7 Brand and Reputation Building Tactics for Small Business
The number of small business is constantly rising. And, to survive in such a competitive SMB ecosystem, you need to establish an influential, trusted, and reputable brand that stands out.
However, building a solid brand reputation is not something that happens overnight. You need to have a detailed plan and implement it gradually.
Here are a few steps you need to take.
1. Set Up a Killer Website
Setting up a site plays a critical role in building your online reputation. However, just launching it is not enough for you to get in front of your target audience. Here are a few things you need to do to make sure your site really rocks:
- Make sure you optimize your site for search engines. To hook your customers’ attention, you need to rank high in the SERPs.
- Invest in UX/UI design to improve customer satisfaction.
- Make it fast and responsive. In the mobile-first era, your site needs to please both desktop and mobile users.
- Keep it safe. If you still have a HTTP site, switch to HTTPS, as it boosts user experience and builds trust among your customers.
2. Invest in Social Media Marketing
The majority of your potential customers are on social networks and you need to be there, as well. These channels give you a great opportunity to market your business, make your mission transparent, and show the human side of your brand.
You can also engage your customers through numerous initiatives, such as:
- Starting loyalty programs on Facebook or Instagram
- Sharing fun and interactive content
- Posting behind-the-scenes photos and videos of your staff
- Encouraging people to share user-generated content
- Teaming up with micro-influencers to promote your business
Use social media as a tool to reward your customers for purchasing on your website or sharing your content. Giving out universal gift card, offering discount or access to a premium content is a way to strengthen a relationship with your audience.
3. Give Your Brand an Authentic Voice
When building your brand, you need to treat it like a person.
Every person has a set of values, ideas, and purposes that defines them and makes them unique.
For example, we all use specific speech patterns. And, this is exactly what your brand needs. To make yourself recognizable, use the same language, voice, and tone when writing your articles, providing customer feedback, sharing posts on social networks, or sending emails.
4. Establish your Visual Identity
Your visual personality communicates your brand mission, goals, and vision. Most importantly, it separates your brand from its major rivals.
Here is what you need to choose:
- Colors need to evoke positive emotions and be relevant to your niche and business.
- The logo tells what your business is about. Make sure it’s simple, authentic, easy-to-understand, and recognizable. It needs to evoke emotions in your customers, be it nostalgia or happiness.
- Fonts- once you choose them, you need to use them consistently. Make sure they’re available on all devices your customers use.
5. Be Consistent
Your customers want to know what they can expect from you. This is why you need to work on your brand consistency.
Apart from the consistent tone of voice I’ve mentioned above, you should also pay attention to the way you communicate with your target audience.
When publishing blog posts, create a content creation calendar and stick to it so your target audience knows what they can expect from you.
Add consistency to your social media marketing, too. Dedicate each day of a week to a specific type of content. For example, share motivational quotes on Monday, industry-specific articles on Wednesday, while Fridays could be your “fun days.”
Know what type of content to share across various channels. Consider investing in a social media management tool to automate the content sharing and curation process.
6. Offer Exceptional Customer Support
Customer support is the backbone of your business and that’s why it needs to be impeccable.
When moving to new premises to new markets, make sure your business flow doesn’t suffer. Find workspace that is equipped with conference rooms, fast internet connections, high-end equipment, and your business operations and customer support won’t be hurt.
Aside from answering the phone and your customers’ emails, you should also turn to some additional methods of boosting user experience. If you allow clients to pay online, especially in B2B sphere, you will open up a space for launching affiliate programs and save both yours and your customers’ time. It also secures that merchant invoices don`t go unpaid.
You could implement chatbots with your website and social networks to answer your customers’ questions in real-time. Use social listening tools to keep track of your brand and product mentions. This way, you will be able to provide instant feedback.
7. Have a Cause
Statistics tell us that people love organizations with a cause. So, raising social awareness and giving back to the community is definitely one of the most effective ways to build a solid brand reputation.
For example, organize green up days every year, when your employees would plant trees, collect recyclable materials, and clean parks.
You could also give to charity. For instance, send a portion of your revenue to those in need, organize an event, host a fundraiser, support employee volunteerism, or even give out your products for free to those who need them most.
Keep in mind that your brand image is not something you build and then don’t look at it ever again. Your business is constantly evolving and your brand reputation changes parallel with it. This is why you need to test your brand reputation tactics regularly and tailor them to your business’ needs to maintain their effectiveness.