Digital Branding is an important part of any digital success, as it means getting your business known by more people and for the right reasons. But what is Brand Portfolio Management exactly, and how to get it done right?
In order to know more about digital branding I asked Sana Kibz, an experienced Digital Marketing Strategist, Radio host and beauty blogger.
She told us her 4 tips to build brand authority correctly in the digital world, and her tips might just help you get your brand to the next digital level.
4 Tips To Build Brand Authority
Are you ready to build your brand authority online?
- 1 Make sure you're cohesive
- 2 Have high quality content
- 3 Make sure you are engagine
- 4... Watch the videocast to find out the most important tip!
Sana Kibz is a Nigerian-American Radio Host, TV Personality, Beauty blogger and Digital marketing consultant. Since moving to New York from Maryland in 2013, Sana has worked with WE TV, TJ Maxx, Maybelline, Glamour, BET, Seventeen Magazine, Macys, and Refinary29.
The Beauty Of Branding
Hello and welcome to this episode of international consulting podcast. I am today with Sana Kibz right from New York City, she's a Nigerian American radio host, beauty blogger and digital marketing strategist. Hello! So you are doing a lot of different things you are very complete.
Listen I try to give myself the opportunity to go after everything that I desire.
Well, looks like you do! So we will mostly be talking about digital marketing today and brand management. Digital branding is what you you do for your clients, right?
Yes I do.
So how does it work?
First and foremost digital marketing and brand management is taking the brand and creating a voice that people on the outside looking in which will be potentially your consumers you want them to understand what the value that they're going to get from your brand is how they can trust your brand to deliver on that value and what it is that your brand promise is going to be.
And so when creating and developing a brand management strategy you have to understand what you need to tackle in regards to whether it be information whether it be what type of services you're offering what type of product you're offering and then translating that into the value and the content that people are going to know and love.
Which part of a brand creation should brand management happen; should you think about it before, can you do it after the brand is created?
Well it definitely depends on the type of person that you are so if you're someone that you've already done the blueprint you've already done the background work you've already come up with your business plan and so now you bring in the digital marketing aspect because a business is not just online, but if you have an e-commerce store and things like that then you're based online but you can still do offline initiatives for your branding and your marketing.
However when bringing on the digital marketing person or the brand manager you want to bring that person on before you launch, because you want to make sure that you're launching the correct way and that you are doing the necessary things that you need to do beforehand like the market research like the keyword research the target marketing understanding your audience understanding your brand voice your brand colors all of those things matter because ultimately the first time you launch you don't want to be in you don't want to be the type of brand that you're so indecisive that one week you're blue black and yellow, the next week you're brown white and green, and people are all over the place about your brand.
You want to make sure that you have that brand management in place so that when you come out you come out strong.
So actually there are a lot of activities involved in brand management. You just mentioned some of them, maybe all?
Yes so when creating a brand you want to make sure that you understand first and foremost the character profile of this brand so that is the age demographics the type of income that you want the person to have ideally the type the locations that you're going after and things of that nature and then once you create that character profile then you start to create the content that targets that character profile.
Okay I can see actually why it might be better for a brand to call somebody like you, a digital marketing strategist, to take care of it because it involves a lot of activities?
Yeah and it's definitely a hard work.
Yes definitely, so what would you say is a typical brand - how long does it take typically to put in place a digital brand management strategy?
Well it certainly depends on how far along the brand is so there are some brands that come to me that they have everything already, they have their logo, their colors, their fonts, they have their target market already.
So all you have to do now is come up with the concepts and the content that they're going to be able to use to put themselves out there, and there are some people that all they have is just an idea.
They're like look I have this idea I don't know what to do or how to do it so then we go ahead and we create the logo we create the brand colors we create the font so it truly depends on what level you're at.
And there's some people who they're already out there their brand is already out there and they're already growing but they're at a plateau where they don't know what to do next, because they're stuck and so the brand manager will then come in and say like okay have you thought about this? Have you thought about putting your brand here, have you thought about creating this type of content?
And so it really depends on where you are and your brand journey and that's that kind of tells you how long you're going to like what's going to be needed from a brand manager ultimately.
It is a lot of things. And are you for example able to take care of everything?
