Here are 3 simple steps, each one leading to the next, to begin discovering and refining your brand:
1. Know your audience.
Unless you understand who needs your services, all your content strategies, advertising, and other promotions will be random. Usually, when this happens, they will be ineffective. You have to speak to a particular audience in the language they understand. By using the words, images, and symbols they like, you will be able to appeal to their core desires. Using tools like Nielsen or Compete, you can identify the age, gender, marital status, and other details about your ideal target audience.
2. Speak directly to your audience.
Now that you have identified your audience, speak to them directly. If appropriate for your audience, you should feel free to use slang in your advertising, IT buzzwords, and even geeky jokes. Make all your messages informal and engaging, rather than corporate or condescending. You don’t want to lecture, but engage and validate. Once you’ve found a message that works, expand on it. In Geico commercials, for instance, the little gecko talks about how much you can save on car insurance and gives statistical information in his pitch. This is the language that appeals to people who want to pay as little as they can for car insurance while still getting as much value as possible. The language is geared toward budgeting and saving.
3. Test a variety of advertising channels and social media platforms.
Take a look at what other IT companies are doing and try out a few of their ideas. Some may be using content networks (Emerging IT has an interesting blog post on content marketing), some may be advertising in places where their target audience hangs out, and some may be focusing on building up their organic search results. Don’t imitate your competitors, just get ideas. As you build your brand online, test what social media performs best. It might be Facebook, or Twitter, or LinkedIn. Again, it’s all about testing. Once you’ve found your best advertising channels and social media venues, then spend most of your effort on the few that produce the highest return.
Before you begin spending any money to promote your business, develop your brand. You can do this by identifying your target audience, learning about them, and building your company image to match their core interests. When you have these elements in place, then focus on finding the best advertising strategies and the most relevant social media platforms.