Brand building and Social Media are essential for startup companies and entrepreneurs. You’ll need to formulate a good strategy to build and establish your brand online. It’s remarkable how networking and advertising on digital spaces like Facebook, Youtube or LinkedIn can transform your position and reward you with financial abundance.
-Speech by Leyla Ok (2017)
Beginners Guide to Brand Building & Social Media
When we refer to ‘brand building’ in the territory of web design, we actually mean:
*Being able to establish your brand (i.e. products and services) on a well designed and developed website. And then, accumulate and sustain a loyal following over social media and retract all that attention (and data) back to your website through content marketing. Finally, convert your followers into happy customers. It’s an intertwined cycle of digital events that can bring you popularity and great returns -if done correctly of course.
The point of all this is;
By drawing more interest and traffic to your website [from digital platforms like Facebook, Instagram or LinkedIn], you can reap the rewards directly from your own sales channel.
Yes, there is a process involved and we often refer to it as ‘The sales funnel’. But luckily, it’s not too difficult to achieve, manage or maintain.
Furthermore, whether you have an extensive budget or a small one, you can achieve wonders as long as you test and try your strategy over and over again.
Test until it completely meets your business ambitions and serves your ROI.
Social Media ROI
Social media marketing (SMM) has developed from being a marketing experiment into a core business strategy in last 10 years. It’s a highly valuable methodology that competes for media budgets and resources. SMM is used by big, medium and small sized companies across the globe.
This is why measuring ROI on Social media marketing is no longer optional -you need to prove the value!
The beauty with all digital marketing efforts is that everything can be measured. And, by measuring everything, you can prove the return. You can also understand which activities have provided high volumes of interest and learn how to improve results over time.
Read more about the formula here: SoMe ROI% = SoMe Net Profit / SoMe Investment x 100
Building your brand takes time. Whether you’re doing it solo or paying professionals to handle it all for you: Time should never be a precinct to your achievements. Nor, should learning -I’ll touch on this again shortly.
A lot of what you want to achieve can be automated, scheduled and can serve your future endeavours. So take the time to research digital tools and solutions that can make the process less stressful.
Planning and Preperation (PP) are two important mantric words to repeat and live by when formulating your digital strategy.
Furthermore, PP should not be taken lightly. This phase of your branding journey will determine the victory that lies ahead. This doesn’t mean, you can’t have fun in the process though.
To repeat, even if you have the luxury of paying a firm to handle the hard work (like Cloudnames), you still have to appreciate and understand that; there are changes taking place in the digital world all the time. All of which you need to familiarise yourself with, keep up and pursue, that’s if you genuinely want to convert your goals of having a successful business into real results.
Alienation is a risk
You have to make a conscious effort to understand these transformations. Otherwise, you will risk alienating yourself from your own business journey. Sadly, we’ve seen this happen.
For example, there have been smart and intelligent founders of lucrative business models. Once they put all the correct stones in place to make their business a success (i.e. website and marketing), they are able to see fantastic returns quite quickly. They also see the potential of making it big and work very hard to realise their goal. And, they achieve this. For a while anyway.
However, rather than to understand the market they thrive in and learn about the tools and methods used to keep their very business balanced and in the limelight, they are instead singled out by their marketing department in the space of a few months.
Many founders are left isolated and left without opinion due to changes that have arisen. The digital space develops and transforms in such a short period of time. And, Instead of paying attention to the livelihood of their business and the new digital trends that were supporting their lucrative brand, they chose to stand back and let others do the legwork.
Fine, you may have professionals, managers or directors who take charge- but what use if you as the founder have nothing valuable to teach or give to your team? It’s about personal expansion, which in effect will mean business expansion. How will your team grow, how will your business grow, if you yourself are stuck behind, or lost?
Knowing or at least acknowledging the trends and keeping up with latest updates, innovations, tools, news and so forth will only benefit your relationship with others in your company.
This is the biggest unfortunate risk you could face. A lot of business mortality stems from this situation.
Moreover, we’ve handled clients where we’ve helped establish their brand with a fantastically designed, mobile responsive e-commerce website. However, they sat back and just waited because they didn’t want to spend any time on marketing. They waited and they waited. (Regardless of our expert advice on marketing). They told their friends, they told their family and depended mainly on word of mouth to gain interest for their new website.
