Starting your own business is incredibly exciting. However, building a brand from the ground up is no simple task. You need to build a strong brand that sets you apart. Having a strong brand with a clear ethos, unique offerings, and a brand difference is essential.
Utilizing a strong brand identity that’s enforced across all touch points in the customer’s journey allows customers to trust that you’re not going to change on them, and that you are a reliable business.
Learn everything you need to know about building a brand with this beginner’s guide from MuteSix.
The first step in brand building involves establishing the basics including your brand name, logo, colors, fonts, slogan, and voice. These elements make up your brand image.
Make sure to check consistency in the different elements of your brand style guide. Consistent branding helps you build a strong brand identity, and it’s a key aspect of building brand awareness.
After you’ve established the basics of your brand, you need to shift your focus outward to your target audience.
The best way to identify your target audience is to come up with a customer persona. A customer persona should describe your ideal customer but go into greater detail beyond simply demographic factors like age, gender, location, education, income, etc. Instead, a customer persona should include additional characteristics like wants, fears, goals, hobbies, and more to read like an actual person.
Once you have a better idea of who your target audience is, you can learn more about them. For example, what are they looking for in a product? What are your buyer personas willing to spend? What do they care about? What are their deal-breakers? Tailor your brand based on what you find out about your target audience from your research.
Now it’s time to get your branding efforts into full swing by building your brand’s website. Your brand’s website will act as the foundation of your entire business, and as a result, it’s important to get it right. Building a cohesive, interactive, and seamless shopping experience is critical for DTC and e-commerce brands (because customers are buying directly from your website!).
Start by choosing a domain name that preferably matches some variation of your brand name. However, you may need to get a bit creative if your preferred domain name is already being used by someone else. You could attempt to purchase the domain name from the other company or you could make adjustments to your domain name to make it more unique.
Next, you need to choose a host for your website. You can either choose between a shared web host or a dedicated web host. If you’re just starting out, you may want to consider going with a shared web host as it’s more cost-effective. As your business grows, you can always switch to a dedicated web host to handle the additional traffic.
Once you have chosen a domain name and web host, it’s time to start building your website. Here are some different pages that you should include on your brand’s website to provide potential customers with the information they’re looking for:
Before you launch your website, make sure that it’s mobile-friendly so that you can cater to a wider audience. To make your website more mobile-friendly, you should avoid flash and compress images.
You should also adjust buttons and font sizes for mobile devices as needed. Finally, test both the desktop version and the mobile version of your website before launch to make sure that they’re working properly.
While your brand’s website acts as its foundation, social media profiles act as the pillars built on that foundation. A vast majority of consumers are active on social media, which means your brand should be too. Here’s what you need to know about building your brand’s presence on social media.
With so many different social media platforms to choose from, choosing the right ones for your brand can be a challenge. However, your social media presence should always tie back to your target audience and what platforms they tend to use. For example, the social media strategy for a brand that targets Baby Boomers would differ from the social media strategy for a brand that targets Generation Z.
Older demographics tend to use social media platforms like Facebook, YouTube, Pinterest, and Twitter whereas younger demographics tend to use social media platforms like Snapchat, Instagram, and TikTok. If you’re still unsure of which social platforms to use, research the user demographics of some of the most popular platforms and choose the ones that line up with the demographics of your target audience.
Now that you’ve created social media profiles for your brand, you need to work on gaining followers on these platforms. Take these tips into consideration as you’re trying to boost your follower count:
While using the above unpaid avenues to gain followers, you should also consider using paid advertising to grow your brand’s social media presence. Paid advertising on social media can be extremely effective if done properly.
This is because social media advertising often only charges per click, which means that you’re only paying for legitimate conversions and leads. Social media advertising also incorporates advanced targeting mechanisms that allow you to reach your target demographic and boost the effectiveness of your advertising campaigns.
Depending on the specific platform, there are several different types of social media advertisements to choose from, including photo ads, video ads, promoted posts, sponsored hashtags, and more.
In addition to being present on social media, you also need to be present on Google — the world’s largest search engine. However, Google is so much more than just a search engine and it’s a vital part of establishing and growing your brand.
For starters, you need to claim your Google business profile. That way, when people Google your business, they can easily find what they’re looking for. When you claim your business on Google, you can then link to your business website, add your business address, insert your business hours (if applicable), add photos of your business, and connect with Google reviews of your business.
Consumers trust Google and are more likely to trust a brand with a presence on such a large and reputable platform.
While claiming your Google business profile is completely free, you may also want to consider doing paid advertising on Google as well. After all, Google is likely where your target audience comes to search for products or services just like yours.
However, Google is such a large platform that it often shows an overwhelming amount of results for a simple search. So if your brand isn’t listed on the first page, then it’s likely that your customers will never even see it.
The good news is that you can pay to reach a better spot on Google’s search results page. Before you pay, make sure that you’re selecting the best keywords based on what your target customers are actively searching for. Conduct keyword research and choose the most relevant keywords with the highest volume and the least competition to maximize your paid search investment.
