This is the third post in a series of 5 posts about rebranding. Read the first post, "How To Allure Ideal Clients With Stellar Rebranding" or the second post, "Put Your Stellar Brand Into Play: Personas".
You are rockin' this rebrand with a great value proposition, a few awesome personas and now it's time to play. Let's learn how to segment and to give your brand a little personality with your social media presence.
SEGMENTING AND PERSONALIZING A BRAND EXPERIENCE
Online, a brand has the ability to know enough about their customer’s history that they can automatically create segmented, personalized experiences for them. This is why it’s so important when creating an inbound marketing campaign, to make sure that your site provides (1) lots of content, and (2) targeted content.
Providing content on a wide variety of different niche topics that apply to your industry gives you greater opportunity to figure out what your potential customers are interested in, based on the content that they express interest in. The more content you provide, the easier it is to establish the customer’s interest and nurture that interest. And as a result, their engagement will increase!
As you target customers more effectively, they’ll take more actions, share more readily with their social networks, and engage with your brand in a cohesive experience.
BRAND = CONTENT & CONTENT = BRAND
In every way, a company’s content is their brand online. It’s their salesperson, their store, and their marketing department. It’s their story. Every piece of content you publish online defines your brand. So, great content, great brand. Boring content, boring brand. And it’s more than just what’s great and what’s boring. Often, what you choose not to publish says more about your brand than some really snappy copy. When developing a content strategy, ask yourself:
• Is this topic interesting to our brand’s target persona?
• Does this piece of content address their pain points?
• Is this the format in which they like to consume their content?
• Is this tone appropriate for the subject matter and reader of this content?
• Does this content have a purpose? Or is it just wasted space?
You should be answering “Yes” to all of those questions (except that whole “wasted space” part) before you publish any piece of content. Otherwise, you’re just diluting your brand with content that’s unnecessary. Ask these questions about every single piece of content you develop. Everything you release under a particular brand contributes to the audience’s overall view of that brand, and will affect it either positively or negatively. Therefore, every single piece of content needs to be vetted in this way before it goes live.
A social presence for your brand is essential in the inbound age. But not every social channel is right for every brand. Different target demographics frequent different social sites and use them for different things. It’s important to determine which ones will best help you reach your target persona, and focus your efforts on building up your brand and presence on those specific channels. You’re no doubt familiar with the most prominent social media sites, but here’s a basic rundown on how best to use them in targeting customers.
Facebook – Establishing a Facebook page will help you develop and foster a sense of community between you and your customers. It’s best used for visual content, as well as links. Practically speaking, no brand, no matter what their business, can afford to be without a Facebook page.
Twitter – Twitter keeps users connected in real time, with short bursts of information, in 140 characters or less. This bite-sized format gives Twitter a more casual tone, so it’s important to communicate in more of a social way, even if that’s not usually how your brand operates. Hashtags are also useful for branding. Creating a hashtag specific to your brand, or an event or product associated with it, allows you to group all of the conversation about it together on a single, easy-to-find page, and helps you spread the word about your brand by tagging certain tweets with it, and encouraging your followers to do the same.
Instagram – You might not think of this image hosting site as an effective branding tool, but it can be. Instagram Video, which allows you to post video clips up to 15 seconds, can be useful in grabbing users’ attention, connecting with them, and even encouraging them to post content of their own related to your brand. And, like Twitter, it also uses hashtags to identify and group together content on a particular topic.
LinkedIn – For any B2B business, LinkedIn is important, not just as a tool to forge connections, but also as a lead generator, and a place to assert your company’s thought leadership position. Showcase through sharing content and participating in relevant discussions, what your brand has to offer about the topics that are important to your target audience.
YouTube – This is a valuable place to share content that is best demonstrated visually. Use YouTube for everything from broadcasting one-on-one interviews or roundtable discussions, to product demonstrations, to behind-the-scenes glimpses into your company and its inner workings, to short films, to entertaining newsjacking of pop culture events that will help elevate your brand.
The voice or tone that a company applies across all their content is the equivalent of their brand’s personality. The voice you establish for your company is an integral part of your website, blog, social media presence, e-mail campaigns, and everything else.
Start with the buyer persona, and mix their expectations with your “special sauce.” Then adjust over time based on feedback and results, just like any recipe from your kitchen. The voice in your content should reflect how you want your brand to be perceived. Your voice and its cadence may also vary slightly from one medium to another. The voice of your brand should naturally adjust to suit the medium in which the content is being published, as well as to the people you are attracting to those particular media.
SITE STRUCTURE AND APPEARANCE
Your site needs to be structured for maximum impact. Getting the right structure and appearance for your content—from Call To Action (CTA) buttons to ebooks—plays a significant role in determining your brand’s success.
Keep these tips in mind when structuring websites and digital content to support a brand strategy:
• Do your research. Perform A/B testing to see how prospects will actually use the site and content, and structure them that way. The content and the links between them should flow organically from Point A to Point B to Point C.
• Prominent placement on webpages of content explaining higher margin products and services will result in more leads for those products and services.
• Placing a CTA button middle-of-the-funnel for premium content alongside content for higher margin services will increase qualified leads and move them one step further along the sales cycle.
• Be certain that the value proposition is clear on every page, and in all the content offered for download.
Get To Work
Now that you have a grasp of these tools it's time to get to work and put your stellar rebrand into play. Come back for our next post that will cover how to best monitor your brand with online alerts, social tracking, and responding to the good, the bad, and hopefully some rebranding praise.
source: This post was adapted from the ebook "Branding In The Inbound Age", www.hubspot.com
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