Having a website isn’t enough: Taking steps to establish your brand

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In the ever-changing digital-world, as a small business owner, you should know that having a website is a necessary part of your marketing strategy. However, if you attended the February CBICC Connect Lunch & Learn on personal branding online with Hello Social Co.’s Ellen, you also know that there is so much more you can do to amp up your business.

Your website is just an extension of your company’s brick-and-mortar site. But what else can you do to make your business rise above the competition and grow? How can you stick out from the rest?

It’s important that you have established not only your company’s brand, but your personal brand. Integrating your website with your current and future marketing intentions will also help to ensure that you are effectively and efficiently bringing in new customers while maintaining the ones that you currently have.

And where would we be without the fastest way to connect to our market: social media?

First thing’s first, your messaging cannot possibly speak to everyone at once, so you have to know who you are targeting before you can create or re-develop your website, let alone any other marketing efforts you may be exploring. The people you are targeting are the ones you want to make aware of your brand.

As John Williams from Entrepreneur writes, “Simply put, your brand is your promise to your customer.” If you can keep your promise, you can more than likely keep your customer. Framing this foundation for your audience prior to forming a relationship will help this process immensely. They want to understand the source of your passion and how your business came to be–your story.

In grade school you learn the basics of creating a story. You were most likely given a blank storyboard and asked to fill in the who, what, where, when, and why to create a basis for your plot, Telling your story shows the added value brought to your company’s products or services and gives you the ability to charge more for your brand than your competitors. Likewise, being able to relate to them on a personal level will also reel them in.

This is where the importance of having your “Why” comes in. Your “Why” is what resonates with who you are in work and life (Meet local, Dana Ray of Dana M. Ray Consulting). If you do your research, and learn the habits and needs of your current and prospective customers, by tying them into yourself and your business, you will begin to rely on what you know your customers are thinking. Establishing your brand is the key to having a website that is impactful.

Next, incorporating your website to match your marketing also plays an important role in having more than “just a website”. The customers you are seeking out are not likely to land on your site if you are not utilizing any digital marketing or SEO techniques.

You can boost the current content on your website in a few ways:

  • Formatting your posts for easier reading
  • Being sure to include images throughout
  • Organizing your content into themes
  • Researching keywords
  • Ensuring your site is mobile-friendly
  • And tracking your analytics

Implementing a few of these are sure to make your website pop.

Finally, social media is the future of your business. Social media allows you to engage with your audience through updates, and social media requires effort. It is important that you are taking the extra step to connect by replying to comments and personal messages– you never know when you are gaining a customer. You also have the ability to increase your visibility through promotional activities, such as free services or discounts, by developing ways for your followers to participate through the different platforms you are a part of.

These platforms offer different features. These features are tailor-made for these platforms and you will see the best results if you use them within your marketing strategy. Be sure to publicize your social media accounts on your website so that you do not miss any opportunities to make your business known.

Having a website is very important for any company of any size, and anyone has the ability to reap the benefits of having one, but if you are missing out on opportunities to grab the attention of your target markets, then you should grow your website to its full potential and boost your marketing strategies online.

Above all, be true to your brand and stay consistent.

Author: Katey Crean, Hello Social Co.

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