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5 Skills You Need to Develop a Brand
In order to reach the right people, earn their trust, and make plenty of sales, you need to focus on developing a strong and professional brand. It’s an incredibly important aspect of establishing a business, but it does take a special set of skills.
If you’re completely new to building a brand, it could help to develop your skills by obtaining a formal qualification in this area. For instance, RMIT Online offers the chance to study a Master of Marketing course from the comfort of your own home. It will teach you about various aspects of marketing, including how to create and maintain an effective brand strategy.
But, if you would like to get started today, we are going to dive into an introduction on how to establish a brand, and look at five skills that can help you get the best results.
Read on to find out more.
You need to be able to define your audience
The first step to developing a brand is defining who you want to attract and sell to. This means you need to know your target audience and create buyer personas that you can imagine when creating your branding and devising a marketing plan.
You will need to conduct market research to analyze the demographics of your target audience. Doing this will help you identify factors like the age range, sex, and income levels of the people who are likely to buy your products or services. You can then use that information to create buyer personas for your brand. And, if you already have a customer base, no matter how small, you can also conduct interviews with your existing audience or send them surveys that will give you some extra insight into who they are and what they’re looking for.
Identifying your target audience is a key step for developing your brand, as it lets you pinpoint the customers you should be selling to. It will also help you in creating the right type of content that will attract and engage your ideal audience.
You need a good eye for visual branding
When people talk about the ways to brand your business, your mind is likely to go straight to logos, brand colors, and visual elements. This is because it’s often the first thing people see when they encounter a new brand, whether they see your website header, social media profile pictures, or visual adverts.
It’s very important that you ensure your visual branding perfectly reflects what your business does. For instance, recycling companies tend to use the color green in their logos and general branding because it represents nature and the environment. Some financial institutions, on the other hand, prefer to use the color blue for their company branding as it represents authority, power, and professionalism.
To give you some inspiration, let’s take a look at examples of businesses with effective visual branding.
Best Value Schools is an online resource for people who want to choose the best institution for their higher education. Looking at their visual branding, you can see that they use a simple but professional approach. They’ve also incorporated blue and orange, colors which are often seen at graduations.
For context, you can also take a look at the two women on the homepage, who are dressed in blue and orange graduation caps and gowns. Using these colors is a great technique that can make sure people associate their brand with the educational industry from the offset.
On the other hand, GroomsShop, a retailer of unique groomsmen gifts, focuses on aligning their visual branding with their male audience.
Their branding and logo are simple but masculine and that is very likely to appeal to grooms who are looking for presents for their friends or family. The monochrome color scheme, formal font, and strong shapes are sure to attract the brand’s ideal customers and make them feel at ease.
Before you decide to launch a business, one of the first things you should do is think of the colors and designs you want to use in your branding. Make sure you do some research on what different colors represent so you don’t use a color that could negatively affect your brand, check out what your competitors are doing, and make sure your designs completely represent what you do.
You need to be able to develop and tell your brand story
If your business has a strong brand story, people will feel a stronger connection to it and be more likely to shop with you. So, one skill you’ll need is being able to develop your brand story and tell it through your online content.
To develop your brand story, you need to think of your mission and goals and really focus on the reason why your brand exists and who it was made to help. You can then start to tell this story through your website. You could create behind-the-scenes videos that give your audience a glimpse into your brand or even make infographics or blog posts that highlight your company’s journey from inception. It’s important to regularly remind people of your brand story and you can do this by consistently publishing new content and social media posts.
Here’s an example of one brand that knows how to use a strong brand story so you can see how it’s done.
According to their website, Warby Parker was created to provide a solution to expensive eyewear for the general public. The founders got the idea for the business after they each experienced how costly it was to replace their eyewear after it had gotten misplaced or damaged. So, they decided to embark on the journey to create affordable eyewear. This story is well-documented on their website and it's an example of the kind of brand story that can make people feel a stronger connection with a company.
When creating your brand story, it’s important that you convey the personal importance of your company’s goals and ambitions. To learn more about developing a brand story, here’s a guide from SkillsYouNeed that explains the importance of stories when communicating the vision of your brand to your audience.
You need to be able to create informative content your audience loves
Content marketing is one of the most powerful tools you can use to develop and raise awareness of your brand. By creating informative and SEO-optimized content that your audience loves, you can start to show off your expertise, earn your customers’ trust, and keep people coming back to your website for more.
To create good informational content, you’ll need to come up with relevant topics, and you can do this by performing keyword research. To do this, choose a specialist tool like Ahrefs or SEMrush, and input words or phrases that are relevant to what your business does. You’ll then be presented with a long list of search queries that people in your audience tend to type into search engines. From this list, you’ll be able to pick or form topics that can answer queries for your audience.
You can also get good ideas for topics by looking at what your competitors are doing. But just remember that you need to be careful when doing this. Content that’s inspired by a competitor might turn out to be too similar, which could attract criticism or even make it harder for you to rank on relevant search engine results pages. So, whenever you create content inspired by another company, it’s a good idea to use a plagiarism detector like the one from Copyleaks. This uses artificial intelligence to determine whether a piece of content is too similar to something that’s already out there, and it could save you a lot of headaches.
Let’s take a look at some examples of businesses that are doing a great job of developing their brands by regularly publishing informative content. This should give you plenty of inspiration for when it comes to creating your own.
For example, The Lore Law Firm specializes in helping people protect their rights as workers. And, on their website, they have a page where they provide information on the labor laws of each state in the United States of America.
The page acts as an excellent repository for those who would like to find information about the labor laws in the state they reside in. And, when people click through to the individual pages for each state, they’ll find plenty of helpful information about a wide range of issues, like minimum wage, sick leave, vacation leave, and more. It’s a great way to create a hub of informative content that their audience will appreciate, and it shows the firm is an authority in its field. This is what you should be trying to achieve with your own website content.
On the other hand, as a social media management agency, Buffer understands that there are people in their audience who might have no idea how to get started with their marketing. So, they’ve created a blog post to teach people how to create a social media marketing plan from scratch. The topic is one that would be on the minds of many people in their audience and, by creating this guide, Buffer should be able to show off their brand authority, attract the right people, and earn their audience’s trust.
One thing you’ll notice about both of these examples is that they’re incredibly well-written, which is very important. You don’t want people to land on your website, only to find that your content is poorly structured and full of errors. So, before you start creating content to develop your brand, it’s important to hone your copywriting skills. This will help to give your website visitors the best possible impression of your brand.
You need to be able to create engaging social content
If you have a new business, you need to be active on social media. Having a smart digital marketing strategy in place will help you to raise awareness of your brand, reach your ideal customers, and make more sales.
It’s important that you focus on creating social media content that’s as engaging as possible. This could include infographics, videos, or images, as visual content tends to perform the best on social media, and will give you a good chance of reaching your target audience. Also, when posting your content on social media, try to write notes or captions that encourage people to leave a comment, answer a poll, or give you feedback. This is a great way to engage with your followers and help them to feel more connected to your brand.
Developing a brand is no easy task, but you can definitely build a skillset that will help you succeed.
By defining your audience, fine-tuning your visual branding, and telling your brand story, you’ll be well on your way to creating a strong brand presence for your business. This will then help you to grow your customer base and boost your sales.
About the Author
Alex Ratynski is the founder of Ratynski Digital, an online marketing consultancy that focuses on helping small and medium-sized businesses achieve their goals. He set up his company after working as a local SEO director for a dental marketing agency, where he helped to turn clients’ ventures into thriving multi-million dollar businesses. He spends most hours strategizing SEO for his clients.