So, you already know how important it is to focus on your brand long term, so how do you plan a strategy with relevant metrics that will let you know you’re on the right track?
First, we will move through a few steps to identify what your brand is, and then take a look at which metrics are indicators of a successful brand strategy.
Conduct Audience Listening
Your brand is shaped by your audience. Many folks think that brand is only a collection of your logo, colors, mission statement, or even just what you think it is. While those are all parts of your brand, it is not the whole picture. Your brand exists in the thoughts, feelings, and reactions of your audience when they come into contact with your brand. It’s focused on the collective thoughts of the public as a whole in addition to what brand elements you have.
How do you conduct audience listening for your brand strategy?
There are a couple of easy ways to conduct audience listening. The first is conducting research using data and reviews that already exist. The second is to conduct your own research and asking your audience directly.
Take time to go through all of your social media accounts, and any review profiles your business or organization has. Check out Google Reviews, Glassdoor, Yelp, etc. Look for keywords about their experience while working with your organization and staff. Look for words like high-quality, kind, or any other adjectives that get the brand ball rolling.
Also, you can ask your audience! For example, you can send out a newsletter or social media post with a survey that asks questions about your audience’s experience with your brand, how they would describe your organization in one word, or what words would they associate with your brand.
From there you can start to paint the picture of what your audience’s perception of your brand is, and consider it in your messaging.
Establish Brand Strategy Pillars
Brand pillars are the key themes in your messaging. What content topics are core to your brand and what topics does your audience truly care about? Think about your products, what benefits they provide your audience, or how they make your audience feel.
For Example: If you are a company that sells online task management software, obviously the software would be one of the content pillars.
Additionally, think about what your audience or customers care about. It’s safe to say that they value time management, planning, delegation, etc. How can the content you share on a regular basis hit on all of these content themes, and ultimately be helpful and valuable to your audience?
From here brainstorm a ton of content topics from tips, to best practices, how-to’s, or even testimonials on how someone was able to use your product in a new and exciting way. Then, think about what these content ideas could look like in a blog, or in a newsletter, podcast, video, etc.
From there, it’s time to put the pen to paper and start planning your content calendar.
Evaluate How Your Audience Consumes Your Content
Once you’ve solidified your content and have an idea of what types of content are best for your audience, it’s time to think about how they consume your content in the context of your product. This will help guide your focus to the platforms that are truly important and hold most of your audience’s attention.
If your audience is older, consider utilizing Facebook as a vehicle to deliver your content. There is a ton of research out there on what platforms are best for specific audiences, and how they generally consume content.
Also, this will help you focus on the metrics that are most important.
Track Meaningful Metrics
Lastly, tracking meaningful metrics is one of the most important components of your brand strategy. It’s easy to follow likes and views, but they do not always tell the whole story. We want to look at the overall engagement with your brand, and if your content is creating memorable experiences with your audience that ultimately grows your audience and builds trust.
Some great metrics to focus on are the organic engagement on your website. Keep track of how many people are searching for your brand. Do you see an increase over time since you have implemented your brand strategy? It’s a great way to start and see if you are on the right track.
Hint: Google Analytics is our favorite
Also, look for those engagement metrics that indicate your content is engaging. Content that is engaging will bring in comments and shares. Now, this doesn’t mean creating content that includes phrases like “share this post” or “comment below” in almost every sentence. Social Media platforms are smart and can actually ding your organic reach if these are too prevalent. Also, be sure to engage back with your audience. If someone took the time to leave a thoughtful review, thank them.
One of the best ways to drive engagement and build a brand is to showcase that you are responsive to your audience.