8 Ways To Increase Brand Awareness
When it comes to branding for small businesses, you as a business owner have a myriad of options and approaches to choose from. If you are like most entrepreneurs, you want your brand to become popular and in turn, attract customers. If you want your brand to become more noticeable, you will have to take certain steps. Many of these steps are easier than you might imagine.
By understanding your target audience and doing a bit of research, you can find out what you need to do to expand your brand. This understanding of your audience is essential, and once you have it, you can utilize various methods to reach them. If you have been looking for ways to increase brand awareness for your small business, you may want to give the following eight strategies a try.
1. Remain Consistent
If you are wondering how to increase brand awareness, you must understand that consistency is key. Change can be good, but in reality, too many changes can have a negative impact on your branding strategy. Consumers typically don’t respond well to companies that frequently alter their brands. While there is nothing wrong with rebranding your small business when you need to, you must give your target audience the time to get used to your brand. In addition to maintaining a recognizable logo, other elements of your overall brand should remain consistent as well, such as your voice and customer service approach.
2. Understand the Importance of Blogging
If you want to know how to build brand awareness for your small business, you must comprehend the importance of blogging. You may wonder why your business needs a blog and you may be on the fence about starting one. Here are just a few of the reasons your business needs a blog:
- Blogs help keep your audience engaged by sharing helpful, relevant information. A good blog will keep your audience interested and promote your company at the same time.
- You can use your blogs to attract and appeal to new audiences. By using helpful SEO strategies such as titles, meta descriptions, keywords, and more, your blog will have more visibility on the internet.
- Blogging can help you build a community around your brand. An effective blog will help you spread the word about your company’s goods and services. It can also help you create long-lasting relationships with potential customers.
- Blogging can help establish your company as a lynchpin of thought leadership. In other words, when you provide useful, correct information, consumers will consider you an authority in your industry.
- Consumers are more likely to trust companies with authoritative and informational blogs. There is plenty of incorrect and untrustworthy information online. By establishing yourself as a provider of trustworthy information, you will reach a much wider audience.
Simply put, if you want to build a brand, blogging must be part of your overall branding strategy.
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3. Utilize Social Media
Using social media to build a brand can be a daunting task, but these days, reaching out to your target audience via social media is almost non-negotiable. There are numerous positive aspects of selling your small business brand using social media platforms, and if you think about it from a logical standpoint, social media gives small business owners the opportunity to reach countless potential customers.
Maintaining an active page on the major platforms is one of the best ways to utilize social media, but you will need to do more than just create a Facebook/Twitter/Instagram page. You will need to regularly post useful content that viewers want to read in addition to doing the following:
- Use social media advertisements to grow brand visibility and expand your reach
- Engage with followers through messages and comments
- Partner or engage with other brands in your community
- Try multiple engagements or advertising techniques to see what works
If you are really driven to get the most out of social media, you should consider using quizzes, contests, and giveaways to lure in potential customers. Many businesses utilize such methods to increase brand exposure. Just remember to ask your followers to tag their friends in the comments and share posts.
To reach the widest audience possible, it may be wise to partner with influencers in your particular industry. Influencers often wield immense power over a massive fan base, and they may be willing to expose these followers to your small business brand.
4. Provide Excellent Customer Service
If you ask any small business in the process of building a brand, they will tell you how much of an impact a single negative customer review can have. To make matters worse, reviewers often tell their friends and family members about the “horrible” service they believe they received. Simply put, you will need to provide the best customer service possible to avoid such reviews.
While it is important to provide stellar customer service at all times, you should be especially aware when crafting a brand strategy. Going above and beyond to please customers should be a key component of your company’s ethical code, and if you do make a mistake or provide sub-par service, quickly make up for it by replacing the product, offering a discount, or giving something away for free.
In the age of internet reviews, having unsatisfied customers can be risky. A negative reputation can spread like wildfire, and ideally, you don’t want that to happen to you. Customers who are satisfied will typically leave positive reviews and help spread positive information about your company.
5. Advertise Through the Right Channels
It is no secret – Twitter users tend to feel more appreciated when a brand responds to their tweet. While Twitter is only one channel you can use to reach customers, you have a wealth of other options. Each advertising channel reaches a unique audience, so ideally, it would be beneficial to choose channels where your target customers are likely to spend most of their time.
Finding the right channels can take time. After all, some channels cater to younger demographics while others cater to those of certain political leanings. To find the perfect channel, you will need to perform some research and identify your target audience. Fortunately, there are tools available to help you do your research, but if you are really struggling, it may be time to hire an experienced branding agency.
6. Co-Brand With Other Businesses
If you are like many small business owners, you may be only thinking of your company and its brand. There is absolutely nothing wrong with this, but did you know you may be able to reach a wider audience by partnering with other brands? Partnering with other well-known brands that share your views, values, and vision is a great way to increase brand awareness and garner more attention.
In recent years, many major companies, such as Starbucks and Spotify and BMW and Louis Vuitton have teamed up to increase brand awareness. Although these are larger companies with billions in assets, co-branding can work for smaller companies as well. If you really want to get the most out of your partnership with another brand, consider sponsoring important events, supporting local teams, donating to charities, or holding joint events.
7. Integrate Emotion Into Your Branding Strategy
Most purchases are emotional in nature. You will need to understand the emotion behind purchases and use it to build your small business brand. Branding based on emotions and values, especially in the marketing realm, can help you develop meaningful and deep relationships with customers. Shoppers are also more likely to stay loyal to brands they feel share their values.
Consumers who prefer brands with this type of approach make affiliations to specific emotions and values subconsciously as well as consciously. In other words, if your business can form an emotional bond with potential clients, your job is almost halfway done. Of course, if you want this type of bond with your customers, you will need to have a firm understanding of what they want and how they think.
8. Appeal to Consumers’ Desire for Community
Many consumers prefer to engage with companies they believe have a strong purpose. Consumers’ sense of self and their need to belong to a community strongly influences where they take their business. With modern technology at the helm, the world has become one large community. In other words, if your brand can take advantage of this sense of “we” and “me” by connecting to greater collectives, you will be able to expand your brand. This approach largely works because consumers identify through the labels they consume.
Consumers who prefer this type of approach make affiliations to certain groups and lifestyles. Simply put, when you position your company within a certain community of people, it will become more than just a provider of services or goods. It will become an extension of consumers’ lives.
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Running a small business can be difficult, especially when it comes to crafting an effective and efficient branding strategy. However, by utilizing the ideas listed above, you can save time and help consumers familiarize themselves with your company’s brand at the same time.
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