When most people think about their branding and marketing strategy, they think about their brand identity. They ask themselves:
Who are we as an organization?
What should our logo look like?
What colors and fonts should we use?
Those are all important visual branding elements to nail down and ensure your brand is consistent across internal and external communications. However, those things in and of themselves are not going to help you grow your business or get more customers.
It’s easy to get branding and marketing confused or to use the terms interchangeably, but there is a marked difference between the two. Simply put, “branding is who you are—and marketing is how you build awareness.”
A more practical brand messaging strategy is to think about how to connect with your target audience and build a relationship with them.
Brand messaging on the fast track
Most marketing and sales companies constantly mention funnels and customer journeys. Heck, I own a company and we talk about those things all the time. These are key components to growing your business. But the problem with only focusing on a customer’s journey is that they have to be in the process of buying.
And depending on where you look, only between 3 to 20 percent of a market is currently in an active buying process. What about those other 80 to 97 percent of people who will eventually become a great customer opportunity?
You don’t want to just ignore them until it’s too late. Then they’ll be shopping around and comparing you to your competitors.
What if you could separate yourself before they started looking around?
What if your target audience already knew who you were and that they want to buy from you before they enter that buyer journey?
That would put you on the fast track in that sales funnel and make your customer acquisition seamless. That’s what a practical marketing strategy can do for you.
Build those relationships before your customers need you and before a trigger event takes place. Then when that problem occurs, instead of going out on a lengthy buyer journey, they already know you as the go-to for what they need.
Not only are you growing your business more efficiently, but you’re actually preemptively creating a better experience for your customers. Now they don’t need to waste as much time shopping around or trying to figure out what they need or where to get it.
Practical brand messaging
When you develop a typical marketing strategy, you start with what kind of problems you solve for your target audience, and build around these concepts as they discover their options and make purchasing decisions.
With a brand messaging strategy, you’re proactively connecting with customers prior to all of that happening. So you need to know your customer’s daily routine, what they’re up to, what they want to be up to, where they are, and what they’re talking about. This is the juncture before they recognize problems they need solved.
So you need to get out there and connect with them based on who they are and their lifestyle. Here are some examples:
This table illustrates how you can connect with your target audience on levels unrelated to your specific product or service. When you create your brand messaging and marketing content with this in mind it will resonate with your target audience. You’ll get their attention and engagement as you begin building a relationship that will make “selling” seamless when the time comes.
Use these insights to inform your content marketing strategy and the type of content you share. This will help you rank on Google, increase social shares within your target audience’s communities, and ultimately win the marketing game.
Dig a well before you’re thirsty
Have you ever heard the saying, “Dig your well before you’re thirsty?” This is how you will get found by your ideal customers. This is how you will build a relationship with your customers before you need it.
Take out a piece of paper or open a new Word document. Set up the table from above with a column for your target audience, what their life is like, and content ideas. Now fill in those boxes and you’ll have a nice list of ideas that would get their attention and add some value to their life.
This article has been edited.
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