Spaceshipping is a term which I sometimes use to describe a complex management of assets in an ever changing environment.
You probably think that every type of management is spaceshipping?
In the end, you are constantly bumping into obstacles as you manage company’s resources.
The job of a manager is to respond to changes. Otherwise, there would be nothing to manage.
You might as well hire a sheepherder that will give your sheep a little nudge as they stray away from the beaten path.
No, spaceshipping is something completely different.
If you ever watched Star Trek (C’mon guys, its OK to admit. We are all nerds here 🙂 ) you know that a spaceship has numerous command consoles and cannot be managed by a single person.
Furthermore, surrounding environment constantly changes and you have to think your way through obstacles.
Spaceshipping represents the ability to effectively overcome all obstacles.
In that regard, there is nothing more complex than Internet business.
If you have a website, you definitely know how important it is to build your own brand.
In fact, brand can be regarded as the engine of your website. The stronger the brand, the more traffic and profit you get.
Without further ado, let’s check out all branding strategies that will help you navigate a website through asteroid fields!
Identifying brand opportunities
There is no point in doing something just for the sake of doing it.
When most people start with their website, they have a general idea what they wish to offer to the general public.
But, running a website is not the same as having a lemonade stand in your neighborhood. Every step of the way has to be spaceshiped properly.
Before taking your first, initial step, you have to create something special.
You have to create a brand.
Now, a brand should definitely be a reflection of your own persona. But, at the same time, it has to work.
And here is the thing most people get wrong.
Your brand is not about what you like; it’s about what other people like.
In order to create a successful internet brand, you have to invent a concept which will be liked, and shared by others.
Otherwise, you will simply disappear due to overwhelming internet competition.
Even though it is necessary to monitor (and sometimes copy) your competition to succeed, you still have to be unique.
More about it later on so don’t you dare leaving 🙂
Here are the two main things you have to know when creating a brand:
- You need to identify opportunities. There is no reason to write about industrial beer if everyone drinks craft beer (which reminds me to take a break)
- Brand has to be unique, to have some of your persona and still to adapt to potential visitors
Identifying opportunities doesn’t only refer to industry in general. It also refers to particular topics.
For example, if you have a sports website, it would be downright suicidal not to mention Summer Olympics during the event.
You need to write about things people are interested in staying in the hotspot! This is the only way to get the necessary attention and increase goodwill.
If you already have a website and haven’t considered this beforehand, it is a missed spaceshipping opportunity. Then again, I never said it would be easy and that you would get everything right in the first try.
Trends are your ally
When analyzing brand opportunities, you mainly have to focus on trends.
In the end, if someone is talking about a particular product or a service, there is a high chance they will use it in future, if they aren’t using it already.
Unless your product is revolutionary, people will not mention it by themselves.
So, you have to promote it and hope that others will share it forward.
What are the main methods for promoting your brand online?
- Blogger outreach – You alone do not have enough traffic to spread the word about your brand. However, together with other bloggers, you just might have. Blogger outreach is one of the best way to do it.
- HARO – Help A Reporter Out is an amazing website where you can share stories with influential journalists. If media cannot help you, no one can. You should also consider the power of public relations SEO.
- Social media – Oftentimes, targeted social media campaign can bring you much more traffic than you would get through Google.
- Reddit and Quora – This is the best example of the things I’m talking about. People ask questions. You give them the answer and politely forward them to your website. Reddit and Quora are two great platforms to use.
Always remember one thing; all of these things are relative!
For example, some companies will never have any success with HARO while others will score big.
In certain cases, social media will bring you much more traffic than blogger outreach.
It is all very relative.
You are bound to hit your spaceship several times until you learn how to drive. Just make sure not to run it into a wormhole!
Like with everything else in life, internet opportunities are nothing more than normal opportunities. Whether or not you make them profitable is up to you.
But, fear not!
I will teach you how to maximize your spaceshipping efficiency in a bit.
Monitoring and managing brand mentions
Some people say that there is no negative publicity.
Imagine painting flowers on your space ship. I bet that Klingons wouldn’t be intimidated.
Like in real business, your internet brand has to be reliable. When people see it, they have to have a positive feeling about it. However, slight missteps during spaceshipping and your reputation will go down the drain.
This is why you have to monitor all the brand mentions on the Internet and act upon them.
