Many small business owners understand the importance of branding, but they’re often stuck when it comes to budgeting. Some of them even struggle to come up with innovative ideas.
To create effective branding for your small business, you don’t need to run advertisements on every website or social media channel. It’s also not necessary to have a huge budget to accomplish it.
All you need to kickstart your branding is creative ideas that will drive engagement for your brand.
If you’re facing a creative block, here are some actionable tips that can help you create a powerful branding strategy for your small business:
1. Build a Persona for Your Brand
A brand persona includes the personality traits, values, and attitudes of your brand. It can be an idea, a character, a mascot, or even a person.
While creating a brand persona, you must remember your target audience. They must like your brand persona, else they may not be inclined to engage with your brand or purchase from you.
To create a persona for your brand, you can follow some of these tips:
- Create a personality image. Who/what does your persona look like? Is it an object, animal, or human?
- Create an overview of your brand.
- Curate a list of traits of your brand that you’d like to highlight.
- Describe how your brand persona will communicate, and provide some examples.
- Design a style guide with a colour palette that resonates with your brand’s ideals, goals, and matches the persona of your brand.
2. Aim to Build Long-Term Relationships With Your Customers
Don’t go overboard and start promoting your products or services relentlessly. Instead, focus on creating valuable and memorable brand experiences for your customers.
Offer them free services, or provide them with information that adds value to their life. Rather than hard-selling your product to your audience, understand their needs and selectively target a niche segment that really requires your services.
Aim to build long-term relationships with your customers instead of letting them go after they’ve made a purchase. You must learn to retain customers by delivering more than promised, providing personalized experiences, and delivering stellar services.
To connect better with your audience, learn to speak their language.
Take Taco Bell for example. They not only maintain a strong social media presence but also put up a friendly face on social media. The brand’s willingness to interact with customers on topics beyond just customer service is what sets them apart from their competitors.
3. Create Branded Videos
Video content is one of the most powerful marketing tools at your disposal in 2020. About 85% of internet users in the United States watch online videos monthly on any of their devices. It’s clear that netizens like watching videos.
To attract your audience, you should create engaging videos that are relevant to them. Provide them with valuable information with the purpose of entertaining, educating, or informing them.
The more they are able to relate to your video, the more likely they will be to share it with others. In fact, consumers’ favorite type of content is videos from a brand on social media.
Video content also builds brand credibility and trust. Effective marketing videos can help you promote your products/services in a conversational form without sounding too promotional.
4. Build a Community
Building an online community that supports your brand and drives engagement is beneficial for the success of small businesses. Building a community can keep your audience engaged and make them feel like they are part of something bigger.
Interact with your audience and engage with them regularly on topics that align with your business industry or that interest them. People look to connect with like-minded people and follow brands that share their fundamental values.
This is one of the best ways of getting genuine followers for your brand on social media. Try connecting with your audience on a personal level; it can help you convert them too.
Here are some actionable tips that you can take to build a community around your brand:
- Start with your team: Build a community internally within your brand first. Design a well-crafted brand purpose, rally your team with a clear vision, and engage with your employees to build real connections with them.
- Embrace a social cause that impacts your customers: Your brand must care for causes that your audience believes in. This can make them feel like you’re a part of their community too.
For instance, if your customers buy a product, and your organization donates a part of it to people in need, it’s a good way of establishing moral credibility around your brand.
5. Use Content Intelligence Platforms and Tools
Embrace content intelligence platforms and tools to get data-driven insights that can help you quickly identify the content your audience likes the most. In addition to this, you can explore the topics they are most likely to engage with in the future.
Content intelligence platforms and tools can help you determine how your content stacks up against your competitors. Which can help you understand any gaps in your existing content so that you can fill them and grow your brand.
They also provide real-time information on the performance of your content so that you can figure out the effectiveness of your strategy. As a result, you can figure out the improvements that you can make to meet your goals.
Furthermore, you can analyze your audience’s conversations by using social media monitoring tools. This can help you figure out what your audience wants. Accordingly, you can customize your content better to fit their needs.
6. Give Personalized Attention To Users
Whether your customers are visiting your Instagram handle or your store, they are looking for a personalized experience when shopping.
It’s easier for small businesses to create personalized experiences for their audience since the number of customers involved is limited.
A survey revealed that 80% of customers are more likely to purchase when brands offer them a customized experience. Therefore, to create a strong brand, you can have a personal touch to your services, no matter what your customer selects.
For example, create content around their pain-points and share it with them. Provide an omnichannel experience to them and remember them on special days. This can go a long way to give a personal touch to your engagement with them.
7. Get Your Branding Right for Gen Z
Getting your branding right for your Gen Z audience can make a huge impact on your business if you’re just starting out. With the onset of 2020, marketers are welcoming Generation Z (as people born in the mid-1990s will turn 25 soon).
Gen Z will account for about 40% of all consumers by 2020, according to a study. As a result, you might miss out on a huge chunk of your target audience if you ignore them.
You need to be quirky, creative, and present your ideas innovatively when marketing to Gen Z. Focus on how you portray your message, the value you are providing them, and how you stylize your content.
A few useful tips to market to Gen Z:
- Sell experiences, not products. Talk about how your product can integrate seamlessly into their lives and provide valuable services.
- Use micro-influencers and niche-influencers to reach out to a specific audience. It’s no secret that in today’s age of “Instagrammable” moments and unboxing videos, a well-designed retail packaging is a great way to attract and establish a personal connection with the customers. And so, partnering with a trusted personality will help you get extra marketing mileage for your brand.
- Highlight your dedication towards privacy as it is important for Gen Z. 55% of them want to have control over the information they share.
- Generate loyalty through meaningful interactions.
8. Give Your Brand a Human Touch
Building customer relationships is more than advertising and follow-ups.
To connect with your audience, you need to go beyond showcasing your product and brand values. Employees are what make up an organization. Don’t shy away from introducing your customers to your employees.
With this strategy, you can explore storytelling to build connections. Give your audience a sneak peek into your work culture and what it’s like to work at your organization.
Whether it’s an office party or a regular meeting, make it a point to show your audience what goes on behind the scenes. Or you could even introduce your employees and talk about their achievements.
You can get some inspiration from Hootsuite’s Instagram posts. They feature their employees regularly on their feed while they’re working, playing, or just taking a break.
A quick look at their Instagram feed will tell you that they are a relaxed workplace where dogs are welcome.
Your branding strategy can help you grow your business manifold. Build a brand persona that resonates well with your target audience and build lasting relationships with them.
Pay attention to videos and use content intelligence platforms to find out what your target audience wants. Try to personalize your interaction with your target audience as much as possible and don’t miss out on the opportunity to connect with Gen Z consumers.
If you have any more interesting branding tips to add, please share them in the comments section below.