[This article was written by Sara Carter.]
A core element of any successful business strategy is storytelling. Differentiating your brand from the competition requires thoughtful marketing. It can be difficult to figure out a solid starting point; however, there are many great examples to pull from.
Some of the greatest brands and business leaders have built their empires on the strength of their marketing efforts. Below are just some of the proven ways savvy business owners can market their brands for long-term success.
Establish a clear identity
If you don’t know who you are as a brand, your prospective customers won’t either. Your marketing materials should present a simple and clear product offering, especially if you’re operating in the tech, financial, or healthcare sectors. Reducing confusing jargon and maintaining consistency in creative content and vocabulary across your social channels is the first step toward building a cohesive brand.
Providing visibility into the “behind-the-scenes” of a company and its leadership is key to building trust. Building out social profiles for your company and executive team reinforces the idea that your company is made up of experienced, credible thought-leaders. Whether you’re going for the informative, keynote-heavy presence of the CEO of Oracle Mark Hurd’s Youtube channel, or the witty content curation of Twitter feeds like T-Mobile’s John Legere, there’s a business magnate out there for you to model your strategy after.
Understand ROI metrics
Understanding the ROI of paid and organic marketing efforts means you’ll have a better grip on what strategies work. Measuring how well your site is performing organically helps you optimize the content on your site and improve your site’s ranking within organic search results on trusted search engines like Google. Conversely, tracking the performance of campaigns across Google Adwords, Facebook, and other paid forms of social media marketing can help you make the most of your budget, increase product visibility, and boost purchase activities. Here are a few key metrics for each.
- Organic Ranking & Traffic–Two of the most important baseline metrics are overall organic traffic and the number of keywords your brand ranks for according to Google and other third-party measuring tools. You can measure how your content-marketing and social-media efforts affect organic traffic and keyword ranking over time and isolate these results from paid clicks.
- Bounce Rate–Bounce rate refers to the number of site visitors who navigate away from your site after only viewing one page. In general, a lower number is better. If your bounce rate is high, it’s a sign you need to make some on-site improvements to keep prospective customers engaged.
- Exit Pages–The top pages that users navigate away from are known as “exit pages.” Similar to a bounce rate, the metric tells you which pages on your site are the worst offenders.
- Click Through Rate (CTR)–A basic metric, CTR tracks the number of customers who click through to your landing page from an ad. This is one of the most important metrics to business owners, as a low CTR means your keyword research and ad creative need work.
- Conversions–When a customer completes the desired behavior, such as joining your email list or signing up for a free trial, that counts as a conversion. A high CTR doesn’t justify the cost of an ad spend if none of the traffic garnered results in a conversion. Lower conversion rates are an indicator your money might not be going to the right places, or that your ad or website isn’t compelling enough to get customers past the initial click.
- Cost Per Conversion (CPC)–If you have to spend more to get a customer to convert then they’re worth in terms of products sold, that’s money down the drain. Identify and track ROI-positive keywords that are relevant to your audience in a paid campaign. Those are going to be the
Zendesk is a customer service and engagement platform used by small businesses and global brands alike. In a recent survey of more than 100,000 of their customers, they concluded companies who stand out from the pack in offering superior customer service are those that bake customer experience into every facet of their business strategy. One way to do this is to make customer service the core of your brand’s mission statement and reinforce that throughout your company culture. This pays dividends in terms of brand loyalty, trust, and, ultimately, increased profits.
Building a brand is never a straightforward path, but you need to have a solid strategy in place. Savvy business owners understand many of today’s global enterprises were yesterday’s startups. If your brand wants to be on the same level as Amazon, Southwest Airlines, or Trader Joe’s, you need a holistic brand strategy that puts the consumer first.