Branding Small Businesses in 2018
Often, small and local businesses are so busy operating their business that they don’t have much time left over for reflecting on their business brand. Experts stated that your business and brand are effectively one in the same. If you aren’t building your brand and capitalizing on its good name, your business is likely missing out on some positive opportunities in the form of improved website traffic, increased customers, and even increased sales. If you’re a small business or a Main Street business, there are some easy yet critical ways you can build your brand to enhance business growth—and prosperity.
According to a recent report by Forbes, a positive way to build your brand in 2018 is to network. If you’re a small business with a local reach, enhance that reach by supporting community events or taking part in regional events. Establishing a presence in the community that extends beyond your signage or business flyers will help you create a positive brand. Whether you support a local charity or sponsor a community athletic team, your involvement with other organizations demonstrates that you are invested in the people your business hopes to serve.
Whether your business has long been established or is brand new, it needs to connect to potential customers where customers can be found—and that is increasingly online. If your business is keeping social media on a back burner, it’s time to steer renewed focus to engaging on platforms where customers congregate. So, you can’t afford to hire full-time social media guru to create a yearly posting strategy; but can you at least take two minutes to post your daily soup specials if you’re a local café? Can you spare a moment to post a photo of your new product line? These “small” connections are only small if they’re irrelevant. By posting useful information, customers will stay engaged with your business and your business will show that it cares about maintaining its connections.
Transparency is very much a business branding trend for 2018. What does transparency mean? For a small or local business, it might mean sharing video content of its production processes. Does your business really deliver its manufacturing scraps to recycling centers or landfills? Showcase a video of a recycling center drop-off. List the recycling centers you work with. Transparency might mean that you share photos and backgrounds of your management team. By embracing transparent practices, you can effectively tell customers that your brand is authentic and that it’s not hiding behind corporate speak, selling gimmicks, or any unsavory business practices. In essence, transparency builds trust.
Content is a big buzzword in 2018, but what does content mean in the context of your Main Street business? Content is an umbrella term for the information your business uses on its website, in its blog, in its emails, in its print brochures and flyers, in its social media video posts, and so forth. Whether you are a small business or large one, you should develop relevant content that features your desired brand voice. Content markets your brand voice and vital aspects of your business. Does your website content effectively convey who your business is and what is does? Does it effectively communicate important information about your products or services? Perform a content audit and take steps to improve it in the coming months.
Keep these tips in mind as you work to build your brand this year. While these may be trendy steps to promote brand recognition and improve traffic to your website or physical business, they’re trends with staying power. They can help you build a brand that leads to increased growth and success.