It’s high time to tidy up your brand and focus on what it takes to move your business forward.
Since late March, I’ve been trying to go for walks with the simple intention of allowing my head to clear. I’m not talking about a power stride, nor a walk void of thought… just an effort to watch spring unfold, breathe deeply, and remind myself that the world will continue to revolve and make forward progress.
In contrast, during hectic days pre-COVID, I would stage a similar route tethered to earbuds, split-time technology and a race to get ahead of every red light for a cup of caffeine before my first meeting.
I have discovered a wonderful difference during these walks. The space, and unburdened time, have provided me opportunity to recognize blind spots, clearer vision, purpose, and strengths—all to be captured to inform adjustments for new growth ahead. These walks are doing me some good.
I’m not alone. Back at the home office, we are experiencing a higher volume of requests by businesses taking advantage of their own time to reflect, reinvent and refresh their brand. For some, it’s coming from a place of necessary change and expansion. For others, an opportunity to get things done that had been previously pushed off.
7 Areas for Brand Revitalization and Forward Progress
I encourage you to make intentional steps forward now, so you can start running again with your business and confidence in check. We are listening carefully, and below are the most common areas from which we are hearing enjoyment in process and focus. We’ve included a quick brand exercise to help you with new positioning, and some helpful information to push through the clutter and get your brand in shape to make great strides.
I might suggest you start by going for a walk.
Is it time to refresh your offer? Focus on addressing your customer’s pain points by delivering an easy-to-understand solution with a path to results. Keep this process simple and efficient. Unless your purpose, vision or mission require a complete brand revitalization, move past the foundational basics and focus on each audience. Here’s a three-step exercise to get you ready:
Step One: Develop Why Statements
(Your customer’s challenges or pain points)
Try and customize the following sentence for each audience:
(Specific audience) requires a new solution to achieve better results when (dealing with a pain point that you’ve recognized).
Create as many of these as necessary, per audience, to gather a collection of relatable reasons showcasing why you might have a solution.
Examples of “Why”:
- Non-profits are currently looking for new solutions to engage with their donors through online virtual fundraising platforms that would normally capture donations through attendance at annual in-person events.
- Traditional retail environments are seeking new solutions to create a better personal online shopping experience for buyers that would normally have an in-store connection.
- Students are now focused on remote learning and seek a seamless platform that can mirror the classroom experience without jeopardizing learning and retention.
Step Two: Present What offers
(Your solutions, including products, services and overall support).
Using the same fill-in-the-blank methodology:
(Your business name) creates/provides (a specific solution or product) to help (alleviate a specific why statement pain point) by resulting in (a positive outcome highlighting the benefit).
Examples of “What”:
- AcmeForGood works with your development team to provide a turnkey digital event platform that presents your donors with sign-up and event information resulting in real-time participation and donations during your live stream event.
- AcmeForRetail offers existing WordPress sites an opportunity to rebuild a store experience on top of third-party APIs so buyers have an online concierge ready to help them set up profiles and make purchase decisions in line with their lifestyle habits.
- AcmeForSchool builds custom interfaces that allow remote learners a better opportunity to share real-time chalk boards, compile group notes, and have sidelined conversations for virtual study halls after class.
Step Three: Walk through How
(The way you solve your customer’s problems—processes, tools, unique services and expertise, and best practices).
This one is a little trickier for fill-in-the-blank, but let’s try and “walk towards results”:
We start by (how you will make it simple) to (implement your new product or solution) leading to (the outcome they would like to see happen).
Examples of “How”:
- (With a consultative approach, we integrate an open source virtual platform) to customized and highlight your new event, (leveraging mail lists and social channels for invitations, event resources and attendee sign-up) that (drive attendance and increase opportunity for donations).
- Our development team works within your existing software solutions to customize an online experience that meets your customers’ interests. You will benefit from capturing user profiles that track past purchasing habits and serve new products that increase opportunities to complete sales.
- We’ll set up a web-hosted, plug-and-go platform that allows you to set up curriculums, generate assignments, schedule courses and host virtual classrooms and study halls—all from a user interface that is on brand with your university and accessible through all devices.
Your website is your digital home. Are you ready to host a party? Now is a great time to clean house and invite people to understand your business and the benefits of your offer(s). Here’s a list of questions to decide if it’s time:
Website Makeover Checklist (Yes or No?)
