10 Techniques to Keep Your Brand On Message as You Grow

10 Techniques to Keep Your Brand On Message as You Grow

Ensuring your messaging and communications stay on brand as your business grows is crucial. But growth, especially rapid growth, may mean you have new staff members who are unclear on what the message is, or how to best convey it.

New clients bring with them the temptation to expand to a broader brand message that, if done haphazardly, can hurt more than help. A muddled brand message may leave your target audience feeling confused about what you represent and what you offer, and may even cost you engaged clients.

So how can you keep your messaging consistent? We asked 10 members from YEC to share their recommendations for growing brands, from creating an internal guide to talking message with every new hire. Here’s what they had to say:

1. Identify Your Strategy Versus Tactics

My best tip on growing and staying on brand is identifying strategy versus tactics for your messaging and communications. Identify your brand’s purpose, positioning and personality. After those are identified, work on the strategy and tactics for marketing. Strategy is the overarching goal that matches the brand and won’t change regularly. Tactics are the things you do that fulfill the strategy.

Kenny Nguyen, Big Fish Presentations

2. Have a Brand Champion

Every company should have someone who manages all aspects of the brand. That person can then identify the advocates who can be trusted to speak on behalf of the brand to ensure that the proper messages are being sent out. Develop an approval queue so that there are always multiple eyes that oversee all communications.

David Ciccarelli, Voices.com

3. Imagine Your Brand as a Person

You really should try to communicate your messaging with the same “voice,” or write with the same sort of attitude. I find that it helps to imagine your brand as a person: Who are they, what kind of mood are they in, and what kind of word choices do they make? I find brands grow like a character, so this can be a great way to visualize them early on.

Matt Doyle, Excel Builders

4. Create a Content Strategy Document

We have an internal content strategy document that our marketing team put together outlining our goals and everything we want to communicate through our content and brand. We also hold regular management meetings to discuss updates and changes to our company, so our staff can communicate those changes with the rest of the team. This keeps everyone on the same page and reduces any confusion.

Kelsey Meyer, Influence & Co.

5. Make Sure the Guidelines Are Up To Date

Most businesses create a visual branding guide to help with print and website design projects… and just stop there. But it’s so important to stay up to date on creating guidelines for social media platforms, emails and blog posts, for instance. This way, when you have a new team member take on a particular project within the company, it’s easy for them to stay on brand.

Nathalie Lussier, AmbitionAlly

6. Enforce Strict Guidelines

As your business reaches mass appeal, many brand managers become tempted to update their messaging and communications in a way that connects with a broader customer demographic. However, the irony here is that you alienate more people when your messaging aims to speak to a wider audience. Use strict brand guidelines to stay true to your core values, which will attract even more loyal customers.

Firas Kittaneh, Amerisleep

7. Use Your Brand as a Backbone

Use your brand story as the backbone of all your communication efforts, especially when hiring new employees. Like the game telephone, the brand messages will morph and fizzle away as emphasis lessens. When your team is on top of the brand’s purpose and core ideals, they will also be on top of all incoming and future business prospects.

Maren Hogan, Red Branch Media

8. Break Your Message Down to Its Simplest Components

To see a brand through times of growth, it is critical that you are able to describe what it is in very simple terms. If your brand message becomes complex — or worse yet, becomes corporate — your employees will have a difficult time keeping on message as their workload increases. Breaking your message down to its simplest components will give your team tools to extend the brand as you grow.

Diego Orjuela, Cables & Sensors

9. Hire People Aligned With Your Brand

Your people are an extension of your brand and will be doing a lot of the messaging and communicating for your business. Hire people who align with your brand’s attributes, values and essence. If you hire people who live and breathe your brand, being on brand will come naturally. The key is to find people who align before you hire them, not after.

Robby Berthume, Bull & Beard

10. All Onboarding Staff Should Learn Brand Messaging

As your business grows, share brand messaging and voice with new hires as part of their training. This onboarding process should be the same for all new employees, no matter their department. Also be sure to take some time to educate new members of your company about your brand and how important it is to stay unified.

Stan Garber, Scout RFP

Using the Internet to Grow Your Brand and Reach 24/7

 

When the topic of brand exposure and reach come up, blogging and content creation are two of them most common responses. Once you integrates any form of content creation and marketing into your business, your branding and viral reach truly come into play. This is even more true if you put in the time, work and effort throw social media and advanced demographic targeting into the mix. If you don’t currently have a blog representing your personal brand or business, be sure to check out this how to start a blog guide. It takes less than ten minutes to setup and will make for a world of a difference in the longterm reach and branding for your business.

If you enjoyed this expert round up, I recommend you also take a look at some of our previous expert discussions on the power of chatbots, strategies to grow your Facebook marketing and also recommendations on the best tools for growing buzz around your brand.

14 Smart Techniques to Reduce Shopping Cart Abandonment

14 Smart Techniques to Reduce Shopping Cart Abandonment

Losing a customer late in the shopping cycle can be frustrating. Customers have gone through the full call-to-action process, filled their carts and are all set to check out, and then they vanish, leaving you asking yourself what went wrong.

Is there confusion about next steps? Did something on the page spook them? Did they lack confidence in the site’s security, or did they feel like you were asking for too much information?

