It Pays to Be Pedantic: Small Business Tips for Your Brand

As a business owner, you’ll have an excellent understanding of how your presence online can affect your sales and profit margin. It’s the perfect time to grow your ecommerce brand or company online. However, there is always going to be more competition, and you’ll need to keep up with your peers, and ideally exceed what they’ve achieved. You might think that you’ve done all you can regarding your website and social media platforms, but there are always the little details to focus on, that can help to make a significant difference. Big or small your company is, you want each area to be working hard for you, and bringing in a growing number of consumers.

If a visitor has a negative experience on your site, there are so many others to choose from that they’ll simply click elsewhere, and you’ll be quickly forgotten. Just like a physical store, you need to focus on drawing people in, impressing them when they arrive, and ensure they both return to invest in you and recommend you to others.

If you’re at a loss as to what more you can do, you’ll need an in-depth look at your online environment and start working out how each detail can improve for your company’s success. The following are some tips, ideas, and advice for those looking to be a little pedantic about their business so that competition is less of a worry.

Grayscale Photo of Computer Laptop Near White Notebook and Ceramic Mug on Table

Hard-working Content

Your first port of call should be your content — ask yourself if it’s working hard enough to bring in new traffic and ensure that you’re sitting where you want to be in Google rankings. It might be time to invest in a company who can help to hone your content creation, so look at sites like Webgator SEO agency to see how they can assist you in getting a much-needed boost. Just like anyone working for you, you want your content to be consistent.

Consistency will help to ensure that you’re appearing where you should in consumer social media feeds; stick to a rigid plan and utilise your analytics so that you’re posting things at the best time to reach your audience. Set a tone for your content. Your brand identity should shine through your words and images, so always keep this in mind when uploading.

Image Credit: Pexels

The Personal Touch

Customers often get sick of mass, spam-like emails arriving in their inbox (or heading straight to their junk mail). Therefore, it might be worth taking a look at your list of customer contacts, gathering their information and data, and utilising it to create individual emails and a more personal touch when they’re contacted.

Aside from their name, you can use the items they were looking at to create a reminder email, or install the software so that pop-ups become a gentle push to bring them back to your site. Special offers on their birthday and other touches will help to give you a physical store feel, and you’ll build customer trust and appreciation.

It’s hard work bringing new visitors to your site, but it’s worth investing in so that your business can develop and grow.

Here Are Four Tips to Help Boost Your Product or Service

You might have created an excellent product or service, but that’s not enough if you want to see success. You need to think beyond that and work out what else you need to do to make people want to choose your brand and be happy with the results. There are several essential elements you need to consider before you pat yourself on the back for a job well done.

A Strong Online Presence

Any business today that doesn’t exist online is going to miss out in comparison to other businesses. People use the internet to find what they’re looking for these days, so you need to be there. A quality website should be your first step to establishing your brand online.

Read also: Let’s Get Visible! Your Quick Guide to a Great Online Presence

Clever and Original Marketing

If you want to get your brand noticed, you need to have the right marketing strategies. You need your brand to get people’s attention using smart methods, not by making them annoyed, baffled, or even offended. Select your marketing firm carefully.

A Unique and Recognisable Brand

It can take a lot of work to develop a brand. When you work on your brand, you need to create something your customers can recognise and identify with. If only people who work for you notice when something doesn’t gel with your brand, your branding probably isn’t very strong.

Superb Customer Service

Don’t forget to focus on creating an excellent customer service experience. You should aim to deliver on your promises and even go beyond what your customers expect from you.


Infographic Design By Sage Advantage

Assertive Marketing Strategies to Get You Essential Brand Exposure

Assertiveness is defined as being confident and occasionally forceful. When you’re trying to grow a brand or become a better business, it takes a lot of courage to exert your force and influence on consumers. This is because there’s a delicate balance between treating your customers well and giving them all kinds of trouble that will eventually force them to stop doing business with you.

