There are times when marketers get so wrapped up in the techniques and technologies available through inbound marketing that they lose sight of the importance of the psychology behind their craft in determining the health of their online sales.
One critical factor that can easily get left behind in the dust in the rush to online sales is the critical role brands play in forging connections with website visitors and customers. From a customer perspective, brands are a handy shortcut, a mental placeholder where a raft of attributes lounge comfortably in their subconscious waiting patiently to be recalled when their preference set is triggered by a potential need or buying decision.
Consistency Matters For Brands
A customer’s experience with your brand nurtures trust in that brand over time. Hence, every element that goes into building up a mental picture of you brand in the consumer psyche is key in building this trust aspect and consequently positioning your brand top-of-mind with your customers.
Consistent brand marketing helps your audiences to understand your brand promise and share it with their peer network. According to McKinsey & Company, strong brands outperform weak brands by 20 percent over time.
Trust and familiarity are major determinants of online sales. Savvy branding can help you avoid being lost amidst the online sales clutter and fast track customer understanding of how your product or service benefits them. If you want your brand to stand out from the pack then consistency is the missing ingredient in your success.
Here are seven of the common consistency pitfalls that brands fall into:
- Target a new ideal customer profile every week
- Launch a FaceBook or Instagram account and post irregularly
- Visual identity constantly fluctuates
- Content style chases the latest cool fad
- Constantly switching how the brand is described
- Never implementing a structured publishing calendar
- Distribute a newsletter irregularly
Brands that become fall into these bad habits can easily become disillusioned and discouraged, and rightly so. The reason their brand is floundering is often due to inconsistent marketing.
5 Secrets To Consistent Marketing
Here are five easy tips to bring consistency to your online marketing and unlock the door to a torrent of online sales:
1. Clarify What Your Brand Stands For, and Who Your Audience Is
These two aspects are the bedrock of any consistent online marketing strategy. Be very clear about what your brand stands for and more importantly, what it does not. Knowing where the boundaries of your brand enable you to focus on your core brand franchise by weeding options that distract from your main message. Similarly, do a deep dive and really understand who your audience is, what their dreams and aspiration are, and identify their common problems.
2. Don’t Try Every Marketing Strategy Immediately
Disciplined execution is a basic principal for consistent marketing. Don’t try to adopt every marketing option in the strategy toolkit at once. Maintaining a consistent brand presence on multiple platforms is a resourcing nightmare and a sure path to failure. Instead, go with a limited set of marketing strategies you can commit to consistently before adding new ones to your mix.
When your first set of strategies are humming and you are seeing steady results, gradually build out your capability, maintaining a steady flow of online sales before ramping up your ambition and adding more complexity to your marketing strategy.
3. Establish Clear Content Feeds
In today’s highly competitive inbound marketing environment, content marketing plays a major role in attracting visitors to your website and converting them to customers. Content marketing relies heavily on consistent delivery for its success and success stems from understanding of what content fits with each communication channels, whether it be a brand blog, Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, or a Newsletter.
Clear content feeds enable you to select your mix of online platforms and match different types of content against them.
For example, a typical content feed for a Facebook or Instagram account could consist of:
- Top 5s Lists or How To Success Stories
- Inspiring Snippets
- Behind the Scenes Sneak Views
- Images and Videos
- Promotional posts and Competitions
- Customer testimonials
- Polls and Surveys
Mapping out these content feeds helps with consistency and provides a framework for the different mix of content to post.
4. Planning Is Everything
As former U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower once said;
“Plans are nothing, planning is everything.”
It’s impossible to be consistent if you don’t have a structured plan. Those plans can be simple, such as mapping out target dates in your publishing calendar for fresh content. Other plans demand more effort and focus such as creating a library for upcoming social media campaigns.
If you are constantly struggling to decide what to share on Instagram or Facebook the morning you want to post it; it’s time to create a campaign library. A campaign library is where future digital and social media campaign components for are housed before you campaign goes live.
Try creating the skeletons for your inbound campaigns six months ahead of their launch date, complete with draft social media posts and supporting content. This requires an intensive week of strategy and planning work every six months but does wonders for your brand’s marketing consistency.
5. Messaging Discipline
If you want your brand to stand out, be remembered, and lead to online sales, your consistent messaging is a must. This includes your product or service profile, the topics your content publishing covers, the problems you say you help your customer solve, the vocabulary you use in talking about your brand and its tone of voice.
Similarly, you need to present a consistent look and feel for your brand to your audience. Consistent visuals include elements like your design style, imagery, logo, fonts, colors, and patterns. If your brand’s “look and feel” is not consistent, your brand will struggle to stand out and be memorable in a crowded market.
Consistency across both messaging and brand imagery can build or break trust with your audience and jeopardize your online sales pipeline.
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Consistent marketing lays the foundation for online sales. It helps differentiate your brand making it stand out in your customers’ minds. Consistent branding also imbues your brand with a personality and an identity your audience can relate to thanks to effective messaging. Ultimately, consistent marketing helps your brand meet customer expectations and occasionally delight them while nurturing trust in your brand’s integrity. Executed effectively over time, you will find your customer loyalty surging fuelled by a posse of brand evangelists!