Branding Your Small Business Is a Great Way to Drive New Business
Branding your small business may seem like an unnecessary chore, especially when you’re just starting out. But it isn’t. Branding is necessary for the growth and long-term success of your business, as it helps to build relationships between your company and customers, helps you stay on top of your image as a business, and attracts new potential customers. Read on for our quick guide to successfully branding your small business.
1) Mission and Values
This really should’ve been a part of the development of your business plan. But, if you got up and running without taking a moment to define the mission and core values of your business, now is a great time to do so. Once you have them down on paper, let them be your guide through the rest of the branding process.
If you’ve already designed packaging or signage for your business, you’ve most likely already designed a logo, or have the building blocks for one. Consider having a professional give whatever you’ve already got a refresh from time to time, and use your logo as the single image that defines your brand wherever it’s used.
3) Social Media
Social media is a mostly free, fantastic way to engage with potential customers and to stay engaged with existing customers. As many have said these days, your brand basically is whatever people on social media are saying it is. The key to effective social media engagement is consistent posting. Keep the amount of platforms you use at a level where you can use them consistently, and then be sure to populate them with interesting content and updates on schedule.
4) Your Business’s Website
Contrary to popular opinion, you don’t have to have a website to stay in business. But, considering that nearly everyone who is looking for a business like yours will use a search engine as a part of their quest to find a business like yours, it would be foolish not to have one.
Like social media, though, you have to update your website on a consistent basis or it’s not doing its job.
5) Content Is King
A great thing to use to engage with consumers on social media and to provide material to refresh your website, content (whether generated by your or shared from other producers), is an excellent, indirect component of any marketing campaign.
Make sure that content isn’t always shouting about your brand but that it engages customers who might be looking for your brand, instead.
Depending on your customers and your budget, little peripherals like postcards, business letterhead, buttons, hats, t-shirts, and other items can make great rewards for existing customers and enticements for new business.
7) Community Events
Get involved in local community events that will attract the same type of people you’re looking for in customers. It’s a natural fit that can be a highly cost-effective way to drive new business.
Don’t forget to stay in communication with existing customers. Make sure to respond to queries, complaints, and concerns in a timely and professional manner. The customer may not always be right, but they will usually think that they are.
9) Convert Brand Evangelists
Find your group of core consumers and do everything that you can to convince them to be evangelists for your brand. Consumers trust word of mouth from friends, associates, family members, even from strangers, to a much higher degree than any other form of marketing.
10) Stay Positive
Keep the tone of all your branding efforts positive. No matter how much your business may be struggling, no matter how negative the consumer review on social media, remember to stay positive.
Marketing Your Small Business Doesn’t Have to Be a Chore
Much is made of marketing and branding these days, and rightly so. Effective branding can be what makes the difference between brand longevity and serial entrepreneurship. But branding doesn’t have to be costly or overly complicated. Follow our quick and easy ten tips closely, and you’ll be well on your way to effective branding in no time.
[Photos via: Marketblog, Figcreative, Salespanda, Fastcodesign]