I don’t know how many times I have to say this, but knowing how to increase brand awareness or getting your small business recognized online is not about building a website. It’s not. If that is all you plan to do then save yourself the time and money and don’t bother doing anything at all because you will get the same result. Nothing!
It is important to take some time to learn the new landscape of the internet; Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and figure out how to use it if you want to leverage your brand exposure online.
There are 3 very important steps to increase brand awareness online and these are:
1. Get Social
Set up accounts on the most popular social media accounts: Facebook, YouTube and Twitter. These are not the only social media sites, there are hundreds, if not thousands of others and if you know that in your niche there is a specific social media site where your targeted customers go, then build a profile there and participate.
If your small business is involved in the design space then it would be advisable to dedicate some time to setting up a Flickr or Instagram profile.
Depending on your industry and brand you need to find the services that are relevant to you and your customers.
Related Resources from B2C
» Free Webcast: Strategic Thinking: Social Media + Social Business Strategy
Just like a traditional website, setting up an account is going to produce few results. If you want to conduct online marketing for small business the right way then you need to include social media marketing as part of your overall marketing strategy. Then put together a content marketing strategy, where you regularly produce fresh and relevant content that speaks to your ideal audience and invokes a response.
2. Reach out and Syndicate
Blogging is very popular, if there is not already a blogger who caters for your niche, then start it yourself. Chances are your niche will be covered but that does not mean you have to throw in the towel. Start creating your own informative and entertaining content that people want to read.
- Share this content on your social media sites
- Share the content of other bloggers in your niche on your social media site
- Set up link sharing arrangements with other bloggers
- Provide content for authority blogs in your niche – Guest Blogging
By following these simple syndication rules and taking the time to learn how get your blog noticed properly, you can reach targeted customers who are interested in the niche or subject you are talking about. You can provide valuable content from others to your following and in the process build lasting business relationships with those in your space.
3. Don’t be afraid to put your hands in your pocket
The ideal scenario is that you will set up a blog, start syndicating content and within the first month you will pick up 10,000 loyal subscribers and 1,000 people will sign up to your email marketing list. Reality is slightly different and it takes time, patience and consistent effort to get great results. So while you are focussing on your content marketing strategy don’t be afraid to invest in Media Advertisement buys to get targeted people reviewing your business experience.
There are many great platforms that you can use such as Google Adsense, Facebook Ads, Yahoo and promoted tweets.
If you have a solid understanding of who your brand wants to be speaking to then you can really target those advertisements to your core demographic and get results. Whether those results seem positive or negative you can use the information to shape your content marketing strategy moving forward.
Leveraging your brand’s online presence is about providing an experience for your target customer where they become a part of something bigger. Using your online presence to hammer your readership with pricing promotions or product specifics won’t get you success or credibility!
The key to increased brand awareness online is to focus on building a community where people can learn more about your business practices in their own time without feeling pressured.