It’s that time of year again! With the new year already upon us, it seems like everyone is setting goals for themselves. So what does this mean for your brand? Whether you’re an entrepreneur, blogger, or freelancer, it’s important to always have goals for yourself. Being just several days into 2017, there’s no better time than now to update your brand strategy! Read along as we give you some tips to keep your branding resolutions.
What is a Brand Strategy?
Before we jump into learning how to update a brand strategy, it’s important to first understand exactly what branding is! Your brand is much more than just the visuals of your company, like your logo or company colors. It’s the entire customer perception of your blog or business! So, your brand strategy is your plan to create a particular image of your blog or business in the mind of both your current and potential customers. Components of your brand strategy include pricing, your website (or blog!), messaging, corporate identity, and customer relationship management, just to name a few!
Having a brand strategy is so important because your brand is what makes you stand out from the competition. A great brand strategy will communicate value and give your customers a reason to choose you! At the end of the day, a strong brand creates customer loyalty and referrals. Now that we have an understanding of what a brand strategy is, let’s get into the tips!
Budget for Success
Looking at the numbers may seem boring, but your budget is such an important part of your brand strategy! If you’re looking to try new things in 2017, it’s important to make sure you have enough resources to accomplish your goals. The more organized you are when it comes to your budget, the less you will have to worry about it later on in the year!
Think About Your Audience
When it comes to successful branding, knowing your audience is key. Who are you trying to reach with your message, and who already loves your brand? By determining this, you can know exactly how to go about branding yourself. In the new year, you may decide you want to expand your audience and reach a new demographic. If so, be sure to research what their needs and wants are and how you can modify your brand strategy to gain them as followers!
Get to Know Your Competition
When updating your brand strategy, it’s so important to get to know your competition and be clear on what makes you different. Why does your audience follow you or buy your products over other brands? Or, why are they faithful to other brands over you? Asking yourself these questions can help you strategize in the new year. Plus, you can learn valuable things from your competition by keeping up with their strategies and how they connect with their audience.
Give Your Blog a Facelift
There’s no better way to refresh your brand than to update your blog, website, or social media! You may decide to make small changes, such as updating your colors and fonts. Or, if you want a totally new look, you might decide to change platforms altogether. Either way, make sure that the changes you make are aesthetically pleasing, consistent with your brand, and ultimately, something you enjoy! If you’re looking to give your brand a refresher, check out our free Branding Guideline Template!
Set SMART Goals
Last but not least, as you go about setting goals for yourself this year, make sure they’re SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely). So what does this look like? Here are some examples:
Increase blog traffic by 6% each month over the course of the year.
Publish at least 2 blog posts weekly.
Increase email opt-in rate by 30% by the end of the year.
Connect with at least 10 influencers and interview them on the blog over the course of the year.
Once you’ve come up with several SMART goals for the year, the next step is to break down each goal into clear tasks that will result in accomplishing those goals. For example, if one of your goals is to increase your blog traffic every month, consider hiring an SEO specialist to help you optimize your posts. Or, if you want to commit to posting at least 2 blogs weekly, you can create an editorial calendar that keeps you on track. Overall, making sure your goals are SMART can lead to success in the new year!
To help you out, we’ve created a Brand Strategy Worksheet that you can download for FREE! Customize it for your brand, print it out, and reference it throughout the year to make sure you’re on track to meet your goals!