Everyone loves a good story. And your company has a story to tell. You might not think it’s that interesting, but you’d be surprised. People love stories that share a journey and end in a place where they can relate.
Branding and messaging tell your story: who you are – what you do – why you do it – where you do it – who you do it for.
Most people think branding is solely the graphical part – your logo and colors — but branding is really telling your story and using words and images to communicate it to your customers and potential customers.
Branding and messaging are woven into every page of your website, email newsletters, and social media posts. It’s telling your story. The foundation for branding and messaging is figuring out who you are and what’s unique about what you create.
Here are aspects of branding and messaging:
Your Company Story is foundational to your messaging and branding. When you’ve nailed down your story, you will communicate this through your domain name, logo, social media posts – everything. You want everything to continue your story.
Your Company Story will be used on your website’s About Us page. Write it long as you’d like and include older photos if you have some that would help tell your history.
The social media platforms have different names for Company Description and you can use your Company Story in a shortened version. Here are the different lengths on social media platforms:
Instagram: bio – 150 characters
Facebook: page description – 255 characters, additional info – 50K characters
LinkedIn: company update – 700 characters
You can pull the essence of your Company Story to write your Company Description.
Usually, customers aren’t super inspired by your Mission but it can inspire you and your team to do the work you were called to in a manner you want to do it. You can post it on your website and print it out on a post for your office or workshop to inspire your team.
Core values can inspire customers with how you do business. Values are your promise to them.
Ramblin’ Jackson, a Colorado Internet marketing agency, does an excellent job with its core values. I especially like the one, “Be Human & Pick Up the Damn Phone.”
I think five or six Core Values are a good number. You can expand upon them on your About Us page so visitors can understand more about you.
How would you briefly describe your business if you had 20 seconds with a person? A good Elevator Speech cuts away extraneous words and gets to the essence of your company with a conversational tone. You don’t want to sound too canned.
When done well, a Tagline instantly communicates who you are and what you do. It’s communicated as a short phrase without punctuation. Some people like to include it with their logo.
Have you ever thought about changing the name of your company? Sometimes names can be too generic, become outdated, or be difficult to communicate. If you are too invested in the name or your brand is well known, changing your name might not be a great idea. But changing the name of your company might be a good idea if your current one isn’t a good fit for what you do or hinders the effectiveness of your business.
Domain Names can be tricky. People have been buying domain names for years and trying to resell them for big profits. It isn’t easy getting a short domain name with popular terms. But there are ways to get a good Domain Name by making it a phrase or using one of the many new extensions that have been added in recent years.
Here are some of my principles for domain names:
- Make it as short as you can
- Make it memorable
- Avoid dashes
- Make it easy to say over the phone
- Use .com if you can
- Don’t be afraid to use a phrase instead of your company’s actual name
We know hashtags can be a big deal on social media for people to be able to find your business. Have a good set of hashtags
There was a study that said 1-10 hashtags on a post got the most interactions so don’t feel you have to stuff your social media posts with hashtags. Some people spend too much time creating a ton of hashtags that will never be searched.
Create a list of hashtags you think would be good to use in your social media interactions. One of them should be your company name and also your specific industry. Kicksta is a paid service that can help you generate hashtags: https://kicksta.co/
Some people want to start their branding with the logo and then go from there. But as I’ve thought about it, I think it makes more sense to start with your Company Story and then have everything else flow from that.
Do you really want your logo to look like everyone else’s logo? Probably not. I work in the wood industry, and many companies have saw blades in their logo.
Think about what you want to have on your website, profile picture on social media, printed on a t-shirt, or even emblazoned on your truck.
I recently worked on two different websites. One company had a logo that was professionally created. It was well done and even came with a branding document with the color values and how to use and not use the logo.
The other company looked like they found a piece of clip art and then used an outdated typeface. Plus, you could barely read their name on it.
This is where I recommend you work with a professional graphic designer to design a logo for you. The prices for this can range wildly but the money is well spent.
If you have very little budget, you can have a logo designed on Fiverr.com or 99designs.com. I’ve used both to create some good designs. If you have some money to invest, then hiring a local graphic designer can get you a very good logo.
In conclusion, your messaging and branding are fluid things. You can keep iterating all portions of your messaging and branding. You aren’t stuck with one Tagline or one Elevator Speech. Keep working on things as you move along to be able to communicate your message and your story in a way that moves people to action.
If you’d like to start the process of developing your branding and marketing, get in touch with us.