Branding, back in the days of traditional media (vs. online), meant ad campaigns that ran for at least 12 months seeking the reach and frequency needed for your target market to have unaided recall of your brand. Branding, or brand advertising, could be in print, radio, or tv. It was expensive. Pretty much unattainable for solopreneurs and small bootstrap businesses.
With the aid of the internet and social media, branding has become possible for us.
To be successful in building a brand the strategies are the same as big business and traditional media. Here are a few main components:
- You have to identify a specific target market. If you don’t in traditional media, you will spend a fortune with little results. In the online world, you may spend less money, but you will spend a ton of time with little results.
- You need to have a clear message of who you are to your target market. What is your point of difference? Why should they care about you? Inconsistent message,s or lack of message clarity, will have the same impact as not having a specific target market – a high cost with minimal return.
- You have to get your message out to your target audience consistently for an extended period of time. If you have the perfect audience and the most clear message, you still won’t build a brand with out communicating it.
Building a brand to me is the idea of building equity into your business. At Crossroads, we want to help Christians small business owners (our target market) build a successful business on a foundation of their Christian values (our message).
It has been the same since I started by myself many years ago. In my local market, my target audience knows who we are and what we do. It is such a blessing to work with clients who are a strong fit.
It has been more challenging to reach our niche worldwide because of #3 above. Getting the message out to our target audience consistently is difficult because of the time and/or money it takes within a new dynamic. The constantly changing online world.
Do we take our message to twitter, FB, Google + or LinkedIn? Will the SEO algorithms work in our favor this month or not?
These are important factors, but this is where the marketing comes in. We can all say content in KING, and it is where I spend most of my time, but we are also focusing on getting the content out to our target audience in a consistent way that attracts them to us. This is marketing.
Do you put enough time, energy and resources into marketing that can build your brand?
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