So I like when I like the middle part, so I like when the brand comes with their logo, their font their colors, their voice, but they haven't really started yet, so I'm able to really go in there and just start everything from scratch, and not scratch in the way that they're looking for local, but just in regards to content because sometimes when you're working with someone who doesn't know anything about their logo their brand colors or anything they can they can be really indecisive.
And so it's hard it's like do you like this do you like that è you like this you like that, and so that can be a little bit gruesome and a little bit just time consuming and then the other one is when you jump into a brand that's already created, sometimes they're so stuck in their ways that it's hard to pull them out of that to say like hey what you've done for these last three years are not working, so let's actually try this.
But some people just like oh but I want to you know I know and so that struggle is hard.
So I really like the middle tier of people who they have their brand voice and they know their target but now they just want execution of their launch, and so when it comes to those type of people I love working with.
That's here better because I think that they're more open.
And when they come to you, which goal should they look after? Is it like reaching a brand new audience?
Or I think the first thing is building brand authority and what that means is first building brand trust so start putting things out there that people either find humorous or they find entertaining or they find informative or they find motivational until you actually launch.
I tell every brand that I work with if that's why I like working with that middle tier because I'm able to come in and we start the page let's say for example social media, instagram we would start the page off of just some info posts and some some quotes, that's why I like working with the middle tier, because I can come in and start off with posting things like quotes and posting things that are inspirational and posting some beautiful images.
And just kind of like get the audience anticipating and then boom you launch! And I think that's the best way to launch a social media because it starts to build the awareness of your brand but then it also starts to lead into the brand authority that you're going to eventually create, because you're using your brand colors and you're using your brand voice in those pre-staged launch posts.
And regarding online branding, is it important to be on all platforms?
I believe that you have to find the platform that is right for you.
So if you are a brand that your majority of your target market is young teens and maybe you want to be on tik tok or snapchat but if you are someone who you're catering to older people then maybe you want to be on just facebook.
But if you're a young cool a hip brand or if you're someone who you know you're in that middle portion of like ages and all that stuff and you can be on instagram and if you're someone who you're b2b or your b2c, sometimes you're b2c because that's what linkedin is doing now, you can be on linkedin so it just depends on what it is that you're trying to target, what you're trying to go after.
But I honestly believe that every brand should have a profile of their business on every single social media page, because what you do not want is for someone to come and take your business name.
So even if you're not active on that platform, you want to at least have your business account underneath your ownership.
But to be active that depends on who you're targeting.
Actually to choose the platform on which you want to be active and have a brand strategy in place, your book is very useful!
Yes yes yes! My book The Beauty Of Branding talks about how you can use social media and each of the seven top social media accounts profiles to create the best brand strategy, and the best brand growth for you online.
And so I break down in my book The Beauty Of Branding the different ways that you can use social media such as facebook instagram twitter pinterest, all of those major social media profiles.
And then I also teach you how to build your brand awareness. I also teach you how to build your target market because a lot of people think that their product is for eight billion people in the world - and that's not the case.
You have to understand that maybe one percent of that of a billion is what you need, that's already 800 000 or 800 million I'm not a math genius but you guys know what I'm basically trying to say.
And so I believe that once I instill that in people's minds while reading my book they start to understand that look I just have to target these amount of people I have to understand my brand, I have to utilize these platforms the correct way; and then I have to use the over 50 resource tools that I have in my book on how to make sure that your brand is strong online.
So actually to put in place digital brand marketing strategy a good starting point could be your book?
Yes, yes! I believe that it's your brand manager in your hands, so if you're someone that all you need was the information, and you can execute it yourself then my book would be great for you, but if you're someone that just wants to understand what it is that a brand manager does, then you read the book, and then you're like: okay! So now I know the things to ask of a brand manager, because I've been able to read it in this book.
So it's 30 pages of 100 usable and actionable content that everyone who's read it has said this has been an amazing informative book.
I totally agree on that!
Thank you so much, actually yeah it helps defining the main guidelines of a random brand management strategy online.
And then it is actually better to have a brand coordinator or a digital marketing strategist to put this strategy in place?