Assertiveness can be shown in your marketing campaigns and also how you react on social media. If you’re going to try to improve your brand awareness, then you need to understand when to be aggressive and when to hold yourself back. In this article, we’ll be discussing some of the ways that you can be assertive in your chosen industry without being overbearing.

Image Credit: Pexels

Define Your Target Market

One of the biggest problems in business is being unable to define your own audience. There’s a difference between trying to meet the demands of your consumers and setting trends. Although the line may seem thin in some cases, there’s a huge difference that needs to be understood if you want to use assertiveness as a positive quality that will help grow your brand.

One of the best ways to define your market is to look for business sales leads. With these at your disposal, you can target your marketing at people who you know will make use of your products and services. If you try to appeal to a wider audience, then you risk watering down your brand and alienating the customers who have a need for your niche.

Define your own audience and set trends if you want to be successful in business — don’t let the market define you.

Too Little, Too Late

Taking advantage of situations in the industry is a quality that not many marketers or business owners have. Being able to read data and keep up with social media is the job of a dedicated community manager that understands how the internet works.

Fail to capitalise on situations that could be beneficial to your business and you run the risk of doing too little too late. When your customers are dissatisfied with a specific product or service, it’s your job as the owner to identify what is causing these issues and fix them immediately before it’s too late.

If there’s an opportunity in the industry then it’s also your responsibility to take advantage of it before another business beats you to it.

Differentiating Assertive and Aggressive

Being aggressive is nicer way of saying being annoying. We’ve all seen those annoying marketing campaigns that try to get in our face at every opportunity. While it’s actually a good strategy to get your brand name into people’s minds, it’s also expensive and not good for long-term growth if you’re a small or medium business.

In order to be assertive, you need to understand when you’re being annoying to the consumer and when you need to pull your advertising or promotional campaigns to prevent your business from becoming a nuisance.

It All Starts with a Website

When creating a business, a lot of people don’t realise how much of an impact a website has. Sure, your product or service has to be good enough for customers to buy it, but people judge a business on their website, way before they start reading about what you are offering them. This means your site has to be good. Amazing. There is so much competition amongst businesses. There always has been, but it’s even more intense nowadays because technology has skyrocketed through the roof, and improvements have been perfected, so it’s no longer about whose site runs quicker — because they pretty much all do.

Today it’s about whose content and design grabs outsiders attention first. Here’s how you can make sure that’s you.

Sharpen your headlines

Headlines are the thing that your audience will see first. They will be used to introduce a new piece of information, by being eye-catching and informative, while short and efficient. You want a reader to see it and be intrigued enough to open the page. Even things that seem minor like the colour, font, and size are absolutely key to giving off the right look to your site, so think very carefully.

Add eCommerce stores

Electronic commerce platforms keep on rising in sophistication as time goes on. There are so many more options you now have in terms of features. If you struggle in this area, don’t worry, a lot of people do, but the more you familiarise yourself with it by working alongside a professional, the more you will begin to learn.

Space is everything

One common mistake, is when people try to fill their pages up with as much content as possible so it doesn’t look empty and bare, but this just leaves it looking messy and chaotic. No one wants to look through a site like that. People want structure and space to breathe, so don’t try covering up the blanks. These are what will allow your audience to read clearer, and find things easier. Don’t complicate your website. It will only work against you.

Boost your brand

Social media is so vital nowadays. It’s 2017 — social media is how we learn new skills, get updates about the world, and see who’s dating who. It’s guaranteed, that if you don’t market your brand on social media – no one’s going to know who you are, or even give you the time of day to explain. If you really want to engage with people and get some interest, get yourself on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, and share your content to create a buzz then all you need to do is show them in the direction of your website.

Learn to fail better

There’s nothing wrong with failing — in fact it’s where you’ll find some of your best lessons. The important thing is how you deal with failure. Don’t feel sorry for yourself, or ashamed, or embarrassed. Try to learn from those moments. They will eventually prove invaluable to your success. Study each moment. Figure out how and why the problem occurred and make sure that you do all you can to ensure it never happens again.

