No matter how big or small your company or your marketing budget is, you can maximize your marketing budget by branding first. You have plans to grow, and savvy marketing has become a bigger priority in your overall growth strategy. Congratulations!
You can leverage your marketing dollars with a good branding campaign. Branding is the process in which you define your company and what you stand for in the eyes of the consumer. Branding involves asking yourself some important questions, and learning more about your customers and how to get them to have a favorable impression of your brand.
There are a number of steps in brand development, which are all linked closely together. A few of them include:
- Determining top brand positioning keywords
- Identifying your ideal customer
- Developing a brand positioning statement
- Determining your brand promise
- Developing a tagline
- Developing your visual identity through:
- Logo design
- Choice of font styles and color scheme
- Use of images and photography
- Developing consistent messaging
A huge part of branding that affects where you spend your marketing dollars is defining your target audience and your ideal customer. Not everyone is going to be your customer, so you need to stop wasting time and money with a scattershot approach to marketing. A target market analysis allows you to clearly define who your customers are, and find what the most effective ways to market to the various market segments are.
This could include social media marketing, email marketing, print marketing, digital advertising, TV commercials, billboards, direct mail, and more. A thorough target market analysis, combined with customer satisfaction surveys and focus groups can really help you get into the head of your customer.
Web Design and Development
A key platform for any business today is their business website. The vast majority of consumers of all ages now do internet research before making an in store purchase, an online purchase, or hiring a service company. If you don’t already have a business website, now would be the time to channel some marketing dollars into getting a good one, from a professional web design company.
Updating an Existing Site
If you have an existing website, but it looks outdated, is slow to load, isn’t mobile friendly, or doesn’t match up with your branding strategy, consider a website redesign to bring your website in line with your brand and overall messaging.
Your website is your chance to make a good first impression. It represents your company 24/7, and allows prospective clients to learn more about you, and contact you for information, even in the wee hours of the morning. Your website should be attractive, easy to navigate, educate visitors about who you are and what you do, and encourage them to action, such as calling you, filling out a contact form or joining your email list.
In addition, a great website will utilize SEO, and will allow you to showcase your expertise through photo galleries, case studies, your blog, or downloadable resources to help visitors to your website.
A word about the value of search engine optimization when building your website: The majority of consumers don’t look past the first page of search engine results. According to Moz, “On average, 71.33% of searches result in a page one organic click. Page two and three get only 5.59% of the clicks. On the first page alone, the first 5 results account for 67.60% of all the clicks and the results from 6 to 10 account for only 3.73%”. So you can see that SEO can help you place higher in organic search results.
Upgrade Your Sales and Marketing Materials
When was the last time you updated your sales and marketing materials? Do they still have your old logo or incorrect information? Consider investing some of your marketing dollars in professionally designed materials that your sales people can leave behind with their prospects. These materials include:
- Business cards
- Product data sheets
- And more
As always, work with a professional so you get quality, professional-looking materials. If you have a graphic artist on staff, great; if not, consider outsourcing to a creative services firm.
Measure and Analyze Your Results
Keep track of the results of your branding and marketing efforts. Use the various analytics programs for your website to determine overall traffic, who is visiting, what they like and don’t like. Do the same with email marketing, digital marketing and email campaigns. If something’s not working, change it. If something else is leading to a higher conversion rate, examine it to see why it’s working and try to replicate that success.
If you’re looking to maximize your marketing budget by developing your brand first, you might consider working with a branding services company that has experience in brand development, brand positioning and market research. Outsourcing certain aspects of your business gives you more time to focus your energy on running your business.