Cutting Through the Clutter: 12 Tips on Branding…

BrandingDid you know that over 1 billion pieces of content are shared every day on the internet?  If you receive the number of  daily emails that I receive, you’ll have no trouble believing that!

In fact, The Radici Group (radici.com) reports that in 2015 the number of emails sent and received was over 2.5 billion.  That is massive clutter in our inboxes alone!  Add social media to the mix…

So, how do you cut through all that?  In a word, branding.  Branding is what built Geico Insurance (the gecko) and Progressive Insurance (Flo).  Ronald “the clown” McDonald and the Burger King have helped build those brands.  So, what’s going to build your brand?

Jeff Charney, the Chief Marketing Office of Progressive Insurance suggests that you buck the latest trends.  Charney reasons that if you’re doing what everyone else is doing, there’s no way that you can stand out from the crowd.  Do the unexpected – surprise, challenge, motivate through clearing your own path and you will cut through the clutter.  “Fresh content wins,” says Charney.

Fresh is different, creative, maybe offbeat, and definitely not someone else’s shtick.  Here are some tips for cutting through the clutter:

  1. Decide at the outset who you are going to be: Cutthroat Charlie, the aggressive marketer (which works for some people), or Kind Carrie, the soft sell specialist who becomes a friend who also happens to have a business that can help others (this works better for most of us).  What is your persona and the persona that you want to present for your business?  This is a significant part of your branding.
  2. Beyond your personal style of selling, what is the core character of your business that will never change?  Consistency is important for building trust and loyalty among your  subscribers and customers.  This goes to your logo, tagline, and other ways that you identify your business to your clientele.  It goes to your website, emails, however you connect your business to others.
  3. While being true to who you are and the core character of your business, don’t be afraid to take some risks.  You can be edgy, if that works for you, but don’t violate the branding that you’re working so hard to establish.  What will come across to your constituency is that you don’t believe in your business.  Stay consistent, even when you try new approaches.
  4. Don’t be a copycat – that’s what Jeff Charney was saying above.  Me too advertising and products projects cheapness and the kind of clutter that most people want to avoid.  Be original, creative, rooted in your own vision or dream for your business.  Your uniqueness is what you have to sell.  Know it, brand it, and communicate it in every action you take for your business.
  5. Whether you’re an affiliate marketer or selling your own products, know what you’re selling inside and out.  If you’re an affiliate marketer, choose the products that you promote carefully.  The products you promote will be part of your establishing your brand.  As you extend your line, again, whether you’re an affiliate marketer or a product creator, stay true to your branding.
  6. Use social media to drive your branding.   According to an Adweek poll, 86% of marketers surveyed said that social media was important for their business.  79% said that they have integrated social media with their traditional marketing efforts.  Facebook is #1, but that means more clutter.  Twitter, YouTube, Linkedin, Google+, and Pinterest are all good social platforms and might work better for your business.  Find the social media that produces that best return on investment for your business through experimentation.
  7. Create great content for social media or provide links through social media that lead back to your website.  Adweek reports that 92% of respondents said that six hours a week devoted to social media increased the exposure of their business.
  8. Images and video outperform written content, so be sure to include strong visuals with your copy.
  9. Jessica Gioglio, Director of Strategy at Sprinklr and co-author of The Power of Visual Storytelling suggests leveraging “relatable moments.”  For example, next week in America we will celebrate Independence Day on July 4.  Is there a way you can leverage that day for your business?
  10. Gioglio also suggests creating memorable experiences.  If you use video for your business, is there a way that you can create a memorable visual and audio experience for your viewers, something that goes beyond the usual sales video?
  11. Offer a contest.  Everyone loves the chance to win something.  What is something of value that you could offer in exchange for an email address to build your list?  This is Tripwire marketing at its most fundamental level.
  12. Speaking of tripwire marketing, do you have a freebie to give to your readers to entice them to be your subscribers.  As I’ve said often on this blog, email is the most powerful tool you have for internet marketing.  Your free offer is a way that you can cut through the clutter and a properly chosen free offer will build your branding.

As always, I welcome your comments.  What tips would you add to this list?

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