Brand and Brand Building in Advertising and Marketing

Brand and branding is possibly the most misunderstood advertising and marketing concept in small to medium sized business today. A brand isn’t a logo, a letterhead or a website. A brand is a promise. It’s emotive and it must be honest and true. Branding is not marketing. Rather it is an integral part of your marketing strategy. It’s also an important part of how you interact with clients, prospects, vendors, employees, and anyone else with whom you come in contact. Branding creates an image. In today’s busy, fast-paced market it may be harder for companies to stand apart from the masses, but the combination of the worldwide web and advancing technology has made it easier then ever to touch clients and customers. When it comes to brand, part of it is being unique, having something that sets you apart from the competition is important. What’s even more important it brand consistency and impact. Like building a home, a business needs a solid brand foundation.

A solid brand foundation, along with a solid business plan becomes the definitive road map, guide and operations manual for a business. Too many, the need for this may be incredibly obvious but it’s not uncommon many companies struggling their way through the nebulous world of business and marketing without being able to answer some of the basic and essential question about their business and business philosophy.

What do you do?
Who are your advocates?
How do you behave?
What are you like?
What makes you unique?

Brand development helps you establish a clear view and strategy of who you are and what you stand for. Once established it will become clear who your true customer are and how to reach them. Whether you are a small to medium sized business or a large corporation, establishing, and/or identifying your brand is essential to business success. With a solid brand foundations in place, a business has a solid set of guidelines to map out marketing and advertising goals of the business as well as act as a benchmark to which everything done must stand up to. If an advertising or marketing venture goes against the brand characteristics established in the brand foundations, it simply should not be done and it would be detrimental to the brand. With a lack of guidance from a brand foundations document, misguided actions and materials can cause brand dilution and and begin to confuse customers.

A few simple steps can save a company and put them on the road to recovery or added success.

Marketing Goals for Your Business and for Free

Do you find yourself spending too much money on your business and not making enough on your returns? This is the biggest reason businesses fail.

Free marketing strategies are not just a BandAid until you can get paid ads. If you implement free strategies you can start bringing in more profits, more money, and more free time to enjoy.

  • What free marketing strategies can you integrate into your daily marketing plan?

Many business people say Social Networking (Social Media) is:

  • time-consuming
  • not sure where to put focus
  • how do you balance your time
  • it’s too confusing

You need to spend a minimum of 1-2 smart hours a day using free marketing:

– Narrow your marketing focus – pick five free marketing sites so you don’t spread yourself too thin. Start by focusing on Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, LinkedIn and marketing/submitting your articles. You are not going to be really effective unless your efforts are focused and you become an expert in these 5 areas – don’t let the other sites pull your attention away.

  • Start: Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube, and Your Article Marketing =

Utilize these five different marketing places – they are different categories.

  1. Facebook is biggest, professional and social networking site.
  2. LinkedIn is business networking site, here you are building business connections
  3. Twitter – is a micro-blog where you make short posts that instantly are shown to everyone who is following you and connecting
  4. YouTube as a video marketing site is very powerful
  5. Article marketing – free sites are where you post articles and people read your great content of valuable information of at least 400 words – people like what you read and go to your site

All five of these sites work exceptionally well – if you focus on these five areas you can build your business and marketing platform in these five places. Gain a following, online relationships and contacts to help you grow yourself and your business.

It doesn’t’ need to be time-consuming or confusing.

You do need to spend time keep up on your Social Networking sites – and continue to build relationships with people adding connections and posting everyday. Do one or two things each day to maintain that base.

- Facebook – check in about 6 times a day – spending 2-3 minutes each time building relationships with old friends and new acquaintances – help others get to know who you are (not selling your business here) – Also – have your blog and articles automatically post to Facebook as you submit (that is when you are giving valuable and helpful – to others – content information about your business),

- LinkedIn – Make comments and connect with 2-3 new business ‘links’ – take about 5-10 minutes a day. You can have your Twitter postings go here automatically, also.

- Twitter – Respond to and find new Twitter friends to add to your flock. Re-tweet good content and you’ll gain positive attention and hopefully some thank you notes. Let others know how your day is going, the weather, life – but, keep it positive. And, insert business updates.

The sky is the limit when you are a business owner. And, I have discovered this with the help of good business coaches!

Autoresponders, Your Business, and the Internet

If you are just getting started in internet marketing for your business, you have probably been wondering how to manage email-marketing campaigns, without spending hours manually sending to your marketing list.

The simple solution that you might have heard about is to use what is known as an autoresponder.

An autoresponder is usually a third party software application or website, that you pay a low monthly fee to, who manages your email list, and sends your prewritten marketing emails, in sequence, to people who subscribe to your list.

That means that you can work out your marketing message in advance, upload the emails you want sent to your prospects in the order you would like them sent, and be sure that whenever someone joins your mailing list, they will receive your emails as you intended them to be sent.

Autoresponders also handle a lot of the administration involved in email marketing, such as handling unsubscribe notices, and allowing you to test different campaigns on different groups of people, and while they may cost a little extra every month, they’re definitely well worth the expenditure!

The question many business owners, particularly those who are new to internet and email marketing have is why they should bother to use an autoresponder. Let us consider the facts. When you first launch your website, and decide to build a mailing list, you are probably not going to have that many people subscribing. However, if your internet marketing strategy is working, within a few months or weeks, your subscribers could have jumped from a few individuals, to hundreds, or even thousands of people.

If you are trying to manage the emails that you are sending to everyone on your list manually, you are going to need a complicated spreadsheet, which tells you who subscribed when, and which email they should be getting. You are going to have to create dozens, or even hundreds, of mailing lists, and send your prewritten emails to each one individually. That is a full time job right there!

By using an autoresponder, however, you take all the hard work out of email marketing, so that all you have to worry about is creating your campaigns, and enticing your prospects to sign up for your list. The autoresponder itself handles all the management of your campaigns from there on.

Of course, you may still be at the stage where you are wondering whether email marketing is an option for you, let alone whether you should invest in an autoresponder to market your campaign.

The answer is a resounding YES!

The most important difference between email marketing campaigns, with or without an autoresponder, is that they allow you to build a relationship with your potential customers. Instead of bombarding them with advertising (that they are likely to ignore anyway) you can send them emails with valuable information in them, and gradually build up trust. Once they trust you, experience shows that they are more likely to make a purchase.

Of course, doing all of this manually is time consuming, and that is why most business owners who are trying to handle their email marketing campaigns themselves fail – they simply do not have the time, or they lose interest.

Choosing an autoresponder service is often the very first step in automating your sales and email marketing in this way, and with so many options, that can be the trickiest part. Look for well-known services that offer the features you need. Consider trying a few of them out (many offer free or paid for trial periods) until you find the one that works for you. Even so, most autoresponders cost just a few dollars a month, so they are not likely to blow your budget!

Once you have found an autoresponder that works for you, consider running a few different campaigns, with test portions of your mailing list, until you find one that has the highest success rate. Once you have, you can implement it across all of your lists, and you will have an email marketing system that is completely automated, and that runs even when you are asleep, on holiday, or too busy to stay in touch with your clients and prospects!

Anyone who knows anything about business and marketing knows that staying in touch with your clients, even if it is just a gentle reminder that you are still around, or a particularly special offer from time to time, is the best way to turn possible sales into definite turnover. While that used to be time consuming, innovations like autoresponders and email marketing have made it simple, and they really do free you up to handle other things, whether it’s your business, or some well deserved time off.

So if you are serious about building your business online, I would say that you definitely need to look into using the technology, like autoresponder services, that allow you to do that quickly and easily.