Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Are You Diluting Your Brand Without Realizing It?



I'm in the middle of several marketing coaching calls with my latest client, and together we're working on a road map for greater online visibility and impact. Of course to know where you're going, you need to look at where you've been, and where you are now. In preparing my assessment of her online identity and reviewing everything--blog, social media, website, etc., the overidding theme I've discovered is that she is essentially diluting her brand, resulting in low community engagement, subscribers, and impact.

Here are 9 key mistakes she's been making without realizing it:

1. Using Facebook Like Twitter.

The @ and # symbols are for Twitter, and look out of place on Facebook. While there are great social media management programs out there like Buffer that allow users to post similar content to all their profiles at once, they shouldn't be used that way. Each social strategy should have its own unique content.


2. Publishing Images of Things Over People.

When you have a people-oriented business, you should use images that reflect your audience or desired audience as much as possible. While occasional images of objects can work and certainly create interest in your blog post, it's better to publish people images as much as possible in order to humanize your business.


3. Creating Content Without Keywords (Somewhat) in Mind.

No one writes with keywords only in mind, since we're people and not search engines. However, it is important to know the keywords or trending terms for your industry well enough so that they appear in your headlines and tags, at the very least. When I write website copy for clients, I always start by using the Google keyword tool to create a working vocabulary of words and high search terms.


4. Prioritizing Blog Over Enews.

It's natural to want hundreds of blog subscribers, but you need a strategy for converting your audience into subscribers. I've suggested that she use her enews to attract visitors, readers, and prospects, and highlight her blog links within the newsletter. It may even be worth holding off on her blog for a while, until she can build up her enews list.


5. Not Showing Who You Help.

She has countless opportunities to show who she is helping in her business, and she needs to maximize this. Have a new client testimonial? Get their photo with their quote. Just spoke to a roomful of attendees? Grab the photo!


6. Creating Too Many New Products Without Testing the Waters.

She is launching many new products, but I have suggested she slow down and assess what she has produced already. Have her current products been successful? Has she gotten feedback from her community on what they would purchase from her, and why?


7. Playing It Safe With Video.

She has created several videos, that are the cornerstone of her business in many ways. And yet they are all similar to each other, filmed in a similar style with her looking straight on into the camera. She runs the risk of losing people by filming the same way each time. So I suggest experimenting and being creative about it. How about interviewing industry experts, or doing a video version of her newsletter, or a fun montage from a recent event? A fun app like Animoto makes it easy to be creative, without needing a videographer.


8. Not Following an Editorial Schedule.

An effective content marketing strategy cannot get off the ground without a realistic and thought out editorial schedule for all publications, including blog, newsletter, social media, etc. I'm encouraging her to think about her brand and plan her content. She should decide how she wants her image to come across in everything she publishes, so all is consistent.


9. Hiding Your Best Website Info.

Her website had great information and calls tomaction that were getting lost, as much if it was so far down you had to keep scrolling just to get to it. I suggested moving up her most important content, and either deleting or reorganizing the rest. These changes have already been made, resulting in a cleaner, more organized user experience.


If you're doing some rebranding, or launching a new business, keep these points in mind in order to keep your brand focused and engaging. What are your thoughts? Have you diluted your own brand without realizing it?


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