the media's eye by creating opportunities to get positive press coverage. This can also make it easier for you to find and reach out to influencers that can help spread the word about your content.
When a staggering 75% of customers say that brand recognition plays a huge role in their buying processes, you need to consider how recognizable your company and branding are. Familiarity breeds trust, and trust facilitates sales. This will be particularly important when considering the early stages of the new consumer journey, which can be broken down into six stages.
The New Customer's Journey
If the old model of the buyer's journey no longer works, then how should you be looking at a new customer's journey? And how can marketing work better to engage customers? Let's break it down real fast.
Stage 1 is pre-awareness. This is the customer before they know about your company. Stage 2 happens when your brand becomes recognizable to this potential shopper. The earlier you can get your name to a customer before your competitors, the better.
Then things become more active. Stage 3 is the research and familiarity phase. This is when a shopper is scouting out the market but hasn't reached a high enough need level to consider purchasing or doesn't understand the market enough to make a choice.
Stage 4 is when this shopper is seriously looking to purchase and is considering their options. Stage 5 is the purchasing phase. What's unique about these phases than in previous incarnations of the selling tunnel is that buyers are much more likely to oscillate between these two phases than they were before. In some cases, a potential buyer may retreat all the way back to Stage 3, making it a very frustrating conversion process for marketing and sales.
Stage 6 deals with customers who, if satisfied, will become sales advocates for your brand.
In this kind of market, you may be tricked into believing that shoppers are overly distracted and less reachable than ever before. However, in many ways, customers have become far savvier and more informed than ever before. You can't just tell a customer you're an expert. You have to prove it. Marketing people have to be just as savvy as customers.
Consider how your customers interact with your content to make the best marketing and branding choices possible to keep up with the high levels of competition expected in an online market. Understanding how your customers get the decision-making phase of the journey is essential to influencing that process.
What is Brand Tracking?
Brand tracking is how you measure the effectiveness of your brand-building strategies. Do you reach your target audience? Is your brand recognition increasing? Does your branding resonate with customers? Brand tracking would help you keep tabs on all branding key performance indicators.
By tracking hard data that analyzes how your branding is actually affecting your conversion rates, you can make the improvements or adjustments needed to find more success. This also allows you to compare your own branding efforts against those of your competitors, so you know that you're really standing out from the crowd. These metrics help you understand where your highest ROIs have come from and how your conversion rates have increased since new strategies have been implemented.
Practically, you can use brand tracking to:
Find Niche Demographic Targets that Are Under Utilized by Competition
Who are the people in your target demographic range? Are these the same people who actually engage with your contact? What kind of people engages with your brand most? Is your brand speaking to these prospects effectively? Understanding this is a part of measuring brand tracking metrics will help you.
Having a clear idea of your audience can help you develop your brand to speak directly to those people and their problems. Targeting the right groups will help you catch your target demographic during the early stages of the buyer's journey. This is because your prospects will see that your brand aligns with their needs.
A machine learning program, consumer perception tools, and brand performance indicators call you to discover who your target audience is (or should be) and how these people behave on the internet. This can help you adjust your brand voice to get the conversion rates you're looking for.
Find Endorsements or Brand Advocates to Support Your Business
After finding underrepresented demographics, you may also be able to find third-party endorsements or new brand advocates that can support your brand. People are more likely to listen to voices they already trust when they introduce a new company than with a company they find blindly. This is why influencer marketing has become increasingly common. It's effective.
But you have to choose the right influencer, as picking the wrong one could upset your current customer base or put your name in front of the wrong group of people. This is solved by knowing your customer, tracking where they spend the most time online, who they follow, and how they engage with content online in general.
Using brand tracking metrics, you can pinpoint the right people to trust your brand with. They can then spread positive information about your brand to your key demographics, and adjacent demographics may also be introduced to your brand, increasing your overall brand recognition.
Create a More Positive User Experience
Now, as a single metric, customer satisfaction with pre-purchase content is not going to be what drives sales. But, when taken together with all your other efforts, it can become a make or break for some people. If your website is difficult to navigate, resources are difficult to find or don't offer the content users were looking for, that person is less likely to become a customer.
Ensuring that your key demographics are responding to your content and that content always delivers your brand voice is key to keeping prospects hooked. Make sure your message is always clear, content ads value your company and your brand, and that you're actively engaging your users. This should be whether they're on your social media pages or on your website.
Create The Best Brand Design
To make the right moves to influence a buyer's decision, you have to increase your brand awareness and take control of your buyer's experience. This means harnessing the creative force of your marketing to get your voice out there in a unique way. You need to execute this idea well and get your brand voice out there. Then you need to use data analysis to ensure that your efforts are being applied successfully.