To find out, 14 members from YEC share how to decrease online shopping cart abandonment late in the purchase cycle. Here’s what they had to say:

1. Set Shopper Expectations Early in the Purchase Cycle

A shopper cares about what they are buying, how much they are spending, how long it’ll take to get the product, how safe they are and what information they need to disclose. Make the process as frictionless and informative as possible. For example, don’t surprise them with shipping costs, out-of-stock items and forced account creation late in the process. It dramatically increases abandonment.

Erik Bullen, MageMail

2. Focus on Performance

Slow shopping carts lead to cart abandonment, and that goes double for mobile. Before you start split testing and tweaking your shopping cart experience, get the fundamentals right: Make sure the back-end and front-end performance is where it should be.

Justin Blanchard, ServerMania Inc.

3. Use Social Sign-Ons

Registration is a valuable source of data for e-commerce retailers, but the registration process is a major cause of abandoned shopping carts. No one likes being asked to fill out forms, especially on mobile. Social sign-in services like Facebook Login allow users to steam through the registration process and provides retailers with a valid identity and useful data.

Vik Patel, Future Hosting

4. Look Professional

Would you buy (insert any name) product/service from someone who looked like they had just crawled out of a sewer? Likewise, I’ve personally bailed on many websites because their checkout forms or processes just looked sketchy, which raised questions about security and reliability, etc. So if you want to close sales, your checkout form has to instill confidence, and looks play an important part in doing that.

Nicolas Gremion, Free-eBooks.net

5. Clearly Communicate Shipping Costs

People abandon their carts when there are surprises. One surprise commonly found in shopping carts? Unexpected shipping costs. Amazon does an extraordinary job of clearly communicating shipping costs throughout the customer shopping experience. E-commerce store owners should take note, and attempt to show customers what their final cost will be before reaching a cart page.

Brett Farmiloe, Markitors

6. Use Cart Abandonment Popup and Recovery Emails

A cart abandonment popup, combined with a recovery email system, can significantly reduce your shopping cart abandonment late in the purchase cycle. This technique is proven to work and can significantly add to the bottom line of any e-commerce business. We use it on all of our e-commerce properties.

Syed Balkhi, OptinMonster

7. Have an Autofill Form

People hate re-entering their information, so having an autofill form for them helps keep them there to finish. Integrate with Google and other technology so you can opt for that type of information storage and auto-entry when they are a new customer.

Angela Ruth, Due

8. Don’t Offer a Coupon Field

We have found that a lot of our cart abandonments happen because customers go looking for coupons. This was a result of us prominently displaying a coupon field in our checkout. Because our customers realized that there must be a coupon in existence, they dropped their carts in search of coupons online. As soon as we removed our coupon field (and coupons altogether) we saw a drop in abandonments.

Diego Orjuela, Cables & Sensors

9. Have a Live Chat to Answer Immediate Questions

If a customer is on the cart page and sees something they have a question about, such as higher prices or shipping, they will likely be frustrated. If there is a live chat customer service agent available to answer their questions, they are much more likely to complete the checkout. There is a reason retail stores have people there to help you. Why should an online store be any different?

Scott Kacmarski, Reps Direct

10. Don’t Ask for Too Much Information

While more information is always nicer to have than less, it’s not always worth the risk of losing customers. Adding unnecessary form fields in the final moments of checkout is a great way to make a customer stop and think about what they’re doing or second-guess handing their information to you. Take only what information you need and explain why you need it.

Andrew Saladino, Kitchen Cabinet Kings

11. Address Areas of Concern

Add some promise details to ensure customers feel comfortable with the purchase. This can be elements like your return policy, a badge stating you have a secure site, price guarantees, etc. Addressing potential areas of hesitation will help the user feel confident with the order, especially if they have never worked with you previously.

Travis Nagle, Stem

12. Streamline Your Checkout Process

Your checkout page should be just that: one page with only the necessary form fields. For physical storefronts, the age-old business practice was to make paying the easiest part of the shopping process — customers should be able to pay quickly and without a hint of a hindrance. Online shopping should be equally streamlined, as people should be able to make a purchase with as little effort as possible.

Bryce Welker, Crush The CPA Exam

13. Offer Multiple Payment Options

It is important to offer multiple payment options so that your customers have the flexibility of choosing how they pay. Offering multiple payment options minimizes a key reason a customer will abandon their online shopping cart. A single pay option will not only turn off customers but push them toward the competition. Customers are less inclined to make a purchase when they have limited options.

Jordan Edelson, Appetizer Mobile LLC

14. Don’t Force Commitment

Allow the shopper to edit the shopping bag or cart as much as they like until they’re officially ready to check out. A favorite online shoe retailer of mine actually allows online shoppers to “save” their shopping bag for later, in case shoppers have to leave the site. It’s exclusive to shoppers that are logged in, and when something in your bag is in limited supply, you receive a notification.

Cody McLain, SupportNinja

 

Reduce Shopping Cart Abandonment and Increase Earnings

Many businesses and brands are focusing their efforts on new ways to market their sales and increase online sales. However, if they were to simply spend more time on their shopping cart conversions and lowering their abandonment rate, they could be seeing a massive swing in conversions and profits. Implement as many of the shopping cart recommendations above into your existing ecommerce site and don’t forget to split test your results to see what improvements have been made.

To see more expert roundups like this one, be sure to view our previous articles on the next big trends in digital marketing and how to increase your site traffic on a small budget.