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Branding and Public Relations

Brand_awareness

Your Business Brand

Your brand is important. It’s the identity of your business. While you know all the ins and outs that make up your company, your brand is what people see on the outside. It’s more than just the colors or elements that make up your logo. It should convey your purpose, passion, and commitment to service.

Having a clear grasp on what your brand is, is essential before planning out other marketing strategies. Below is a helpful exercise to go through to help with your branding. We’d recommend filling it out, printing it off, and putting it somewhere where you can see everyday. Often times, especially with marketing strategies, it can be easy to forget what you already know about your audience, and what you’re hoping to achieve. You can also repeat this activity with different marketing campaigns later.

  • Brand Target- who are the people that will be most likely to engage and interact with your business online?
  • Objective (purpose)- what are you expecting to do/get from those people? (gain awareness, sell something, get feedback on your business, etc.)
  • Strategy- to convince ____ to buy ____ instead of ____ because ____.
  • Insight- what do you already know about your audience? (any demographic research you’ve done on your market would go here)
  • Reason to Believe- why should your audience believe this? (have you won any awards or received some stellar feedback?)
  • Brand Character and Voice- how will your audience perceive your brand online? If your brand was a person, what would they sound like? (funny, personable, caring, knowledgeable, etc.)
In some ways, how your brand is perceived also affects Search Engine Optimization. Read more about SEO here, and check out this resource on your brand’s connection to how search engines find your website.

Personas

Building personas around your audience can be a smart way to differentiate between customer segments, making it easier for you to create more targeted marketing campaigns to promote your brand. Learn more about segmenting your lists and the types of marketing campaigns on our Email Marketing page.

For personas, the goal is to look for the key differences between the people you consider your customers. For example, if you owned a jewelry shop, you might have two personas: “Fiance Fred” and “In-Style Sally.”
  • Fiance Fred could be in his 30’s, and likes to buy his girlfriend jewelry, but is on a tight budget and only purchases jewelry once a year.
  • In-Style Sally might be in her late 50’s, affluent, very fashionable, and purchases jewelry several times a year.
Your marketing messages and how your brand interacts with both of these people should be very different. Personas aren't typically something you share with your audience. They’re more of an internal tool to help you better understand who you’re serving and why. This is a great article from HubSpot that walks you through a more detailed approach on how to create personas for your business.

If you need help determining demographics or market insights for your audience, contact the Business Concierge and check out our Market Research page!

Publice_Relations

Public Relations (PR)

Good PR is about generating awareness for your brand, and also increasing your credibility in the process.

How to Write a Press Release

There are many templates out there to help you structure a press release. This is a good one for small businesses. Essentially, all press releases should be written in the inverted pyramid format, which means the most critical, important information goes at the top and supporting information follows it. Another key component of a press release is your call to action (CTA). Make sure that your CTA is clear to the audience that you’re targeting.

Who to Contact?
So you’ve just written an engaging press release about your upcoming product launch- that’s great! Now comes the tricky part; reaching out to the media. Contacting the media can be hard, especially figuring out who you should contact. Here’s a great resource for determining the best person to reach out to and a list of other helpful PR tools to grow and maintain relationships with your customers.

Good customer service and public relations go hand in hand. When someone interacts with your brand online or offline, it’s a good PR practice to respond quickly and as diplomatically as possible. Perhaps someone is unhappy with the quality of the product you just sold them, and they’ve taken to social media to vent to your followers. It’s important to remember two things in this situation; first, the customer is always right, and second, taking no action, is actually taking an action. Replying in a public way and apologizing to your customer, even if they were in the wrong, shows your audience (and the world) that you’re willing to take responsibility for your mistakes.