Between running a business, nurturing customer relationships, and managing employees, we know you have a lot of balls in the air!
When you’re as busy as a bee, the first one to drop is usually the marketing ball. You’ve forgotten about that ad in a local magazine that’s been running for a year, your social media marketing retainer is on autopay and you’re paying an email provider to send out monthly newsletter emails to an audience you’re not even sure exist. Marketing is “happening”, but your current plan is not generating results. Sound familiar?
The ROI of a Brand Audit for Small Businesses
You’ve worked so hard to get to this point in your life of building your own business. Throwing money in general marketing buckets without true strategy and research is a waste of hard-earned dollars. But you landed on this blog because you know that, right? So, let us help you prevent this from continuing to happen by helping you understand the importance of getting clarity on your brand.
Brand audits for small businesses help define a clear direction your brand should take. They’re designed to thoroughly assess your brand and all its components – competition, audience, communications, strategies, execution – you name it. For the first time in your business you may really uncover the cold hard truth which will allow you to make profitable changes.
A brand audit will show you how your brand is currently performing compared to its stated goals, as well as allow you to:
- Identify and break down silos between departments
- Increase competitive differentiation
- Raise awareness of your true value proposition
- Understand and influence customers’ perception of the brand
- Unify sales and marketing team goals and messaging
5 Steps to Conducting a Brand Audit
1. Analyze Your Competitors
Google is everyone’s best friend, and people usually stumble upon brands by doing a Google search for topics they’re interested in learning about. If your competitors are showing up for keywords relating to a service you provide and your business is not, there’s a problem. There are plenty of competitor analysis tools, like Ahrefs, that provide SEO-driven data to help you monitor your niche and research your competitors.
From a creative standpoint, observe the colors and other identifiers that they use. Is it cohesive? Would you instantly recognize the brand on its own? It’s important that you keep up a consistent visual identity for your own brand to establish authority and trust among your customers.
2. Evaluate Consistency of Your Marketing Assets
Lay every piece of traditional and digital marketing assets out on the table. Well, not literally…but review everything closely such as your logo, sales letters, product packaging, business cards, brochures, blog posts, website content and images. Are they consistent in terms of design, color and tone of voice? Are they targeted at your intended market?
3. Examine Your Website Analytics
Traffic, bounce rate, conversion rate – Oh My! The next part of your small business brand audit should be to get a broad idea of how your online business is performing. You could have the most beautiful landing page design in the world, but if it isn’t converting or serving your customers the way it should, it’s crucial to understand where it can be improved.
Pro Tip: Traffic will tell you whether your website is increasing in popularity, bounce rate will measure how many people leave your site after visiting just one page and conversion rate will tell you how many visitors are converting into customers or hard leads.
4. Analyze Review Sites and Social Media
Review sites and social media contain a wealth of information on who your customers are and how your brand is being received that you simply just can’t get anywhere else.
Discover who is interacting with your site. Do they reflect your target audience? What are they saying about you?
5. Gather Findings and Create an Action Plan
You’ve put the effort in, now it’s time to gather all of your findings and analyze and assess your performance. In order to make the biggest difference in your business today, where do you need to invest next? You may find that some aspects may just need some tweaking, while others may need a complete overhaul. Once you’ve made that determination, it’s time to create your strategy to update your branding and align it with your brand’s mission and business goals.
ROI on Brand Audits: A Crucial Step
Clearly we think brand audits are the bees knees, honey! Taking everything related to a brand into account and identifying strengths as well as weaknesses will go a long way for your biz, but sometimes you need a little extra help! Reach out to Honey Creative today for help conducting your brand audit for your small business! We aim to provide creative resources so that non-profit organizations and small businesses can amplify their message and fulfill their mission.