The rise of the internet and multiple marketing channels has made every industry more competitive. It doesn’t matter if you’re selling used tires or iPads, all industries felt the presence of bigger competition as more and more people accessed the internet and advertising avenues opened. While it leveled the playing field in terms of the internet being a marketing “Wild West”, it also allowed for big brands with big budgets to grow exponentially faster than their smaller competition with more modest budgets.
Unfortunately, that’s the way the world works. Bigger money makes a bigger impact, but it doesn’t mean that those with smaller pockets can’t make just as big of an impact at a more direct level.
Below, I outline a few tips to help your brand make a powerful impact without being the “big” brand in the industry. If you pay attention and focus on efforts like those listed below, you’ll begin to see incremental improvements in your online visibility, and hopefully, your bottom line.
Join the Discussion
One of the greatest strengths of being a small to medium sized business is the accessibility you provide to your customers. Every member of your team can be considered a brand evangelist and can be participating in the discussions that your target customers are having. But, how do you find them?
Here are a few tips:
- Identify who your target audience is
- Identify where they get their information and conversating
- Identify how they get their information
- Identify what language they are using
- Identify when they need information
The above research will help you pinpoint where your brand’s focus should be when it comes to participating in industry discussions. It will help you identify what issues or problems your audience are having when it comes to your industry, and it will allow you to apply your expertise to help remedy issues as an industry authority. You can do this through answering questions, building content on your website, or advertising on relevant websites.
Remember, audiences and customers don’t follow brands, they follow the people behind the brand. The more you can humanize your image and become accessible to your target audience, the more likely you are to beat out big brands that have established themselves as nothing more than a logo and a “big brand”. Take advantage of building your brand as an accessible, humanized brand that answers questions, helps their customers, takes feedback, and strives to build itself with the help of it’s audience. You’ll win each and every time.
Build Your Local Presence
If you’re a local brand or you service a particular area / region, search engines provide numerous resources and tools to help your business make a real impact at the local level. It’s imperative that you take advantage of the local SEO opportunities that have been provided, especially as mobile device search becomes more and more prevalent in our digital culture. When you have optimized for local search, your snippet will appear as: