Your company already has a brand. And it’s not your logo. It’s your image to the world, based on what they see, hear and experience about you.
Even though your brand is ultimately determined by public perception, you can still influence feelings about your small business with the right strategy, visuals and messaging in place.
So are you maximizing your opportunities to enhance your company’s greatness? Consider these three areas where you can create meaningful, relevant experiences with your audience to strengthen and enhance your brand.
In today’s Internet-centric world, most people use the Web to search for a product or service. So it’s imperative for a small business to have a strong online presence to build a reliable brand, which you can easily create with a domain name.
A domain name can be leveraged in several ways. If you’re not ready to launch a website just yet, you can still get started with:
- Business- branded email – show the world your company is established and professional so potential customers will find you more credible.
- A Custom Web Address to Your Social Media Page – No website? No problem. A domain name lets you connect a custom web address to your social media or ecommerce page, allowing it to act as a business website. Now when a customer types in your web address, it takes them directly to your social media presence. Having your own web address makes it easy to tell people where to find you online. And, if you want to create a website in the future, you already have a great web address that your customers know.
Then once you’re ready to take the next step, launch a:
- Company website – gain trust with online consumers and reach a wider audience with your message 24/7. And make sure your site is mobile friendly too
With so much competition to choose from, promoting your business frequently helps keep you top-of-mind. Showcase what defines your brand from the competition by using these marketing methods that will build recognition and trust amongst existing and potential clients:
- Email – boost customer loyalty and drive business to on- and offline channels.
- SEO – increase your website’s visibility to search engines so your site reaches more potential online consumers.
- Social Media Advertising – try paid advertising on social networks where your customers and prospects spend time. Many social platforms have budget-friendly options. Here are some options:
- Twitter¹ ads can work with any budget, and can easily be set up with just a credit card.
- Facebook² and LinkedIn³ allow you to segment advertising targets by age, gender, location and interests, among others.
- YouTube4 offers free services, charging fees only if users actually watch your videos.
- Content – create and distribute unique content to attract customers to your brand, products and services.
Whether it’s spoken over the telephone, written on a blog or printed on a business card, providing a consistent experience through all business touch points is key to building a strong brand that resonates with your audience. Consider your:
- Customer service – take the necessary steps to ensure you are providing a consistent, seamless customer service experience through all channels whether it’s your help desk, live chat, and yes, social media.
- Design & Messaging – be consistent with your logo, colors and graphics (i.e., stationary, brochures, apparel) and messaging across all forms of communication (i.e., web articles, Tweets, newsletter) since this is key to building an effective, accurate brand.
Bottom line: your brand is not a fancy symbol, but what the public feels (and then shares!) about you. By clearly communicating who you are and what you’re about, the world will eventually see how great you are too.
To learn about driving business success through personal branding, click here.
1Twitter, Inc. Accessed Feb. 18, 2015. https://biz.twitter.com/products/pricing
2Facebook, Inc. Accessed Feb. 18, 2015. https://www.facebook.com/advertising
3LinkedIn Corporation. Accessed Feb. 18, 2015. https://www.linkedin.com/advertising
4YouTube. Accessed Feb. 18, 2015. https://www.youtube.com/yt/advertise/
Brand Image via Shutterstock
I think that a brand starts with a clear message. From there, you take that message with you in all platforms and that is where you send a consistent message to your followers and they start to believe that to be your brand.
Amanda: Which is your favorite small business brand at the moment?