The Website Is Your Queen but the Content Is Your King

Making the most out of your digital presence is essential if you want your business to work for you. But, while your website will be your queen bee of your business, the content you feature online will always be your king. You may be thinking why? Surely your website does all the talking anyway, right? It is, after all, what potentially drives sales to your business. However, it is actually the content you include on your website that can be the defining achievement of your website. So this is why your content is king and how you can make more use of the words featured online.

Image Credit: Pixabay

The keywords you use for descriptions and web pages

It is all well and good having a website full of images, and while that can be great for your website, it is also important to ensure that the words you use are relevant to your website niche and industry. Keywords can help with SEO.

If you find that you’re not sure about the best way to handle this sort of content, then it is worth seeing the help of an SEO agency E-Web Marketing. Focus will be placed on driving traffic to your website. The keywords help to ensure that the search engines will see your site as a credible result for a question or search terms someone has put in.

The recognition it gives your brand

The content you use can give your brand the recognition you’re craving. Content that is full of spelling mistakes and grammar errors may give the impression that your company or business is not reputable. That there has been no care taken into the publication of your site. If you want your brand to have recognition, then make sure you take care of the content you produce, and how it appears on the screen.

Image Credit: Pexels

The blog posts that could go viral

Blogging is a great way to help drive traffic to your website and home page and surprise it involves content more than it does anything else. So make sure that you use blogging as the tool it is designed to be. Ensure that the content you produce is engaging and informative, and you may find that the blog you write goes viral. Which will work amazingly well for your business in regards to your website.

The authority it gives your website

Good content helps you increase your domain authority which helps improve your ranking and position in search results online. So it’s important to ensure that your content is quality to help readers and customers come back time and time again.

The trust it gives your potential customer or client

Finally, a decent website enables a customer or client to trust your business and establishment. If the content is informative and correct, then a customer feels inclined to do business with you. Bad content, mistakes and incorrect information could mean that someone is put off.

I hope that this helps you to see that the content side of your website is very important to your business and company.

Drawing Up Plans for a Creative Business

If you have any creative skills, you might simply enjoy doing it as a hobby. However, some people decide they want to use their creativity to start a business. If you make things in your spare time, it could be a business you want to run on the side, or maybe you want to take it full time. Whether you want to sell your things casually or take it more seriously, there are a few factors to consider before you launch your creative business. Even though you’re turning your passion into a business, you still need to take an organised and official approach.

Image Credit: Pexels

Get the Right Equipment

If you’ve been crafting things at home, you might have a selection of equipment to help you. It might range from something as small as knitting needles to equipment like a 3D printer. However, if you want to turn your craft into a business, you might need something that’s capable of doing more.

Perhaps you need to buy a laser engraver that’s more suitable for a small business, instead of just for your hobby at home. You might want to buy a sewing machine that can take on more heavy-duty tasks, or buy a serger to go along with the machine you already have.

Price Your Products Correctly

One of the problems many people have when they launch a creative business is that they don’t price their items correctly. They might look at how others are pricing their things or even how much similar items cost in chain stores. But remember that your products are handmade or homemade, and they’re individual and unique.

You need to take a range of costs into account when you price your items, from the materials you use to the time you put in, to the bills you pay to keep your workshop running. It’s possible you should be charging a lot more than you think.

Image Credit: Pexels

Explore Different Channels for Selling

Deciding where and how to sell your products isn’t always easy. Some people will immediately put their products online, perhaps using sites like Etsy or eBay. It might also be useful to create your own website or have a Facebook page where you can advertise and sell your things.

However, if you own a small creative business, it’s worth considering ways to sell offline too. Some avenues to explore include craft fairs, as well as local independent stores. Some people are also lucky enough to get a studio in a craft center or art gallery.

