As a marketing agency, No Coast Media, LLC (d/b/a No Coast Social) often get the question, “Are you guys a social media agency? Or more of a branding agency, creative agency, advertising agency, or what?”
The simple answer is “yes…yes we are.”
Does that mean all of those terms mean the same thing? Absolutely not, they are actually completely different. However, many times they coincide with each other to deliver the optimal results for the client.
Let me explain.
In our mind, the #1 priority for businesses small to large is to focus on branding. This way when your customer needs an oil change, new pair of shoes, or video created, they think of your company. You want your company to be Top of Mind.
So how do you accomplish this when there is so many channels and noise in media? First of all, it starts with your brand.
What does your company stand for? What is the mission of your company? When someone sees your logo or name, what differentiating factor should pop into their mind?
Some people will get a logo made without much thought. Then they add some nice looking colors, go with a stock font, and call it a day.
I totally understand you are busy running your business, and marketing might take a backseat. This happens to many SMBs unless they hire a marketing director or agency like us.
Let’s say you take the time and have your colors, logo, fonts, and everything nailed down, now how do you start to build a brand?
Here are 3 essential steps to take to start the process of becoming Top of Mind for your potential clients:
1. Create A Brand Guide
Ensure your branding is consistent in everything that has your company’s name on it. Take time to develop a brand guideline so when you place advertising, get corporate apparel created, or post on social media, the EXACT same color and fonts are used.
Here is an example of the color white. As you can see you want to make sure you have the HEX code, RGB and CMYK values on your brand guidelines. “But Ryan, come on, it’s white…how hard is white?”
What happens if you send your shirts out to be screen-printed and they use egg shell or off white? They just used whatever was easy because you left things up to interpretation.
When you have a brand guideline with all of your logos, colors, and fonts that are acceptable for your brand, it makes things a whole lot easier for your vendors, saves unnecessary time sending individual elements off, and once you set it up once you can pretty much set it and forget it. You can even make it public so your vendors can just go on your website and get all of the info they need, just like Spotify has done here.
2. Embed Your Brand Into Potential Customers Brains
Potential customers need to know what your company sells and what services you provide. Or if they are searching for something you provide, they need to see your company as an option. In addition to developing a website, Facebook Page, LinkedIn Profile, etc. you need to be sure your business is optimizing for Google, particularly if you are in an industry that no one thinks about unless they need your services like a fire restoration company.
When people search for Fire Restoration Companies in Google, will your company be listed there? Will your company have more than 1 review your mom wrote for you when you started your business? What will people see when they research you on Facebook?
This is when a lot of leg work comes into play. The good news is this step doesn’t have to cost you a whole lot of money out of pocket, but it will take time and energy to accomplish effective uses of these platforms.
Here is a brief checklist to ensure you have the basics accomplished when starting your business:
Keys To Branding Organically
- Website: Is your website professional looking, responsive to mobile, and creating a good first impression when customers arrive. Here is a list of the top 10 free website builders if you want to try to build your own website.
- Facebook Page: With over 2B monthly active users, your customers are on Facebook. Make sure your Facebook Page leaves the impression you want and be sure to make your Cover Banner pop with either a high-quality photo, graphic, or video. Here is our video banner on our Facebook Page as an example of what you can do.
- Claim and utilize your Google My Business profile to its fullest potential.
- Make sure your website has the accurate keywords, meta tags, and on page content to help you rank higher in organic search. Find out what your competitor that is ranking higher than you is doing and duplicate their efforts to save you a whole lot of time and money. We can assist with running you a Free Site & Competitor Audit, click here to send us an email with your web address and your competitor if you would like to analyze.
- Get reviews…REAL REVIEWS…from actual previous customers. You can either email or text them a link. Just be sure whatever you do you keep it simple for your customers to leave you a review. Click here to see how our review management system helps simplify your review request process.
- Build your tribe. Be an active and valuable member of the community on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, or whichever platform you feel is the place your customers hang out. Like, comment, and add value to the groups.
- Create content. How much can you make…is it 1, 3, 5, or 10 pieces of content a day? Whatever the number keep doing it consistently! Don’t get hung up on Likes and instead shoot for optimizing for reach and getting your company’s name in front of as many potential people as possible.
3. Branding On Fire (Advertise)
This is where you put fuel on the fire. Notice we left this for step 3 and there is a good reason for that. What many small business owners do when they get launced is they go and blow a ton of money in advertising and they don’t have the foundation built yet.
Why go spend $2,000 on TV commercials to air during the Chicago Bears game when your website, Facebook presence, and reviews are weak. What if people see your ad, go directly to your page, and then get turned off?
Or maybe they need your services but they can’t remember your name because people need to see your name at least a dozen times to start remembering who you are. So they go search for your services on Google, don’t see your name, and call your competitor. In essence you actually spent your $2,000 to advertise for your competitor.
So if you feel confident in your foundation you have built, and now you want to turn on the hose, now is the time to start running Facebook Ads or Google Ads (Formerly Google Adwords).
The best part about these platforms is if you know who your ideal customer avatar is, you can really drill down to serve appropriate ads to them.
Think about it, you can actually serve ads to people who went to your customers website. Or you can target only the gated neighborhood on the golf course that has homes valued at $1M plus in it. The capabilities are endless, you just need to figure out who your ideal customers are and what the ideal message should be when you target them.
We Want To Add Value To Your Company
No Coast Media is here to help with branding in anyway we can. If you have questions about anything we covered today please feel free to send us an email or call We would love to discuss ideas and see if we are a good match to work with your company.