Is Your Business Safe from Brandjacking?

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Is Your Business Safe from Brandjacking?

Companies spend countless dollars on brand management, using online marketing and a variety of other tactics to ensure that they build a strong reputation. Without proper planning, these companies can undergo serious damage from harmful brandjacking if they do not plan for the threat appropriately. Like any challenge in business, the key to combating the threat is first to identify what you are up against. Once that is established, you can fight against it with proper brand management tactics.

The Variety of Threats

Brandjacking is when an individual or a company takes on the identity of, or misrepresents, another individual or company, usually online. Brandjacking is a dangerous concept, but beyond the basic idea of having your business’s identity used by someone else, there are several risks a company must beware of. Some of these risks include:

  • False Job Postings – A common way brandjacking hurts a business is when it is used in false job postings. This can also lead to a variety of other issues down the road, including a damaged reputation.
  • Stolen Customers – Though it may seem difficult to accomplish, some individuals will falsely use a brand name to leech off a company’s reputation and take business. In doing so, a competitor might pretend to be affiliated with your company and take some potential new business.
  • Reputation Damage – As mentioned above, this is sometimes a side-effect of other brandjacking practices and is probably its most harmful aspect, as it may cause serious and long-term damage to your brand’s reputation. If someone is out there pretending to be affiliated with you in some way and doing a poor job, it will hurt your business reputation.

These are just three factors to consider, and to avoid these and other ill effects it is important for you to take all necessary precautions.

Keep Your Brand Strong

For formal protection, there are very few measures that you can take to ensure that your brand remains safe. Initially, you want to make sure that you obtain any appropriated copyrights and trademarks. Beyond this, make sure to warn all users that any communication should come from your domain and that any interactions should occur through your website and not elsewhere. Also, be on the lookout in various social media outlets for unauthorized use of your brand.

Fortunately, with proper brand management you can go a lot further than this. Use online marketing resources to build up a reputation for your brand, keep your own strong blog presence and make sure that your official channels are optimized so as to be at the top of search engines enquiries. By doing so, you ensure that your name gets well established in the public eye, which will help protect it from unwanted theft.

Brandsplat’s Secret Recipe, Part II

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Brandsplat's Secret Recipe

 

(Editor’s note: This is the second installment in our Secret Recipe series. If you missed the first helping of our tips on content marketing greatness, click here.)

Main ingredient alert: We’ve reached the part in the Brandsplat Secret Recipe where we disclose a big, protein-dense tip on successful content marketing. It’s the one that has moved more than one client to accuse us of using slight of hand and other forms of magic to boost their website traffic and conversion rates. (Hey, we’re not above that; if your coven has any tips, please let us know.) But getting more visitors to your site isn’t magic — nor is getting them to offer up their email address for your newsletter or to engage with your company or brand on social media.

In our first post, we listed several key ingredients to tasty content:

• Focus on benefits, not just features;

• Use the active voice;

• Use bulleted lists (see what we did there?); and

• Be brief.

And those are great tips. But this one’s even better:

Write to one audience member.

We know what you’re thinking: “What in the heck does that mean?” We mean you should write like you’re having a conversation — like you’re sitting with your next potential customer or client at a T-ball game, cheering on your kid’s team and chatting between at-bats. Write like you’ve just finished listening to them describe their needs and have an idea to share. After all, your business is built on anticipating those needs.

Writing with this in mind helps build a real connection between you and your audience for one simple reason: They feel that you are dialed in to them and their needs. They feel seen and heard and recognized. In a world in which most people struggle to connect meaningfully with others, this is a powerful tool — one that sets you apart from your competition.

So how come we’re giving away this tip? We know writing to a single audience member is a lot harder than it looks. It takes time, patience and creativity (in addition to awesome writing) — and most companies simply don’t have the resources to keep awesome writers on staff. That’s where we come in. If you’re looking to boost your Internet conversion rates, let us hear from you. Together, we can cook up a mighty fine dish. And stay tuned for more tips!

Brand Management: How Social Media Can Impact Your Brand Image

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Brand Managment

There is nothing new about the concept of branding in business, and with the new technologies that pop up each day there are more and more opportunities for a business to work on expanding its brand. Among these opportunities, social media presents an inexpensive and easy way to relay unique messages. With the proper brand management, social media experts are showing businesses how to get their messages directly to the consumer.

Creativity and Originality

The most important place to start with any social branding efforts is to ensure that a compelling brand statement is already in place.  And if it doesn’t have the right kind of supporting content, no amount of promotion is going to be effective.  Every piece of information shared must be in line with the company’s brand and each piece should demonstrate, directly or indirectly, why that brand is better.

