Let’s start with the basics of local branding…
A brand can’t be built in a day, but over time, any business can achieve brand status on its own niche and/or location.
Branding gives a business an identity, a personality, and allows it to be understood and appreciated by customers. While a picture speaks a thousand words, so does a brand. When we hear of brand names like Apple, Starbucks, or Target we form a mental picture of that business and its products.
A solid, good, and positive reputation is at the basis of any successful local business. A good corporate reputation, image and branding is not only important for your business, it is your identity, and you have to make sure that you brand your organization in the most credible way.
It’s a good thing we are here to help
Who are your customers? You must know the wants, wishes and buying behaviors of potential customers that fit your target profile. You must grasp what they watch, read, hear and have some understanding of their likes and dislikes. The most successful business leaders understand their customers to this depth.
Here is the tool box that your business needs in order to start and building a local brand:
- Well designed Web Site
- All possible Social Media Profiles – Facebook, Google+, Twitter, Tumbler, Instagram, Pinterest and there are of 50 other major social media sites depend on your audience and type of business. (fashion, cars, service etc.)
- Yelp Page – A real one, not unbiased reviews from your friends and loved ones. Include check in offers, real users photos and of course, a positive review.
- YP.com page –YP, the largest local ad platform in the U.S. Yes, we know, it’s not the 80’s anymore but surprisingly yp.com has a “secret” contract with google on bulk ads and page ranking so it is worth it to create these accounts.
- Google Local, Bing/Yahoo and all other major search engines. The fact that your business is on the map when you are searching for it doesn’t mean they are on the map when it search for under these search engines. What is important are the keywords and keyword phrase. You might have an auto repair shop but “google” may interpret that as the sale of auto parts, or an auto shop.
- Small time local search engines – over 90% of your audience is searching on google. Google gets 1,100,000,000 – Estimated Unique Monthly Visitors. Bing receives 350,000,000 – Estimated Unique Monthly Visitors. One good strategy is to improve your site’s placement on search engines such as Google and Yahoo! It is important to understand how search engines determine where to rank your site – and the key to it all comes down to links. The more Web sites that link to your site, the better placement you’ll get. Just as an endorsement by one well-known, credible person carries more weight than endorsements by a dozen people you’ve never met, links to your site from credible Websites are weighted more heavily by search engines.
- Make sure your endorsements link to a variety of different pages within your Web site. This will give your endorsements the highest effectiveness and ensure the maximum number of pages on your Website appear in the search engine results.
- Shoppers Confidence – BBB and D&B are major players in retail and business ranking. There is nothing wrong with their logo being on your website. When local customers search the Internet using keywords such as your industry or even your business name, you need to provide your company’s contact information and at the very least, to be listed in the top results. The results may be your business’s BBB reliability report, a review of your business, City Search, or Google Local. If your business is not among the top results, your potential customers will not be able to find you.
- Logo, Colors and design – make sure that your company’s style fits your audience. Simple design tactics can help your audience instantly associate your pictures with your brand.
- If you want to maximize your sales, you need to understand your customers, know who you are selling to, and why they should buy your product. Targeting your market allows you to focus your marketing dollars and brand message on a specific market that is more likely to buy from you than other markets. Look at your current customers and see if they have common characteristics and interests. Don’t always go after the same market – you run the risk of overlooking a niche market.