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It is not uncommon for a business, big or small, to need rebranding. Often companies don’t realize the importance of their brand in their early stages and neglect to develop it. Sometimes they find their marketing efforts aren’t converting prospects as expected. Barry Edwards, owner of EdwardsCom.net has helped dozens of businesses like these – large, small and in-between – find their best brand and corporate identity. Mr. Edwards discussed branding and rebranding on the Business Innovators Radio Network with host Neil Howe.
Mr. Edwards and his team help new businesses establish their online marketing presence and lead generation systems. He says that his personal “sweet spot” is helping established companies with rebranding. He cites that companies often need to experience the effects of neglectful branding efforts before they’re ready to take it seriously.
Company owners become aware of branding’s importance when they:
- Find that they are constantly competing on only price
- Feel they’re not getting a good return on their sales and marketing efforts
Both of these problems are solved by creating brand and corporate identity solutions that differentiates the product or service uniquely and to the best target audience. It isn’t marketing wizardry. It’s getting clear with your inner motivations and best intentions.
Mr. Edwards helps clients get to know themselves better. Often his clients aren’t sure what truly differentiates their business from their competition (known as their Value Proposition). This is an essential element of their corporate identity. The challenge for Mr. Edwards and his team is to draw out this important information from clients who may have lost touch with what truly drives them. It is this knowledge that helps Mr. Edwards create “a Value Proposition that speaks to their best customer and a mission statement that invigorates the company internally to do their best.”
Challenges of Today’s Web: Getting Traffic and Converting Sales
A great website is an essential element of an online marketing plan… but, it’s the content that resides there that makes a website great (or not). The content must clearly describe what you are offering and more importantly WHY you offer it.
With so much competition and noise online, our websites have just two seconds to communicate to our prospects that they are in the right place and we are worthy of a closer look. If we can win over a few more seconds of interest, we then must quickly establish credibility and trust. Successful marketing is helping businesses understand what will keep people from moving on to the competition.
A common misconception about websites is like “Field of Dreams”, if you build it, they will come. A lot of people expect that simply building a website will bring qualified traffic and with that traffic comes sales. “In reality, you have to have a dynamic website that is integrated with social media and populated with helpful and engaging content. A website without a marketing strategy driving it will get no traffic at all today. I usually kickstart my clients’ traffic with Facebook Ads and/or Google Adwords. But, these are a waste of valuable resources if you’re not engaging prospects with your best brand first,” claims Mr. Edwards.
Another popular misconception some people have is that everything on the internet is either free or really cheap. “This is why so many people fall for cheap website development schemes that end up holding them hostage in order to nickel and dime them to death from then on… and never giving them a return on the investment (ROI)” according to Mr. Edwards.
Getting Return on Your Online Marketing Investment
“Every online endeavor should start with a marketing plan that estimates when the buyer should reasonably and conservatively expect to start seeing positive ROI”, explains Mr. Edwards. “If a business owner looks at launching or revamping their online brand as an expense then it will be just that, an expense and any business person will keep those costs to a minimum. But, if you know you have a viable product or service then you should look at your online presence as an investment, and with any investment, you want to manage your risk while maximizing potential ROI.”
Choosing a Company to Help Brand Your Business
When choosing a company to help you have a successful presence on the internet, ask for a marketing roadmap. Mr. Edwards adds, “I tell clients that we should look at six months to one year out before assessing potential ROI (Return on Investment), and I map out how I propose we accomplish that. It is also important to find someone who really understands high quality branding as that is what converts their prospects into customers.”
Key branding elements Edwards Communications uses :
- Trust – Provide hooks that provoke the customer to read more about your business and view you as a leader in your niche market.
- Credibility – Use studies, customer praise, certifications and reviews to establish you as a highly credible source for the product or service you offer.
- Information – Provide the customer with information about you and/or your business or products.
- Call to Action – Use Call To Actions (CTAs) strategically to keep customers active. Make sure they have ample opportunities to click to a blog, click for more information, and most importantly, click to place an order.
Successful brand building on the internet is more than just a website, SEO and Google AdWords, it is about delivering trust, credibility, and information to develop your brand. As Mr. Edwards says, “Strong brands convert sales at the price they deserve. Strong brands are also positioned for sustained success.”
Neil Howe is a 3-time #1 Best Selling Author, host of Expert Profiles Atlanta, Business Authority Radio and The Trust Factor Podcasts, an Online Media Strategist and Publicist, avid reader and Personal Branding advocate.