#SchoolMe: 8 Tips On Building Brand Awareness

#SchoolMe #Branding #Music Industry Advice #Top Tips #Lisa Toner #hubspot #Industry Takeover #Leyla Ava

In just under three weeks’ time, our first free event of the year, ‘Industry Takeover: Creating A Brand That Sells’ will be opening its doors at University Square Stratford with a panel of branding experts on deck to teach you everything you need to know on the topic. So to kick things off and give you a little taster of what’s in store we share with you some top tips on how YOU can pick up the pace with your brand and start building the recognition that it deserves. It’s #schoolme time…

On January 28, in association with AIM Startups, Industry Takeover will be making its return with an informative installment on the wonderful world of branding where a panel of industry experts will be on hand to show attendees how they could be taking advantage of it. If that wasn’t enough, we’ll also be sharing a few more pointers on the matter at our Industry Takeover All Dayer which will make a welcome return on March 28 (tickets available now).

Being nine days into the New Year an all, now’s a better time than any to get the ball rolling on those businesses and projects of yours that were put on hold over the festive season. Understanding the importance of branding and learning how to fully utilize it to your advantage is the only way to pick up the pace and get things moving. So how about some advice from those who have mastered the tool and have enjoyed super success with their brands? Courtesy of Lisa Toner via hubsbot, notepads at the ready…

Lesson 1: Think Like A Publisher

“Even in today’s heavily competitive world, little can still get big. Remember that every business in the world started small. M&S began life as a market stall, and YouTube was started by two friends in a room above a pizza takeaway. Even in today’s heavily competitive world, little can still get big.” – Richard Reed, Innocent Co-Founder (Money Mag)

Innocent has really adopted the publisher model of marketing - they've published multiple recipe books which have had a huge impact on their brand growth - plus they’re not just seen as a company who want to sell a product to make money. Instead, they're seen as a company that helps people live healthier lives, and one that is socially and ethically responsible. They also maintain a popular blog on which they write valuable content that helps their readers live a healthier life, which enables them to attract and engage an audience. Additionally, 10% of Innocent’s profits go to charity, so they also use their blog to highlight important news from their foundation, and how they are making a difference in poverty-stricken countries.

Lesson 2: Find Your Tone of Voice

Find the tone of voice that works for your audience and maintain it in all of your communications. Remember, you are marketing to people, not companies, or robots. The first step to getting this right is in creating your buyer personas, and knowing what their goals and challenges are. This will tell you who your audience is and will enable you to change your tone of voice to what resonates best with them.

Lesson 3: Create Shareable Content

"It’s important to have a variety of different types of content that has the shareability factor." Lilach Bullock, Socialable Founder

Creating educational and engaging content can help you become an invaluable resource to your target audience. Giving your network exactly what they want will help you grow an organic audience who engages with your brand on your website, follows you across social, and helps your brand grow its reach by sharing your content with their friends and peers. You should always be thinking about how shareable your content is. Ask yourself: "If I read this, would I share it with my friends, colleagues, network, or family?" If the answer is no, go back to the beginning and rethink it.

Lesson 4: Experiment With Your Headlines

When you’re looking to create something that gets maximum exposure for your brand, nailing the headline is essential. At Upworthy, the curators need to come up with 25 headlines for every piece of content. They then select their favourite four, and the managing editor selects the final two to experiment with. Coming up with an attention-grabbing headline for your content will help maximise the reach of your content, and your brand.

Lesson 5: Don't Be Boring

In order to build brand awareness, your content needs to be remarkable and shareable. For that to work, you can't be doing the same thing as everyone else in your industry. Do something quirky that shows off the personality of your brand. Experiment with videos, infographics, and more visual content that can really grab attention. 90% of information transmitted to the brain is visual, and visuals are processed 60,000X faster in the brain than text. Additionally, photos on Facebook Pages receive 53% more Likes and 104% more comments than the average post.

Lesson 6: Don't Social Spam

"Social media can play a huge part in growth hacking and really build brand awareness for companies. The trick is to make sure you get the balance right between simply broadcasting and real live engagement." – Lilach Bullock, Socialable Founder

When it comes to social media, “good” is far from good enough for getting your brand messaging heard over all the noise out there. Thousands of brands are vying for the same audience’s attention. People are beaten over the head with product information, promotional offers, and branded cat memes. To stand out, your brand needs to stop fixating on best practices and do something remarkable - and the easiest and most impactful way to be remarkable on social is by having a conversation. Listen to what your fans are saying and respond to their concerns, questions, and comments.

Lesson 7: Invest a Little 

"If you can’t spend $30 per month ($1 per day on Facebook Ads), you shouldn’t be in business.” – Brian Carter (Moz Blog)

With Facebook organic reach at 6.15% and expected to decrease even further, more and more companies are investing in paid content distribution on the platform. With very targeted ad campaigns, great content, and even the smallest amount of cash to spend, companies can reach their current fans and more on Facebook.

Lesson 8: Journalists Can Make Great Content Marketers

Whether working for a traditional media outlet or in-house, a journalist's job is still the same - to figure out what makes an interesting story that people are going to want to read about. Good journalists ask questions and challenge assumptions, not just in terms of what your company does but also others in your industry. That's what produces content that people will want to read.