The old adage goes “Rome wasn’t built in a day,” and for good reason.

When you build your brand, you are essentially telling a new story, the story of your company. How do you want that narrative to read? What’s the plot, the mission, and the point to all you do? How can you make your story stand out in a noisy marketplace and gain the traction necessary to help separate you from the hungry pack of competitors?

This challenge gets more difficult as new technologies are introduced, directly impacting consumer behavior, purchasing trends, and long-term buying habits. More so, this challenge is even tougher for small business, who usually lack the resources necessary to turn on a dime and quickly adjust to new waters. Nevertheless, challenging doesn’t mean impossible.

Consumers are connected to the digital universe at virtually all hours of the day as their fingers are glued to their mobile devices, surfing the web and social media accounts, on their smartphones and tablets. If consumers are spending more time in this space, so should marketers.

Every successful marketer realizes the need to invest in building their brand online…

That’s why every successful marketer realizes the need to invest in building their brand online, to reap the benefits of increased traffic to your brand hub—website—and increased conversion rates. More traffic means more conversions, higher sales and greater revenue. Below are key insights that can help you do just that and build your empire:

  1. Develop your thought leadership. Your experience holds just as much weight as that of any textbook. Own it, document it, and leverage it fully. Use this as the fodder for publishing thought-provoking content. Your perspective should be innovative, covering current happenings and answering key questions from your target consumers. This will allow you to enter the conversation with your consumers, early in their purchasing cycle, in an effort to help build brand awareness and affinity.
  2. Create an open dialogue with your consumers. Expand your social media profiles, and develop new content on a weekly basis to (a.) maintain top-of-mind awareness, (b.) build brand notoriety, and (c.) understand consumer preferences.
  3. Stay in the know with SEO trends. Google alters their algorithms nearly every month. Understand the opportunity available with organic rankings and how Google prioritizes content so that your company can stay ahead of the curve and ahead of your competitors.
  4. Publish more worthy content. Develop content that is relevant and thought provoking. Your consumers can see through the fluff, so create content that achieves and addresses a market or consumer challenge. Your content can come in the form of new pages on the website, blogs, social media updates, articles, whitepapers, video and infographics.

Content may be king but smart content builds brand empires. Marketing your small business is an investment just like purchasing equipment or properly staffing your company. It is only an expense when you neglect it because it can be the demise of your company and prevent great success. So ask yourself this, do you want to build a company or an empire?

This article was originally posted on the Graphic D-Signs blog.

Read more: Is Your Brand Built to Last?