According to Kristy Hines these are some of the things you have to keep in mind:
- The overall sentiment towards your brand
- Chances to connect with loyal customers and brand advocates
- New products and service ideas
- Testimonials for your website
- Holes in customer service
- Link building opportunities
Every single thing counts.
Spaceshipping teaches us to micromanage while going against overwhelming odds.
That is what separates successful internet businesses from their unsuccessful counterparts.
The positive results
Even though you have numerous options and opportunities that will help you promote your brand, it is necessary to get positive results while doing it.
You as a manager need to dissect all these results and improve them when you can. Luckily for you, there are numerous tools which can help you monitor brand mentions on the Internet.
Socialmediaexaminer.com made a nice list:
- Social Mention – Allows you to analyze how often your brand is mentioned, whether it will be mentioned again in future, how people react to it and what kind of overall impact it has
- Mention.com – With this tool, you can monitor millions of sources in 42 different languages
- Talkwalker – Great thing about it is that it can dissect mentions based on regions of origin
- Hootsuite – Real time social media monitoring tool
- PinAlerts – it is mainly used for Pinterest mentions
There is a good reason why companies put so much emphasis on mentions.
Nowadays, majority of sales goes through the Internet. Getting information is a rather quick process.
As a customer seeks a potential supplier, one negative feedback can dissuade him from purchasing from you.
Mentions help form opinion which in terms increases or decreases profit.
As simple as that.
At this point, spaceshipping can become rather tedious. It is really hard going through all these mentions and analyzing them.
The fact that these are all subjective opinions makes it even harder.
Imagine changing your brand based on several opinions only to discover that majority of users have a completely different view?
You don’t want this to happen to you, believe me.
Maximizing your branding strategies efficiency
I bet most of you just skipped to this part?
Ideally, you will need a dedicated individual (or a team) that will filter all these brand mentions and respond to them.
Companies show their true colors under distress.
Spaceshipping both negative and positive responses will have an enormous effect on your brand presence and public opinion.
Here are some tips on how to improve your branding strategies:
- Process the feedback – The biggest mistake you can do is to react immediately
- Understand the problem – During this phase, you need to put yourself in other person’s shoes realizing why he or she is complaining
- Check if it’s true – Oftentimes feedback is skewered by people’s subjective opinions. Make sure that their claims are true and valid
- Give a kind reply – Everything else would be unprofessional and would lead to more resentment
- Learn from feedback and improve your processes or product – Personal feedback is one of the best ways to improve your products and services. Do not take it for granted! Instead, learn from it and improve your brand
Again, this is something people get wrong.
Commonly, people get defensive. This is especially true for smaller companies and individual entrepreneurs.
Big companies have a different problem. They tend to give generic responses which do not benefit the user.
Your customers need a solution to their problems or at least to know that you care.
If someone tells you that your wings are about to fall off, you shouldn’t respond by saying: “Hey, it is engineer’s fault”.
Hand-on approach and competition
Spaceshipping requires a hand-on approach.
You need to fight for every customer and person who came into contact with your brand.
Even if you fail to help, you will still leave an impression that you care.
Ultimately, we all make mistakes. Great companies evolve from them.
In a way, the process is similar to running a political campaign. You get stronger with the number of people you reached and interacted with.
Lastly, it is necessary to mention competition.
You can learn a lot by spying on your competitors and analyzing their approach. In terms of internet, spying can also give you some other valuable information such as:
- Reveals possible link opportunities
- Shows social networks you need to prioritize
- Points you to the strengths and weaknesses of your competitors
By reading these mentions, you can easily learn about your competitors’ mistakes.
As a result, you can avoid making the same blunders while focusing on positives. This way, you can safely spaceship your brand though customers’ cannon barrage.
Business has changed a lot in last 20 years.
People no longer come to your shop to voice their concerns. Instead, everything is done through the Internet. This can be really troublesome as everything is transparent and information is easy to obtain.
However, these mentions also serve another purpose. They allow you to establish brand presence.
You, as a manager, have to collect all these mentions and properly navigate them in order to obtain additional visibility.
Remember, every single mention counts and you shouldn’t be sleeping on them!
Do you have issues identifying brand opportunities and monitoring mentions? What are your best branding strategies? Share it in the comment section below!