The Marketer’s Guide to Building a Holistic Brand Experience

by Jason Acidre on June 18, 2013 · 28 comments · Content, Social


venchitoThis entry is a guest post by Venchito Tampon, the owner of DigitalPhilippines.net . You can follow him on Twitter: @venchito14.

The finest brands in the world are known for delivering a unique brand experience to their consumers. Those remarkable experiences enable brands to leverage a day-to-day engagement with their audience and consistently build themselves as an authority in their respective industries.

In simplest term, experience creates brand perception.  It is how your customers think and feel about your product/service.

The way you create perceived value to your audience allows you to get the benefits of a good brand experience:

  • It shows your credibility as a company given that your customers are providing you feedbacks/testimonials and are encouraged for word of mouth marketing.
  • It builds a series of touchpoints to let your prospects see your unique value proposition through unbeatable content that reflects your brand’s vision, mission and core values.
  • It increases the chances of acquiring quality voluntary given links and social shares that are considerable factors in getting higher rankings in SERPs, and thus establishes expertise in the field.

Factors that can Improve Brand Experience

Trust

Trust is king. As you get to establish trust between you and your customers, you’re creating a brand magnet that pulls massive number of links, shares and readers to your site.

And this in turn helps brands introduce, educate and upsell a solution to their potential customers.

Create a genuinely useful product that will help people – so that you can build loyalty (and eventually become brand evangelists) that can help spread your cause.

Luke Summerfield emphasized in his blog post the failure of traditional marketing in today’s businesses and how marketers should adapt the modern business thinking.  This includes the culture of fostering inspiration and creativity to employees and customers. This only means that you need to provide a link and share-worthy content that is tailored to your customers and influencers in the industry.

Identify how your competitors are successfully creating and promoting their brand assets. Do a better copy and ask industry influencers if they’ll be interested to share your page to maximize its potential of gaining traffic and conversion.

Create meaningful conversations with your customers by answering questions posted on Q&A sites like Quora, forum threads and Facebook groups. You can use Facebook Graph Search to find influential groups in your industry.

You can start by typing a keyword in the Facebook Graph search bar.

graph search

Click on groups named after your “keyword”. Find the groups where your target influencers are members of.

graph search2

Use the refined features of Facebook graph to specifically target groups. Join groups where your influencers are actively sharing their insights. Build your own identity by helping others as well.

graph search3

Take this as your advantage in understanding your customers’ behavior and identifying their needs (which can also help in building a solid and targeted content strategy).

Transparency

Be transparent to your audience by giving actual results generated by your services/products (case studies or through the discussions you’re participating on).

Providing data-driven content is one of the best ways to becoming a transparent brand these days – which also helps in building trust and bridging the gap between the consumers and the brand.

Don’t ignore bad comments/complaints. Use Google Alerts and Social Mention to identify good and bad reviews about your company. Answer promptly to your customer’s complaints.

Reach out to unsatisfied customers and ask them what problems they have encountered in using your product /services. Help them to solve it.

Make client/customer testimonials, case studies and social proof more visible on your website. If you’re confident in providing the best to your customers, ask if they can write a short testimony about your effectiveness as a brand.

testimonials

Consistency

Be consistent and keep your brand messaging in line with the brand’s core values when spreading information through various marketing channels (content, social, email, etc…).

It’s also best to align everyone within the company with the company’s overall branding strategy.

This may include personal branding, wherein employees can individually demonstrate the brand’s identity through their own social profiles (as this can also scale your brand’s ability to network and build relationships within your industry).

twitter

Be sure that your message is clear and simple. Don’t over self-promote. Follow the 80/20 rule of social sharing – where 80 percent is from the content that other brands publish, while the 20 percent is from your end.

Brand Ambassadors

The unique personality of your brand includes the feelings and desires you invoke to your customers. You can follow this simple business blogging guide and learn how to build a large number of readers and get them engaged with your brand.

Rand Fishkin, Jason Acidre and Neil Patel are prominent personalities in SEO, while Kristi Hines and Michael Stelzner get the top spots in social media. You remember people based on how they get you involved in their blogs.

Your writing voice and style of your content reflect the core values of your brand and the brand (as a whole) becomes more memorable as you consistently deliver value to your audience.

Build your professional identity in the behind-the-scenes interactions (emails, community discussions, offline events and social networks).

If you’re in a boring industry, there are still ways to make it fun and engaging. Offer free webinars, contests and/or offline events such as conferences and meet ups. Since these initiatives can generate positive emotional experiences for your audience/customers.

