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In penning this I realized that this may not apply to large, established brands as opposed to brands that either are starting out, or have been around for a while yet are in need of making themselves/their brand more marketable. But the more I thought about it, the more I also realized that these same large, established brands are oftentimes guilt of complacency.
So to those reading this you can look at this as a sort of How To while others can look at it as Not So Gentle Reminder.
Create A Consistent Brand Image
A consistent brand image helps consumers recognize your products and services immediately. Your brand image can become part of everything you post online or off, including the following:
• Blog articles
• Website design
• Social media posts
•Flyers and brochures
• Paid advertisements
• Product packaging
Several factors can influence brand image, from the colors and fonts you choose to the tone of your content. You can use your consistent image to improve brand awareness, which drives engagement and makes your brand more marketable.
Adopt Relevant And Realistic KPIs
Without key performance indicators (KPIs), you don’t know what metrics to track as you pursue marketing and advertising efforts. For instance, younger companies might want to track KPIs like conversion rates and cost per lead, while more established brands could find more value in customer lifetime value, traffic-to-lead ratio, and inbound marketing return on investment (ROI).
Once you know your KPIs, track them religiously. Make adjustments that might move the needle in the right direction as your brand becomes more marketable. For instance, certain statistics, such as a high customer retention rate, can become advertisements by themselves.
Additionally, let your KPIs evolve as your business grows. You might shift toward new metrics as you gain more customers and stock keeping units (SKUs). Advanced KPIs, such as net promoter score (NPS), can help you decide where to focus your marketing efforts. The NPS calculates the likelihood of customers recommending your brand to friends and family members.
Expand Your Reach
Maybe you’re not reaching a wide enough audience. For instance, if most of your marketing efforts revolve around general marketing or paid search, consider branching out into social media and even outbound marketing.
When you develop content for a new channel, you gain the opportunity to put your brand in front of a new audience. For instance, the people who follow you on Facebook might not have Instagram accounts and vice versa. Keep expanding your reach to improve brand visibility and market share.
Tell Appealing Stories
Storytelling can instantly make a brand more marketable. It transforms an emotionless brand into an entity with real people behind it. Start with your corporate “About” page. How did your brand get started? Who are the founders? Why did you decide to start the business?
Weave stories into other pieces of content, as well. Consider soliciting user-generated content from customers and influencers. Let them tell their stories in their own words. Testimonials and other forms of social proof can give your marketing campaign some teeth and allow it to spread faster, as well.
Embrace Corporate Social Responsibility
These days, consumers want to do business with socially responsible companies. If you support local charities, make an effort to keep your workplace green, or offer enhanced work-life benefits for your employees, make sure you make those policies known. You can differentiate your brand from the competition with corporate social responsibility (CSR).
Many companies sponsor local youth sports teams and host volunteer weekends with their employees. Consider posting photographs on social media; for instance, if you volunteer with your staff, take a group shot before you get to work. However, consumers are also extremely smart. They can detect false CSR, so only advertise legitimate efforts to maintain CSR.
Offer A Survey
Feedback proves critical when a brand wants to make itself more marketable. What do customers want? How about prospective customers? The only way to know is to ask.
Set up a survey on your website, through social media, or in an email. Ask key questions that can help drive your future marketing efforts, such as the following:
• Can we improve our customer service? If so, how?
• What products would you like us to focus on in the future?
• What is the biggest challenge you face (related to the industry)?
• How would you rate your latest transaction with us?
You might need to create multiple surveys so you can target different customers. For instance, you could send one survey to customers who have just bought something on your website, but you could target a different survey to customers who have abandoned their shopping carts.
Provide Multiple Payment Options
These days, customers pay for products and services using diverse methods. From mobile wallets to PayPal, you need to offer multiple payment options if you want maximum conversions.
For instance, merchant services providers like High Risk Pay offer convenient ways to accept credit cards, even in high-volume and high-risk industries. Maybe you’ve been denied by other companies because you’re in an industry like telemarketing or because you have a low credit score. Avail yourself of a merchant account so more customers can buy from you.
Bundle Products Or Services
If your products or services create a specific barrier to entry, such as a high price tag, consider bundling them to generate more sales. For instance, if you combine two products and reduce the price by 20 percent, you might get more conversions than if you required customers to buy them separately. The same tactic works for services if you have more than one.
Hire A Consultant
Sometimes, companies need help to isolate problems and brainstorm solutions. Marketing consultants can help you figure out where you’ve gone wrong with customer service, branding, and other efforts. Additionally, they have experience working with other companies like yours, so they bring fresh eyes to the table.
When working with a consultant, spend your time and money wisely. Prepare specific questions to which you need answers, and create a timeline for working with the consultant. For instance, you need to know what specific, measurable goals you want to achieve during the consultant’s time with your brand.
It’s not difficult to make your brand more marketable, but you must start with a plan. If you know how you’ll improve marketability, you can track relevant metrics and make adjustments along the way.
This article originally appeared on Forbes.