McDonald’s. Google. Disney.
Before any of these brands became household names, they were obscure small businesses. Does it feel like yours will never reach those ranks?
Brand awareness is key to business longevity, whether you want to open the next worldwide theme park or stand out in your local retail scene.
Today, we’re sharing 10 small business online marketing tips that can give your brand the visibility and recognition it deserves.
What is Brand Awareness?
Brand awareness refers to how well consumers can recognize or recall your brand, noticing details about your distinctive qualities or images.
In other words, it gauges how likely someone could pick your company out of a crowd.
This is the first step toward brand recognition, which is more of an in-depth knowledge consumers build around your company as they learn more about you.
To discern between the two, think about Apple.
You’d recognize that distinctive fruit logo from miles away while driving down the highway. That’s brand awareness.
You also know that they produce a range of media-based technologies, with the iPhone 11 Pro being the latest. You’re familiar with their TV streaming service and you know where the closest Apple Store is located. All of that data contributes to brand recognition.
Before your customers can get to that level with your company, you have to establish brand awareness, first. Let’s take a look at 10 proven ways to do so.
1. Keep Consistent
Do all of your marketing efforts flow seamlessly and deliver the same customer experience? Regardless of the medium, all of your advertising collateral should have the same logo, tagline, color scheme, and overall feel.
Not only does this consistency help people remember your brand, but it also gives your Search Engine Optimization (SEO) efforts a boost.
Take the time to double-check your name, address, and phone number (NAP) details across your website, social media profiles, and Google My Business (GMB) profile. They should match exactly, or Google bots (as well as your customers) could view them as different entities and ping you accordingly.
2. Get on Social Media
It’s 2020. If you’ve shied away from social media until now, it’s time to hop on board.
Research shows that 90% of marketers who embrace social platforms including Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and more see a direct effect on their revenue.
To build brand awareness, don’t just create a profile and walk away. Monitor it and respond to comments, post regular updates (not just ads), and make an effort to interact with your customers.
3. Optimize Your Online Advertising
Want to encourage others to click on your ad and learn more about your brand? Gone are the days when a compelling headline was enough to garner attention. These SEO metatags are powerful and needed but they are not enough to put you on top.
Now, you need to have professional imagery and punchy content, with your logo visible at every turn. You might have gotten by so far with sub-part digital marketing, but think about the kinds of brands that boast the highest awareness levels: Do they cut corners?
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4. Partner With the Power Players
This isn’t the Wild West. The internet is big enough for everyone.
As such, it’s easy to find others in your industry with better-known and more established businesses than your own. Reach out to them to see if they’d be willing to work together.
From giveaways and promotions to product collaborations, look for partnerships that serve your common interests and help give you the visibility you crave.
One of the best places to search? Social media.
Scour sites such as Instagram to find brands you admire and would like to work with. Connect with them organically and get to know their mission. Then, inquire about working with them on a joint project.
This is an ideal way to get your name in front of a crowd. It’s also one of the most cost-effective forms of advertising you can pursue.
5. Add a Referral Initiative
Sure, you can build a small business around a group of loyal customers. Yet, imagine how much your brand could grow if those loyal customers brought a friend.
This is the concept of referral programs.
Consider implementing a Refer-a-Friend program at your small business. For instance, you might offer a returning customer a small discount for sharing your link on their social media profile after they make an online purchase from your store.
This way, you can reward your current customers while also attracting new leads!
6. Stay in Contact
Think about it: If you only engage your target audience a few times a year, do you expect them to recognize and remember you?
Successful brands are those that realize the importance of ongoing customer engagement. Respond to social media comments and reviews, post questions to spark conversation, and share discounts and promo codes with your online followers.
Staying present and checking in often helps you secure a place at the forefront of your buyers’ minds.
7. Create a Free Trial
With so many options at their fingertips, today’s online shoppers are more discerning than ever before. They’re also more skeptical.
To convince them to give your brand a try, why not offer a free trial of your product or service? This one step can go a long way toward building brand awareness as well as trust.
While this free version might have limited features, it’s still a great way to encourage people to visit your site. To make the experience as user-friendly as possible, extend the test run timeline, and make both the sign-up and cancellation processes a cinch.
8. Create Content
You run an online e-commerce store. You’re busy taking, fulfilling and shipping orders. You don’t have to create a blog, right?
A regularly updated blog is a great way to establish thought leadership, answer questions, address pain points and provide value to your readers. Then, any time they need information on a subject you’ve addressed, they know exactly where to go.
If keeping up with a blog seems like too much work and time for you, there are blog writing services that take care of the heavy lifting.
9. Keep Them Entertained
Brand awareness might feel like a corporate buzzword. In reality, it’s all about personal connection.
One of the most effective ways to build brand awareness is through entertainment! Thankfully, you don’t have to dance a jig or build a strobing light show into your web page HTML.
What should you do? Entertain through your content!
Create blog posts and web copy that keep readers on their toes and coming back for more. From the hilarious to the poignant, you can elicit a range of emotions with your words and imagery.
This can set you apart from your competitors, making sure you don’t get lost amid a sea of like-minded peers.
10. Employ Retargeting
Have you ever searched for a product on Google, then noticed a few hours later that its advertisement is all over your social media feeds?
You aren’t going crazy. That’s retargeting at work.
In short, this is the process of winning back customers who might have poked around your site and explored your content but ultimately didn’t convert.
There are a few different means you can use to support your retargeting efforts, including:
Regardless of which one you select, this is a great way to capitalize on almost-there sales and keep your brand on prominent display.
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Ace Small Business Online Marketing This Year
As a small business owner, you’re used to working hard, staying late and putting in the effort required to get your dream off the ground.
However, you might be frustrated to learn that the conversation around your company has grown silent.
When you want to build brand awareness from the ground up, small business online marketing makes it possible.
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