It’s time for your brand to stand out in a sea of content and competition, and good news – it can be pretty simple. If you are already working hard on your content marketing and branding, it could take just one of the simple branding tips below to move your brand from good to great.
Branding tips that will make you stand out
1. Respond in real time
Automation and scheduling tools are lifesavers for marketers, but they must be used in moderation; there is no tool that is going to replace real human interaction. Automation can’t write clever comments, strategically start conversations with potential clients or make your brand stand out through responsive, quality customer service.
Make it happen: Yes, you can make time for this. Schedule a social media check in 2-3 times per day – morning, noon and before you leave. Each check-in will only take 10-15 minutes.
2. Make customers feel like they’re the only ones
In a world of automation and busy schedules, it is not unusual for customers to feel like just a number. No one wants to feel like just a number. One of the best ways to make your brand stand out is to show them you care, you know they exist and that they are a priority to you.
Make it happen: Making customers feel like they’re the only ones is incredibly easy and inexpensive. You simply need to apply by basic relationship rules – provide your customers with your undivided attention, avoid making excuses and truly listen. You can also go the extra mile by writing handwritten notes. People expect emails or typed letters from you; a handwritten note shows you took the time to think about them and didn’t just send them a mass-produced note.
3. Ridiculously great customer service
Competition for business (in almost every industry) is fierce. Sometimes it can be difficult for customers to discern between all the competition and decide with who to do business. My weakness is car service companies. There is one on every block that offers oil changes – who do I choose? The one with the best customer service. This scenario is true for many customers; they do business with people who treat them right.
Make it happen: Making your customers feel like they’re the only ones is incredibly important to providing great customer service, but it also requires treating potential customers like they are paying customers. You need to be responding to inquiries quickly and thoroughly. First impressions matter; you want to be “wowing” people from the first time you talk to them. Even if they don’t end up doing business with you, they are going to talk to others about your brand and your ridiculously great customer service.
4. Content the audience looks for/seeks out
Even if a customer enjoys your products or services, they are not going to engage with you online or talk about you if you don’t give them something to engage with and talk about. I mean this in the most positive way possible; for the Kardashians, all press is good press, but for businesses only good press is good press. Give your audience great content that they want so they want to engage with your brand and share what you have to say.
Make it happen: I can’t stress this enough – give your customers content they want, not what you think they want. Do market research. Find out your customers pain points, find out why customers chose to do business with you and why they chose not to and even read the content they are already reading. Once you have some ideas, test them. You aren’t going to have the perfect plan right away. You need to watch, learn and adjust your plan based on what you learn.
5. Phenomenal creative elements
Whether someone is scrolling through their newsfeed, flipping through a magazine or walking past a community bulletin board, the notice visuals before text. Copy is unquestionably important, but no one is going to read the text if they are not first drawn in by your creative elements.
Make it happen: First and foremost, hire a graphic designer. Graphic design is a science and an art; you need someone who knows what they are doing. Second, you want to begin using more custom images. Sharing pictures is important for building relationships, but custom images are important for making your brand set out. Check out the Allee Creative Facebook for some custom image ideas. We have been using custom images to promote blog posts, celebrate odd holidays and, of course, celebrate our 10-year anniversary.
6. Support the community
Remember when I said people choose companies based on customer service? They also choose companies based on community service. People want to see businesses that are eco-friendly, support small businesses and give back to the community. These people all have different reasons for caring, but because they do, you should be supporting causes and sharing your good work.
Make it happen: The hardest part of getting involved is picking a cause. You need to find a reputable organization whose mission your whole team supports. Once you find you cause, you can partner with them in a dozen different ways. You can promote each others organizations online, have a company fundraiser, have a day where your employees go volunteer, etc. Use your imagination. Supporting your community will be good for your brand and for employee morale.
If you really look at the branding tips above you will see that the answer to “how to make your brand stand out?” is the #1 rule of content marketing – create the brand that your customers want.