Everyone knows they need a strong brand. But what does that mean?
Branding is crucial in Central Florida. You know that the better your brand is, the more likely you are to benefit from favorable word of mouth. Word of mouth is the ultimate marketing asset: It’s effective, it’s free, and it does your work for you. But it isn’t something you can control directly.
Instead, you need to craft a brand that’s worthy of that positive buzz.
One of the challenges of effective brand development is how everyone goes by their own definitions. No online source seems to be talking about the same thing as any other. That’s even true as you’re trying to decide which Central Florida marketing agency may be the best fit for your needs.
Instead of talking in vague terms about the benefits of a brand, a good marketing agency should lay its cards on the table. That includes the definition of terms like brand. Otherwise, you may end up chasing after vague buzzwords without knowing how to measure success.
And good marketing is scientific. It knows what it’s measuring.
So, what exactly could we mean by your brand?
A brand has three elements:
- Everything you publish under your brand, including all of your online content
- All the experiences people have with your brand at every customer touch point
- What people think and say about your brand, especially when you’re not there
A brand is a complex, multifaceted thing. Different elements of your brand can be advantageous or not, all at the same time. Under this definition, you can’t directly control everything that makes up a brand. But you do have influence over every aspect.
To give just one example, your ability to publish under your brand is a tremendous power. It shapes the public’s perception of what you do, why you do it, and who you do it for. Those are three questions that any brand needs to answer. Your answers help your ideal customers self-select and present themselves.
No matter what, your brand is always happening – even when you don’t have a unified vision for it.
And that can be a big problem. All too often, the daily work of keeping your business moving forward takes up all your time and energy. Instead of thinking through the puzzle pieces that make up the brand you want, a brand simply happens to you.
When you’re dedicated to the highest quality of customer service, that can be an okay thing. But more often than not, it leaves people confused. Some people have had amazing experiences with you, while others were left lukewarm. And your ideal customer doesn’t know whether to choose you or a rival.
The more coherent and precise a brand is, the more it calls out to the customer you want – the one who energizes you and accelerates your business growth. That means getting specific about your brand and why it exists. It’s a scary prospect for some because it means some customers aren’t a good fit.
But defining your brand is worth it. It’s the difference between having a business versus using all that time and effort to “buy” yourself another job. Without a clear brand, many entrepreneurs end up in a struggle to be everything to everyone. Naturally, that leads to doing nothing very well.
As a business leader, the vision comes from you, and your brand comes from your vision.
If you’ve been feeling like you’re on the edge of burnout lately, one place to look is your brand. Your processes will naturally become more efficient as you tailor your brand to the business you want to create. This is visible in every aspect of success, but it’s pivotal to digital marketing.
A Marketing Agency Helps You Spotlight What’s Important
To be effective, the core of your brand needs to be documented. Your brand’s values and standards should be known to every member of your team. When this asset isn’t in place, it can lead to a never-ending cycle of trying a little bit of everything “to see what sticks.”
An experienced marketing agency is your guide out of the wilderness.
With the right marketing team at your side, you have the expertise necessary to zero in on what really matters to both you and your customers. And when you’re working with a company known for helping businesses like yours, you’ll also have the “cheat sheets” for what appeals to your audience.
It all starts with a good old-fashioned sit-down meeting where a prospective marketing agency listens to your needs and goals. From there, an effective marketing strategy can be built to help your brand reach the future you have in mind – in the shortest time possible.
Without hearing your story, it’s impossible to know your needs. But after hundreds of engagements across dozens of industries, New York Ave is the marketing agency that can help you excel. Sometimes, a new perspective on your brand is all it takes.
Let’s look at a few ways we’ve helped business leaders start fresh:
1. Defining Your Core Audience
No matter the size or sector, businesses do better when they take the time to define exactly who they’re working for. You should be able to see your buyer in your mind – the more detailed, the better. All the top businesses do this the same way: With a written buyer persona.
A buyer persona is a storehouse of all your assumptions and verified knowledge about one particular type of buyer. It includes that person’s background, habits, expectations, needs, burning questions, potential biases, hang-ups, and much more. That is, as much as you know about them.
Ideally, you’ll have a written persona for every individual use case – every type of buyer who might want your products or services, even though their motivations may differ. But it all starts with a single seed, the buyer persona that reflects the kind of customer you most want to bring into your business.
This isn’t just a thought experiment. Every piece of marketing collateral is written for someone. The best marketing puts its finger right on a deep need and has the reader nodding along from the start. It won’t happen by accident. Instead, it starts by making your knowledge, hunches, and assumptions concrete.
As you continue to gain more insight through additional customer feedback, your personas will become more precise. You may find them growing, changing, or splitting off. These events happen naturally due to market evolution. Your buyer personas equip you to see them as they unfold, not months later.
2. Connecting Your Audience with Key Questions and Problems
No matter what communities you serve in Florida or elsewhere, one thing is for sure: The vast majority of your future customers will meet you for the first time online. They won’t see you in person first. They won’t drive past a billboard with your face on it. And they sure won’t look you up in the Yellow Pages!
In some industries, more than 95% of first-time customer contacts happen online. That’s what’s going on in real estate, for example, as Millennials and Generation Z take over as the biggest groups in home-buying. Business owners realize this, but many are not taking the next steps to align their work with it.
The fastest, most reliable way to connect with the people who can catalyze your massive growth is now to be online, providing helpful and informative content at the moment when they’re interested in what you have to say. That means having a great website design and practicing search engine optimization.
We know. Eyes start to glaze over whenever we talk about search engine optimization. Put simply, it’s the way you connect your digital content – business blog posts, video storytelling, and more – with the exact questions and concerns people are expressing through their online searches.
Without real data on search queries, you may know what you want from your brand, but you’re still in the dark about a big part of the value you can add to others’ lives. Having these insights about those you serve transforms your branding into a true tool for relationship-building between face-to-face visits.
A marketing agency gets you the intelligence you need by sifting through the millions of search queries that touch on your local area. Thanks to Google’s “near me” effect in search, you never have to worry you’ll be competing with the whole hemisphere. In fact, you’ll reach people within 30 miles of you.
But how do you transform that knowledge of your customers into a true connection?
The next step is where the rubber meets the road for you, them, and your brand.
3. Matching Your Marketing to Your Brand
Your marketing is your message to the world, the promised experience everyone can expect from you.
For those valuable online visitors, especially those who haven’t become customers yet, your marketing is expressed through your content. Content is everything helpful and informative published under your brand name. It’s how you utilize the information from step 2 to actually change lives.
Including your own!
Every time you publish and publicize a new piece of online content, you’re setting in motion a chain of events. Each blog and video has the potential to influence thousands of people over time. Content that is well-written and compelling continues to attract the attention your company needs to thrive.
That potential is crystallized in targeted traffic – what happens when your content shows prominently in online searches related to your business. But “getting to the first page of Google” for just one high-value keyword isn’t enough. With a marketing agency by your side, you should be publishing consistently.
As you increase in search rank for a growing number of carefully selected keywords, you’ll see a bottom line impact as more people reach your website, devour your content, and reach out to you. Once your strategy matures, it can mean hundreds or thousands of new potential customers each month.
And every piece is a new opportunity to refine and refresh your brand.
There’s no magic or secret formula: Just ongoing effort directed at the right things. But let’s be real: If everyone followed these steps, the world would be a very different place. It’s safe to say that most of your competitors aren’t on board.
The future of your business is up to you. Are you in?
Contact us today to discover more or get started.