Who Are You? And Why Should Your Audience Care?
There are a number of different things your brand needs to do to succeed online, and turn interested visitors into paying customers.
Regardless of what you’re using your channels and website to achieve, you can only succeed if you’ve laid the foundations and developed a carefully considered, researched, and optimised marketing plan.
It needs to reveal to your audience who you are, what you do – and not only what you can do for them, but why you can do it better than anyone else.
Your online presence is not only about brand building, but enhancing the customer experience. The way in which you post your content is as important as what you’re posting. To generate brand awareness and loyalty, you need to have a consistent approach that starts with a specifically defined voice.
It should go without saying, but every time you post online – you need to treat that content as if it were someone’s first impression, because it will be. People form their opinions of your company based on what they can see and research for themselves, and this happens before they ever directly engage with you. Every piece of content you generate will influence someone into being interested in your brand or not, whether they’re visiting you for the first time or the fiftieth.
“If you’re not putting out relevant content in relevant places, you don’t exist.’ – Gary Vaynerchuk, CEO Vaynermedia
To drive your brand forward, you need to achieve a balance where you’re appealing to new customers and established ones, and the way to do this is through consistency – both in your posting schedule, and the voice you use to speak to your audience.
Vision and Values: What Actually Motivates Your Brand?
Before you even begin to develop a social media marketing strategy or content for your website, you need to have a firm grasp of your goals, vision for the brand and the values that drive you.
Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is a major factor for many potential customers when they’re looking to spend; they want to know that the brand they are supporting is giving back and supporting others as well. It is important that your brand identity is supported by the values your company is built on.
“We’ll see companies be more thoughtful about how and when they engage, in order to make sure that they are looking under the hood and ‘walking their talk’ before they come out with a move.” – Alison DaSilva, Executive Vice President, Cone Communications
Everything your brand does has to be influenced by these values, with the rise of usage with smart devices and access to the internet being almost universally available, you cannot afford to say or support one thing, and then actually do the opposite – doing this will lead to catastrophic reputation damage and a loss of profits.
Your vision for your brand should also be kept firmly in mind when posting online or engaging with customers. The only way your vision will succeed is if you continually drive it forward, creating content and communities that bring you closer to your goals.
Your brand isn’t a physical person, but to effectively communicate with your audience, it needs to have a well-defined personality that includes belief systems and goals that it adheres to – your brand personality is the face of your business, and it needs to be seen practicing what it preaches.
So You Know Who You Are – Now What?
Once you’ve got your visions and values established you’ve laid the foundations for communicating with your audience. The next step is to take the personality you’ve established for your brand and give it a voice – how are you going to speak to your audience?
The voice of your brand is influenced by your vision and values, but it also has to connect with your audience. Who are your customers? What do they expect from you? You need to know the answer to these questions so you can develop a voice that connects with them.
For example, if you are a gourmet fine dining restaurant, then using chat speak or extremely casual language would not be representative of who you are – you need to speak to your audience online in the same manner that you would interact with them in person.
Your brand voice might evolve and change with time, but for the most part – you should make sure that you are using the same language, tone and turn of phrase. This will help with brand recognition and allow your audience to develop a connection with you; if it feels like your brand cares for them, and that they’re speaking with one person, it’s easier to engage. If your audience feel like they’re never speaking to the same person twice, it can damage their confidence in your abilities to see to their requirements and needs.
The Right Voice Absolutely Influences Brand Success
The more that people feel they know your brand, and can emotionally connect with you – the more they will be influenced to engage with your products or services and spend their money with you. Talking to people in their own language, whilst still retaining a unique brand personality will allow your company to stand out from the crowd.
The key points to take away are:
- Know your company visions and values; make sure that you operate according to them.
- Know your audience – who they are, where they are, and what they want to see from you.
- Develop a personality for your brand based on visions, value and customer expectations
- Be consistent with your voice and give your audience every opportunity to emotionally connect
- Don’t pick a posting style that doesn’t reflect your business
A lot of work goes into developing your brand and ensuring that you are appealing to the right audience, but without this groundwork you will be wasting time, effort and money on marketing campaigns that aren’t connecting with your target audience, and won’t see your profits increase as a result.
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