As a small business, building brand value and awareness should be at the top of your to-do list. You may not have the advertising budget of a global corporation, but you can still create value for your brand by being consistent and following these simple steps.Storytelling is becoming more popular as a form of marketing these days. As humans, we are wired to respond through personal connections and personal stories. Your customers want to hear your story in your own words. Tell it to them.
1. Tell Your Story
If you’re just starting out, tell the story of how your company came to be. Was it a dare from a close friend? Were you disappointed with the service of a big company and vowed to build a business that would dwarf them someday? Share this with your customers and keep them up to date. Let them know the ups and downs you are experiencing, this allows them to get involved and be a part of your success.
2. Ask for Reviews
Online reviews are an import part of the buying process. Over 90% of consumers will read reviews before a buying decision is made. Encourage your current customers to leave reviews for your business to help others better understand your strengths and or weaknesses.Let your customers build your brand value from their personal experiences!
Seven out of ten consumers say they would leave a review for a business if they were asked. All you have to do is ask.
3. Build an Email List
No matter what business you’re in, it’s harder (and more expensive) to gain a new customer than it is to sell to an existing one. Your customer list is one of the most valuable assets your business can have.
Building an extensive email list will take time, but the ROI (Return on Investment) will be worth the effort. Providing valuable content in exchange for contact information will help you steadily build an email list that will add value to your brand.
4. Community Outreach
Get out and be active in your community. If there is a local festival, get a booth or try to sponsor the event.
Team up with local charities or sports teams. Join some of the community pages on social media. All these activities will help you get your name out there and also let the community know your care. Investing in your local community will increase your brand value when the your community begins to associate your business with active participation and involvement.
Small business owners wear many hats and are usually too busy to effectively create and manage a digital marketing campaign. This is where hiring someone with the proper skill set can really pay off.
Outsourcing can save your business thousands of dollars a month, thereby adding to your bottom line. Working directly with a digital marketing consultant will allow you to continue running your business as they handle the day to day marketing activities and build value for your brand.
6. Create Valuable Content
Creating content that your audience views as valuable will not just drive more traffic to your website, it will also position you as a trusted voice in your industry.
The more relevant content you create, the broader your reach will be. As consumers read about your brand, you’ll start to establish credibility as a leader within the industry. This level of authority will ultimately assist with making you a valuable resource for them in the future.
7. Invest in Social Media Adds
The majority of consumers want to engage with brands via social media. However, it is sometimes difficult to get your message in front of the right audience because there is so much noise out there.
Most social media platforms will allow you to fine-tune your prospective audience so you can include most receptive to your message.
8. Focus on Customer Service
Customer service has fallen off in the last decade. In fact, most consumers are surprised when they receive merely adequate customer service. This gap in the marketplace gives you a chance to shine and build brand evangelists.
By treating your customers with care and respect while helping them resolve whatever issue(s) they might have in a timely manner, you are creating followers that will go out and sing your praises.
In a twist on the Golden Rule, you should treat your customer better than you would want to be treated. Once delighted, your customer will share their experience via word of mouth, social media, and in everyday life. Satisfied customers are free brand value builders!
9. Embrace Video
One of the easiest ways to increase your brand’s value is staying current with trends on social media and the web. Today, that means video. Producing quality video is simple and doesn’t take a large budget to accomplish.
Your video doesn’t need to be professional grade. All you need to do is create a video that provides value to the end user. Informational videos are some of the most popular videos out there. Consider what you might like to see or learn from a video when checking out a new brand. Videos can range anywhere from how to and product set up to comparison videos and long term benefits of a particular brand.
10. Consistent Design
Be consistent with the elements of your social media posts. Use the same frames, line weights, logos, fonts, and other visual aspects in all your posts. This way your layout will be familiar to the end user and associated with your brand.
This will help your message stand, become more recognizable, and make it easier for your audience to locate specific details (such as phone number, pricing, CTAs) no matter what type of information you share. Creating templates for posts will make content creation and sharing this information much easier for you and your audience.
11. Engage on Social Media
It takes far more than a Facebook page and an Instagram account to build brand value. You need to actually engage with your followers. As stated before, consumers want to engage with brands on social media.
Many companies are using social media as an extension of their customer service department. This way, they can solve any issue that arises in real time. As a side benefit, prospective customers will see how you handle customer complaints and be more apt to give you a try if they like what they see.
12. Use Case Studies
Case studies can be a strategic tool in creating more brand value for your business. They will provide prospective customers with verifiable proof that your product or service can do what you say it can.
This will also help build your email list. Give a snippet or small teaser on a specific case study and require your reader to provide contact info in order to get the entire story. This will keep your readers interested and assist with gaining another qualified lead, which you can market to in the future.
13. Use Live Video
Live streaming video is another great way to interact with your audience. It has a real, exclusive feel to it. The viewers who are watching are enabled to engage and feel like they are right there with you each time you go live.
You can use live video as a forum for Q&A and really get to know your customers. This will give you an opportunity to learn what their concerns may be and make decisions based on their feedback. Live streaming from various conferences or company retreats is another great way to keep viewers engaged and included.
14. Appear on Podcasts & Other Local Media
Not only does being featured on someone else’s platform help you get your message out to a wider audience, it also helps you get a de facto endorsement from the host or publication. Their audience will see you as an expert in your industry and will be more likely to trust you. If a familiar trusted news or media source associates themselves with your company, your brand value will align accordingly simply by association.
Getting on a podcast or local publication is not as hard as you think. These outlets are always looking for guests and stories to entertain and inform their audience. Milestones or recent successes make for interesting stories and will keep your host and the audience entertained. Pitch your story ideas to these outlets and you’ll be surprised by the number of responses you get.
15. Calculate The Value of Your SEO Efforts
While paid internet ads have long been a staple of digital marketing, you can achieve similar results by implementing a solid SEO strategy.
Each keyword you use has a value, and that is the pay per click (PPC) cost that Google and other search engines would charge you to run an ad. By determining the value of each click your SEO campaigns bring to your website, you can then establish a value to add to your digital brand.
Like internet marketing, building brand value is a never-ending process. All your marketing efforts will increase or decrease that value. By creating an effective web presence and providing value to your customers, you will be able to build a solid, recognizable brand you and your customers can be proud of.