I generally have random conversations around Marketing with my friends, colleagues, and even my community on social media. So this post is inspired by one of such conversations I had this week. One of my Facebook friends reached out to me regarding his new passion project of educating video enthusiasts and newbies on the techniques of video creation. He had started creating video lessons on the basics of tools like Adobe Premiere Pro and wanted to reach individuals who were interested in them.
Before I could even understand what his goals were, he wanted to know how he can monetize the whole thing and grow to a huge subscriber base asap. That is the beauty of marketing - everything has to happen fast. Thanks to those growth hacking superheroes and ad gurus. So this conversation got me thinking - What are the baby steps every brand or marketer should start with if they want to achieve whatever they are after?
Here are the baby steps I believe every brand owner or marketer MUST take for building their brand:
Set Your Goals
Every brand or marketer needs to start their journey of building their brand from here - Goals. The goals are the best starting point for preparing your strategy and tactics associated with it. As a brand owner or marketer, you need to know what you are trying to achieve with your brand. These goals may be the leads to be generated, reach to be built, community to be aimed for, or even influencers you may want to connect with.
Goal setting is the best starting point or the best baby step you can start with. I do not want to pivot this post into one on goal setting but the best traits of a good goal are that it has to be S.M.A.R.T. What does S.M.A.R.T stand for? Your goal should be Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-based.
Identify Your Target Audience
No brand or marketer can succeed without a real understanding of their target audience. This is one of the areas where almost every brand marketer falls short. Nobody wants to invest time or do not have the patience to study their audience. Without knowing your audience, their goals, and their challenges, you cannot sell or even attempt to be of their use.
This baby step has the potential of changing your whole game. By getting a grasp on your target audience's preferences and struggles, you can develop your whole strategy around them. The best exercise to get this done is via a "Buyer Persona Exercise". The simplest tool for completing this exercise is here.
Set Your Digital Properties
Digital properties are a vital piece in every brand's marketing strategy and plan. These include the website, blog, social media channels, and other community platforms. Without these in place, marketers cannot execute their plans and build an audience easily. It is the ideal starting place for every brand to begin with.
So, build a good website, identify the right social media channels, build your brand accounts on those, and you are good to go. The content on your website and the social media channels should be aligned with the preferences of your audience. Your buyer persona exercise will provide the right answers.
Prepare Your Content Calendar
One cannot expect a long trail of website visitors or a huge social media following as soon as they launch. Every brand and marketer needs to invest time in preparing the right content before all that could happen. So the next baby step a marketer can take is getting their content calendar ready. A content calendar will help you map out all the different types of content, their formats, and their frequency.
Your content calendar will help you stay on track with the preparation of the right artifacts for your audience. Your calendar should include all the types of content which are based on your audience's preferences. This will help you stay on top of your content marketing once your efforts scale up.
Get Your Social Media Calendar Ready
You can prepare all the awesome content possible, but unless it is propagated to your audience, it will not bring any results. And social media is one of the best places to share your content for your audience to consume and engage. So our next baby step is preparing a calendar that will help you manage your social media channels well.
One of the biggest and gravest mistakes every newbie brand and marketer makes is trying content sharing on social media channels for a while and then stop. As we are all impatient individuals, the brands we are managing also turn out that way. Your social media calendar will help you plan out all your activities for a longer duration and start getting results for those efforts.
Connect & Engage With Your Audience
If you look at any of the biggest brands or even personal brands in the world, you will observe one thing in common - they engage with their audience. You don't trust me? Check out twitter profiles of Buffer or Gary Vaynerchuk and you will see what I am talking about. Do not get boggled by the millions of followers they have as they all started like us from follower number 1.
This baby step is super critical if you are planning to build a worthy and great brand. Connect with your target audience or influencers or relevant individuals on social media channels and engage with them. Social media should never be a one-way street and you should be willing to have conversations with your followers and vice versa. This will bring in huge results for you in the long run.
Build Relationships With The Influencers
If you search for the term "Influencer Marketing" using Google, you will get around 130 million search results. That shows the relevance and adoption of this marketing tactic by brands. Well, the good news is your brand can also jump onto this influencer marketing bandwagon easily. That is the reason why I have included this baby step for marketers to take.
From the initial days of your brand building, make it a point that you connect and engage with the right influencers. Leave your intentions to use them for your brand amplification for now. I know we are all selfish and greedy when it comes to Marketing. Connect and engage with only one intention - Building Relationships. These are the relationships that will come in handy for your brand at the right point of time. So keep at it.
The baby steps above are some of the overarching talking points I share during my conversations with entrepreneurs (like my friend I mentioned in the beginning) and marketers. I can give you more baby steps to take when you kickstart your journey of building your brand but I believe if you start off with these steps, you will be off to a great start.
Always remember these words from Jon Buscall - “Content Marketing is a commitment, not a campaign.”
Stay Safe; Stay Healthy!!!