When you’re in the process of developing your brand, determining the audience can be one of the biggest challenges. Although the products or services themselves may be enough to guide your efforts toward figuring out who your ideal buyers are, it’s still important for you to decide on a clear plan for creating effective marketing messages. After all, every time you interact with the public, you can influence the perception of your brand. To put your best foot forward, it’s essential that you’re making decisions based on a clearly defined messaging and positioning strategy. Here’s a look at five common branding mistakes and tips for how to avoid them.
1. The brand’s voice has become too promotional
Despite your best efforts, it’s easy to sound a little heavy handed in your messaging. Although it’s important to confidently promote your brand, try to make sure that you’re still touching on the important facts that people need to know to make informed decisions. In addition to promoting your product, build trust and rapport with your audience by answering their top questions and providing content that offers real value to them. By striking the right balance, your audience might be more inclined to tune in to your messaging.
2. Buzzwords have taken over the content
When the goal is to get the word out about your brand, it’s important to use clear and informative language. As the expert of your product, you can sometimes run the risk of using words and phrases that a general audience might not understand. Although these buzzwords might make sense to you, they might not translate well. Take a moment or two to look over your messaging. If key ideas contain phrases or words that aren’t common vernacular, try to swap them out for concise, informative language instead.
3. Special offers and ads dominate social media
Digital communication has made it much easier for consumers to share opinions, voice concerns and make their ideas known. Social media can provide you with a direct link to the people who are purchasing your product and using your services, but if you aren’t careful, this source of immediate communication can risk becoming repetitive. Additionally, if you’re only using these sites to push your product, you’ll lose out on the invaluable opportunities this community-building resource has to offer. When like-minded people come together online, they often feel encouraged to discuss their common interests, and in this instance, your brand may be the primary topic. Instead of only using social media to promote an agenda, try cultivating a sense of community by providing your consumers with fresh, relevant content or open-ended questions to foster discussion.
4. The website has become outdated
Keeping information up to date is an essential part of the branding process. When you lag behind on updates, your consumers miss out on promotional opportunities or, in a worst-case scenario, they could be spreading false information to potential customers. If you make adjustments to your product or services, be sure that your website also reflects these changes. Consumers are becoming more and more dependent on the Internet as their primary source of information, so keep your online presence in top shape. As an added benefit, regularly updating your website will also help strengthen your Google search rankings and drive new traffic to your site.
5. Where’s the blog?
While a lot of the promotional work you’ll do to propel your brand forward will likely be included in branded web content and your direct interactions with consumers through social media, don’t forget the power of content marketing. By providing your customers with a blog to read, you can fill out your messaging strategy with testimonials from happy individuals, news about product offerings and information about the industry overall. Take a look at how the MBA program at UNC Kenan-Flagler manages their blog.
Even more importantly, consistently publishing blog posts will give you more opportunities to expose your brand to new markets if you have an SEO strategy. That way, when individuals who are showing an interest in your product market perform a general search, your website might become a top result in search queries.
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