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Branding for Small Business — Made Simple

Branding for Small Business — Made Simple

There’s a lot of content out there written to help business owners do their own marketing, but it’s often written by marketers who don’t really understand how small and middle market businesses (SMBs) operate. Branding is all about making your business memorable, and it’s often the SMBs that are likely to get lost in the “noise” on the internet.

If you own a small or medium-sized business, or are responsible for marketing one, you need to know how to build your brand and be effective in your market, without the MBA & techno-speak of “Harvard Business Review” language. You need marketing for regular folks…like us!

Here are four simple things you can do right now to grow your brand:

1. Develop your buyer target profile

As a brand, you’re speaking to human beings who want or need your product or service and who hopefully share your vision. If you don’t know who you’re talking to, you’ll have trouble reaching your audience. Creating a buyer profile brings those individuals you want to reach to life and helps you figure out how to market to them.

A buyer profile is simply a description of the person you’re trying to market to. You might have several. Give the profile a name. Write out the features of that person to get to know him/her. Then, when you do your marketing, keep that “person” in mind and address your messaging to her/him specifically. 

2. Know your brand’s values

Establishing what your brand stands for can help your marketing because you can then communicate those values to your customers.

Write down the things that are important to your company. As an example, do you care about the environment? If you do, let people know about the choices you make that align with this value, like using green energy in your office, or only buying recyclable or reusable office supplies, or volunteering to clean up your community. You get the picture. Let your audience know what your value proposition is.

3. Establish your marketing “voice”

How you communicate your marketing message is often referred to as “voice” of your company. Some firms are very professional, others casual, and some employ humor. The tone you use should resonate with your target audience. If you’re a B-2-B firm, you might find it better to use a more formal, professional tone than a casual or cute one. Just make sure to choose a “voice” that is consistent across all your marketing channels. 

If you outsource your content writing, establish some brand guidelines that your writers will use so that they can write to your brand’s “voice”.  

4. Blog consistently

Today blogs are really important to your marketing strategy: in early 2017 81% of online consumers said they trusted the information they read in blogs and 60% of consumers feel more positive about a company after reading custom content on its site.

Write about things that matter to you and your customers such as topics that they have questions about or that can help them in some way. If you or your staff don’t have time to blog, hire someone to do it for you. It’s that important.

Don’t know what to write about? Come up with a list of questions you’ve been asked by prospects and clients. Google other brands in your industry and see what they write about. Keep a spreadsheet of topics so you always have one to write about.

Follow these simple techniques and you will see your brand get noticed.