Yes definitely you definitely want to I think with any brand regardless of what stage you're in if you're going to bring on anyone for your business even if you don't know exactly what they're going to do to execute their role, you should kind of have some type of idea of what that person is supposed to do, because what you don't want is to bring on someone and you have absolutely no idea what they do and then they get over on you because to be very honest, like that's a possibility so what I like to do is make sure that my client knows exactly what it is that I'm going to provide for them.
So they know what to expect from me, so they know that one I'm not wasting their time or their money and two they hold me to this regard.
So that they know what they're what to expect from me and for their brand.
And so are you always able actually to reach these targets?
I believe that I create realistic goals. I never tell a client that I'm going to get you 10 000 followers in two weeks like I don't say anything unrealistic, unless you're you know jumping off of a bridge and you're filming it to go viral, but I do not advise that at all.
But I just - I'm just real, I'm realistic, I'm like you know what we can post during the peak hours of posting on social media, we can target the right people, we can engage with them, we can create this type of content, we can see what our competitors are doing, we can analyze what's working, what's not working for them, and we can utilize that for our marketing strategy.
Never be afraid to look at your competitors, it's not about copying anybody because no one has honestly created, like no one has done anything that hasn't been done before, so never be afraid to look at your competitors to see what they're doing.
So I believe that I create very realistic and attainable goals and each client has seen growth because of it.
That's amazing actually, that's something I see a lot online people usually have unrealistic goals about digital marketing like as you said you get 10 thousand followers, but that's not something you can directly buy - well you can but you really should not because they will not be engaging with your brands, and yeah actually it even looks bad when you see these accounts with thousands of followers and nobody interacts with their content, you know instantly.
But yes 100 and I can I have a really good eye to know if someone bought / purchase their followers, and I use that same eye when one of those pages tries to contact my clients to possibly get free clothes or to get free skin care or whatever the case, and it's just like oh send me! can you please send me some free clothes? I have a hundred thousand followers and i'll go to the page, and I'm like look at their engagement: look at their likes, look at previous posts, look at, and I'm - and then I come back to the client and I say don't waste your time.
Their pages purchase followers so you have to make sure that as a brand manager and just as a brand in general don't get too excited when you see an influencer reach out to you that has a whole bunch of followers, that says like hey I want to represent your brand send me things for free, because you have to make sure that they're a real page because a lot of people purchase their followers, and so you have to make sure that the content matches up.
And even if there's a lot of comments, and there's a lot of engagement what are they saying in the comments, because some people aren't in engagement groups - and engagement groups is when you drop a link in the group and everyone's supposed to comment on your engagement, they call them engagement groups, so basically that's how they have them on whatsapp, and they have them on telegram, so I have to go in and make sure that is a influencer that has true engagement, or this influencer that is using one of those engagement groups, and so those are the things you do.
That's why having a brand manager is very important actually, as you are yourself an influencer?
Yes accidental. oh hold up because I didn't that wasn't the goal you know some people are they're like okay I want to get on social media I want to become an influencer.
I was never - I was just posting, just to post, and then you know the followers and the likes started to come, and because I know digital marketing I was able to utilize that for my own personal accounts, and so I started to see brand growth on youtube, on tik tok on twitter on instagram, and so now if you are a brand looking for a girl like me I say hey I'm available too!
Because i've never felt like because I'm a digital marketing person I should keep myself from getting a brand deal from another company because those two do not relate but I do make sure to sign a non-disclosure agreement, and a non-compete with each of my client, which means that I can't come out with a product similar to your product after a year of doing business with you, just to make sure that there is that separation.
But to say that I can't work with another company that is that has nothing to do with my clients.
Okay and so actually as an influencer yourself, do brands ask you to help them find influencers for their own?
So i've had not brands that are my clients, they ask me to find influencers for them, but brands that are coming to me as though I'm the influencer, no they don't ask me to find more influences for them. But my clients may say hey I'm looking for you know influencers that will fit my brand and so I will go ahead and I will search for those influencers and then I would say these are my top five or my top ten, and then i'll pass them along to the client.
Then the client makes the decision if they want to work with those people.
Is it a big part of a brand strategy actually to call on other influencers?
Listen that's one of the best brand strategies that you can come up with, if you have the budget to do so if you get a page that has 50 000 followers that are, they're genuinely following them; and they're truly engaging and they wear your outfit or they post about your skin care, you will definitely see a return on your investment.
