Small business owners, do you know how you get your company’s name out there—do you know how you get it not just seen, but well-received—among online shoppers and search engine users?
There was a time when the answer might have involved tricky SEO, “link building,” online directories, article marketing, or even online reputation management.
In today’s marketing environment, it involves something that’s simultaneously more respectable and more complicated. It involves brand building.
Establishing Your Brand
A recent Search Engine Watch article, penned by Adam Stetzer, illustrates this divide. “In days gone by, a no-name company could build a bunch of target keyword anchor links and start ranking,” Stetzer writes. “That was enough. In 2015, it takes a lot more. It takes aesthetic and user-friendly Web design, a social media presence that’s as engaging as it is dynamic, pay-per-click advertising, search engine optimization, and native advertising. It also requires a well-built brand, which sends a multitude of positive signals to Google and helps to improve the site’s rank.”
How, though, is a brand actually built? Stetzer lists five basic strategies for small business owners to employ, and all of them are commendable:
- Invest in a good, professional logo—a sort of visual shorthand for what your company stands for.
- Give away some branded, promotional goods. (We will note that this makes for an especially good social media campaign!)
- Participate in charity/exhibit some social responsibility.
- Build an engaging social media presence. (Of course, we agree with this one, in particular!)
- Connect to something larger than just a business or just a product; tap into a feeling of generational nostalgia, for example, or orienting your brand toward providing a meaningful service to people.
More Ways to Build a Brand
All of these points are good ones, and we take no issue with them. However, we have a few steps to add to the process. Small business owners, we recommend the following brand-building strategies:
- Start sending out some press releases—not necessarily weekly, but maybe quarterly. Compile them in a “News” section of your company website. Real companies have news to share! That’s an important part of branding.
- Take control of your online reviews—as much as you can, anyway. Reviews are part of your brand, like it or not. Encourage customers to leave their feedback, and feature positive reviews on your company website.
- Get your team involved with your online branding efforts. At the very least, get their feedback on the company’s social media presence, and ask them to help underscore the brand in their own social media engagement. Full team buy-in is imperative!
To learn more about online brand building, don’t hesitate to contact the Grammar Chic, Inc. team today: www.grammarchic.net, or 803-831-7444.
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