What's the perfect end result? That your team creates a positive and pointed experience that is consistently delivered across all platforms a prospect could encounter your business on. Then, analytical data should show that audiences are engaged by this material on several levels, and those passive viewers are becoming paying customers. This increases your brand's scope as the business scales up. Plus, it develops a foundation of trust, as customers report consistent levels of satisfaction.
What steps should you take to make this situation your reality? Focus on the following aspects of your banding to create a forward momentum of success.
Make Your Look Fit Your Business
Does your current logo, brand colors, name, and content all mesh well together? When customers engage with your content, do they get a consistent experience, or does your content come off a bit disjointed? Picking the right look is an essential part of making your brand stand out. It's not just about looking "modern," it's about choosing a style that makes sense for your industry. It should communicate your uniqueness to customers from the moment they first encounter your contact.
If you're having a low engagement with your content, it could be because it looks off-putting to your audience. Revamping this look may be the key to getting customers engaged with your content, helping boost your conversion rates.
Define Your "Key Phrases" and Values
Another way to create your brand is to identify how your business "talks." Are there key phrases you repeat, like mantras or company mottos, that your customers can use in their lives or remember you by? What tone of voice do you use in your content? Is it friendly or professional? Do you adequately communicate what your company values are? For example, do you support organizations or promote respect?
These kinds of things either add to or detract from user engagement with your business. Picking the right tone will help your content feel like it's speaking directly to the values and perspectives of your target audience. This also helps customers become advocates because they identify with your company personally and enjoy your product.
Create a Unified Branding Experience for Customers
Building a look won't mean much if it's not properly utilized in all places in your business. Stand out by always using your business's core aesthetic and staying true to the brand voice. Even things that seem like they don't matter, from a 404 error on your website to a subscription cancellation email, keep it on brand. These small touches make your business stand out from others and may be part of what convinces a customer to later return.
This includes written copy. Everything that a customer sees that is associated with your business should follow the same brand voice you established earlier. This ensures consistency, keeps your audience at the center of your content, and helps keep your quality level high.
Always Continue Improving and Carefully Consider Client Feedback
The work of creating and proving a brand is never done. With each new piece of content you produce, it has to be on brand, and it should test your current marketing strategies. Analyze how each piece of content works to attract attention and convert leads into customers and promote your consumer advocates. Adjusting the strategy to reach more of your target demographic and take advantage of potential brand growing opportunities—like solid choices to target for an influencer marketing campaign.
You may find out that, after a few years, you need to update your current aesthetic to keep your brand feeling fresh. Updating your look can help keep your voice current while preserving the core values of your business.
Then, you must always listen to customer feedback. People who have purchased from you often have an option about your service. They can tell you how they found out about your company, what they like about your current state of business, and things they don't like. This feedback is a critical part of finding weak spots in your game that you may not be able to see from the position of an owner. Take this criticism and use it to push the success of your business further.
Make the Most of Your Unique Brand Voice
You put a lot of thought into building a business and creating the perfect product or service. Eventually, you even become an expert in your field, offering unique perspectives and information to customers, adding more value to your customers. However, if this quality and expertise are never communicated to them, the customers won't understand what you offer.
That's why branding is so important. You want a business model that is sustainable and scalable. One that isn't relying on blind luck to create success, you need to craft the right branding strategy, invest carefully, and develop your brand awareness. Get your customers to invest not just their money but their time and their emotions.
Branding makes your business identifiable. The best and most successful businesses out there have built recognizable brands. That way, customers always know what's being delivered to them when they purchase from familiar companies. It's much simpler to sell your product or service to an audience that is already convinced that your company will provide them the value they need.
The goal then becomes ensuring that your brand is consistent, informative, and memorable. With all these factors in mind, even if a customer doesn't need your service right now, they'll remember your name in the future or maybe even point a friend in your direction. Marketing is responsible for executing your branding plan, but the best technology can make sure that your marketing talents work is meeting new branding standards consistently.
Get A MAM to Help Your Brand Flourish
Consider how a marketing asset management program, like the one provided by FuseBox One, may help your marketers craft the perfect branding message. Whether it's social media posts, email campaigns, posters, product material, or even traditional snail-mail flyers, FuseBox One can help you will all your marketing needs. We have experts waiting to help you create a custom marketing asset management system to curate all your marketing needs.
Our team of industry experts can help you formulate the new marketing content, connect with your target audience, and meet long-term marketing goals. Get the solution that can help you create promotional content and ensure that your branding is always consistent. Contact FuseBox One today to schedule a demo.