• Brian Fleming

Building your brand: Execution Channels

Part 11 in our series on building your small business brand.


Following up on last week's post about creating a brand execution strategy, I’d give you a brief overview of some of the many tools at your disposal for executing your brand. I’ll also list some of the things involved in creating each execution.


Website


You all know what a website is, at least technically. But do you know what it’s purpose is?


A website is a complex communications channel that serves a lot of functions from establishing a brand image to informing, convincing and converting customers to serving those customers. It can be an expensive business card or a sales tool or a check-out counter.


What it is and what it’s purpose is, is determined by your strategy, in particular your customer acquisition strategy and sales funnel.


But regardless of the purpose, without a website, customers have no way of finding, or finding out about, a brand. So, at the very least, a website is a brand’s online home and central to all its online activities.


Creating a website includes:

  • Strategy

  • Structure

  • U/X

  • Design

  • Copywriting

  • Images

  • Videos

  • Development

To create a website, you need to:

  • Create the site strategy and concept

  • Structure the site’s content, including headlines, sub-headlines, CTA’s, opt-ins, etc.

  • Develop the site’s look,

  • Write all content

  • Select images

  • If relevant, create videos for the site

  • And, of course, design your site using either a WordPress template or a design-your-own website builder such as Wix, Squarespace, or, for more complex sites, coding it yourself


Landing Page


A landing page is a single-purpose website that targets a specific audience that you drive there with a campaign, with the aim of converting that audience and analyzing your traffic.


To create a landing page, you’ll need all the same elements as you do for a website, particularly the strategy.


Each campaign should have its own landing page.


Mobile App


Everyone knows what a mobile app is. And with most people accessing the internet via mobile phone, a mobile app is yet another opportunity for a brand to communicate with its audience. It’s also a way to provide extra convenience, additional services, engagement or entertainment and an overall seamless experience.


Creating a mobile app includes:

  • Structure

  • Design

  • Content

  • Development

  • Launching app

To create the app, you need to:

  • Develop the concept and structure of the app

  • Create the design of the app

  • Write all content, including app store descriptions

  • Work with app developers to develop the app


Social Media


Roughly 75% of internet users are on social media. With social media profiles serving as an extension of the brand, this makes is an invaluable tool in spreading a brand’s message.


Profiles can be used to run social media campaigns, solicit earned content from customers, communicate with customers, gain market intelligence, disseminate content, create a following, promote the brand or its products and more.


Creating and managing your profiles involves:

  • Writing all descriptions

  • Selecting images and videos

  • Creating groups and being active in them

  • Regularly posting content and replies

  • Running challenges

  • And more


Print Material


Even in the digital world, print material still carries weight. Literally. It’s something customers can keep with them, or that sales reps can leave behind.


Print collateral includes:

  • Print advertising

  • Brochures

  • Pamphlets

  • Fliers

  • Posters

  • Displays

  • And so forth


Creating marketing collateral includes:

  • Design

  • Layout

  • Copywriting

  • Paper selection

  • Print production

To create your print material, you’ll need to prepare the design, layout and content of relevant print collateral, as well as select paper and prepare the material for print production.


Online Content


You created your content strategy, now you need the content.


Content creation refers to regularly and consistently creating the content as determined by your content strategy. The most important words here are “regularly” and “consistently”. That’s where most content strategies fail.


Content can include:

  • Blog posts

  • E-books

  • White papers

  • PDFs

  • Infographics

  • Videos

  • Tutorials

  • Webinars

  • Video sales letter

  • Podcasts

  • Emails

  • Email newsletter


Email Campaigns


Email marketing refers to delivering your brand message to a mailing list via email.

This includes welcome emails, ads, promotions, etc.


Email marketing allows you to easily segment and reach target customers at minimal cost and helps build customer loyalty, trust and brand recognition.


Creating an email campaign includes, as relevant:

  • Strategy

  • Segmentation

  • Design

  • Copywriting

  • Images

  • Analysis


Paid Ads


As I already mentioned, paid ads can appear in Google searches, on banners, on Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn feeds, as well as on TV and radio.


Regardless of the channel, though, creating paid campaigns, includes:

  • Planning

  • Copywriting

  • Design

  • Production

  • Delivery

  • Testing

  • Analysis

  • Optimization


Wrap-up


Ok, that’s it our series on how to build your small business brand. I hope these posts have helped you understand that branding is what will separate your startup or small business and set it up for long-term success.


I also hope you’ve learned what it means to build a brand, what steps are involved and how to develop a brand strategy that will bring clarity and direction to your business and keep it on course over the long run.


Finally, I hope this course has put you on the road to creating a sharply-focused, fully-formed, strategically-built brand that you’re now ready to unleash on the world according to the strategy you’ve developed here in the course.


I know, there’s a lot involved when it comes to brand building, especially for a small business, and it may seem overwhelming, but trust me, the long-term benefits are worth all the time, effort and cost.


Remember, the key to successful branding and marketing is delivering a clear and consistent message and staying true to your brand throughout each step and across all channels. To make sure you do, refer back to the strategy you’ve developed and amend it as your products or services evolve and you learn more about your target customers. Like all strategies, you need to leave room for flexibility in your plan to accommodate new knowledge and changing circumstances.

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