Another advantage of having brand personas is that it can make the brand more approachable and transparent to its market.

Sharing photos of the company’s location/office, its employees and the working environment can definitely shape the brand’s identity (which also impacts trust and credibility).

company pictures

Social Media

Applying social media branding in your marketing campaigns is vital to any business building their online presence nowadays. Given that search engines are also using social signals as a factor to identify which sites deserve to be on the top of SERPs.

Several reasons why you need to start optimizing your social media both for search and branding (to specifically maximize its potential to reach your business goals).

  • It taps real-time customers by listening and participating to their conversations (related to your product/brand), since feedbacks/comments are fast in social media.
  • It attracts more links/shares by sharing your content on all social platforms, particularly if your brand is connected with industry influencers that have strong social following.
  • It goes beyond the usual kind of relationship with your customers, seeing that you’re starting out to build relationships with them that can last a lifetime.

It’s also important to integrate your content marketing efforts with social media. This can be done by making social sharing buttons visible in your site’s content and by encouraging readers to follow you on social networks.

Create Facebook events and Google Hangouts and join social communities to increase the chances of being visible throughout the web, where you can demonstrate your expertise on a particular subject matter.

Writing a weekly/monthly round-up post that features the most useful and topically relevant content you found on the web can also be a great way to connect with other publishers in your online space (and to also reach and absorb their followers).

You can also check out trending topics by using Topsy, Social Mentions, Google Trends and Google Alerts. This can help you out in coming up with shareable content ideas.

Let your staff members be involved in sharing your brand on social networks.

benj

Design Interface

User interface is more than just the logo, product or the daily activities of your business. It’s the result that your brand wants to accomplish. Offering a positive experience involves the use of the best tools, methods and the capability to answer to your customer’s needs.

Unbeatable content + Compelling design = Positive User Experience

Develop a top-notch user experience by using an interaction design that understands your customers’ needs towards your business.

The brand’s purpose and the passion of your organization should deeply influence how it delivers an effective brand promise to its customers.

It is essential to test your brand assets and how visually appealing they are to create an impressive judgment from your potential customers.

Always remember that a simple yet easy-to-use interface drives more interaction and equates to clarity.

Use Five Second Test to know if your site is providing a memorable experience. NavFlow and ClickTest are good at analyzing your navigation and design engagement as well.

The initial step towards a purposeful design is to start the conversation. You must deliver a clear and concise message that flows smoothly on each page of your site. Start with a clear value statement that will make your users care about your business, product, service and any kind of offerings.

There’s no argument that UX design and content strategy are both vital to provide a better brand experience to your customers.

UX-content

Richard Ingram of Ingserv created this illustration that also shows the importance of the mixed efforts of UX and content strategy. Together with other important elements like platform, information architecture and functionality, the power to build a holistic brand experience is in your hand.

Content and Relationships

Investing in your top of the funnel marketing like blogging and social media is worth the effort since these inbound marketing strategies have higher chances of attracting ready-to-buy customers.

Use branded content like whitepapers, newsletters and ebooks to nurture your customers (which is also a very powerful platform for relationship building).

Create a content development plan that regularly updates your business blog. Because this is a very effective platform where you can inform and educate possible customers.

Guest blogging on other industry-related websites can also help your brand gain exposure to new prospects and in getting them to follow your brand in the long-run.

Build relationships with thought-leaders in your industry to open more opportunities for your brand, knowing that being endorsed by them will bring you more traffic, leads and business (as the endorsement will also establish trust and authority).

Use the demographic profiles of the different types of your audiences to be able to develop content that are tailored to target their needs.

Company size, organizational roles and type of industry they work in are good factors to consider when choosing the writing voice and the method of delivering your message to your audience.

Relationship building is a long term commitment that allows brands to get better insights from their customers. The great thing about this marketing practice is that it also shows how approachable your brand is.

For more tips on content development and relationship building:

Conclusion

People remember experiences. Your brand’s promotional efforts and your product/services itself are the things that really matters most, since these are the things that can mainly influence buying decisions as well as after-the-funnel activities from users/consumers (such as reviewing your product and/or sharing your product to their peers).

The more compelling your brand experience is, the faster you can build brand loyalty and becoming an authority in your niche.

Jason Acidre

Jason Acidre is Co-Founder and CEO of Xight Interactive, marketing consultant for Affilorama and Traffic Travis, and also the sole author of this SEO blog. You can follow him on Twitter @jasonacidre and on Google+.