The truth is that you can hire the best social media experts in the world to help with your brand management and get absolutely nowhere if you don’t already have a clearly understood branding statement.  You need to know what sets your company apart from the competition, and come up with some creative ways to express that. Once you have the overall strategy in place, your social media manager will be able to get the appropriate content to convey your brand image.

Always Stay Consistent

Of course, anyone can get set up on social media, so don’t feel accomplished just because you have a Facebook and Twitter page for your business. For these pages to help with your branding efforts, you must remember that consistency is key. In this case, consistency is not just making sure that everything you post is in line with your brand image, but also that you are consistently posting new content to keep your users engaged.

This is one of the biggest struggles that new businesses face when working to get their message out there, and one of the primary reasons that businesses find their social media presence to be a source of great frustration. The truth is that for someone who does not understand how to use social media channels properly, this type of branding is a waste of time. For those who are engaged with social media, they find that these channels can be one of the easiest and most powerful ways to brand. This is ultimately why so many companies turn to social media experts when it comes time to help with brand management, and why those companies are able to produce such impressive results.

Hiring Again? Give Us a Try

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Hiring Again

Does it feel like you’re always hiring another communications person? Depending on the size of your company, you either have one person wearing multiple communications hats (writing press releases, handling social media and SEO, performing public relations work, writing blogs, managing your brand, creating videos… you get the idea) or one or more communications persons per category. Regardless, turnover is a pain (and sometimes crippling). This is why Brandsplat exists — to take on these worries for you and ensure you get consistent, spot-on communications without the headaches of turnover. Our stable of writers and communications consultants stand at the ready to assist you.

Case in point: Last week, we were able to help a client save gobs of money when he needed to replace two employees. Rather than hire another two employees with all the costs of benefits like medical/dental and paid time off, he came to us and was able to hire three of our freelance communications experts part-time AND get more years of experience and service out of the deal.

And don’t forget that turnover costs are largely hidden costs: Lowered productivity, overworked remaining staff, lost knowledge, training costs, interviewing costs, the HR staff that has to recruit your next hire, etc. An article in Inc. Magazine says these costs can run as high as 150 percent of the employee’s annual salary — “significant enough to make retention a high priority for your business.”

We have nothing against companies hiring workers on their payroll. But if you’re tired of hiring someone who’s not exactly what you need and watching them stay only long enough to start really performing before getting hired away, it’s time to consider hiring through Brandsplat. We’re experts at finding, training and retaining great people so that you don’t have to. When you’re ready to outsource your headaches, contact us.

Brandsplat’s Secret Recipe, Part II

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Brandsplat's Secret Recipe

 

(Editor’s note: This is the second installment in our Secret Recipe series. If you missed the first helping of our tips on content marketing greatness, click here.)

Main ingredient alert: We’ve reached the part in the Brandsplat Secret Recipe where we disclose a big, protein-dense tip on successful content marketing. It’s the one that has moved more than one client to accuse us of using slight of hand and other forms of magic to boost their website traffic and conversion rates. (Hey, we’re not above that; if your coven has any tips, please let us know.) But getting more visitors to your site isn’t magic — nor is getting them to offer up their email address for your newsletter or to engage with your company or brand on social media.

In our first post, we listed several key ingredients to tasty content:

• Focus on benefits, not just features;

• Use the active voice;

• Use bulleted lists (see what we did there?); and

• Be brief.

And those are great tips. But this one’s even better:

Write to one audience member.

We know what you’re thinking: “What in the heck does that mean?” We mean you should write like you’re having a conversation — like you’re sitting with your next potential customer or client at a T-ball game, cheering on your kid’s team and chatting between at-bats. Write like you’ve just finished listening to them describe their needs and have an idea to share. After all, your business is built on anticipating those needs.

Writing with this in mind helps build a real connection between you and your audience for one simple reason: They feel that you are dialed in to them and their needs. They feel seen and heard and recognized. In a world in which most people struggle to connect meaningfully with others, this is a powerful tool — one that sets you apart from your competition.

So how come we’re giving away this tip? We know writing to a single audience member is a lot harder than it looks. It takes time, patience and creativity (in addition to awesome writing) — and most companies simply don’t have the resources to keep awesome writers on staff. That’s where we come in. If you’re looking to boost your Internet conversion rates, let us hear from you. Together, we can cook up a mighty fine dish. And stay tuned for more tips!