The average person consumes 8 hours of digital media content daily. With the Internet and traditional media pulling attention in different directions, how does your brand reach your ideal customers? How do you stand out? How do you gain visibility?
Amp up your brand with a holistic approach to inbound marketing.
How does inbound marketing work?
In 2017, your brand needs to be much more than a logo and business card. Developing a brand identify includes your name, logo design, online presence, brand strategy, and the value you deliver to your customers through a good user experience and excellent customer service.
With inbound marketing, developing your brand stands front and center and starts with defining your:
- Writing Style
- Design Style
- Buyer Personas
These areas of your brand will better equip your marketing and sales efforts to reach your company goals. Your brand gives prospects and potential clients a way to understand who you are, what you do and how you’re different.
Whether it’s computers, cameras or cars—a lot of companies sell a similar product, but their brand and customer experience differentiate them. An Acura and Maserati are both cars. They are both fueled by gas and both transport from one location to the next. What makes them different? This is where brand identity and customer experience mark differentiation. Acura speaks to precision-crafted performance of luxury sedans and SUVs, whereas Maserati is perceived as a sexy collectible, “a masterpiece of Italian design."
To promote your brand, you must know who you are talking to. Research is the best way to understand your audience and their pain points. Digging deep into purchasing habits, watering holes, day-to-day activities, and likes and dislikes will help you create content to solve problems for your audience and provide insight for your product or service solutions.
Applying the inbound methodology to this process requires you to develop buyer personas. A buyer persona is a representation of your ideal customer. This targeted customer should always be your primary focus in every piece of content you create. Your website, social media platforms and email marketing should all focus on your buyer personas—your ideal audience.
We have a helpful post on developing buyer personas for more detailed information. This is not a step you want to skip. Do the work, define your ideal audience, get to know them—it’s worth it. The more time you spend at this stage, the easier it will be to develop content that resonates with your audience.
Be intentional, don’t leave them guessing.
Now that you understand who you are developing content for and what you should do, tailor your brand messaging with the audience in mind. This should lead you to an intersection allowing you to understand how your services or products directly influence and address your audience pain points.
For example, if your ideal audience’s pain points are centered around a vehicle that requires a lot of repairs, your message should be addressing these pain points. Show them you understand their problem:
- Provide a solution: How to fix it, explain what the best options are for maintenance plans
- Offer support: Your product or service
Remember, inbound marketing is all about presenting the right content to the right person at the right time in the buyer's journey. Inbound is like an onion; every layer reveals a new layer. You want to be helpful, suggest a solution and then reveal how you can service that solution.
Remember, 45% of a brand’s image can be attributed to brand messaging and tone. Be intentional with your brand message to your audience. Provide transparency about your product or service with the content you develop for your brand.
Build Trust Through Engagement
Ding, ding, ding—you’ve guessed right, a great way to build trust is through social media engagement. You want your community engagement to be authentic.
The more authentic and real you can be on your social media platform the better. Delayed responses, over automated product pushing and syndicated content across all your platforms are ways your brand identity and visibility will be impacted in a negative way.
Your social media posts should resonate and engage your audience. Read more about this in our blog:Master Your Social Media Campaigns with Emotion Marketing
Overall, your brand should provide a personal experience for your audience. Think of it as a way for your brand to build trust and add value to the community.
By implementing and practicing these fundamental tools, you will see how this approach supports your business goals. Implementing these best practices coupled with great service will eventually build brand ambassadors who refer new prospects to your business.
Become interconnected with inbound. Develop your brand by way of the inbound methodology. Your customers' feedback through social media engagement, blog sharing/engagement, conversions, sales and referrals all become quantifiable data for you to see results in the reach of your inbound efforts.
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