As we move on from 1 year and into another we all know we reflect back on the coulda, woulda, shoulda’s. So moving forward, let’s open that brand spanking new goals book and get your plan into action to kick off the new year strong. Below are 5 tips to boost your brand presence in the new year:
1. Stop focussing on what others are doing
It’s good to monitor your competitors, but don’t let that ‘monitoring’ dictate your business decisions. We all have our own special traits in business, regardless of how big your company is. So whilst it’s all well and good to keep up with the Jones’, make sure you make it uniquely your brand. If you are constantly chasing your tail trying to follow your competitor’s strategy, you will always be on the back foot and always feel flustered.
2. Take the risk
No great business story ever started with someone playing it safe. If you want your brand to excel next level, you need to put it out there. Get comfortable being uncomfortable because that’s what it’s all about. This year I’ve felt uncomfortable A LOT of the time, and do you know what, it always paid off. If it doesn’t challenge you, it won’t change you. If it doesn’t work, whatever, at least you tried, back to the drawing board to assess what could be done differently, lesson learnt. Better an ah well than a what if.
3. Know your brand like you know yourself
Strong branding is built on consistency, delivering the same message to market so you become familiar in the eyes of your audience. It helps to build a strong foundation so people know what to expect from it. If things are constantly changing, people become confused, and this can range from anything:
- Changing your tone of voice and speaking differently each time: Make sure if multiple people are managing your marketing material, that the same brand personality is executed across every touch point. Think of it like a person, you expect them to be the same when you see them again, not different. Create consistency, consistency creates familiarity, people like knowing what to expect.
- Visual identity: Changing colours and fonts can have a pretty big impact. As mentioned above, you need to create familiarity, if you keep chopping and changing, people won’t be able to identify who you are, ain’t nobody got time fo’ dat.
- Logo consistency: Just like the above, make sure your logo looks the same every time you use it. FOR THE LOVE OF THE DESIGN GODS, don’t distort your logo. Here’s a hot tip: if you want to resize your logo and keep the same proportions, hold shift as you resize. Boom, same same but different.
- Using a stock standard template from Canva: I love Canva, I think it’s great that it gives everyone the ability to create graphics. There is a problem with this though, everyone uses the same templates and reproduces those same templates with a simple image swap out and copy change. There is nothing individual about doing this, and all it does is categorise you with a bunch of other people who have done the same thing. Think about how you can tweak it so that it’s completely your brand and style!
- Communication: You’d be so surprised at how often this guy flies under the radar. Communication IS KEY PEOPLE. Think about how you feel when a company replies to you within a decent time frame; you feel respected right? Understandable that you may not be able to answer every call or every email that floods your inboxes, but have an automation process in place that eliminates someone not using you simply because you didn’t answer fast enough. Automated responses are the best for that, especially on socials, a simple’ thanks for your message, we’re a little busy at the moment but we will get back to you as soon as we can’ is a lot better than a delayed reply. You may have the best-looking brand going around, but if you don’t have the same rep for your service – BUH BYE.
4. Get yo’ ass on social media
I actually can’t believe how many people neglect their social media accounts, it is LEGIT the best and most cost-effective way to market. Facebook has the ability to basically yell ‘Hey, old mate Joe, yeah you sitting there on the lounge with 1 dog eating popcorn’ and tell him what you want him to know. Their targeted marketing is like no other, and let’s be clear, we’re talking ADS here not boosted posts. There’s a reason social platforms can capture such great engagement with your targeted audience, it’s because it gives you the ability to have a conversation and to build relationships. Social media isn’t going anywhere (check out 4 tips on how to market on social media here), it’s here for the long haul, so wouldn’t you rather get in the midst of it before every Tom, Dick, and Harry do? Because all you’ll be doing then is fighting amongst the same people who couldn’t adapt to change and clutter the market.
Tip: Invest your money into social media, even if you’re a service-based business (if you need guidance, get in touch). Know where your target market hang out and start a discussion. People are more likely to buy from brands they have a relationship with, on top of that, you’ll also stay top of mind.
All you have to do is look at the average social media screen time people have, I mean they’re averaging like 8,9,10 hours a week on Facebook alone. If you aren’t on there, or advertising on there, who even are you!?
5. Make a plan
Do you have a marketing plan? It’s important to have one of these ready to align with your business goals.
Do you sell a product?
- When are the release dates?
- When do you start promoting?
- Do you have all the occasional holidays listed?
- Do you know how long you should be in market prior to launch dates?
Are you a service based business?
- Is there a specific time of year business picks up?
- When do you start promoting?
- Have you aligned with other businesses that can potentially help you boost your profile?
- Could you guest blog to boost exposure?
- What can you offer to the market at certain times that can give you the edge? (think accountants and tax articles around EOFY)
We all have business goals and we all want to make more money, obviously, so it’s important to align your marketing plans with your business goals. Is there a local directory that you could benefit from? If they print, when is the next issue, what is the deadline? These things are great to add to your plan, it helps to keep you on track with the end goal. Your marketing plan should be that reflection of that end goal in sections to make sure you’re hitting the smaller goals along the way. It’s funny, a lot of people put marketing at the bottom of the pile, the fact of the matter is, if you don’t promote and get exposure, you won’t sell anything. My advice, get a good marketer and invest, you’ll make your money back and some.
Implementing these 5 things will help steer you in a positive direction for the new year. Stay on top of your brand and see it for what it is, a great relationship builder. If you feel you need to reposition your brand, have a read of 3 signs you need a rebrand. Learn about your target markets and find out how they work. You should be investing a lot of time learning about how to engage your audience with your brand, and if you’ve got engagement, learn how to keep them there!