A brand is a difficult thing to measure. As a rather abstract concept, it’s hard to quantify. But, like all things in business, it’s important to create ways to measure growth.
Now, I like to define a brand as a relationship between you, as a business, and your audience. And a relationship might seem like something you can’t put a number to. But if you consider the goal — to gain clients for your business — then you can start to collect numbers that you can use to measure the strength of your brand.
So, in this post, I’m breaking down a 3-step process you can use to see how your brand is performing, and start to get an idea of what is and isn’t working.
1. Take stock of all your brand touchpoints
Your brand touchpoint are the points of contact between you and your audience. Content you create, your marketing efforts… every interaction. Together, your brand touchpoints define the experience you’re giving to your potential clients.
Some touchpoints in your business could include:
- your website
- Facebook and Instagram ads
- social media accounts
- Facebook groups
- business cards
- emails/email newsletters
- podcast episodes
- proposal documents
- pricing lists
- lead magnets
- landing pages
2. Map out your client journey
Now that you have a list of touchpoints, you want to start to consider where and when your potential clients would come into contact with each one.
What are the steps your ideal clients take from first learning about you and finally becoming a client? How are you building a relationship with your audience that allows them to get to know about your brand, so they can make the decision to hire you?
You want to group your touchpoints into roughly four stages:
- The awareness stage — This is where your target audience introduced to your brand. It could be through your content marketing or an ad, for instance.
- The consideration stage — At this stage, your potential clients are learning about what you do and how they can benefit from your services. They might still be looking at other options, so it’s important for you to be able to communicate the reasons that would make your business a good choice for them. This stage could involve building a relationship with your audience through a private Facebook group, a regular email newsletter and entry-level offers.
- The conversion stage — Now, your ideal client has made the decision to move forward and take the next step with you. That could mean filling out an application, booking a call, or straight-up purchasing your services. For higher-ticket offers though, you’re probably getting on at least a call before the conversion happens. So ,this is the stage that moves from marketing into sales.
- The loyalty stage — Don’t forget to continue taking care of people once they become a client. These are the ones actually paying you money and deserve the best attention and brand experience you can deliver. You want to continue strengthening the relationship you develop with them, and encouraging a long-term connection. Your most loyal clients are your biggest advocates.
It’s important that your brand touchpoints are leading your audience somewhere. You have a goal — to gain clients — so make sure you’re creating ways for that to happen. You don’t want to be building steps that don’t actually go anywhere. If you you find any, take this opportunity to adjust them or take them out entirely. It’s no good spending energy in places that aren’t helping your audience move down these stages.
Related post: Why you need to design a great brand experience
3. Quantify the steps of your client journey
Here’s where you can start to pull out metrics, so you can measure your brand.
At each step of your client journey, look for conversion rates, engagement rates or other numbers. For example, how many people visit your website each month? How many people are on your email list or in your Facebook group? What percentage of them have ever booked a call? How much are you spending on your marketing? And then what’s your return on that investment?
You’ll need to consider timeframes as you make these kinds of measurements. Remember that building a brand is a long-term strategy, since it’s based on developing a relationship with your audience. For the clients you land, try to track how long they took on their journey. For example, you could measure how long it took them between joining your email list and booking a call with you. Having a sense of how long your client journey is will help you understand how long you have to wait before you can see the results of any changes you make to your branding.
Need help creating a client journey? Try this post: How to use digital marketing to grow your brand
How to track your metrics
You should definitely have Google Analytics installed on your website, for a start. This will allow you to see the number of visitors your website gets, the pages they visit most frequently, and a lot more. You can also set goals to help you track conversions.
Your email marketing provider, business accounts on social media, and other business tools often have analytics built in to help you keep track of your activities, and the kind of engagement you get from your audience.
Just a quick note that there are going to be plenty of outside influences that affect your numbers. Things like algorithm changes can skew your numbers suddenly, and have an impact on conversion rates even further down your client journey (funnel) than you expect. But as long as you have your eye on your numbers, you’ll know where changes are happening.
What to do with your metrics
Once you start to get a sense of your numbers, the most important thing is to track them. It’s no use trying to compare your numbers to those of another business. You can only compare them to your own results over time, so you can see when things improve or otherwise.
The very first time you start to note your numbers, you may not have a sense of what’s “good” or not. That’s okay! What you have now is a baseline. As you continue to look at your numbers, you can see if they’ve gone up or down. You can see what happens if you make an adjustment to your messaging, or change the design of a sales page. (Split testing is a great way to do this.)
Things to look for
As you track your metrics, you can start to pinpoint the things that have worked really well, and those that haven’t. Did a particular blog post you published get a lot of comments? Is there an email in your welcome sequence that has a high unsubscribe rate?
Remember: your brand is a relationship. You’ve got to take note of what’s happening on their side of the story, and listening to the response they give to you and what you’re doing. As long as you do that, your brand is going to evolve over time and strengthen as a result.
To recap, here are the three steps you need to take to start to measure the strength of your brand. First, list your touchpoints. Second, map out your client journey. Third, track the numbers.
Until you have a way of measuring the strength of your brand, you won’t be in a place to judge whether your business is heading in the right direction. Instead of making changes based on assumptions, you can make smart, logic-based decisions about the next steps you should take. And I’m all for that.
Want some tips on changes you can make to improve the conversion rates of your website? You’ll love this post: 5 tips for a high converting website design
Looking for more content? Try these:
- 5 reasons why your brand isn’t working and how to fix it
- Are you building your brand proactively, or reactively?
- Can you have a strong brand even with a small audience?
- 5 steps to creating a client-centric brand
- How to generate quality leads to your service-based business
- How to align your business goals to brand strategies