Here at Hierographx, we have a regular mantra: Build Your Brand.
We champion it, because it is central to what we are here to help our clients do. But what does it really mean?
Entrepreneur Magazine recently pointed out that with nearly four billion businesses online and counting, cutting through the noise that threatens to drown out your online messaging really matters.
“How your business does that will involve a lot of different elements, one of the most important being content marketing, which generates three times as many leads as paid search advertising”, claim the experts (Hubspot).
But it’s not just about getting your branding signal heard: it’s about making it memorable.
Casting a wide net into the virtual ether may appear to be closer to good marketing than doing nothing at all, but if your business (say, Wray’s Custom Widgets) doesn’t come up in search engines until page 42…you’re never going to be seen or heard in all that digital racket. You’ll be spending a great deal of hard-fought money and man-hours to send out a signal that literally nobody is apt to hear through the noise. By every available metric, establishing a connection to online users who view your brand favorably can make all the difference. And to get there…your content matters.
It's easy to point to all the steps that you’ve taken as a business owner, large or small, to make your business stand out. We understand that “building your brand” began the very moment you conceived and established your company.
We propose, however, that Hierographx is in the business of getting you to see aspects of branding that you may not have previously considered. Because just as your company may specialize in building widgets, offering widget delivery, servicing, or even consulting on widget production… our specialty is in getting your widgets seen and exposed to the virtual community that is constantly on the move through a variety of mediums and markets.
We work under the umbrella of some key ideas: your brand should be visible, it should be perceived as the most reliable among vast fields of competitors, and it should connect to the people you aim to serve. In other words, we work not only to build your brand, but to project that brand’s authority. We do that by creating software, applications, copy and content that project(s) you as the “go-to” in all things eh…widgety.
We’ve all heard of Stanford University’s decades of sociological experiments. Those experiments are usually based on the influence of people in lab coats, uniforms, or simply someone carrying a clipboard and asking questions as though they’re entitled to do so. The concept of brand authority works much the same way: if you project your trustworthiness, expertise, and reliability… your target demographic will be drawn to you on an instinctive level.
Brand Authority means establishing yourself as the standout provider for the goods or services that you offer. As it is in real life, simply declaring yourself as the standout provider is not sufficient. Your target audience has to perceive you this way, and you might be surprised at the factors that come into play to craft that perception.
To achieve that level of instinctive consumer confidence, it takes teamwork: your vision - and our expert enthusiasm in sharing it. So to get everyone on the same page quickly, we propose these six steps to success in branding authority:
1) Reimagine the concept of branding authority through the lens of “earned respect”
As you may have already learned, it’s one thing to drive traffic to your website or app. It’s quite another to create conversions that result in real revenue. Catching a customer and keeping them are always two very distinct things. Work through your engagements in various platforms to help you remain a constant in your customers’ experience.
2) Embrace emotional appeal and its pull on the market
A connected customer is key to your success. That innate consumer trust is only attainable where, overall, you strike a chord in your target audience that causes it to want to engage with you. Too little, you may be viewed as apathetic. Too much, you may be viewed as manipulative. So the balance matters in every medium.
3) Use multiple mediums to seed top of mind awareness
Two key factors apply here: when the subject of “widgets” comes up, who does your client think of? This is a concept called top of mind awareness. It comes into play in another consideration: future buyer’s market. A potential customer may not need your widgets today… but in a few months, when his current widgets wear out, or when he is finally ready to buy his first one… he should have your brand in mind.
4) Embrace engagement
Regular client interactions such as blogging, social media, vlogging, and other interactions across multiple platforms can go a long way to make your brand not just familiar, but expert and enlightening. Your content should feel appealing and comfortable, not forced… and definitely not “canned”. The time when companies could remain aloof to avoid interaction has ended. Roll up your sleeves, and get in the game.
5) Understand the immediacy of the internet age
Consumers’ attention spans are short. It takes only 8 seconds before they lose interest and move on. Users want their needs met fast and efficiently.
It doesn’t stop there. Poor usability is one of the biggest reasons online businesses fail. If your home page takes too long to load–you’ve lost a customer. SmallBizGenius reports “88% of online shoppers say they wouldn’t return to a website after having a bad user experience…people form 75% of their judgment on a website’s credibility purely on its aesthetics” and “bad mobile optimization annoys 48% of users.”
6) Curate your content in a calculated way
Content that makes connections is not just copywriting. Your entire online presence–your apps, your websites, social media engagements, and search engine rankings–all play a big part in the level of trustworthiness and reliability your potential customers will see in you. This means that their entire user experience with your company means not just how you answer a social media question, but the ease of use of your online interfaces, your visual presentations, the efficacy and availability of your message, and all of the feelings related to those micro experiences across multiple mediums.
While all of these strategies can appear daunting, Hierographx is a full service agency that offers research, design, development, graphic arts, content and copywriting. We work with you to create the best possible content and help you to curate it in ways that you may have never thought possible.
Understanding how your users engage with your brand, how they view your online presence, and how you make them feel is the focus of our UX research team here at Hierographx. We use scientific analysis, live user testing, heuristic analysis and years of marketing experience to help us craft SERP (Search Engine Results Page) analysis, SEO (Search Engine Optimization), quality design, development and content. These are all important factors to help bring your customers closer.
In other words, we make your widget services accessible to the masses, no matter how fickle or fidgety the masses have become. Build your brand? Yep. We can do that. Better your brand authority? Yep. We can do that, too!