Whether you are in the early stages of marketing, promoting, and advertising a new business or are about to reintroduce yourself to the world (a necessity that could be created by a variety of circumstances ranging from a great new product or service to a need to come back in a somewhat altered form from a national pandemic), a typical group of activities are usually considered:
- Advertising via online and/or print publications
- Press releases announcing your presence and/or highlighting a change
- Direct mail/e-mail to existing and/or prospective customers
- Social media postings to highlight important details and communicate news
- Special events
To reach out to the largest possible audience in a coordinated way with a consistent message and visual component, basic branding practices are key. As you embark upon your campaign, we suggest you read the following blog entries . . . and keep checking back as we post new material on topics such as: building your own ads; properly preparing artwork for various print and online media outlets; understanding the role and use of paid search and ad words as an advertising tool; etc.
When read together, the articles shown below provide a branding tutorial relevant to marketing campaigns. (By the way, we are always interested in hearing from you and will carefully consider special requests to cover specific topics; either use the form at the bottom of this page to deliver your message or send us an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.)
Important Branding Background
BEFORE YOU BEGIN YOUR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING EFFORTS, take the time to create/review a style guide that puts into writing the most basic rules that must be observed to properly build the visual elements of your new campaign.
Note: Helpful downloadable tools/templates are included.
Your marketing/advertising campaign is almost certainly going to involve a variety of multi-media components – many of which are already included on our sample Branding Activity Calendar that could also be used to coordinate the various elements you’ve incorporated into your promotional campaign. (The template we’ve provided allows you to add the specific activities associated with your effort.)
Why does branding matter when your current focus is to launch your new sales campaign? Why get distracted by the time, effort, and resources needed to make sure your advertising and marketing efforts reflect your chosen branding? This article (as well as the one below) answers that question!
Free (and Needed) Tools
These articles provide tips on finding some of the DIY (Do-It-Yourself) tools needed to build your own ads and other marketing and promotional materials.
Marketing and Promotional Activities
These pieces discuss the content and crafting of your direct mail message (including the document to be mailed/emailed) as well as the mechanics of obtaining your list and building your database of recipients.
These blog entries discuss the topics, voice, audience, format, and outlets to utilize in incorporating press releases into your marketing activities. Samples are provided.
- Press Releases as Another Opportunity for Branding
- Press Release to Introduce Ourselves as Part of National Small Business Week in May
The following articles cover various aspects of building a social media presence – from creating profiles on platforms such as Facebook and Pinterest to strategies used to identify appropriate content. As an added bonus, we provide tools helpful in promoting your social media accounts, including templates. (Last but not least, we address tools for requesting customer reviews so you won’t forget the importance of that aspect of social media.)
- The Simplest Social Media Strategy
- Get Your Business Started on Pinterest
- How to Create a Facebook Page for Your Business
- Social Media: One More Reason to Bother! (Betting on the Long Shot)
- Creating a ‘Follow Us on Social Media’ Sign in Microsoft Word
- A “Legal-Approved” Free Collection of Social Media Icons
- Creating a Review Request Sign in Microsoft Word
Worth Another Look at this Time
Branding involves far more than just creating a few recognizable visual elements. Customer Service is always at the heart of your brand. Taking a close look at this time helps identify those branding qualities that will resonate with your audience and are, therefore, worth promoting. Then, be sure to take all of the necessary steps to ensure that your customer service systems are properly tuned to support the front end of your sales efforts. Once you are successful, remember the value of repeat customers by immediately thanking them for their business.