Build a Brand

You might make beautiful, unique products. But you can almost guarantee you can find other people who are doing similar things. If you want to get your products noticed over other people’s, you’re going to have to do something to stand out.

Building a brand helps you make sure that your products have personality. You should start with things like creating a logo and a name and build your brand by marketing your products and communicating with customers.

If you want to run a small creative business, you still need to treat it like a business. You might enjoy making things to sell, but remember to take care of the business side too.

The Best Ways to Maintain Brand Consistency

The key to branding success is consistency. If you give off mixed messages, you are only going to confuse customers and dilute your presence. Think about some of the most recognised brands, such as Coca-Cola. They are one of the best examples of unwavering brand consistency. With that in mind, read on to discover more about how to achieve this.

Richard Branson in a take-off pose with one of his Virgin Airlines plane in the background

Put together an in-house branding police squad

Most business owners are guilty of trying to do it all. But do you really have the resources and time required to monitor your branding materials and your brand name? In truth, you should not have to. Instead, put together an in-house brand police squad, and they can do this for you. If something goes against your official branding style, they should get in touch with you.

Ensure correct access to branding materials

Anyone on your team that distributes branding material needs to have complete access to graphics, logos, and other branding materials. The last thing you want is for a branding faux pas to occur because someone on your team has put together his or her own rendition of an important branding graphic.

The RB7 Showcar is seen on Flag Square before the Red Bull F1 Showcar Run in Baku, Azerbaijan on June 15th, 2012

Branding needs to be at the forefront of what you do

Never let your standards drop. It’s not just about your website or printed marketing materials. Branding needs to be at the forefront of everything you do, no matter whether you are invoicing clients or you are paying your own employees. There are plenty of invoice and sample check stub templates online that can make this easy. You can use these as the basis for your important documents, tweaking them with your logo and other important graphics so that they are consistent with the image you want to give off.

Make a branding style guide

It is a good idea to create a branding style guide so that everyone at your company is aware of what is deemed acceptable and fair when it comes to using branding materials. You should include the likes of your company name, slogan, mission statement, logo designs, copy guidelines, photo and imagery styles, typography, and color schemes.

Your entire team needs to be on board

The easiest way to ensure that team members are all on the same page is to find out what companies they love the most and why. By doing this, you will be able to find good examples of consistency that will resonate the most with your employers. No matter who is involved with brand building at your business, everyone needs to understand the correct use of logos, forum accounts, social media profiles, company taglines, and anything else that has an impact on brand consistency.

Don’t be fooled into thinking consistency is boring

Last but not least, one of the biggest mistakes that business owners make is believing that brand consistency equates to being boring. This is definitely not the case. Do you find Apple boring? What about Google? If you think about any brand that is memorable and makes a positive impression, you will find that consistency is one of their keys to success.

Exhibit Your Business at Trade Shows like the Winner You Are

Many different types of business owners could benefit from attending trade shows. They are places where you can exhibit your company and try to gain new customers and clients. Entrepreneurs just need to search for the most suitable events for their operations. The internet is your friend when it comes to that task. Some websites list all known trade shows for different industries online.

With that in mind, now is the time to make your selection and get in touch with the organisers. Book your stall, and then use some of the tips from this page to ensure you leave no stone unturned. At the end of the day, there are lots of other businesses at the event. So, you need to work hard to ensure you catch the attention of attendees.

Image Credit: Flickr

Take your best staff members along to the event

Before you do anything else, you need to spend moment choosing the best employees from your company. Ideally, you want people who understand the ins and outs of how your business works. You should make your decision based on their level of commitment to your brand.

Once you’ve made that selection, you should arrange a meeting to discuss your action plan. Ensure you highlight the goals of the activity and let everyone know how you expect them to behave.

When all’s said and done, the people you take along will become the face of your operation. So, ensure they are well-presented and well-informed.

The last thing you need is people who can’t answer the questions put to them by attendees.

