Branding for Small Business: How Your Business Can Stand Out Online!
Making sure that your company’s message resonates with your target audience is critical to the success of any business today.
We are bombarded with thousands of “messages” each day so it can be difficult to stand out in what feels like a sea of “noise”, especially if you’re the little guy.
Keep in Mind That There’s No Silver Bullet
Now many small business owners feel that designers like myself “pump-up’ the importance of branding as a way generate business but the truth of the matter is, you have to have different types of marketing materials, for your business because each person in that target audience will absorb information a little differently. You want to keep in mind that there is no silver bullet here.
You have no way of truly knowing which format will work out the best until you test out a few over time. Plus you have no way of knowing which one they will encounter first.
Some will gravitate to television, others radio or print publications like magazines and more and more are searching for and discovering new products and services online via blogs, ecommerce sites and social media.
This is good news for small businesses, as the web has a very low barrier of cost for entry and you can reach a lot of people in a short period of time. Whichever format(s) you choose to reach your audience with two things must occur:
1. You must make sure that your message resonates with your target audience. It must convey the benefits and results that your target audience will get by using your product or service.
Those benefits and results can either tie into their emotions or their belief systems (for example reducing stress, saving the environment) or it can be tangible, measurable results (like saving time or money) depending on what you offer.
2. All of your marketing materials online and off must have a consistent look and feel.
I can’t tell you how many times, I have encountered a small business that has never invested in even so much as a business card, because they think their business cards will simply get lost in a pile on someone’s desk. While that may sometimes be the case – all is not lost.
So how do you stand out?
This is where branding comes into play. If you have a marketing plan in place where you are reaching out to customers and prospects on a consistent basis – when your prospect is ready to become a paying customer or client, they will look for that business card.
If they can’t find it and you’ve done a good job marketing to them, they should have something else from you like an e-newsletter.
If you run a local business they may have an invitation or party favor (with your logo on it) from an event you’ve had in the past or at the very least they may be following you on one of your social media platforms and may attempt to contact you via direct messaging.
Make the Most of Every Opportunity
You see branding indirectly helps “remind” your customers & prospects of what you do. Your marketing materials are nothing without a good message and investing in your company’s marketing materials in conjunction with a good marketing plan, will pay for itself over time.
You have a very short time frame, seconds really, to make a memorable impact on your target audience online. You want to make the most of every opportunity you have with them.
These gentle reminders (like that business card, your email newsletter or customizing your website and social media pages) are meant to put you in front of your target audience on a regular basis – where the ultimate goal is to get them your sales funnel and convert them into paying clients.
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