Your team of sales people are hungry for leads that they can convert into sales and commission – as soon as possible. Of course, you as the boss want to see a return on your investment. So you may wonder why your marketing should be focused on branding at all.
It’s simple. A brand strategy is the key to setting your company apart, especially in a crowded market place. If done right, it can bring you significant market shares. A brand strategy defines your business, provides consistency, creates trust and adds value to your company.
What is brand strategy?
A brand strategy is by definition a long-term plan for the creation of a successful brand in order to obtain specific goals. Your brand is so much more than your product, logo, website or name. It’s a feeling that promises to set your company apart from the rest.
The first step to creating a brand with strong values is to have a defined objective. The purpose of the large well-known brands is clearly defined, think of IKEA, Apple or Nike.
The foundation of a brand strategy is consistency, which means that you must clearly define your purpose in all elements of your marketing. Look no further than Coca Cola, for strong branding and consistency. Every element of their marketing has been considered to work harmoniously together, resulting in one of the most recognisable international brands.
So next time you upload a photo on Facebook, before you press "go", make sure the message is consistent with your branding and the values you stand for.
Branding is all about emotions. The aim is to manage the emotions of your target when they come in contact with your brand. What they perceive will decide how much they are willing to pay for your products and to what extent they are willing to commit.
Clever brands such as SMART create a complete culture making each owner of a SMART car feel part of a "club". The SMART customers are some of the most loyal customers and more often than not, if they are in the market for a new car they will repeat SMART. Another brilliant example of this is Apple. By creating an emotional connection with their customers, Apple has achieved the near impossible, it has acquired a loyal following. Brand loyalty is the key factor in the company’s global success.
Once consumers have really connected with your brand, they will go out of their way to recommend your products and tell their friends about it – becoming your brand ambassadors. Your clients will feel the culture that your company has created and identify with its values. If you manage to create a very strong brand loyalty, it can go through generations, resulting in returning customers.
So as you see a brilliant brand strategy can and will directly affect your ability to generate leads…. and the new leads you generate can then go on to convert over and over again.
The key is to make sure your brand strategy is considered carefully and implemented correctly from the start. Once you have your strategy in place you are ready to set up your online lead generation campaigns, making sure to implement the elements of your defined purpose in all elements.
What is online lead generation?
Online lead generation is an internet marketing term that refers to the generation of prospective consumer interest or an inquiry into a business' products or services through the Internet. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lead_generation
When we refer to online lead generation, we're usually talking about attracting potential buyers via PPC (Pay per Click) campaigns on Google or social media. Leads can also be generated through organic lead generation by optimising web pages so that they become tools for converting users into leads.
Online lead generation should be the cornerstone of all businesses today. Creating a landing page and a corresponding PPC online advertising campaign is one of the most effective methods of generating leads – when done correctly.
Returns on investment (ROI)
Businesses sometimes say, "Never mind that fluffy stuff, we need leads". They want to jump right into creating PPC lead generating campaigns. The benefit of this approach is that you are able to identify prospects quickly and can provide measurable results.
This is because a PPC campaign allows us to accurately assess your return on investment. Whereas, a branding campaign is so abstract the results are difficult to measure and therefore offer no clear ROI.
But let's think about this for a moment. When running a lead generating campaign, what tools are we using? We are using a landing page, text adverts or display banners. The text on the landing page and downloadable brochures or other marketing materials, is generated to convey a feeling, be it trust, strength or confidence. You need to tap into the right emotion to get them to fill out the form or purchase.
The marketplace is a crowded space so you need a USP (Unique Selling Point) to differentiate yourself. Users have the power to research different companies, so it’s important to think about what makes your company different from a competitor offering the same product or service. What makes them stand out from the others? When you do get leads, what is the process to convert them? Do you have a certain timeframe to contact them back in and how do you speak to them?
All of this should be determined by your branding. The aim is to convey your company’s unique qualities and to generate loyalty. If you don’t have a brand foundation, you may not be able to tempt users to interact with you, which could render lead generation campaigns ineffective.
So you see, when used effectively, the two strategies complement each other. Brand awareness is often necessary for lead generation to be effective, and content used for lead generation can reinforce customers’ awareness of your brand. It’s a two-way street.
To conclude, a good consistent long term marketing strategy should include both lead generation and branding