Can we talk a little bit about branding here?
One of the most effective ways to get your brand out there to potential customers is to keep a consistent message and to use all forms of digital marketing.
Even if you’ve been dragging you feet on getting completely immersed in social media and websites you will learn that these are the places your potential customers spend their time online. You may as well join them if you hope to see some of their business.
[box]As a business marketing tool there is nothing else that can match the reach, personal contact, interaction or immediacy of the worldwide web. [/box]
There are some simple ways to dip your toe the pool.
1 – Have The Information On Your Business Website Properly Optimized
So, what exactly does that mean? Well, if you have a website you need to have some sort of way to get it noticed by search engines. It’s the search engines that provide your website as an option when someone enters a search term related to your brand. If your website does not have the right kind of optimization, it will just get lost in a sea of other websites online.
Here are some optimization ideas:
This is your internet address. It’s the www dot part that people would enter to find your website. One simple form of optimization is to choose and use a domain name that is related to the type of business you have and where it is located. For example, if you had a widget store in downtown Central City a sensible domain name would be www.CentralCityWidgets.com. You could use www.CCW.com but no one would really know where or what your business was.
Keywords are sort of clues that a search engine uses to find your website. By using keywords that identify your business, the type or service it is and where it is located you save the search engines a lot of time matching your website to the search queries being made about it. Keywords should be on all pages, in page titles and throughout your website.
Group your business name, address and phone number on each and every page of your website. It makes it a lot easier for someone interested in your brand to track you down and make contact than to bury that information on only one or two of your website pages.
The ‘stuff’ on each page of your website that talks about what you do and what you sell is called content. The content should include local information to connect your business to the region it is operating in. It will also help search engines localize your website to general enquiries.
2 – Use Business Listings On Other Websites
Third-party sources are a great way to increase the visibility of your business at no cost to you. However, it will require some work seeking out existing business listings and updating them (if the information is incorrect or incomplete). You will also need to put time into looking for new listing sources to list your business on. Search engines utilize listing directories and if your business does not appear in them, it will impact the positioning of your business in search engine enquiry results.
One way to enhance your business listing on a third-party site is to include photos, videos, website URLs and any other information that will turn your listing into something interesting and informative. Just having your business name is fine, but fill it out more to get noticed by more than just the search engines.
Give your business listing a fighting chance by placing it under the correct or most appropriate category available. For example, Central City Widgets should be under categories ranging from Retail and Shopping to Widgets and Gifts. Placing it under something like Government Services is just hurting your search engine results.
Use Separate Listings
If your business has multiple locations, widen the net that will capture the search engines by using more than one listing. In other words, if Central City Widgets has stores in South Town and North Town there should be a different listing created for each retail location.
3 – Use A Methodic Linking Strategy
Links to your website from other websites are a lot like internet gold. However, depending on where the link comes from it may be as worthless as Fool’s Gold. This is why you need to put together a clever strategy for your links.
Social Media It Up
One great way to get some link action is to post your website link on the giant social media world. This includes Facebook, Twitter and countless other social media platforms. Search engines crawl them regularly and your links will show in search results. Plus, you’ll reach potential new customers just by linking on these social media sites.
Tag With Links
Whatever form of communication you use in order to make contact with customers or potential new clients, always include links to your websites as part of the email, newsletter or whatever device you use.
When you tag your business or product to local events and activities you open up another way to get your website noticed. By having links from these event sites to your website will help you gain better rankings with the search engines.
Create Directories/Information Portals
Another effective tool is to create your own curated directories on specific topics of interest in and around your community. Within these directories should be links back to your website where appropriate.
4 – Incorporate Online Reviews
Online review sites have huge internet footprints. By getting your product or brand reviewed by customers online may take some serious encouragement but it will pay dividends. Conversely, you do put your business in the position to receive negative reviews as well. The best way to deal with them is to be proactive in responding to the reviews online. Plus, do not endorse the posting of fake or otherwise phony reviews of your business or product as this can easily work against you.
5 – Use Social Media Regularly
Because the immediacy of social media is so rapid, you can create a lot of interest with your business and product just by engaging with followers online. If they are fans of your brand, they will respond to whatever you choose to put out there. You can use all kinds of online tools to learn more about your customers and what they are all about through surveys, contests and many other tools of engagement.
6 – Find Ways To Include Local Media
As awesome as it is to be able to reach a bigger audience through the internet, you still need to concentrate some effort on your local community. There are many ‘old school’ ways to access media sources in your region. If there are newspapers send them information about your product and they may be interested in publishing a story or feature on you. If you are sponsoring local events or a charity of some kind, notify your local news media and they may give you some ink or airtime. If there are local bloggers in your area, invite them to participate in your functions in exchange for some coverage.
It Just Takes A Bit Of Work…And Time
It is not hard getting the word out about your brand. All you need to do is put a concentrated effort into a plan and follow it through. Hopefully these tips will help you to put that action plan in place. Good luck!
But then again it is not really about luck just like any aspect of your business. – It is about Plan Organise Direct, Control. The reality is that it is always better to have someone who knows what they are doing to develop a strategy that will suit your budget and your consider your goals