When you tell people you work as a writer they think, “Oh, how glamorous!” Then they find out you do corporate communications, and the smile fades to an expression that resembles. “Honey smell this, is this milk bad?” So not all types of writing support glittery movie stars and Harlequin covers, but communicating effectively is still what writing is about. Successful companies require lots of parts to run properly, and often – many of the key building blocks for successful marketing communications get ignored in the process.
Many small businesses wind up so fast – that they overlook key ways to get their business going consistently and to make things easier in the long term as they grow. Are you bored yet? Because here’s the snoozer: a key element to being consistent and recognized by your customers is your BRANDING. Branding isn’t all just pretty colors and logos. Effective branding means, your look, your feel, the tone of your marketing data sheets, the content on your web site, the words in your newsletters and marketing emails: these ALL contribute to your company’s image.
There are three tips to getting your branding on the right track:
- Strong Design: Get a great designer! Find someone that matches the look and feel of your customers. Don’t think about yourself, as much as the people you want to reach. Because let’s face it – you already love yourself enough to spend long hours on yours business; you need to convince other people that your services/products are right for them. Target your audience effectively!
- Web site: in this day and age, the number one way people will check up on you is look at your web site (or Google you, and if you’re web person does their job – it’ll take them their directly). If you’re targeting your customer, they’ll ask for more information. If you go with something that doesn’t address them (see one above), you’ll be just throwing your mad-money out the door. Sure, talk about yourself in the “About Me” section, but let the rest of your web site set the tone with good content, that’s clear about your mission, and your products and services. Don’t waste time with clutter and too much text; get your message out clean and simple, because no one has an attention span longer than a few seconds anymore (what?!).
- Templates: one of the easiest ways to stay consistent with your new design is to build templates for your messaging. An email marketing template and a strong Word template for customer-facing communications are both essential time-saving tools that can keep you on task rolling out messages, but without a lot of time and hassle on the back end. Yes, creating a template can take some time. If you don’t know how to do it yourself, contact a marketing communications geek like myself; we’ll show you how it’s done. But instead of spending too many minutes formatting and applying colors like crazy EVERY time, just do it once; and you’re set up with a structure to hold your messaging with clear branding every time.
Why is branding so important? Well, you could ask Coke or McDonald’s– but really, the point is that with so many messages flying around the internet like bees in a swarm, you need be instantly spotted as the Queen. You want a person to recognize the need they have and make an instant association with your business and service. So every time you send out messages to customers, or put your product and service out there: make it consistent and recognizable. Make customers think of you first!