Quality products and services might be at the heart of what your business does, but most consumers will initially react to branding. The way you promote your business may or may not resonate with audiences or it won’t. When you have that initial interest, you can then start making offers to people. Many small businesses don’t focus on their brand, though, so they don’t stand out in the marketplace. From the biggest enterprises to brand new startups, branding your business will draw consumers to you, allowing you to start the sales process. So how can a small business brand themselves online?
What Makes You Unique?
Most industries will have many competing businesses offering similar products. Many brands will appear similar when consumers are taking a snapshot view of the general marketing messages. With the short amount of time you have with consumers, your brand needs to offer something different. Your brand could become known for providing cutting-edge technology, low pricing, exceptional customer service, or anything else that the marketplace has not become overly familiar with.
Create A Brand Story
Consumers are paying more attention to the story behind the brand. People learn and connect through storytelling, so it can be used to bring people closer to your business. You will likely tell multiple stories to consumers, focusing on a broad message and individual campaigns. Your main brand story might look at how the business was started, drawing on factors like personal passions or a drive to fix a social issue. You can then develop campaigns that are related to your business, such as using sustainable materials and donating to an environmental charity.
Work On Your Design
Branding can also be found in your designs. You can start with a general color scheme that can be found on your logo, packaging, and website. These colors can grow to represent the things you stand for in the minds of your customers. Additionally, design elements can be found in alternative packaging methods, social media image styles, and other recurring aspects of the business.
Look At Brand Reputation
Consumers will search brand names to find reviews and customer opinions. Your reputation can be a positive factor, helping to grow your trust rating. However, you can suffer from a number of negative responses that reduce trust. Look at your current reputation in the industry on review sites, forums, and social media, identifying areas for improvement. When new reviews come in, respond to the feedback, and try to resolve any outstanding issues.
Create Diverse Content
Online audiences like to consume content in different ways. Some people like detailed articles on blogs, while others prefer the simplicity of social media. In order to reach your desired audience, though, you need to cater to each of these platforms. Content can come in the form of articles, videos, images, podcasts, and more, but they need to suit the outlet you are using. You won’t necessarily need to create brand new content each time, with the possibility of repurposing an idea into different formats.
A recommendation from a trusted source can do wonders for your brand. While consumers might like the look and message of your business, sometimes it takes an extra push for people to really believe you. Influential people have already built this trust with their audience, so their recommendations will have power. Influencer marketing via social media is an effective way of developing social proof, but you need to use highly targeted influencers. It is also important to build relationships with other bloggers and personalities in your industry, with your association helping to grow your standing with consumers.
Comparing offers has become easy online. Consumers can research product types, often finding cheaper alternatives to your own. One way of separating yourself from the crowd is with branding. When people recognize your brand name, they will often visit your website first and feel confident purchasing from you. Branding is not easy, requiring dedication and a long-term strategy. The work you put in now, though, will pay off into the future as your brand gradually begins to stand for something in the marketplace.