- Are you embarrassed to give out your URL?
- Does it look outdated, in general, or on your phone?
- Is it more than 5 years old?
- Do all of your competitors have fresh new sites? Are you behind or can you get ahead?
- Does it still reflect your brand today? And tomorrow?
- Are you experiencing slow page load speeds?
- Can you update content yourself?
- Do you have a high bounce rate? Do you even know?
- Poor lead conversion rates?
- Are you set up for inbound integration?
I could go on, but your answers should give you a good sense of understanding if it’s time to consider a site overhaul. It’s up to your business to prioritize what’s important, but if your team is embarrassed to give out your URL, that might be an indicator that captures many of these other questions.
So, where do you start?
A simple google search will result with plenty of clarity around what constitutes a modern UX design, quality performance for CMS and CRM integration, etc. These are ‘must-have’ items and should be put at the top of your conversations for site framework. To start, I’d like to offer three areas that ensure you can come to the table ready to move a rebuild forward quickly:
What does your site need to accomplish to grow your business?
These are your goals and will help you frame in strategy, site taxonomy, inbound actions, landing page needs, email capture, lead generation—all focused on helping your users understand your value.
What assets do you have to collect, or need to create?
Does it seem early to think about what type of material might populate a new site? Our team has watched an eight week build schedule extend for months if asset collection and creation do not start early in the process. Understanding the importance here, that a website can only feel complete with migration of content, SEO, imagery, graphics, white papers, etc., will have you ready to start working towards an efficient completion.
There are three primary components to having your new site ready for guests. Budgetwise, they can roughly be itemized as:
- Preliminary work (20%): Planning, Asset Review, Brand and Offer, Site Goals
- Taxonomy, Wireframing, UX Design (40%): Sitemaps, Layout, Style, Graphics, Page Layouts
- CMS Development (40%): Platform Development, Backend, API Integrations, CRM setup
Depending on the depth of your site, and needs, you should plan for at least eight weeks to build your site. If you need help with content, photography, etc., plan for additional budget and time to complete your site.
Stay visible—let people know who you are! Develop digital campaign strategies that keep you top-of-mind—it’s now nearly a requirement for your business to continue engagement and growth.
There are many AdTech solutions to help support just as many marketing strategies, so let’s take a look at what should be in place as you start putting campaigns together. Here are eight steps to take in preparation for building the right campaigns:
- Define your brand
Have your positioning ready and understand which solutions you will choose to promote through each campaign.
- Build your buyer personas
The right agency or AdTech partner will be able to sort through demographics and motivators to get more specific around unique audience profiles and attributes. This will help serve your ads to the right people. Consider choosing a solution that can cross-reference 1st party data with 3rd party providers and multivariant logic to help ensure you’re spending your budget on reaching the right people.
- Create SMART goals
Use specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and timely goals to guide your strategy, short- and long-term goals.
- Choose digital strategies (see some options below)Make choices based on what’s best for your business and reaching your customers. You can start with an overlay of several tactics, set daily or lifetime budget caps, and adjust as you track results. But don’t overcommit your budget by spreading it too thin across too many channels. Choosing 2 – 3 channels and monitor results for three months to see where your efforts are paying off. Then, you can make adjustments accordingly by adjusting strategy, spend or messaging.
- Set your digital marketing budgets
Do your research to set a realistic budget for your business. For reference, most businesses spend between $2500 – $12,000 per month for online marketing.
- Brainstorm your strategy
Understand what assets will need to be delivered. If it’s a display campaign, build your ad sets. If you’re publishing content, build a content calendar and activity timeline. Have all of your campaign assets (for the first two months) in place before you start your launch.
- Launch your campaigns
Plan your work and work your plan. You’re ready for launch. Be sure you are tracking each strategic tactic, including analytics on your website, to keep pulse on your best performers.
- Track your results
Monitor and measure results at least monthly. Adjust accordingly.
This is a good bit of work. If you don’t have staff on hand to help, consider asking your agency or AdTech partners to help you get some of this in place. You will benefit from their expertise and guidance in choosing the right tactics, ad spends, and expected results. And, be sure you have support to develop a rolling collection of campaign assets — you’ll want to queue up month three as month one ends, and so on.
If you’re not sure where to start, here are some strategies and quick descriptors on why they might be right for you.
