05 Jan 2015

How to Brand Your Small Business

For many entrepreneurs, it can seem difficult to find time to brand your small business. However, the strength of your brand is critical to the success of your business, especially as more consumers turn to the internet and brands they know to make a purchase. Here are some tips to build your brand in 2015.

The Importance of Building Your Small Business’ Brand

As 2015 kicks off, many small business owners are working on their game plan for growing their business in the year going forward, and most are turning to SEO and internet marketing. However, while every small business website absolutely needs to be properly coded for search engine optimization and contain great content to improve its ability to generate online leads, small business owners should also consider ways to build their company's brand. In 2015, a good marketing strategy will require an aesthetic, user-friendly and responsive website design, an engaging social media presence, paid advertising, SEO and native advertising. Adding a well-built brand on top of those elements will most definitely improve the website's standing with search engines and boost consumer confidence, thus improving lead generation. Here are some steps you can take as a small business owner to improve your brand and grow your business in the New Year.

How to Build Your Brand

Network

Connecting with other like-minded professionals in your own industry and in others in your community can make all the difference in your branding efforts. Join small business organizations in your area and use tools like LinkedIn, MeetUp, Google+ Communities and Reddit to build relationships with other businesses, and even though these specific people or companies may never purchase anything from you, they may still provide referrals and valuable insight. Additionally, building relationships with other professionals gives your brand more credibility and authority, even allowing goodwill and reciprocity between businesses to boost your brand advocates.

Do Good

Participate in local charitable events and make a habit of supporting charities. Not only do charities help small businesses network, cultivate branding and expand, but they help others as well and improve your business' standing in the community. As a plus, consumers like to align themselves with ethical brands and charity support generates a lot of brand exposure, your business can only benefit from helping others.

Engage

If your business is not on social media, it should be. While you certainly do not have to join every social network, it pays to build brand accounts on those networks where your buyer persona is most likely to dwell. Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest and Tumblr are great places to share your brand story and posts your audience cares about, while Twitter is the perfect outlet to share tiny tidbits of news and provide fast customer service. In addition, email marketing remains a solid way to stay in contact with customers and provide pertinent information and deals. Take a real interest in your community online, solve problems and become a valuable resource. While there is no universal remote when it comes to social media management, you can always outsource your social media to a company that truly understands your goals and can effectively be the voice for your brand on social media and pay-per-click advertising.

Promote

A study by MarketingSherpa reports that 76.1 percent of those surveyed could recall the name of a company who had given them a branded promotional item in the past year, but only 53 percent could recall a television or print ad from the past month. Print branded pens, shirts and other promotional goods, and give them away freely. Of course, you can also use these to gain leads at real world events or to secure contact information online.

Communicate Your Brand – With Style!

In a recent study, 48% of people cited a website's design as the number one factor in deciding the credibility of a business. Of those surveyed, a stunning 94 percent cited web design as the reason they mistrusted or navigated away from a website. Give your old website a makeover to more effectively communicate your brand and gain trust. Additionally, if you do not have a logo, or if your logo is not aesthetically pleasing, consider re-branding with a new logo to reflect your brand's move into modernity.

2015 can be the year where your small business really takes off. While building a brand takes hard work, with a little patience and time, and some super good advice, you can build your brand and grow your business, reaping benefits for years to come.

Great website design does not have to be a thorn in your side – contact CyberMark or check out our website to see the great affordable options we offer to small businesses. While it is the truth that every small business needs a website, it does not have to break your budget. Click here to see how we can boost your branding efforts in 2015!