Small Business Tips

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How To Promote And Build Your Brand Like The Pros Do

Owning and running a small business is anything but easy. It takes constant work and promotion and you’ve got big competition from big business.

But business owners like you deserve to compete with the big companies, so here are a few expert tips plus advice around how to put them into practice, even if you are on a small business marketing budget.

Maintain brand consistency 

You don’t even need to see the name or the logo — a brief glimpse of those red and white colours is enough to identify this carbonated soft drink.

The reason for this is because companies like Coca Cola have all-encompassing brand standards. This means the colours, photography, typographical elements and messaging that comprise their brand

What your business can takeaway

If you want to stick in the minds of potential customers, brand consistency is essential. From packing and distribution, to storefronts and advertising content, writing some basic branding guidelines is the best way to make sure everything is on the same page.

Not sure where to start? Check out this explainer on why branding is important.

Communicate value

Here Uber expertly highlights everything that is superior about its service, conveying how quick and easy it is to order a taxi via their app. The copy above directly contrasts the typical experience of getting a taxi, from the car coming directly to you and your driver knowing exactly where to go, to completely cashless payment.

What your business can takeaway

In all your ads, social posts and on your website, make sure to clearly explain the value your product or service offers and how it plans to address your customers’ specific needs.

Instead of bombarding them with messages about how great you are, focus on how you can help them and the positive impact you’ll have on their lives. Think about the reasons someone might want what you sell. If your customers are looking for a cleaning product, for example, they’ll want to know what surfaces and materials it can be used on and how quick and easy it is to use.

Reward customer loyalty

Customer acquisition is obviously important, but if you really want a more sustainable marketing strategy, you need to include your existing customers into the picture. 

You can do this through customer loyalty programs, such as loyalty apps or special promotional email campaigns like this one from Expedia

What your business can takeaway

Loyal customers spend 67% more than new ones so don’t forget to reward the ones who have stuck by you.

Offer loyalty schemes and promotions on top of your dedicated customer support.

Customer retention is not just about meeting their expectations but exceeding them, so keep going above and beyond for your existing customers and they’ll become loyal advocates for your brand. 

Brand advocacy and user generated content

As you can see from this example from Apple, they have included their reader’s voices on their social channels. The #ShotOniPhone campaign was a reaction to a few disgruntled customers who were dissatisfied with the iPhone’s camera quality.  

The campaign encouraged Apple users to take everyday photos in low light with their iPhones and share them online. Those shots were then posted on Instagram and Twitter under the hashtag #ShotOniPhone. The campaign regained the faith of its skeptical users while also proving and promoting the capabilities of the iPhone camera to potential new customers. 

What your business can takeaway

It’s not always easy engaging with your customers and followers with new and exciting content, especially in a way that makes the company look good. This is where UGC comes into play.

User Generated Content (UGC) is all about handing the reins over to the customer. So reach out to your followers and ask for product reviews and positive experiences. 

Sharing these testimonials on your website and across social media channels will not only make your company look good but strengthen your relationships with both current and new customers. After all, nothing is more authentic and compelling than your users vouching for the products and brands they love.

Emotional messaging

Rather than focussing on pricing or even a car itself, this video ad from Motors.co.uk instead highlights the emotional connection people have with their vehicles. The campaign focused on how the car takes on new significance when you consider what you do with it, whether it’s family day trips, long journeys or just as a space to escape. 

What your business can takeaway

A recent study found that customers who have an emotional relationship with a brand have a 306% higher lifetime value and will likely recommend the company to friends. 

So tap into your customers’ emotions with your marketing activity and campaigns. On holidays such as Mothers’ Day and Christmas why not write a few social media posts celebrating family and togetherness. If you have the capacity, blog posts or sponsored content are great ways to produce fun content that will connect well with audiences. See these Halloween and Valentines-themed articles of ours as inspiration.  

Use video

Have a good base of customers? Why not feature them in a customer testimonial video, like this one from recruitment company, Reed.

This short video showcases not just one but three customer experiences. Rather than a promotional video from Reed itself, various company managers and directors discuss their own recruitment processes and how Reed has helped them find them the best people for the best roles. 

This format can be a great initiative for small businesses, letting them hear an honest review straight from the mouths of their peers.

What your business can takeaway

People love a good video – especially now as screen time surges. They’re easy to share and a great way to promote your products, as well as help them gain popularity among your target market.

Whether it’s an explainer, promotional or a testimonial, why not make a video of your own. High-quality video production is something that any business can achieve even without the budget and resources of a large company. 

See our recent marketing advice article for more information around video and how it could help you win over customers on the newly reopened high street. 

Over to you

Big brands may have the big following and big capabilities but that doesn’t make them unbeatable.

You don’t need an immense budget to put what makes your business the best front-and-center in your messaging – just a little focus and a few expert tips and 2021 may be your strongest year yet. 

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