- What: Improves your site ranking with search engine results based on keywords and phrases.
- Why: Less than 10% of searchers advance to the second page of results.
- When: If your services/products best convert through your website, it’s an important early step to get discovered on page one of search results. And, if you’re building a new site, there are several building blocks to help set up your site to produce organic, SEO-friendly content.
PPC (Pay-Per-Click) Advertising
- What: Paid advertising that relies on auction-bidding for your audience-relevant keywords.
- Why: Businesses can earn as much as $8 for every $1 spent on Google Ads (learn more)
- When: When it’s time to maximize visibility to a highly relevant audience. PPC bidding relies on a wide-range of collected data — the closer you get to a 1-to-1 conversation, the more you will likely pay per customer. In turn, the better the customer match, the more likely it is that you will increase your conversions.
- What: Developing audience-relevant content (video, blog, graphics) to reach, engage and connect with your customers.
- Why: Generates 54% more leads than traditional marketing (Hubspot state of marketing).
- When: It’s 2020. Content marketing is better than traditional marketing and doing a quick search will serve numerous articles supporting why, and how to build your strategies. If you only have time and budget to focus on one tactic, I would suggest you start here.
- What: Reaching audiences through their inbox
- Why: Cost-effective and helps retain existing customers or keep top-of-mind for prospects when it’s time to make a purchasing decision. Email marketing has the ability to offer an unmated return.
- When: When you want to refine your campaign message and segment your audience with personalization.
Social Media Marketing
- What: Focuses on building brand awareness, increasing conversions and maintaining brand reputation.
- Why: Did I mention it’s 2020? Instagram now has over 1 Billion monthly active users. And 83%
of surveyed consumers use Facebook. Many more stats and reasons why can be found here.
- When: As a part of your content marketing strategy, consider putting this closeto the top of your list. Do your research on which social channels are best for your business and offer. Here’s a great post to help you learn more.
- What: Like content marketing (even part of it), video helps improve reach and engagement. It can be part of your content marketing strategy if your budget permits.
- Why: Over the past few years, video content continues to rise in user engagement. Moving imagery (video or animation) have proven more effective than static imagery and messaging.
- When: Once you have your campaign strategy and tactics in place, add video to your campaigns to to help round out your content strategy.
Be ready with digital sales and presentation decks to convert prospects. Refresh your old material and create new, engaging content that reinforces your advantage.
Having presentations and sales materials on the shelf and ready to roll can work to your advantage. And yet, we often hear that it’s a scramble to introduce a new service or solution packet when the iron strikes. Now is a great time to shore up your presentations and have your sales team ready when the iron strikes. To round out a suite of materials, consider adding these to your arsenal:
- An overview deck: Repeat your Why, What and How positioning language
- Specific digital sell sheets: To be used as follow-up based on solutions/services that matter most to your audience
- Landing pages: Outlining benefits and specifics per above with email capture
- Gated Content: Resources, White Papers
- Client Case Studies: Shareable, results driven digital .pdfs
Assembling this arsenal now will provide you a quick advantage to stay top-of-mind with your prospects. It can also give you some follow-up content to keep conversations active.
The return to work will be different, and oh so enjoyable. Ensure you have all communications in place so your employees and guests can make a smooth and safe return.
So, what does day one back in the office look like? This one is a bit more time sensitive as CDC guidelines and states begin lifting restrictions on our collective abilities to re-emerge. I can’t wait for it personally, but it does require putting safety guidelines in place at the employee and visitor level.
This one should be easy to put into practice: assess your team and guests, your space, and what needs to be shared or prepared to make this transition as smooth as possible. We’re hearing need for digital guidelines, landing pages, announcements and socially responsible environmental graphics as top priorities.
Are you still in love with your brand image? Take this time to refresh a stale identity system and present a new ‘look’ alongside the shaping of a new business norm.
By no means should this be an afterthought. The bottom line: Does your current identity support your business in a way that can be recognized and stand out? If it’s stale or dated, or no longer makes sense, it’s probably a good time to take a look at your logo, style and brand image. If you’re tackling any of the items on this list, I would suggest considering a refresh here to tie everything together.
Do you Feel Prepared for a Brand Revitalization?
Good luck and start making great strides today!
If you’d like to discuss any topics further, or need help with beginning the revitalization of your brand through the tacts we list above, please feel free to get in touch here or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.