It's just about do you have an ink do you have the budget for that because some influencers depending on how many followers they have, they may say fifty dollars, they may say a hundred dollars, some may say ten thousand dollars, kylie jenner and the kardashians do a million dollars a post!
So it just depends on your budget. So if you have a million dollars to pay kylie jenner to talk about your skin care maybe not because she has a skincare brand herself, but that just basically lets you know that there's different levels.
So I believe that if you have the budget for it you should definitely consider getting micro influencers, and micro influencers are people between 10 000 to about let's say 35 000 to 40 000 subscribers followers, and see if they'll post your page.
Okay generally for brands is it better to have in-house digital marketing strategist or to call to external ones like like yourself?
I believe that it's all about once again the budget. Money is the ultimate source of how much you can do in this life, so I believe that if you have the means to hire someone full-time as your employee to focus solely on just your digital marketing, the reward of that is you have someone that's dedicated to your brand, and so they'll pay more attention to what your strategies and what your needs are, whereas if you have a brand strategist that is a consultant like I am or just a manager that you hire as a third party, then you have to understand that it's not going to just be your brand, you'll get the results that you want but it's not going to just be your brand.
So I could bring on another clothing boutique. If you're a clothing boutique I can bring on another skincare client, if you're also a skincare client and you can't fault me for that or you can't say oh you're bringing on someone like me because you have to understand that I'm also a business too, so I too have to keep my lights on.
I do have to pay my bills so it just depends on your budget, so some people will bring someone in full time and in-house and some people will just bring somebody on, where it's just a service that you're paying monthly for.
That makes sense. As a brand marketing strategist yourself what is your favorite activity for brand development?
I think one of my favorite activities even though it's the most tedious it is creating videos.
I do enjoy creating videos because it piques my creativity and it also - I learn while developing a skill, but then I love seeing the final result because videos does 60% better on social media than pictures, because videos is visually stimulating, so whenever I create the video for the client, and they're pleased, it makes me feel happy.
Because that's letting me know that you like my sense of creativity and so because you like my sense of creativity then we post it and then it's also engaging to a larger crowd, it makes me feel good like I made that you know so that is always, that's one of my favorite parts of the digital marketing, is just creating creating video content for sure.
Well actually do you get requests for that?
Yes, I do. Some people they just want me to create videos and that's it- so they don't want to bring on a marketing strategist, they just want to pay for the video, so I have one thing about me is I understand that everybody has different levels of budgets and everyone has different levels of income, so I not only do I have my monthly marketing rates but I also have one off services, and that basically is an a la carte service where I just list all the things I can do for a brand, and you can say okay I can't pay you for a monthly marketing, but I can pay for a picture, edit a video, and a newsletter, and so I offer that to people because not everybody has you know a thousand or two thousand dollars to bring on a monthly marketing manager.
But they have a hundred dollars to get pictures edited, a video and maybe a newsletter, so I don't like to limit what I can do for people.
Is it actually an activity that brands do not know about and you are trying to to push towards them?
Yes definitely because I just feel like listen as much as we want to say you know we want to charge people upwards of three to five thousand if you're doing a third party vendor and agency, I believe that there's a lot of people who they have a great idea but because they don't have that three thousand dollar marketing budget, that idea never goes anywhere.
So I want them to be able to come across a brand of people like me that I'm like okay how much do you have and then it's like okay, I have 300, I'm like okay for 300 I can do this for you.
And so I love that because it makes me know that in a way I'm helping someone even though they're paying, I still feel like I'm helping them, because I'm giving them the juice and the goods that I know bigger companies that i've worked for pay an agency hundreds of thousands of dollars a year.
But are these big brands although sometimes asking an independent strategist like you i've never seen that i've seen like i've seen third party like photo editors and researchers and things that nature, but most of the major corporations that I worked for they have agencies that are important that are on payroll.
And would you actually recommend these bigger brands to use agencies, or more to find themselves independent strategists?
I think they should give independent strategists a fair shot.
I think that sometimes they believe that if they hire one person to take on this global brand it would never work, and that may or may not be the case because you don't know what having that extra person on your team, what ideas they have, because I believe the hunger is different from someone who's a freelancer or a contractor like me.
