Every business wants to sell more. That’s how they make a living, isn’t it? If you have the determination and motivation, but lack some techniques necessary to up your sales game, this article is for you!
Read on and I’ll show you how branding can help you drive sales!
What is branding?
In the context of sales, branding is the art of making promises and then delivering them with your products or services. Take Apple for example. In its ads, the company promises luxurious, functional and beautifully designed devices. Does it deliver? Ask the people setting tents in front of Apple stores a week before new product release. How about Coca-Cola? It promises refreshment and great taste and, well, who doesn’t like cracking open an ice cold bottle of coke on a hot day?
Branding should be present at every stage of the sales funnel, from initial awareness to the purchase. It all needs to click and be consistent.
If you don’t know how to create a branding campaign, have a look at my post dedicated to this topic.
The stages of a successful branding campaign
Successful branding largely reflects the sales funnel. And what’s that? It’s the journey your customers make from getting to know your brand to finalizing a purchase. You need to be aware of how your branding affects your sales funnel in order to truly drive your sales!
You want to eat out on a Friday night. You do some research and end up finding several nice spots.
Okay, now you’ve got to check them out. You look up their social media, read customer reviews and articles from food bloggers.
Now you’ve got to pick the ONE! How do you do it? How do you choose between five tex-mex restaurants? What it comes down to is a subconscious decision. It stems from all the components of branding that you encounter during your research. Social media communication, content, reviews, graphics, web design, logo, name, story – it goes so much further than just a menu. The most polished and consistent business will win!
You go to the restaurant you’ve picked and have a meal. But are you satisfied? All these branding components that you encountered before making a decision have created some expectations.
Whether or not a customer will stay with you depends on whether or not you managed to fulfill his or her expectations with your product or service. All the four stages above are simply build-ups that are meant to convince people to choose you and not a different company. But they need to be satisfied and have a great experience if they are to stay. Imagine finally visiting a restaurant after seeing it on social media, reading reviews and finally choosing it as your spot for that Friday night out only to find out that their customer service is horrible or the food wasn’t as good as that one blogger praised it to be. Customer satisfaction is all about making sure the expectations you, as a business created, are met. In this way, branding can help you drive sales, but you need to make sure that the product is consistent with your message.
Set yourself apart from the competition
Let’s imagine you want to order some flowers to be delivered to your loved one on some special day. There are two online shops offering this service in your nearby area. The website of the first one is messy, it has stretched graphics, uses WordArt and a mix of Comic Sans with Times New Roman. When browsing from mobile, you have to zoom in scroll sideways. And to add insult to injury, they don’t have a phone number or an email – just a contact form! The second business has nice, professional pictures, clear colors, nice looking fonts and a real-time tracking service for your order. They provide all contact information, along with the address of their shop should you want to pop in. They also run a lovely photo blog where they share pictures of flowers – what a delight!
Who are you more likely to choose to purchase from? A business that looks outdated and unreliable or a modern-looking flower shop that uses technological advances to make your experience better and doesn’t shy away from showcasing their passion? Even if the prices in the second shop were a bit higher, people would most likely be ready to pay for a reliable service done by a company that looks professional.
Web design is also a part of branding. And in today’s world where everything is done online, it’s one of the most important! A website can make or break the good first impression.
Branding, however, does not only allow you to set your business apart from its competition in order to drive sales. It also offers a platform for you to showcase exactly the things that make you so special! Blog posts, videos, social media – use them!
Don’t know where to get started with designing a beautiful and functional website? Check out my step-by-step guide!
Find your niche
They say a hundred of loyal and regularly paying customers are better than a thousand of people who buy from you once and quickly forget about you. This hundred of people can be targeted with content and discounts that you know will resonate with their needs.
Have a look at Savvy Musician Academy – it’s a perfect example of that quality vs quantity notion. Leah McHenry, the founder of the Academy is a recording artist who specializes in Celtic metal music. Sounds oddly specific? Well, what if I told you that she makes six figures as an independent musician? How? She mastered the techniques of niche marketing and adapted her branding strategy to appeal to her target audience. The group of people enjoying Celtic metal music might be small, but Leah found a way to approach them in a way that ensures steady sales.
Leah’s success story is a great lesson in branding. You don’t need vast audiences or an email list consisting of thousands of leads. Using branding to drive your sales is all about making the most out of the customers you’ve got and making sure that you are responding to their needs at every stage.
If you want to read more about finding a niche and why it’s good for your business to have a small number of faithful customers, go to my blog post here.
Consistent branding message will help you drive sales
Let’s have a look at Leah’s branding. From the very first second you open her website, you are instantly hit with what makes Leah so appealing to her fans. Everything simply clicks. From the banner photography on her website, the choice of colors and fonts, her social media, merchandise and social media to her ‘fan-servicing’ and music videos – it all creates a very promising image that entices people to buy her music. She has a private Facebook group, she makes custom essential oils, she asks questions and replies to comments. To put it simply – she engages her fanbase in various ways across various channels and does it in a consistent way. That makes her branding look like a work of a single person with a clear and defined purpose, which is exactly what makes her believable!
Preparing content for a sales funnel
Your sales funnel and your branding go hand in hand. You need to contact your leads, prospects and customers at every stage of the sales funnel. For that purpose, you need content that falls into your brand guidelines. Whether these are emails, blog posts, discount codes or e-books – they can seriously raise your trustworthiness as a business and solidify your position as both an expert in the field and the best available option.
But what type of content is the best for each stage of the sales funnel?
At this stage, a person has just learned about your offer or business. It’s most likely because they are researching the possible options to solve a problem they have. At this moment you need to strike them with how professional and knowledgeable you are in your subject matter. Downloadable e-books or free webinars would be the best option at this stage.
Once a person expressed some interest in your business, for example by signing up to your email list, you can target them in a more focused and specific way. They are still not ready to make a purchase so you need to keep educating them about your business and your offer. Free product webinars, case studies or demonstrations are great at pushing your relationship with your leads further and finally turning them into prospects!
At this stage, a person is ready to purchase, but they are still deciding who to buy from. This is where you can get creative with convincing your prospects to become customers. How about a discount code at the end of a Landing Page or in exchange for watching a product demonstration video? This is the stage where car dealers offer trial drives – think of what can be your trial drive!
So the person picked your business! Congratulations! But what now? How do you make sure that all the hard work you’ve done in turning the person into a lead, then a prospect and finally a customer won’t be in vain?
You need to nurture the people with branded content at all times! At the final stage, you need to make sure that you leave a good taste in your customer’s mouth. Nicely written and personalized thank you/confirmation emails are definitely a nice touch. So are blog posts or videos with instructions, guidelines or ideas on how to use the product they just bought.
You should do branding. It consolidates every aspect of your business and organizes it into a coherent entity. And what is more, as you’ve probably learned from this article, it can help you drive sales!
Let’s recap what you’ve learned:
- Branding is an art of making expectations and fulfilling them,
- A successful branding campaign reflects a sales funnel in a way it should go from initial awareness to the decision to purchase,
- Branding allows you to stand out from the competition, not only with your design, but also with the platform to showcase what makes you special,
- Finding a niche and a faithful audience or customer base within it is much more valuable than catering to everyone,
- You need to be consistent across all your channels of communication. In this way, you will look reliable and professional,
- Use branded content in all stages of the sales funnel!