Create a script for your team members to follow

As the boss, you need to make sure everyone at the trade show represents your brand as you expect. There are lots of ways you could achieve that ambition.

Start off by holding a series of meetings where you discuss what you want to get out of the endeavour. Once you’ve done that, you should attempt to create a script for the big day. If you do that, everyone working on your stall should approach new clients and customers in the same manner.

Every person who stops for a chat should get the same information about your firm. That is critical because you can’t afford to get anything wrong. You’re never going to impress people at the trade show if you don’t accurately represent your venture.

Purchase promotional materials you can hand out

Trade shows are often busy places. The people who attend will have to cover a large surface area during the event. Indeed, they won’t have time to talk to every business owner they pass. For that reason, you need to create some promotional materials you can hand out.

That will help to push your brand. With a bit of luck, attendees will put them in their bags and take a look when they get home. All the final decisions are down to you. However, it’s usually wise to make sure you have brochures and business cards at least.

You don’t have to spend a lot of money to get those products, and you can design them online in a matter of minutes. So, ensure you do that at least a week or two before you plan to visit the exhibition.

 

Design eye-catching banners and graphics

You’ll want to ensure your stall at the trade show catches as much attention as possible. That means you need as many beautiful banners and graphics as possible. Again, you can get those products online these days for little expense. Just find suppliers and take a look at some of the options available. You should do that a couple of weeks before the big day.

That will give you enough time to deal with any issues before the event. You also won’t have to worry if your delivery arrives a couple of days too late. Don’t leave it until the last minute because you’ll have enough stress manage.

In the days running up to the trade show, you will spend most of your time worrying about things you might have overlooked.

Image Credit: Pexels

Make your stall as interactive as possible

People who go to exhibitions will often get bored walking around all day long. They speak to business owner after business owner who attempts to get them to spend money. So, they are likely to feel happy if you offer them something different.

There are many ways in which you could make your stall interactive. Maybe you could have iPads on display that people can use to learn more about your brand? Perhaps you like the idea of hiring a driving simulator or something similar?

Sure, it doesn’t have anything to do with your company, but it could make the experience memorable for attendees. In many instances, pushing brand familiarity is just as important as scoring customers.

Have fun

Above all else, you need to make sure you have a good time at your trade show. You might have to stand behind a stall for twelve hours or longer. The people who attend those events don’t want to see faces looking like a passport picture (no smiles). They want to encounter individuals who are enthusiastic about their operations.

With that in mind, do whatever you can to make the day a little more enjoyable for yourself and your team. You are the only person who can decide how to do that. Just make sure you think outside the box and involve your employees in the decision.

Maybe you could create a game to play as you watch people pass by you exhibit? Toss in a few giveaways — we all love freebies! Whatever you do, enjoy yourself!

Now you know how to get decent results from trade shows, you should find yourself in a better position this year. Just don’t start thinking that exhibitions are the answer to all your marketing issues. You still need to make a substantial investment in traditional advertising if you want to succeed.

We live in the digital world and companies that fail to acknowledge that and don’t place emphasis on the internet and social media usually fall behind.

Good luck with your next exhibit! You’re going to be a winner!

You’re Killing Your Brand and You Don’t Even Realise It

Your brand, while intangible, is one of the most important assets your business holds. The reputation of your business, and how widely this reputation can be spread amongst your target audience, will have a massive impact on your long-term profits, and certainly isn’t something you can afford to ignore.

Unfortunately, many businesses carry on struggling forward with a brand that’s much weaker than it could be. Like many things, this is almost always the business’s own fault! If you’re concerned about the strength of your brand, here are some of the ways you could be killing it.

Believing Your Work Speaks for Itself

Wouldn’t it be nice if all businesses were judged on the merits of their work, rather than anything else? Unfortunately, this isn’t the case. There are a couple of issues with this belief.

First of all, the bulk of your customers aren’t going to be experts in your industry, and won’t be able to make a fair judgment on the quality and integrity of the work you do. You don’t see consumers critiquing a given business in the same way that another business owner does.

