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Small companies may be out-gunned by big brands that are likely to splurge in media and advertising – but all this is changing! Social media and smartphone searches have leveled the playing field, and enormous spenders are descending from their advantageous position.
Traditional methods have now become fruitless, and big companies no longer have control over brand perception. The opinions and unmediated experiences about brands through review sites and social media are more impacting compared to the costly ad campaign. This is mainly true for millennials, who seem to show no trust in ads. A survey revealed that just 3% of people are influenced by celebrity bloggers, who are paid heavily by big brands. The same survey also revealed that 30% of customers were likely to buy a product that was recommended by a blogger who wasn’t a celebrity. People happen to relate to influencers who are not celebrities. Ad spending is now eclipsed by customer opinion.
Brands today are co-constructed with consumers online, which means that smaller entrepreneurs and businesses have an opportunity to challenge bigger companies based on their ability to deliver premium customer service and their merit.
Small businesses can now win over their customers by fabricating support through engagement and giving competition to bigger brands. Here are some ways to do it:
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Mass media advertisement has always been seen as the zenith of visibility that brands have long used to capture the market. However, attracting constant visibility to your small business doesn’t require a heavy investment. Today, product, website presentation, and content are at the top of search pages instead of paid ads when a customer looks for a keyword on Google. Building consumer trust and driving organic traffic can be done only if you are in a privileged position in search engines. The actions, techniques, and tools implemented in pushing your brand to reach this privileged position on the search engines is SEO. The aim is to make Google understand the relevance and value of what your small business offers so that your brand is favored when consumers look for certain keywords and come on top of the results. Hiring an SEO specialist to deliver tailored SEO services is a smart investment for small businesses.
Branding doesn’t just give you customers but establishes an emotional connection with your consumers. Brand awareness reflects your originality, builds trust with your consumers, and gives you recognition. Some crucial elements in branding are logo, shape, color palette, fonts, imagery, positioning, and tone of voice & vocabulary. Together they shape the perception and brand identity of your business. It communicates your uniqueness to the customers.
Content strategy is all about producing and sharing articles, posts, videos, news, or any other form of the subject which communicates directly with your customers. Creating valuable, appropriate and attractive content is how your small business can build its unique personality, establish authority and create an identity for itself in the competitive market. What to write, How to write, and When to write are the three main things that should be considered besides ensuring reliable and honest information sharing.
Social Media Marketing
Social media is not just a platform to boost visibility or share content about your company. It is an amplifier that focuses on the customization of your brand and allows you to establish relationships with your customers. A report revealed that 90% of marketers found that social media gave their business the exposure they always wanted, and 75% said that they witnessed a rise in traffic. Small businesses should consider investing in a social media marketing agency or tools that aggregate and automate social interaction to ensure trends are followed, and uninterrupted interaction is done with customers.
When done right, email marketing can launch you ahead of other rival businesses. It is an excellent way to develop the brand identity of your small business as it gives you a direct line to the email inboxes of potential or existing customers. Regular email updates open gates to tremendous opportunities where you can voice your business uniquely, using an engaging style to present your product and services. A recent report revealed that 77% of marketers had experienced an increase in email engagement over the last 12 months.