8 Online Branding Essentials for Startups & Small Businesses


The road to building a business is a long one. It takes an incredible amount of effort to get started, and the journey is still uphill from there. Once you have established a business, the next step is to brand it, and many people get stuck at this point. With numerous startups and businesses all competing for the prize, your branding becomes extra important. This is even easier with the help of the internet.

Unfortunately, this makes it easier for everyone else as well. So, what can you do to set your business apart from the rest? What makes your product or service special? The answers to these questions may be simple but putting it in a manner that attracts audiences can be difficult. Here are just a couple of ways to put your business on the map!

1. Your Identity

What is one of the first thing that comes to your mind as you recall a successful business? If your answer is the logo, you are correct. A logo defines a business, and more memorable logos increase social awareness. Identification of your business by the public is the whole idea behind branding, and one of the best ways to do this is by creating a logo. This logo will be used on all products, services, and communications.

Make it memorable, simple and head turning. While there are numerous logo building sites available on the internet, consider a professional service. The other thing that comes to mind is a tagline. The tagline must be short, but punchy. It often describes the work and work ethos your business employs. Like the logo, the tagline will be used on all of your material. There are even a number of slogan creators on the web!

2. Use Real People

Everything comes down to the results. Has your business performed?  Are people happy with what service they received? If yes, use those people! Testimonials are some of the best ways to show people that your business gets the job done. They give a sense of legitimacy to your business and makes it seem more approachable. Show your potential customers what other clients have said about their results! You can display these testimonials on your website, blog and even your emails!

Related Reading:
How to increase sales using video testimonials.

3. Social Media

It’s no secret that social media has taken over our lives. How can you leverage this massive resource into working for you? Social media giants realize that more people are using their platform to brand their business and are making it easier for you! Platforms like Facebook and Instagram allow you to advertise your business online.

By targeted ads and helpful product recommendations, it would be a waste not to take advantage of these resources! A Google MyBusiness Page even gives you a listing on google maps and makes it easier for clients to reach you through a search. Make sure to keep all your information across platforms consistent to maintain professionalism and ease of access.

4. Customer Service

Customers are your bread and butter, and as a result, you should keep them happy. They will have problems, and it is your duty to set up a system that tends to their needs. Any service will draw in concerns and complaints, no matter what it is. Responsive customer service generates healthier business recognition.

Be sure to keep the customer service outlet as simple as possible. Links and phone numbers must be easily accessible for any time assistance and should be displayed on all social media platforms. Maintain reputation reports to see how well you fare in the eyes of the customer. You might even consider simple review portals to gauge how happy your customers are with the help they received.

5. Identify the Market

Most businesses have a target demographic. Much too often, a business will spend too little effort in marketing to the right people. Money and effort are wasted in branding to the wrong people. This step is particularly difficult, as it requires focus groups, studies and a good bit of analysis to identify who is employing your service. However, after this step, most productivity skyrockets as a result of concentrated efforts. Spend more time in identifying your audience, and you will reap the benefits later. By focusing on who actually matters, you can provide better service.

6. Reward Programs

Branding a business goes much further than just attracting new clients. Building customer satisfaction is also extremely important. By increasing how much a customer benefits from employing your business, you increase brand loyalty. Discounted products for loyal customers and incentives for multiple purchases will go a long way in forming a business’s image.

A periodic contest or a rewards program can go a long way in keeping market share in a competitive marketplace. Such programs need not only be used for existing customers. Offer bonus services, products, and discounts for new clients! Free trials, goodies and many more can bring unsure consumers to try your business out! Customers love a good deal, and businesses are expected to give it to them. Do not hesitate to lose a little money to gain loyal customers.

7. Design

We rely on our eyes for nearly everything and whether we like it or not, we judge books by their covers. How well your business looks on your website, social media or blog reflects on your business’s ability. This may or may not be true, but the psychology of customers is tuned to think this way. Consider spending the dough to employ a professional designer. A colorful website, with a professional font, can go a long way.

These design elements should also extend to your services and communication. Email templates, for example, are often an overlooked aspect of design. Even the language you use on your marketing should be given thought. Your visual identity is a significant part of your business’s identity.

8. Blogging

Blogs are some of the easiest ways to attract attention. Bold headlines and well-written content directing to your website increase how well your business is perceived. The internet has made setting one up extremely easy. A few minutes of your time is all it takes. Formulate your business’s intent and expand how it came to be! An origin story can help connect with people! Describe what your company is in simple terms. Emotions run high with customers, and there’s nowhere better to connect with an audience than a blog. Link your social media presence and contact numbers on the blog for easy reach.

The Bottom Line

By taking advantage of the digital world, branding has never been easier! Make your presence professional, consistent, and responsive and you will be able to attract customers much more easily. Follow the steps mentioned above and see how your business grows!

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