Do you ever feel so overwhelmed at how much you need to do online to stand out online among the competition? Like, no matter what you do, you cannot seem to gain any traction, find any followers or see any sales from your online efforts? I know how it feels and I've been there. I've had my own brand flounder online and I've watched other brands and businesses completely lose their way in all the noise and craziness that's online these days. I started a blog back in 2009 and over the last seven years, I started two more blogs, two online businesses, and have helped many other small businesses and solopreneurs grow their own businesses online.
Over the years, as more social media sites popped up (Instagram! Snapchat! Periscope!), I've noticed that while some brands get drowned out by the noise, other brands manage to keep up with the speed of the internet and have gracefully and beautifully continued to grow their brands with spectacular results. In my research and my own work, I've found key components of a great online brand.
1. A Why
I am a huge fan of Simon Sinek but I'll save you the speech on the bigger why of your business and instead ask you why you are online? Why are you on Facebook? Why are you on Twitter? Is it because some (ahem) marketing consultant told you to? Is it because every news outlet is telling you? You need to know why you are growing your brand online. Is it to attract different types of clients? Is it to increase brand loyalty? Is it to strengthen your connection with your current customers? Why are you here? If you can answer that, you're already way ahead of the game.
2. Clear and Consistent Message
Oh online messaging, how it throws people off! Most people online are divided into three different groups in their messaging
- 1. The people who don't say enough about what they do
- 2. The people who say too much and their message is convoluted.
- 3. The ones who get it just right.
It's a little bit like Goldilocks & the 3 Bears but the the point is: you need to be very clear about the problem you solve for your clients. If you've already answered your why in the first question, then your message is a little bit like your what. It's what you do for your clients, it's how you help them, the problem you solve. Make it simple, make it clear and make it easy to understand. Get that message clear and then you can creative using different messaging tactics for it.
3. Brand Graphics
This is something that too many people complicate. You need clear and consistent brand graphics. Choose one or two colors, one or two fonts and go with it. Everything you put out online needs to fit into your brand graphics. Whether it's a Facebook header image or a new lead magnet or an Instagram photo, brand your graphics It makes you look more professional, cohesive and helps you stand out more. The more you use the same graphics, the easier and faster people recognize you online. Hello brand recognition!
4. A Personality
There, I said it. Your brand needs a personality online. That's part of the magic online! There's a couple of ways to determine your brand's personality. I recommend looking at your brand's core values. Montano Hughes core values are creativity, optimism, friendliness, fun and honesty. Much of the personality we put across online is a little bit fun and silly. We show our optimism in the quotes we share on social media and our creativity in a variety of different ways.
Another way to discover your brand's personality is to use brand archetypes.
Some great examples of brand's with personality: Oreo, Johnson & Johnson, Dove and Southwest.
One of the top reasons that most brands don't see results online is because they quit too early. Too many marketers and early adopters preached that you could see fast results online and you probably could have... 15 years ago. But the market is crowded now. To stand out, it takes persistence and consistency to see results. It takes steady action on a regular basis and adjusting as you go. You need to create a plan and stick to it.
But if you can do all of this. If you can laser in and know exactly why you're in the space, what you're saying and you're using great graphics and a personality consistently showing up: you can see results and stand out online.
If you feel like you have these five key elements in place and still cannot figure out what's missing from your marketing, then you need a Mini Marketing Planning Session! During this complimentary session, we will figure out exactly what's missing from your marketing strategy and what you need to do to close the gaps! Schedule your session here!