Small businesses need to learn to grow their brand online to survive.
It’s a reality of the social media world we live in.
With continual, unfettered access to information, your target audience is going to make sure they can find you and do research on you before they work with you.
That means you have no choice but to build a strong brand presence online.
Interestingly, your options to grow your brand online are growing.
There are all sorts of places that your target audience is potentially hanging out.
Those places are staples of your brand’s new online presence.
By diversifying your online marketing channels and making your brand clearly seen across them, you’ll have no trouble growing our brand online.
Here are the secrets to making that happen.
Ignoring Outlets Doesn’t Help Grow Your Brand Online
Let’s hit the most basic thing first.
As a small business owner, you can’t afford to ignore an outlet for your brand.
Yes, it’s foolish to waste money on marketing that won’t create a return.
However, you need to use every outlet you can to grow your brand online.
We all have an instinct to think that we know exactly what our audience does online.
But it’s not an instinct.
Our perception is derived from a made-up image of who our audience is.
This especially rings true for B2B brands who feel their C-suite target audience doesn’t spend time on social media.
Everyone is on social media now, though.
In some form or another, your audience is online and consuming content related to your industry.
Because you have no idea where they’ll specifically be – and sometimes it might surprise you – you need to offer content everywhere.
So instead of ignoring outlets, get good at them.
Spend time learning how to take advantage of the different platforms.
Use them to get in front of your current and potential future audience.
During which you’ll use the secrets I’m going to share to create a solid message across your content.
It’s through the different content channels that these secrets work.
The Secrets To Growing Your Brand Online
The truth of the matter is that growing your brand online isn’t any different than doing it offline.
Except for one major difference.
Online, your audience has to come to find you.
You can’t expect to interrupt their day and they pay attention.
That just isn’t how it works anymore.
In a world where commercials are failing, you need to give before you ask.
Content marketing is a major factor in that.
Through your content, you need to deliver value to your audience.
It needs to be the kind of substance that demonstrates the kind of brand you are.
The knowledge you possess should be apparent.
Solving an issue your clients face or educating them about an industry-related question can do that well.
As can product demonstrations and case studies.
Ultimately your goal is to deliver value that creates trust.
Trust is what allows someone to develop from a casual viewer into a loyal client.
Using these secrets as you develop your content will help you do that and so much more.
Know Your Mission
Why does your brand exist?
Your brand isn’t just a happy accident.
When you conceived the idea, there was a problem or void in the market that you saw needed to be filled.
You set out to do something.
That reason for being is your brand’s mission.
A mission is the driving reason that your brand makes decisions, has the personality it does, and creates the products or services you offer.
The ability to convey your mission is critical in identifying your brand to your audience.
Creating a mission statement is the best way to do that.
Mission statements are more than just a generic corporate message.
They’re a statement of belief in what you’re doing and why you’re doing it.
By communicating your mission statement correctly, you give your audience a reason to believe in what you do.
Conviction in your mission creates loyalty and trust that leads them to become clients.
In the best case, you create brand evangelists who bring more word-of-mouth leads.
More importantly, you now have a foundation to build your brand upon.
Placing your mission statement at the core of your company’s decision-making process, you can create marketing campaigns that further it.
Decisions founded on it will always steer towards doing the right thing as opposed to the most profitable.
Developing your brand around this core mission builds your credibility and reputation.
Attributes like these are what matters to your audience, especially millennials.
They cement your brand for the long game.
Tell Your Audience How Your Brand Came To Be
Your brand has a story.
Believe it or not, even a new brand has something to share.
You need to know how to share that story if you want to connect with your audience.
The connection is the key to making your brand grow.
That’s because people are interested in buying from a human company.
Remember, they can get your product – or one just like it – from someone else.
There’s no tie to what you sell.
However, there can be a tie to you.
Some of the greatest brands, celebrities, and social media influencers share their stories through their products, music, and content.
That’s what makes their audiences loyal.
You need to use your content to share your brand’s story.
Creating a relatable experience about how your brand came to be creates a direct connection with your audience, affirming the reasons they follow you.
If you think you don’t have a story, think again.
You’ve made a journey from the idea for your brand to where you are now.
There were major milestones getting you here.
Use those steps, along with a little context, to show your audience who your brand really is.
Collaborate With Other Brands To Grow
No business can be built alone.
With everything you need – especially early credibility – you’re going to need some help along the way.
Working with other brands will help you succeed much faster.
There are two factors in play here.
