When trying to create a successful business, it is important to humanize yourself. In order to engage with your clients, you need to establish a personality for your business as it is reflected in your marketing methods. At its most basic level, marketing is a way of having a conversation with your client to convince them that your services are the best amongst everyone else.
The internet and particularly social media, is a canvas for your brand’s personality. The language you use; the content you put out and how responsive you are to inquiries; all set the grounds for how your customers will perceive the business.
Irrespective of whether you intend to or not, your customer will form a judgement; a judgment which will serve as the defining factor of future interactions. Since it is only inevitable that the customer imposes a personality to your business, you might as well decide what they see on the outside.
As long as you are agreeable, witty and helpful, your customers will think highly of you. If you fail to shape your online presence in any other way, the customer will turn away. Although it may not be as simple; a brand persona is a reflection of the business’s goals, expertise and the like. For online stores, since most of the interaction takes place virtually; it is immensely important that they develop online personas according to their requirements.
These requirements are determined by what they see as an end goal for the business, their current goals and how they intend to react to their customer’s needs. When trying to develop an image for yourself it is always important to keep certain things in mind. These are:
When working with social media, your activity plays an integral role in how others see you. The type of posts a person makes; can have them seem witty, funny, vain or sad. The same holds true for a business. Content is the foundation of customer-business interactions.
Depending upon the market you serve, the content you produce will set you apart as an expert or a reliable seller of a service/good. Businesses working in technical fields can hardly post memes as methods of attracting clientele. Similarly, a graphics designer cannot write long blogs on the technicalities of the color gamut. These are potential ways of representing yourself, but these do not fit well with the dynamics you are working with.
When creating content, it pays to keep in mind the people you are trying to engage with. Think of it in terms of the social development for any individual. Your mannerisms or the way you speak is determined to a very large extent by the environment you grew up in. Your business should develop a personality along the same lines. As an LCD manufacturer you ought to write about the technicalities of display because the people you speak to are interested in these things. For you to seem like a natural part of that community, you need to seem like you are a product of the community.
Presenting yourself through your content in such a way will reflect an expertise and understanding of market requirements. These market requirements will either need you to be austere and detail oriented or goofy and fun loving. Either way, if you can align your content with the conversation within existing consumer bases; you will seamlessly connect with your clients.
A professional has a certain way of speaking. Those who have worked in an industry will understand the “slang” of that field. It is a social fact that communities form their own ways of speaking, native speakers say things in certain ways. This involves a deep understanding of social/commercial contexts that enable the use of phrases figuratively or literally.
The way that a business speaks through its social media, not only what it speaks of, goes a long way in helping it establish its place. When thinking of a software developer, you cannot imagine him having a natural conversation with a chef about software development. Such a conversation would be halting, confusing and filled with awkward silences.
The eloquence with which you can interact with your customers is if you speak a certain way. Using an appropriate form of language when posting content or talking to your clients goes a long way in helping them feel comfortable working with you. The words that you use and in the way that you use them help in establishing effective communication and a sense of reliability.
The Visual Design
Using bright and colorful schemes may seem alright for an Ecommerce platform near Christmas, but does not work for a physical therapist. It is evident that a therapist does not need to make sales on Christmas day. The Ecommerce store will not present diagrammatic representations of products to their clients. They do not have to convince their clients of their knowledge and skill.
The ways in which each creates visuals is not important, what’s important is why they have to produce a certain type of visual design. A physical therapist will only get clients if they can prove themselves to be reliable and skilful in healing them. Similarly an Ecommerce store will get clients if they produce vivid and engaging content.
The differences in the determinants of their consumer base will automatically reflect in the visual designs they make. The physiotherapist would be well served presenting diagrammatic representations of the human body while the Ecommerce store would attract more clients with vibrant color schemes. Notice how the intention of each type of business generates a certain type of visual design.
