5 Branding Tips for Small Businesses
If you are one of the many small to medium businesses out there, you’re already aware of the sheer amount of competition you have to face on a daily basis. This brings us to the holy grail of business – how do you make sure you stand out? How do you attract customers and make them choose you over your competitors? Well, it’s simpler than you think: You need to build your brand professionally, consistently and uniquely.
Here are 6 tips to help you brand your business online (You know we’re marketers, it’s 5 + 1 Bonus Free) :
Research, research and more research
Before you even start to brand anything, research what your competitors are doing. Simple web research can help you learn about your competitors branding efforts and their positioning in the market. You can also understand their audiences and what resonates with them. This will allow you to identify what you can do differently to help distinguish your business.
Stand out – “Make it pop”
Now that you have done your research, you will know what to do differently to make you stand out from the rest. Focus on what your business offers, who you’re trying to attract as well as how best to connect with potential consumers. Then, the trick is to use the correct tone, manner and brand personality to communicate with these users. Remember to make them feel important, speak to them like they are humans (because they are an no-one like a robot). When you speak human-to-human, you will create an emotional link. A connection between you and your customers making it difficult for them to turn to anyone else.
The bolder, the better
As a brand, remember that not everything has to be serious and boring. You may be in the business realm, trying to get leads but you can still be quirky. Be fun. Be playful and entertain people. There aren’t many businesses that get this right (especially in Europe) so if you can, you are sure to stand out. Use compelling, quality content and don’t be shy to compliment users, share your opinions on specific topics as a professional in the industry. This is how you build trust – and that is the end goal.
Consumers appreciate and trust brands that stick to their word, stick to their tone and do not “sway with the wind”. You want to stay consistent so that you become an expert in your space and more importantly, you become dependable to users. So define your brand message and make sure that you keep it consistent. This consistency should be achieved in your brand tone and manner, design and CI.
You’re a brand that’s online. What do people do online? They want to find useful information and communicate with others. So be social. Use social platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to speak to consumers and humanize your brand. Here’s more about what effective tools you can use to market your brand on Facebook.
Give away your best stuff, For Free
Your first thought might be “what!? That’s nuts” But think about it. When you give away quality information you’re positioning yourself as a leader in your industry. As humans we also tent to feel the need to give back to those who have been of great help to us, in business this often translates to a sale, a referral or even just an email address. Give your best content away for free because the majority of your audience will not think
“Yes, I won, I got free Sh*t”, they will most likely be thinking “If this is how good the free stuff is, the paid product/service must be amazing.”
Build your brand personality and voice your brand just how you would as a person on the internet. Give your customers the opportunity to connect with you by giving those invaluable insights and build long-term relationships, which will eventually lead to sales, brand loyalty and advocacy.