The first is a matter of who you surround yourself.
Successful entrepreneurs tend to surround themselves with other successful entrepreneurs.“If you are the smartest person in the room, then you are in the wrong room.” – Confucius Click To Tweet
By surrounding yourself with others who are heading the direction you want to go, you improve your odds of getting there.
People ahead of you on the path force you to catch up.
But that’s just part of it.
Building connections and relationships within business present you with far more opportunity than doing it yourself.
Introductions that couldn’t happen without those connections suddenly become possible.
And that’s the second factor.
Your network allows you additional tools to help you become successful.
It starts with added value.
Those around you won’t help your success if you haven’t done anything for them.
True that they may not help even if you do, you’ll build good karma none the less.
Helping the other brands you’ve built relationships with and expecting nothing in return sets growth in motion.
Whether they directly repay the favor or not, it creates a reputation for you.
Of course, those who do repay the favor will often do it through word-of-mouth referrals.
They’ll pass on the word about the great things your brand does and the way you helped them.
Favors like this work both online and off.
Plus, these genuine friendships will last a lifetime, giving you space to collaborate and improve each other’s brand in the future.
You need to create constant content.
Every brand is competing for attention, and content is the best way to do it.
The target audience you’re searching for is online consuming content.
From Instagram to Facebook, Twitter to Snapchat, TikTok to YouTube, people spend their days consuming all forms of content.
And where do you think that content comes from?
(Hint: it’s not from the platforms themselves.)
Brands everywhere are producing this content and distributing it through the many platforms out there.
In case you hadn’t guessed, your brand should be one of them.
However, you can’t just sporadically produce a video or post, then disappear for weeks.
Feed your audience a stream of content on a routine schedule.
Daily and several times per day you need to release new content for your audience to consume.
That’s going to keep your brand in front of them and make it stay in their minds.
A tactic like this is rooted in psychology.
Loyalty comes from familiarity, and your constant, consistent content helps them realize who you are and what you do.
Done enough, they’ll begin to develop trust and fondness for your brand.
Eventually, they’ll begin to directly link your content to your brand and the reputation it holds.
But be warned that the content needs to be quality focused.
Constantly producing garbage or begging for the sale won’t produce the loyalty and growth you’re looking for.
Show Off Your Brand’s Unique Personality
When your audience buys from your brand, it’s because they’ve connected with the humans that make it.
However, they don’t show off your product or service because the customer service was awesome.
People represent a brand that reflects and connects with them.
The unique nature of your brand’s personality has to be a part of the content you make.
Lifestyles are the most important decision factor outside of cost for millennials.
These young adults would rather spend their money on experiences as opposed to material things.
They want memories that they can share for a lifetime.
Your brand needs to provide an experience that suits them and that connects with them personally.
Starting with your content.
The unique personality your brand possesses should take center stage in all your content.
Whether it’s the way you present your products or the things you’re doing behind the scenes, it should all reflect a personality that’s unique to your brand.
It might sound difficult at first, so start simple.
As you write your blog posts or social media captions, take a conversational tone.
Speak in the first person.
Share authentic, behind-the-scenes situations or real stories about your brand or client, including celebrations and major events.
Describe your products or services from a unique perspective that resonates with the lifestyle your target audience pursues.
Provided you don’t fall into something cold and soulless or totally generic, your audience is going to pay attention to your content.
They’ll develop the loyalty we’ve already talked about.
The Biggest Secret You Need To Grow Your Brand Online Is No Secret
Look, growing your brand online is all about getting noticed.
In the end, whatever you do to make that happen in a positive way is helping.
However, when you can do more than get noticed and truly connect with your audience, you’re making magic.
Developing audience loyalty is what causes them to shun your competition.
Loyalty is best created by delivering true value to your audience.
And, unlike the tips we just went over, that’s no secret.
By infusing these secrets into your content and the way you do business, you can start to connect with your target market on a whole new level.
Getting them to know, like, and trust your brand is the motive.
Cultivating loyalty is the goal.
Earning new clients is the ultimate reward.
When you know how to grow your brand online properly, you get to reap the benefits.
Those benefits include a better reputation, higher revenue, and longevity for your brand.
You are certain to grow your brand online.
They help cement your legacy for years to come, allowing you to build something that’s more significant than yourself.
Assure that you stay true to your brand and loyal to your audience and it will be hard to damage that.
Which is more than any of us have likely hoped for.
But you have to earn it if you want it.