Secondly, even if they take an active interest in everything your business does, this doesn’t mean that they’re going to be actively spreading the word, and stimulating visibility for your brand. This is your job, and needs to be achieved through well thought-out marketing campaigns. The quality of your work alone unfortunately isn’t enough to build a brand on.

Read: A Lesson in Making Your Brand Better Than the “Norm”

Thinking Your Customers Are Different

It’s okay to love your existing customer base. After all, without these people, your business would have faltered in its first few months of trading, and you probably wouldn’t be reading this article!

However, believing that your customers are somehow unique for choosing your brand, and using this to justify waiving established marketing conventions, is a big mistake. Yes, we’re all unique, and our behaviors are influenced majorly by our individual backgrounds and personalities.

Having said that, the large majority of consumers have measurable behavioral trends that vary from industry to industry. Even if your product or service means you’ll be marketing to a very specific niche, there are going to be some patterns you can pick up on.

No matter what kind of values or qualities bind your customer base together, these people are always going to make emotional decisions, and back them up with hard, logical facts. If you overlook this, and treat your marketing strategy accordingly, it’s certainly going to come back to bite you.

Image Credit: Pexels

“Anyone Can Use Our Product/Service”

Just like the quality standards you apply in your business’s work, you can’t rely on the versatility of your product or service to carry your brand. This is an extremely common and damaging belief that a lot of business owners tend to adopt. Yes, it may be technically true that everyone could use your product or service.

However, this doesn’t mean that you should be marketing to everyone under the sun. Talk to anyone at a premier digital marketing agency, and they’ll affirm that if you try to sell to everyone, you can easily wind up selling to no one. This mistake is especially prevalent amongst tech start-ups and B2B (business-to-business) accounting firms.

Don’t list countless demographics and buyer personas, and try to treat all of them as your company’s specialty. This is only going to dilute your efforts to strengthen your brand, and in some cases, blot out the various strengths that your business actually does have.

Decide on just one or two target demographics that you really excel at marketing to, and then devote more of your resources to these. You can’t be everyone’s go-to brand for a certain product or service, so don’t try!

Dividing Your Marketing Budget Equally Between Your Partners

An increasing number of small and medium businesses have several owners, usually known as partners, who will hold considerable influence over many of the decisions made by the business. With different people making big decisions, all with their own varying interests, you may be afraid of any kind of conflict.

This fear can often lead to CEOs dividing their available marketing resources between all the partners equally. In many cases, this simply leads to a chaotic and confusing mixture of messages, and ultimately, dilution of your brand.

Some firms will even find themselves in a position where they have more than one logo, more than one website, and no kind of consistent positioning or brand identity.

As you can imagine, this will drag a brand through the mud faster than any other blunder, especially with a business’s online presence counting for so much these days.

Image Credit: Pexels

Modelling Your Marketing Strategy on Your Closest Competitor’s

Isn’t the reassurance of running with the pack nice? It seems that more and more business owners are allowing their branding materials to be dictated by their closest competitor’s. This is why you see so many websites that follow the same design sensibilities, and why so many brands try to use differentiators that are horribly ineffective.

There may be a certain comfort and reassurance in taking cues from your competitors, but you need to be wary of this. Fitting in with the other players in your niche can be an exceedingly risky marketing strategy.

If you do a little digging, you’ll find that it’s the businesses that use strong and clearly communicated differentiators are the ones that grow efficiently, and are able to maintain a strong, unique brand in the long run.

If you don’t make a point to separate all your branding materials from your closest competitor’s, you’ll quickly become one more drop in a vast ocean.

All business owners think about the strength of their brand, but it’s only the ones who really understand it that win. If you’ve been making any of these branding blunders, or you’re starting to see them on the horizon when you look at your marketing team’s work, it’s time to turn things around.

Build a strong brand, and you’ll be amazed at where it can take you!