Can you see what is wrong with this picture?
You can’t establish a website and expect to rank number one in search engines or gain traffic by doing nothing. And, there are no real excuses for stopping there either. We live in a world where technology is advancing exponentially, so everything we do or buy in the digital world today is affordable, getting cheaper or free.
You have access to endless amounts of data and information, which can effectively grow your brand or business without having to blow huge amounts of cash on marketing or advertising.
The point is, how serious are you about it?
It’s true that not everyone can design or develop their own website, but if you really are tight for money- there are ways you can make a basic one yourself at hardly any cost. Additionally, you have the world wide web at your fingertips to learn it all.
Everyone has the potential of turning their brand into a big success online, but it takes more than just your work time, it’s an embodiment which you have to sincerely understand, learn and move forward with. Or, risk being left behind.
Please also read the cost of social media marketing article, to get a better understanding of what an ideal budget should be for your marketing spending.
Q&A: Formulating your strategy
*What is your brand message?
Establish your voice and introduce your brand to potential clientele through your website. Think strongly about your logo and online image. And, also stick with one voice. People generally are accustomed to feeling in tune with other things, don’t change the frequency too much. Instead, offer new ideas, promotions and content.
*Identify your target group(s)?
Establish your audience and think about what they may like or dislike. Look at existing data and learn what your sales trigger should be for each of your targets. For instance, if you’re a cosmetic brand, you’re more likely to target females between the ages of 18 – 50 (let’s say).
However, the important element here is not the gender, nor the age. You need to understand where the interest of these groups go and then steal the limelight. So, some may show interest to mascara, and some may show interest to shoes. How can you incorporate these ideas into your own strategy to sell your product or service? Perhaps a simple poster ad? A sales campaign? Maybe blog post? You decide.
*Does your website fit with industry standards?
Identify whether or not your website is fully functional, compatible and suited for social media. Look out for elements like mobile responsive design, share buttons and interaction options like Messenger or WhatsApp. Do you require an e-commerce site to make sales? Do you need a chats system to offer crucial support?
Pay attention to the quality of your images and content generally. The aim is always to have the user stay on the page for as long as possible. Basically, you need to entertain your guest.
*What channels will you use to interact with your target group?
Establish social media accounts or profiles that are best suited for your brand or service. Start by doing some much-needed research into this area. (Google it.) Look at what your competitors are doing, since they are your best teachers and role models in the beginning.
*What methods will you use to interact with your target group?
Once you’ve established your social media accounts, start thinking about what activities you will run and on which channel. How will it involve your website? Will you promote a blog post or consider a landing page campaign with Facebook? Maybe, you’ll make a viral video and upload onto your website and Youtube? Will you send out newsletters via MailChimp? Again, look at the competition and learn.
Here’s a fantastic infographic called ‘104 Facts You Don’t know About Mobile Marketing‘ created by Megan Arevalo of websitebuilder.org which is bound to teach some valuable information on how to beat your opposition and secure your position with confidence in the digital market.
* Will automation help?
There are different types of software that simplifies and automates typical marketing duties. Automation software is designed and developed to help you prioritise and carry out your sales and marketing tasks in a less time-consuming way, also allowing you to track your data too.
*Think about your budget and how to apply it.
Don’t be put off by money talk. While investing in your dreams, you are also investing in others. So, if you have a designated budget (big or small), divide an equal amount for your website and marketing.
Nevertheless, do keep in mind that your marketing cost should be recurring. Whereas your website will follow you through without needing additional costs unless you have a technical need or problem (which is rarely the case if it’s done properly the first time.) We can give you a website assessment if you have any doubts.
- Budget: will determine the end result.
- Domain name: simple, short and memorable.
- Theme & Design features: choosing your online address and thinking about the interior, make sure it’s inviting and fun. Mainly offering good user experience.
- Technical features: what hardwiring will your new address need? For instance, e-commerce, bookings, live chat etc., making sure also that everything’s fully functional.
- Social Media Compatible: are you able to reach out and can others come to you? Can you measure data? Consider your marketing needs, think about adopting tools like messenger and analytics tools.
