I’m Erwan Heussaff and this is the third module of a five-part course on content creation and creativity. In today’s class we will be covering branding, and why it’s so important in today’s day and age. By the end of this video you should be able to decide the audience you’re creating content for where they are and what voice you should be using and more importantly, how your brand will be recognized by your audience. In today’s context, a brand means more than that — it could be a raison d’être, it could be a lifestyle that people associate themselves with You need to be able to determine what kind of brand you’re trying to create online. What quality do you want to represent, or what kind of lifestyle are you trying to promote? Here are 4 reasons I think you should create a brand: Recognition First, you need to be able to create something that people recognize through its presentation. This could be a voice, a logo, a look, a font or a mark that when people see, they immediately think of you. The first logo I had was basically an outline of my face that was submitted by a fan who thought I would benefit from it. It served its purpose and helped me establish myself online but I thought that it didn’t go far enough. Which is why we came up with the second logo which is the text logo. This text logo helped give the company a more professional look where we could actually bid on projects that were slightly more serious, and not necessarily associated with me, especially in digital media production. It also helped me tap into a community. Everyone was using the hashtag #TheFatKidInside online and I wanted the brand to reflect that, hence the text and the importance of it. Deep Dive I like doing this thing called the Deep Dive each time I’m trying to create a new brand. It just helps you look inside in terms of what you think makes you unique; what you think makes you different from all the other players in the market. It’ll help you understand your motives and develop your purpose. Those are really the building blocks of your online marketing strategy. Trust Third you need to remain consistent, because your audience will expect certain things from you. You’re online so you’re competing with millions of people so it’s really important to build trust within a community because they will be your biggest asset in attracting more people. Acquisition Developing a brand will help you with customer acquisition. A happy audience is your best marketing asset. If people are happy, they like what you’re doing, they’ll tell their friends within their own network and hopefully drive more traffic towards your platforms. Which brings me to my next point — When people think branding they think of a logo or a text font. I think that’s the wrong way to go about things. I think you should start just by being audience-centric. The first tool at your disposition is demographics. Just basic understanding of your audience, their sex, are they single, are they married, how old they are and where they live. That, then, merits a deeper dive. That’s where psychographics come in. Not everyone who is 18 to 25, female, living in Manila has the same interests as their counterpart within that own demographic. Does she prefer beauty? Does she prefer food? What is she searching for online? Do they use mostly mobile or desktop? All these little things will help determine your product offering and how it should be presented online. Using this, you should be able to figure out what your content is and where to put it up, and especially what voice you should be using to approach them. Next, it’s really important for you to know your competition. You can’t look at a competitor as someone that will kill off your brand. You should look at competitors as rivals, just like in any sport. Think of it as a race. You have a competitor running next to you. Some days he’ll be faster, some days you will be faster. That being said, in my opinion, being in a segment where there is no competition is actually less beneficial for your brand. So it’s really important to foster that rivalry, so that you can learn how to get faster and better. It’s important for you then to take time to analyze their key offerings, their benefits, and their quality. From there you’ll have a better idea of how you fit in, and what make you unique. Finally, you’ll be able to pull all of these things together and determine what your online personality is. Are you more serious or fun? Are you accessible or exclusive? Impulsive or planned? This is something that only you can create. Every single person is different and that should be applied to brands as well. By now you should have a clear picture of your audience, what they’re like and what they want to see from you, what voice you should be using, some rough ideas for your brand and content strategy – your themes and topics, your keywords, what platforms you’ll appear in, your brand personality, and maybe even your look. By taking the time to even think of your brand you’ve already taken major steps to creating unique and interesting content. Then comes the exciting part: actually deciding what you’re going to produce. What makes a good idea? What makes an idea original? We’ll talk about that in the next module.