Your hunger is different so you're more on the ground whereas if you go directly to an agency, you know there they have they're I'm not saying that they're not as hungry, but they have more shoulders to rely on, if like things don't go their way, there's more of a security blanket whereas when you hire independent strategists it's like I gotta get - I gotta make sure this works, because this is my bread and butter, like I have to make sure this works, so because of that hunger because of that drive I produce better results.
What would you recommend a potential independent strategist to do in order to find clients, to find brands?
I believe that everyone should show what you can actually do.
So if you are a service based company if you are a service-based brand if you're a service-based individual, whether that be a digital marketing strategist, whether it be a hair stylist, people have to know what you do so in order for you to do that go to the platforms that you're trying to get people to hire you from.
And so what I recently did is I was very busy with my clients up until the beginning of september where I took the time to just understand that a lot of people don't know about my business because I'm not online pushing my business, I have my clients already because they're coming from referrals, but now I want to get new clients, and so in order for me to get new clients I have to show my ability.
So right now I'm building my beauty of branding marketing on instagram where i'll be teaching and just giving free tips and tricks on digital marketing, I'm gonna also be dropping more videos on different digital marketing things that you can do by yourself or you can hire me to do, and I believe that gives people value to say like ah she knows what she's talking about, let me ask her and reach out to her, and so I believe with any service-based business utilize social media to put yourself out there.
And also give people the value! So that they see that you are a brand authority and that you're worth you know what it is that you're asking for.
1. Be cohesive
It actually is important for digital strategies to show in the digital world particularly. And so what would be your best tips for a good brand awareness digital marketing strategy?
I believe some good tips would be to definitely make sure that your brand is cohesive.
A lot of people tend to just post up whatever that is that they want on their own their social media accounts but cohesiveness shows brand promise and it shows brand trust so you know what you want to make sure that when people steer your page they know in literally seven to ten seconds what your brand is about whether it's because of the colors the fonts the messaging so that is very very important to make sure that you have a theme and a cohesive brand.
2. Have high quality content
The second thing that I would say is make sure that you have high quality content and so don't post up grainy photos, don't post upgrading videos, make sure that you actually put the emphasis in the quality of your content. So whether that is finding the apps or the software that you're going to be able to use to create better content, or whether it is hiring somebody on social on site such as fiverr or upwork or people like me to create that content for you.
3. Make sure that you are engaging
And then the last thing that I would say is definitely to make sure that you are engaging with your target market, because a lot of people like to what I call post and ghost, and posting ghost is just posting on social media and then stepping away, and going about their life and then they come back like why don't I have any engagement?
And it's like because nobody knows that you exist, because nobody knows that you posted, because nobody knows what's going on over here.
So what you need to do is you need to go to your target audiences, you need to use those hashtags, you need to engage with those card target audiences because what you're doing is you're essentially knocking on their door and saying hey I know you don't know me but I'm over here and then if you're posting high quality content then they're going to stay and so that is what you have to do to make sure that you are building brand awareness on social media.
4. Contact a specialist
And maybe a first tip would be then to contact a specialist like yourself?
Well that is always the first tip - that's always the first tip.
So the first tip actually would be to read your book, contact you?
Okay well that sounds great. It has been very interesting talking with you. So maybe before we finish you would like to tell a little more about yourself, your services?
Yeah! So I am Sana Kibz I'm a nigerian-american radio host with a radio show on one of the biggest radio stations in New York City 107.5 WBLS - I am also a beauty blogger and I love all things skin care!
So on my blog I teach you how to make your own lotions and potions and hair oils and beauty oils and things like that from items that you can either buy from the store or from your kitchen, and then lastly digital marketing.
Digital marketing is now it's not going anywhere, social media is here to stay and so building your brand online is super super important, no matter if you are a mom and pop shop or a fortune 500 company, utilize social media, follow the trends, get on tik tok, make some funny videos, do what's necessary to bring more brand awareness to your page, and if you can't do, so then reach out to me via sanakibz.com or Sana Kibz on all social media accounts.
Okay, amazing! But I will surely do it.
Please do so.
Thank you so much for having me, I truly appreciate it.
Thanks a lot for having joined!