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If there is one thing I've learned from my years of helping brands tell their story it's that successful businesses struggle to survive if they don't have a strong branding strategy. Building a strong branding strategy takes time, resources, and commitment. Many executives can get stuck completing the branding strategy. This article will answer the question of what branding is and how it can help your business.

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It's important to keep in mind that the process of developing the marketing plan is just as important as the plan itself. The time spent analyzing, strategizing, collaborating, to building consensus is a valuable part of the process. Most marketing plans can be completed within 8-12 weeks depending upon the complexity of the plan, goals, budget, and staff. To kick off your marketing plan development, start with these six key steps.

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white tablet computer on top of newspaper Photo by Matthew Guay on Unsplash

Headlines are the foundation of your website content. Someone will see it first before they see anything. If you don't have a strong headline, the rest of your content will not be read. People spend 45 to 55 seconds on average on websites. You want the headline to have impact, and you want your customers to read the rest of it.


1. Determine the target market.

white and multicolored target board on green field Photo by Mihai Lazăr on Unsplash

Who is your customer? Age group? What are they looking for and what is the first message you want to convey or the first question you want to answer? It is always important to know your customers and determine what they are looking for. This will help you put the words together to find the solution/needs for them.

2. Show your customer benefit. (What does your customer obtain?)

man in black framed sunglasses holding fan of white and gray striped cards Photo by Shane on Unsplash

The headline has to meet or fulfill your customer needs or wants. For example, if you are consulting for a client who wants to be in digital marketing, you can say things like, "Let's gain digital marketing knowledge and do what you love for a living."

3. Show your customer simplicity. (Easy steps)

silver iMac and Magic keyboard on white surface Photo by T. Q. on Unsplash

Show your customers that your products or services do not require any special techniques or challenges. You can say things like, "Online program for the digital marketing beginner in only 10 min a day."

4. Authoritative headline.

silver iphone 6 on brown wooden table Photo by Obi Onyeador on Unsplash Mention that your service/products are qualified to do the work or meet the customers' needs. If offering a free trial course, you can say things like, "One-week easy complementary session conducted by XXXX - Wall Street Journal Best-Selling Author."

5. Social proof.

10 and one 10 us dollar bill Photo by Jason Leung on Unsplash Social proof is the idea that your customers will adapt their behavior according to what other people are doing. For example, by mentioning the specific numbers who registered:14,998 people enrolled in the digital marketing course and found the way to do what you love for a living.

6. User feedback.

We like you too quotes on wall Photo by Adam Jang on Unsplash

Take some content from a customer's testimonial. You can take partial text, such as, "I attended the free digital marketing class and gained over $50K/month sales." Ask feedback. It is good to hear feedback anyway.

You do not need to adapt all of the 6 tips.

silhouette of road signage during golden hour Photo by Javier Allegue Barros on Unsplash You can consider 3C* analysis, think through the customer's desire and select and, or combine the idea.Why is the headline so important? The 80/20 rule of headlines. On average, 8 out of 10 people read headline copy but only 2 out of 10 will read the rest. This shows that the power of a headline is an important element of your content and why it is so effective for the rest of the content.

*Appendix

The 3C analysis business model suggests a business focuses on three key factors for success: Company, Customer, and Competitor. This analysis helps to create a marketing strategy to gain prospective customers by viewing the competitors with marketing insight. Looking at their weakness and/or advantages, and validating the company's products/services with fair eyes and creating marketing communications.

You are the expert on your brand. You know it best, inside and out. So, then why do I need a branding expert? Because there is a difference between knowing your brand and your brand's branding. HUGE. DIFFERENCE. So, while most brand designers will ask you questions and guide you on the brand strategy path, here are four tips to make the most out of your sessions.

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A lack of driving innovation puts any organization at risk of failure. Xerox is a great example. They were first to invent the PC a decade before mass-market GUI machines became available. Unfortunately, management thought going digital would be too expensive and wouldn't be able to replace the Xerox copy machines so they didn't explore the opportunity further.

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Spending on brand strategy can seem like a big investment at the time, especially versus hiring someone on an app like Upwork or Fiverr to create a $20 logo for you. But in most cases, a cheap logo will be just that, a cheap logo.

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As a marketer, it is important to connect your work to business results. When you do, you will have influence, relevance, and credibility throughout the organization.

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