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{ 23 comments… read them below or add one }

Louie Sison @ Make Money Online Philippines June 18, 2013 at 3:12 am

I knew it Venchito, on your way to greater heights. You passed the gates of mighty Jason Acidre. Keep it up.
I haven’t really read your post yet. I just wanted to be on the first guys to greet you.

Now scrolling to the top to seriously read it.
Regards,
Louie Sison

Reply

Venchito Tampon @Marketing Tactics June 18, 2013 at 4:51 pm

Thanks for your comment Louie! :D

As always, you’re the first to comment on every KTS post. :)

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Joeal Manimtim June 18, 2013 at 6:05 am

Hi Venchito,

Trust, transparency, consistency, social media, user experience and content. You pretty much summed it all up.

Cheers!

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Venchito Tampon @Marketing Tactics June 18, 2013 at 4:51 pm

Thanks for dropping by, Joel! :) I appreciate it.

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Grett June 18, 2013 at 9:16 am

Thanks, useful post. Our site is connected with personal finance – difficult sphere to promote. But we will use your tips to make our site better and improve our brand experience.

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Venchito Tampon @Marketing Tactics June 18, 2013 at 4:53 pm

This post is useful to all industries. :) Grett, I’m glad you found this article useful.

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Abdi Mohammed June 19, 2013 at 7:32 am

Nice post – some good insights. I think the majority of people know 80% of what “should” be done but its just about going out there and doing it!

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Venchito Tampon @Marketing Tactics June 23, 2013 at 1:59 am

HI Abdi,
Thanks for your comment. Knowledge should be put into action. This is what matters most. :)

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anthony pensabene June 21, 2013 at 3:11 am

good write up, Venchito. I like how you go against the grain with transparency. well, most owners may say they’re transparent; that’s obviously the better way to brand yourself to the public, but how many REALLY are? how many owners will say, ‘we failed. here’s why, and this is what we’re doing next.’? not many.

but, it’s funny; marketing is not foolproof. you observe, you get an intuitive feeling, you look for data to support a decision, but you can’t predict the future, unless you have a DeLorean

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Venchito Tampon @Marketing Tactics June 23, 2013 at 2:01 am

Hi Anthony,
We, as marketers can predict the future but we can follow the trends. It’s a matter of doing extensive research of what’s working and what is not in inbound marketing. :D

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Lucy June 21, 2013 at 11:37 am

Great presentation about how brand can become a company people feel passionate about.

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Venchito Tampon @Brand Building June 25, 2013 at 5:22 pm

Thanks Lucy! :) It’s all about relationships and trusts.

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Brian Dean June 22, 2013 at 9:03 am

Nice job, Venchito. Branding is one of those intangibles that leads to baller links. But because you can’t say “my branding conversion rate was x%” (unlike, say, broken link building), it gets ignored by most SEOs. Sites with killer UX and branding will win in the long run.

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Xavier D June 22, 2013 at 1:01 pm

I agree promoting a good brand experience is truly valuable. Having a brand that your customers feel and think good about is crucial to be a step above your competition. Great post with great useful information once again, thank you.

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Daniel Law June 23, 2013 at 3:58 pm

Great post Venchito and congrats on making it onto the Kaiser blog!

All your points are very well explained and I especially concur with remaining consistent and transparent with your brand’s experiences. All the concepts listed work really well to build up a solid business asset capable of generating limitless inbound leads.

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jitendravaswani June 24, 2013 at 10:51 pm

Venchito Tampon impressed by your post pretty much. Kaiser blog is just a boon for me . I loved this blog for great SEO news.

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Sef June 25, 2013 at 12:47 pm

You covered all the ingredients to win up the branding experience in the modern way of SEO. Thanks for the heads up Venchito!

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Enrico Viaggio June 28, 2013 at 8:53 am

Very good article, covers all the aspects, holistic article we could say.

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Ian June 30, 2013 at 8:40 pm

Design and interface is something I am constantly trying to work on to improve the user experience. Especially navigation. I dont thin you can spend too much time streamlining site navigation.

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Juan Castillo July 2, 2013 at 3:16 am

Really good article!! You have just covered all the important points, Venchito. Congrats for so great article.

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Lavindra July 11, 2013 at 3:28 am

Thanks, helpful post. Our web site is connected with personal finance – tough sphere to push

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Rahul July 11, 2013 at 11:03 am

The holistic branding approach is replacing the old SEO . This is great news for the field and you have put it in a great way. You always manage to come out with great stuff. Thanks for the post

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tim July 11, 2013 at 11:04 am

Great article

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