September 27th, 2017

Understanding Inbound Marketing

As a local business, market penetration is your bread and butter. Having locals recognize who you are and what you do is what marketing is all about. Email lists, social media, crowd interaction, every part of a marketing campaign is aimed towards building your brand. The steps behind brand building are complicated and tedious. Having a recognizable brand is not an easy process but it is necessary.

What is Brand Awareness

Think about your business from the shoes of a layman on the street. What would the regular, average citizen think about what you do? Remember, people are just as busy as you are. Thinking about various companies and the minutia behind running a business are not thoughts your customers will have. Brand awareness refers to how your business is interpreted and more importantly, remembered. Remembering the precise name of a business is not the intention of building a brand. Most consumers won’t remember anyway. But there are other characteristics that can make you stand out. Think about what makes your business different from the competition. Focus on the differences and build your brand around uniqueness.

Brand awareness equates into customer engagement. The more your user base knows who you are, the greater your social reach will be. Having word of mouth on your side can be invaluable. It is hard to put a price on brand awareness and because it is often intangible, many business owners shy away from building it. Not having brand awareness means someone else will. The business and service you offer are in demand. Without brand awareness, people will go elsewhere to have their needs fulfilled. By focusing on brand awareness, you can ensure your company will be at the front of a potential customer’s mind.

Building Your Brand

Your brand is the life and death of your company. Think about it like a stock option. When more people want a particular stock, the value increases. When more people recognize your brand, your business's value also rises. Even if brand awareness doesn’t relate to sales right away, it will in the long run. When consumers need a service or a product, most will consult friends and read reviews online. If they already have an idea about your company, they are more inclined to choose you as their preferred merchant.

When you are building brand awareness, it is important to focus on the customer, not your business. Listen to your customers and understand their wants and desires. What sorts of problems do you fix in their everyday life? Focus on making their lives easier and better. With this basic tenet at the heart of your brand, you can then start building awareness.

Depending on what your service or business is, having public appearances is never a bad idea. Engaging in local parades or outdoor festivals will increase your brand awareness. Large companies engage in this process every day. Red Bull is a great example  —  attending sporting events and giving their product away. We are not suggesting you start giving your product away for free but it’s a good extreme example of brand building. What kind of ways do you interact with people on a daily basis? As the face of your brand, maintaining personal relationships always has the potential to make future sales.

Using Your Online Presence to Build and Maintain Your Brand

Perhaps the most efficient method for building your brand involves your web presence. Your website, social media accounts, and maybe even an app are all integral to your business. Maintaining content is crucial for building your brand. This is your opportunity to talk directly to potential and returning clients alike. The style of your voice and the subject matter all play an important role in how the public perceives you. Think about your website in the same way you do every other aspect of your business.

This is not a backburner idea but a digital storefront on the World Wide Web. Whether you have a brick and mortar store or not, your digital side has the potential to build your brand to new heights. This is the forum where your business is on full display. With mobile devices becoming the norm, having brand awareness will set you apart from the competitors.