This guest post is from CompanyFolders, exclusively for StoryMiners.
When people think of branding, they tend to think of it in terms of attracting customers—showing off your company’s best qualities to acquire new sales. But branding doesn’t stop after a sale is made. It persists throughout a customer’s entire experience and beyond. And if it falters at any point, it could cost you a repeat purchase in the future—or your reputation.
To create effective branding, you have to keep the big picture in mind. Here are four powerful tools you can use to boost your brand and improve your customer experience.
Event marketing is an extremely broad category, ranging from fun carnivals or performances designed to spread brand awareness to annual parties attended by your most loyal customers. An event can be entertaining (like a concert or comedy show) or educational (such as a conference or webinar that educates others in your industry).
The main advantage of events is that they have the potential to be extremely memorable. If you invest the proper time and energy, you can create an experience that gives customers a strong, positive impression of your brand.
Make sure you allow yourself plenty of time to plan and promote the event. After it’s over, remember to do a post-mortem and identify the event’s most successful elements. That way, you can ensure that your next one is even better.
Newsletters are an excellent way to stay in touch with customers after they make a purchase. But an effective newsletter needs to provide its subscribers with something valuable. It can’t just be full of ads or reviews of your own products. Invest time in collecting information, tips, and other content that provides your readers with a tangible benefit. Don’t forget to include a strong call to action.
An email newsletter is relatively simple to set up, but don’t underestimate the emotional, personal nature of direct mail. Consider packaging printed newsletters in custom envelopes and sending them directly to the people who have signed up for your mailing list.
A blog allows you to reach out and provide education to others, even if they’re not ready to commit to a mailing list. Think of your blog content in a way that’s similar to your newsletter; your goal is to provide value, not just talk about how great your company is.
You don’t need to update a blog every single day, but it is important to add new posts with some degree of regularity. It’s also vital to promote your blog so that people know about posts. Facebook promotions are extremely cost-effective, so that’s a great place to start. Create custom featured images with bright, vibrant colors (such as red); this will help catch people’s eyes and lead them to your content.
When people aren’t sure how a new product works (or if they want to see it in action before they purchase it), YouTube is often the first place they look. Many learn best from seeing a process instead of reading a set of instructions or listening to a description. To that end, creating video tutorials allows you to give customers a positive brand experience both before and after their purchase.
Make sure your tutorial details a process that users are actually likely to need help with. Narrate it in a way that viewers can clearly understand and connect with on a personal level. You don’t necessarily need to hire a camera crew or create an elaborate set, especially if your product is software-based; you might not need more than some screen capture software and a microphone.
The little touches common to experience design are part of branding. They are what inform your prospects and customers who your company is and why they do business with you. If your branding is inconsistent, it will only confuse your audience–and a confused consumer isn’t likely to stick with you for long. To maintain a powerful customer experience, the most important thing is to give customers consistent reminders of what your brand stands for and how it creates value for them.
Do you have more tips for maintaining a strong brand? Share them in the comments below.
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