The color schemes are just one aspect of the design; this includes all possible visual content the business creates. The presence of numbers, graphs, the way in which pictures are placed or the web page design are all parts of visual design. Think of it like this, if you business is the person; the visual design are the clothes it wears. The question is would you think an engineer in a clown’s costume on the job is serious enough to get the job done?
Communication with the Customer
At the end of the day a business exists to serve the people. In order to do that, there must be an effective communications channel to facilitate the process. This does not imply that there exists a right way of speaking to your customers. It is impossible that a uniform way of communicating with clients holds across an entire industry.
There are multiple ways of saying the same things. KFC can either simply say that they sell fried chicken or they could say its “finger lickin’ good”. In this comparison certain things are clear, first; KFC does not speak of the chicken, itself it considers quality over all else. Secondly; this does not restrict KFC to just fried chicken. They can use this to expand into fast food without having to make much change in the overall branding.
This would explain how KFC thinks about the brand in the larger picture. For one thing it is evident that they always sought to expand into other food besides chicken. For another they had the foresight to include that in their initial branding. Notice how through just one example of branding, there are many things you could determine about the business itself.
Those who seek to work with the business as customers or as partners can pick out these small detail that convince them of the reliability. The brand persona as it is presented through these various activities can determine the commercial and the service value for the business.
Why is a brand persona important?
Till this point we have described what the some components of a business persona are. While this describes the persona, it does not explain it.
The brand persona is the representation of your business to your clientele. It is reflected in the coordination of activities on multiple digital channels. The coordination that we refer to comes about as a result of the end goals you have in mind for the business. Much like humans, most businesses always coordinate their activities in pursuit of their goals. When your business acts in that manner, a pattern is identified that holistically describes the business itself.
These activities take form of the ways in which you represent yourself to customers. The aforementioned aspects of the brand persona can take any form. Yet these components are a mirror what goes on behind the computer screen. When customers interact with this representation of the business, they are really getting to know who they are working with.
A good brand persona will accurately describe how you intend to serve your customers. As such, it is a core component of the marketing technique. Understanding this can be tricky, but it is also essentially that you appreciate the meaning of the statement. Although marketing is a component of the brand persona, the creation of the brand persona is a marketing method in itself. When customers are presented with a consistent story about who the business is, they are more likely to work with it. Inconsistencies within the narrative you present to your customers will likely make them think you are scamming them.
In a time when an increasing number of businesses are moving towards online market places, this takes even greater importance. The online market place is made of many businesses that are selling the same things. They differentiate themselves on the basis of the quality or efficiency with which they serve their customers. These characteristics are defined through marketing schemes; however just saying that you will deliver a service is not enough.
In a market place where people are selling identical goods, whoever is the most appropriately dressed is going to succeed. The average internet user can come across multiple advertisements for the same service, however only one out of the many may succeed in a sale. This one advertisement will have engaged the user enough to convince them to buy the service. That can only happen, if the seller can come up with a convincing story. A story of the business as it is told by the business itself through its social media persona.
Creating such a story requires a deep understanding of a business itself. Good marketers do not just know what the business is, they understand the entirety of its personality. With this understanding, they can help organizations navigate their way through the business environment.
When marketing through social media, there are going to be multiple stimuli that the business will react to. Consistent activity across multiple social media marketing platforms is essential for a business; so it may retain its relevance. It is possibly the best way to remain engaged with the largest number of people possible.
While anyone can say that social media activity is essential, it is very difficult to prescribe what type of activity. To remain engaged in relevant conversations, such that you can maintain your relevance requires a view of the world. This world view will situate any events that you come across in a way that you can react to them appropriately. This view may very well be your own, but for the customers, it is the view of your organization as a whole as well. Above all else it needs to be an honest point of view. For you to develop that, you need to decide who your business is. For your core business functions to work effectively; you will need to develop a brand persona.
Devebyte is a premium marketing agency in Edmonton, Alberta. Our services include web development, social media marketing and search engine optimization. Call Devebyte now for more information or to schedule an appointment with our digital marketing experts today.