10 New Year’s Resolutions For Your Brand
A brand new year. It’s a natural time to step back and see how we can resolve to improve ourselves. It’s also the ideal time to do the same with your branding and marketing. Here are ten ways you can make 2017 a better year for your marketing efforts.
1. Dust off the website.
Browse your web presence with fresh eyes and evaluate the content for relevance and clarity. Look at your analytics and evaluate performance. Update team bios and photos. Look for ways to integrate social media — so users can “like” and “share” your content. Consider how the site performs on tablets, smartphones and other mobile devices. It might be time to refresh not only the content, but also the design and delivery. The world has changed a lot in the past few years and being stale and out-of-date reflects poorly on your brand.
2. Talk to some old friends.
Reach out to your referral sources — including your current and former clients. They’re still the fastest, easiest way to generate business. Don’t just ask for more work or offer to help. Instead, remind them what you’re doing, define your ideal customer, and describe how they can engage you. And when it works, don’t forget to send a “thank you” for the business and the support.
3. Make some new friends.
Are your networking groups and industry associations working for you? It might be time to join some new circles — or focus your energy elsewhere — to get better returns.
4. Don’t “do social media.”
Don't simply make periodic posts. Learn how the various social channels work — and create a strategy to leverage them. Build an editorial calendar, and then assign topics to team members. Better still, hire an outside agency to help you define your message and manage your efforts — one that is committed to keeping abreast of the rapidly changing social media environment. It will also ensure that your posts are cutting through the clutter by giving your followers the type of experience it takes to keep them engaged, such as 360 Videos, Live videos, and other trending options, as well as knowing when a paid strategy to expand your reach makes sense.
5. Secure your position.
Even if your brand has a clearly defined positioning statement and value proposition, be sure to check in with stakeholders to make sure it’s still accurate, authentic and engaging. You may be able to do this informally, or it may be time to conduct a formal positioning exercise.
6. Get everybody on the elevator pitch.
Make sure everyone on your team is clear about the brand. If they can’t communicate your value proposition in a paragraph — or a sentence — it’s time to hone your message.
7. Check your touch points.
Take a look at how people encounter your brand — including prospects, customers and even your own staff. Do your office environment, sales presentation, phone greeting and email signature consistently convey your image and message?
8. Share your good thinking.
Thought leadership is more important than ever. Develop a content strategy that uses articles, PR, blogging, speaking and teaching to establish and reinforce your expertise in your field. Once you've determined the ideas and content you want to convey, get your message out. There are a wealth of emerging media options — both free and paid — that can help you share your thinking in dynamic new ways.
9. Stay top-of-mind.
Develop a plan to keep your brand in front of clients and referral sources on a regular basis. You never know when an email or a postcard will cross the right person’s desk at just the right time.
10. Have a party!
Even as the power of online communities grows, there’s nothing like bringing people together. Invite clients, colleagues and prospects to a seminar, a workshop or simply a meet-and-greet. Create something memorable — and they won’t forget you.
It takes focus, discipline and consistency to build a brand. It takes investing in your message, and choosing the right media to share your value. It takes an occasional time out to step back, re-evaluate, and make sure your efforts are still on target.
And most importantly, it takes good thinking. That’s where MasonBaronet can help. Make 2017 your year to review, reassess, and revise. Call us and let’s talk about maximizing your brand for the upcoming year — and beyond.