- Content: what’s on show? Consider free lead magnets and blog material.
- Call To Actions: page visitors should be able to make contact with you instantly or purchase anywhere throughout the website.
- SEO: never fail to get your website content optimised for search engines. This is a rule of thumb, and should not be avoided at any cost.
- Automation: Modern sales and marketing automation software can make running your department more simple. You can automate things like content creation, distribution, lead capture, CRM and measure ROI.
- Social Media Profiles: What social media channels you will adopt depends on what line of business you are in or what sector you serve. Furthermore, it will also depend on the kind of content you want to produce or share and what marketing methods you want to deploy as well.
Remember, the Internet, Social Media and Networking Sites have shaken the media sector entirely. Challenging newspapers, magazines, radio and TV-stations as a source of distributing news, entertainment and most importantly advertising.
Google, Facebook, LinkedIn, Youtube and many other social media channels have refined and developed advertising services, which has only derived more success for its users.
The gift of Social Media Marketing for business owners or brand builders are;
- Being able to engage and interact with potential or brand loyal customers.
- Building brand awareness purely by exposing users to your message.
- Converting leads into opportunities via content distribution and a solid sales channel, which is your website.
- Gaining customer feedback and offering support easily by developing online communities and simple support systems.
- Developing products and services based on feedback and data trends.
- Increasing your business revenue by observing and analysing data.
There is simply so much that you can achieve.
Plan well and act fast. Every person will have their own ambitions set in stone, which is good for organising and deciding what methods are ideal.
Here are the main points you need to think about:
1. Objectives: Define your brand building goals and objectives. And, align it with your marketing aims, so that your activity on social media supports your website and your motives.
2. Plan: Create a content plan describing what to post, when to post it and where. Distribution of your content is a vital part of your overall plan. (Again, research is key.) You can download our free guide to SMM, which includes more detail.
3. Competition: Check out what or who else is about. Sometimes the best information or lead will come from your competitors. By looking at what’s already existing, you can find new ideas to be original. Get inspired by your customers, competitors and industry leaders.
4. Community: Start building your online community and promote your brand using various methods like blogging, video, webinars etc., because the interaction is key.
5. Engage: find out where your customers hang out using web analytics. You should pay attention to what’s being mentioned by users, read their commentary and understand the questions being asked. Then, be well equipped to answer these queries yourself. Again, consider the best methods to engage with.
6. Test: Tracking everything is vital. You should never stop testing your objectives. By using analytic tools, for example, you can draw data from your Marketing strategy that will aid making improvements and adjustments, to get you closer to achieving your desired goals.
The purpose of content marketing is about attracting visitors to your website. You need to offer material that is relevant to your target group(s). It’s an ongoing process that’ll enhance your marketing strategy since your plan of action will change with the data analysis you’ll obtain over time.
Furthermore, content marketing is not a new discipline, it’s simply evolving. It’s mainly about interesting articles, videos, webinars or photography that work like magnets on your website, drawing that essential interest to your brand. In essence, the aim is to increase your traffic to increase your revenue.
About 8 out of 10 companies are allocating larger portions of their budget from advertising with content marketing this year. This is huge.
Keep in mind that, communicating with customers without trying to sell them something is important too. You can drive desirable customer action by sharing interesting, valuable and useful information alone, which excludes any sales pitch. Be careful not to drive interest away.
A ranking like no other…
When your brand becomes popular and draws high volumes of traffic to your website- Google naturally places your ranking position higher in their search engines. However, if you think that your efforts are gone unseen or believe that the longevity of your brand is looking dim, simply pay attention to the following as recommended by Neil Patel:
Sharing is Caring!
At Cloudnames our motto is “sharing is caring”. We’ve made a guide on everything you need to know to make a successful Digital strategy. You can download your free copy of our Digital strategy guide here.
Other articles you may like:
- Five steps to improve your Digital strategy
- How to multiply your visitors with Custom Audiences
- Six ways to create Viral content
- How to make a Social Media Marketing Plan
- Top 10 Social Media management tools
- How to get on top of Google search
- How to improve website security
- The most important web design trends