In addition to paid search, you also need to invest in search engine optimization or SEO. While SEO doesn’t involve paying Google directly for a better ranking, it usually does involve making some investments in other areas to take advantage of Google’s algorithm with the end goal of securing a better ranking.
For example, you could optimize your website to work better with Google’s algorithm and boost your quality score. You could utilize backlinking wherein your website is linked back to another website. You could also work to include your keywords on your website through branded blogs and other types of content.
Speaking of branded content, let’s dive deeper into what this means and how you can develop this for your brand.
One of the most popular ways to develop branded content is to create a brand blog and post about relevant topics within your industry or niche. Make sure that you’re writing your brand blog in your brand voice that you determined all the way back in step one. Also, make sure that you’re positioning your brand as an expert in your field based on the topics you choose.
The best brand blogs are educational in nature and aim to inform the reader. Popular titles for brand blogs often include phrases like “everything you need to know,” “how-to guide,” “the top five benefits,” “10 expert tips,” etc.
Another popular way to develop branded content is to put out a brand newsletter on a regular basis. For example, you can publish your brand newsletter on a monthly basis and send it to your email subscribers. In your newsletter, you can discuss recent recognitions, product updates, relevant statistics, new case studies, spotlights, infographics, and more.
You can also use brand videos as part of your branded content strategy. Videos are particularly beneficial forms of branded content as they are extremely interactive and engaging. You can post your brand videos directly on your website and on your social media profiles, specifically Facebook, YouTube, and potentially Instagram.
In your brand videos, you can incorporate product demonstrations, expert interviews, customer testimonials, big announcements, behind-the-scenes tours, and more. Just make sure that your content is tailored toward your target audience and matches your brand voice.
Your overall goal as a brand shouldn’t be to simply convert customers, it should be to keep them around after that initial purchase. To do this, you need to invest in building lasting relationships with your customers through SMS marketing, email marketing, and events.
SMS marketing is increasingly becoming consumers’ preferred method of communication with businesses. This method of communication is more personal and efficient compared to other methods of communication and, therefore, is a great way to build relationships.
It’s also a cost-efficient method of marketing, as sending texts only costs a few cents and there’s no need to invest in developing fancy graphics. Instead, you can use fun extras like GIFs and emojis to show off your brand’s personality and develop rapport with your customer base.
Email marketing still has a place in your brand’s 2022 marketing strategy. However, you should use email marketing in concert with SMS marketing for a comprehensive and effective approach.
For example, email marketing can be used to send out general updates and newsletters whereas SMS marketing can be used to send out more urgent updates and time-sensitive information like flash sales and discount codes.
And while sending emails is technically free, you may need to spend money on email campaign software and graphic designs for a top-notch email marketing strategy.
Events are another great way that you can build relationships with your customers. The COVID-19 pandemic actually made it easier for brands to connect with customers using virtual events. Even as we exit the COVID-19 pandemic, virtual events will remain popular as a way to connect with customers all around the world.
However, customers are still looking forward to the return of in-person events, so now is the time to start planning and promoting some exciting events for your brand in the coming months.
You can then use your strong relationships with customers to obtain and promote social proof to win over new customers.
Social proof helps convince new customers to purchase your products based on reviews from existing customers. Social proof is incredibly important, especially for brands that sell their products entirely online.
Studies have shown that 91% of shoppers look for social proof in the form of online reviews before making a purchase. Products with no reviews or bad reviews act as a red flag and could result in losing a sale or a customer.
When you’re building a brand from the ground up, initially obtaining social proof can be challenging since customers often look for this before making a purchase. As a result, it’s important to be proactive about obtaining social proof from the start.
Reach out to customers after making a purchase and ask them to leave a review. Or better yet, include a physical insert asking for a review with the product when they order it. You can also use Okendo and Yotpo to collect customer-generated content, which leads to higher conversion rates and repeat purchases.
You should promote your social proof in as many places as possible, including but not limited to your website, your online stores, your social media profiles, and your Google profile. Also, be sure to include additional third-party review sites like Yelp, Angie’s List, and the Better Business Bureau (BBB).
Business owners are expected to know everything, however, it would be nearly impossible to build a brand completely on your own. As a result, you should feel free to consult experts as needed.
Legal experts can help you establish your business by drafting articles of incorporation, filing patents, and ensuring compliance with any regulations.
Financial experts can help you grow your business by managing your budget, making hiring decisions, and investing in the right areas.
Marketing experts can help you expand your business by developing marketing strategies, creating customized content, and running advertising campaigns.
Building a brand involves a lot of marketing, which often requires a lot of marketing expertise. MuteSix has the marketing expertise you need to quickly get your brand off the ground and become a true competitor in your industry.
MuteSix handles everything from social media marketing on platforms like Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, and Snapchat; email and SMS marketing; TV and CTV marketing; and Google and Amazon marketing.
MuteSix has handled the branding for businesses big and small, including Disney, Ring, Morphe, GNC, Therabody, and more. Reach out to us today for a complimentary marketing consultation to launch your branding efforts.
How to Build a Business Website | Business News Daily
How to Increase Your Social Media Following | The Balance Small Business
4 Reasons Why Social Proof Is Essential to Building Your Brand | Entrepreneur