Every day, you are building your brand story.
The projects you work on, the products you ship out – are all creating word of mouth attention for your business. There are so many touchpoints through which a potential customer might get their first impression of you. They might find you on Facebook, through a local “what’s on” group. Or they might Google ‘accountants near me’ and click through to your website, where they get a more complete idea of who you are and what you do.
In the good ol’ pre-pandemic days, businesses were able to further develop this relationship, with face to face meetings. But as we (yet again!) find ourselves relying more heavily on online communications, it is important that businesses find new ways to convey the warm welcome people would normally receive when they arrive at your office or shop.
Those who have already been using innovative ways to engage and connect with their customers are ahead of the curve. But for those who haven’t – it’s not too late to start!
Here are some tips for brand building in a pandemic, to help you find the most effective ways to tell your story.
Firstly – take a breath. We understand there is an urge to communicate. Send all the emails! Create all the social posts telling everyone you are still open! But make sure to take a minute and think – who do I need to reach out to first? What is the best way to reach out to these people? What are the key messages I need to convey? Brands who are reassuring and staying positive, while putting the needs of their customers – and their staff – first, will stand out.
Consider your business goals. Some of us are lucky enough to transition easily into remote working and function somewhat ‘normally.’ But others need to do a complete reassessment of their business – especially if some staff are impacted by isolation orders or caregiving responsibilities (home schooling is rough!) So your ‘pre COVID’ business goals and expectations may need to be adjusted – and so will your marketing activities, to reflect these.
Revisit your mission statement. And make sure your employees know it too. Your mission statement is your core values, goals and promise to customers – all rolled into one punchy, meaningful statement. And it’s unlikely COVID has changed this. So now is the time to come back to it. Branding is about so much more than your logo – it’s about the principles that guide your business.
Know your audience. The most important element of storytelling! Lockdowns affect everyone in different ways. So once you’ve worked out who you need to connect with – think about what they might be experiencing right now. What is important to them? What problems are they having that you can solve? Once you know this, create content that demonstrates that you understand them – and that you can help! If you position your brand as someone who they can turn to, you will build trust and convey warmth. Sometimes it’s the smaller, thoughtful things, like a handwritten note in a delivery – with some words of encouragement, or a joke of the day – that make all the difference.
Know your platforms. Once you know what you want to say, and who you need to say it to – it’s time to find your people. Which platforms do they communicate on? Sometimes Facebook is the perfect tool to reach your audience and build engagement. Other times LinkedIn makes more sense. Getting your story out there means knowing where your people are, going there yourself – and sharing your story.
If any of this doesn’t make sense, or you have more questions – please get in touch. We are here to help!
This article is featured in the September 2021 issue of Port Macquarie Focus.