Creating a Brand Strategy: 8 Essentials & Templates [for 2022]
We will start by defining brand strategy as the process of achieving long term goals during your organization’s evolution. Said another way, brand strategy is the plan you follow so your most important outcomes emerge in the world.
A strategy is your map for achieving long-term goals that do not always need a discrete endpoint. A strategy is more like a process or a path that involves moving iteratively towards your goals.
Additionally, it is helpful to articulate any promises or guarantees you make to your customers. Expressing your brand’s personality conveys how communication with customers is a critical step in the brand strategy process.
What is a brand strategy?
Some companies are blessed with organic brand identities. If you’re the last manufacturer around for an obscure but critical device or component, that in itself is a pretty strong brand identity. However, in the world of technology and business services, most B2B companies are up against a dense field of competitors. Your solution might have various advantages over the others, but to explain them, you have to convince audiences that you’re worth their time and attention.
A strong brand identity can give audiences a sense of who you are, what you do, and why you’re different before they seek you out for a specific solution. It can give you an “in” by doing some persuasive legwork before you even begin targeting a lead with marketing and sales outreach.
There’s one sure way to build a strong brand identity that conveys exactly what you want. You must develop and execute a plan that defines your branding goals and lays out the road map you’ll follow to reach them. That’s your brand strategy.
Building Brand Awareness in 2022
These are the key areas my own brand agency executes on when we build brands for businesses just like yours. Let’s review the ways to build brand awareness through marketing, engagement and community building.
Website User Experience
This is the place that your consumers will visit to learn more about your business, and take action when they are ready. Not only does the user experience have to be exceptional in order to convert, but your messaging needs to tell your brand story.
The majority of your brand marketing activities will drive traffic back to your website. Aside from a professional and beautifully designed interface, your content has to be compelling.
SEO and Content Marketing
One of the most effective long-term ways to increase brand awareness and generate relevant organic traffic to your website is search engine optimization (SEO) and the right content.
There are many ways to achieve positioning in search engine results. Aim to develop a comprehensive strategy addressing the major search engine ranking factors, as well as creating highly valuable content that satisfies user intent.
A defined content marketing strategy will help you better connect with your target audience and support them through their customer journey—building brand trust to ultimately result in conversions.
Social Media Marketing
Every brand should be represented consistently across all social media networks via the posting of relevant, high-quality content. With social media, your aim for consumers is first to gain trust. Then become loyal. And then, advocate for your brand’s products and services.
Did you know your highest click-through rate will come from the emails you send to your list? Don’t underestimate the power of list building early on in your brand building process.
The right content, at the right time, to the right person is critical for driving traffic to your website and increasing conversions from email. What’s more, not all email messages need to be sales-driven, as consumers are in different points of the buyer journey.
Building a successful paid advertising campaign for your brand comes with a unique set of challenges. There are multiple elements that contribute to the overall effectiveness of your pay-per-click (PPC) ads.
The allure of paid advertising is that it can yield quick short-term results. It is certainly effective, however, you’ll want to do PPC in conjunction with all of the above inbound marketing channels for long-term ROI.
Analytics & Reporting
Ongoing, you’ll want to monitor progress in key areas month-over-month and year-over-year. From this data, tweaks to your brand building and marketing activity can be made to leverage those tactics which show the most opportunity.
Your first step is ensuring that your website has Google Analytics installed. This tool is free and will give you loads of valuable information about user behaviors. It also allows you to set up goals to track conversion.
Putting all these components together with a strategy and consistent execution packs the punch that any new or existing business needs for successful brand building in the digital age.
Tools For Building A Business Brand
In the long-term, heck yes! Because a strong brand will automatically increase your know, like and trust factor. In turn, resulting in easier sales, consumer loyalty and brand advocacy.
THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO BUILDING YOUR BRAND
Workshop – Branding Masterclass
Create a powerful blueprint that will transform your business into an extraordinary brand (…so that you win the hearts and minds of your ideal customers, over and over again)!
Accounting – FreshBooks
Try FreshBooks for your accounting software to reduce paperwork and get paid faster. It’s so simple to use—you’ll be able to generate invoices, organize expenses and track time. They offer a free trial and affordable pricing models. Organizing and recording financials is super important right now. It’s a good time to level up on your accounting.
Email, Calendar, Documents – Google Workspace
You need a properly branded email address, for more recognition when you land in people’s inbox. No more Yahoo, Hotmail, or [email protected]! Google provides businesses with a full suite of software products called Google Workspace. It will allow you to create a customized Gmail email address with your domain name (see below for more info on domain registration). In addition, you get the Google Calendar features AND a bunch of storage on Google Drive with access to docs, sheets, presentations and forms. Well worth it, check out the plans!
Office Supplies & Equipment – Amazon Business
You may shop on Amazon already or have a Prime account. But did you know you can shop for your brand through Amazon Business? I like keeping all business purchases together in this account area. They also offer big discounts, free shipping and a tax exemption program.
Print Materials – Moo
This online printing company offers beautiful business cards, stationary and promotional collateral for reasonable prices. And, Moo products look very high-end. You want the first impression for your brand to be spectacular, so order your printed materials here. You can even order sample packs delivered to you for free.
Free Design Tool – Canva
Thousands of design templates, millions of photos. Whether you have design skills or not, Canva is our choice for asset creation and management of brand graphics. This tool is especially great for creating consistently branded social media graphics. Try a free 30-day trial of Canva Pro, which has so many more features you’ll want over the basic version (like one-click image resize, background remover and brand kits)!
Stock Photography – Shutterstock
If you really want your branding to stand out, it’s better to dig through a paid stock photo site to find visual assets. You’ll have less of a chance of looking like someone else who used photos from a free site. Shutterstock offers millions of good quality photos, illustrations, videos, and music, without paying a ton.
Writing Assistant – Grammarly
The impression of your brand through copy and messaging is ultra-important for a strong identity. And you will have to be pumping out content consistently for your brand. Grammarly has been a game-changer for producing the best quality written content. It not only checks spelling as you write, but also major grammar issues. Don’t compromise your reputation with bad writing. Get this free tool!
Domain Registration – GoDaddy
The first step in creating a website for your brand is registering the domain (the .com, .net etc.). You can search available domains to find the best match for your brand name, and then secure it with the GoDaddy domain registration service. Even if you are in the early stages of planning your brand, invest in this if you have a brand name. Domain names are getting snatched up by the minute.
Website Hosting and WordPress Support – Site Spark by FreshSparks
We build the majority of all client brand websites on WordPress. When you have a content management system with databases and plugins, it’s best to have web hosting that specifically caters to the platform. Site Spark specifically provides managed WordPress hosting, with amazing customer support. With Site Spark, you don’t have to worry about backups, upgrades, monitoring, or technical support for your WordPress website. We do that all for you behind the scenes while we sip our coffee and tea around the clock.