Let’s face it… the consumer market is saturated with products, brands and businesses that take up space and attention from millions of consumers everyday. Whether it’s via social media, billboards, online advertising, television commercials or radio spots, customers experience hundreds – and many experience thousands – of brand messages on a daily basis. Keeping this in mind, is your brand or business among them?
To help stay top of mind among consumers, it’s vital you keep up with the rat race of brand impressions… whether you like it or not. This is particularly important for small businesses who often compete against more recognized brand names or national companies. Yet even for those businesses who claim to have limited competition, staying top of mind among customers is critical for long term success. In an effort to help your unique business capture customer attention in a crowded consumer marketplace, consider these eight tips.
Partner With Like-Minded Businesses
When you partner with like-minded businesses, you open up opportunities to attract more customers than not partnering with anyone. Note, however, that like-minded businesses are far different than competitive businesses. For example, a local dry cleaning company may partner with a local men’s suit store and together they can market each other’s businesses to their customers. They can do this by offering promotional postcards, coupons and general marketing support to each of their respective customers, but they can also take this partnership to another level by hosting in-store events together, extending loyalty incentives among both businesses and sharing each other’s email list to help promote one another. The key is to identify the right partners for your unique business that cater to the same target market you do, then work together to support each other in gaining visibility and sales among each other’s customers. To maximize your efforts, aim to create more long-term partnerships versus one time experiences. This can help both sides of the partnership in gaining customer attention, sales and overall success.
Strengthen Your Brand Impression
Companies such as Nike – who is recognized for their simple yet bold logo and catchy slogan “Just Do It” – do not happen overnight. It takes a great deal of rhyme and reason to position a strong brand, and particularly one that is as easily recognized and respected as Nike. If you consider your own companies branding, would you say that it connects with customers? Is it memorable? Does it allow for customers to easily understand what it is you do or sell? When you think of your branding, it’s natural to think of your logos, tagline, website design and social media presence. But what else and where else is your branding making an impact? Consider all the places that your brand is – or should be – represented and aim to strengthen each of these places in an effort to create consistent branding that connects your customers and business together. Your goal? To offer clear branding from one spot to the next to the next to the next so that customers can recognize your business consistently and easily while also leaving them a strong, memorable impression.
Create Original Content
Time and time again, marketing experts tell folks the same thing… content is gold. The reason for this is that content helps businesses generate more search engine results, offers a connection between consumers and brands, delivers valuable information that may not otherwise have the opportunity to be shared and strengthens overall brand awareness. Additionally, content helps to keep brands and businesses relevant – something that any business can appreciate. As I recently explained on Fiverr.com, “being relevant in today’s saturated marketplace of freelancers and small business owners is absolutely vital in keeping your brand and business successful. Strong logos, stellar customer service, outstanding products and services and more will all help your brand find profit and success – yet content marketing is what will keep your business top of mind among customers, deliver value to new and existing consumers alike and open up an avenue of communication for you to engage and interact with customers.”
Tip #4: Share Relevant Content
Creating content is one thing, sharing it is another. Whether you aim to share original content or not, sharing content in general is important. There are many channels in which you can do this, including via your own business blog, through social media, as a contributor to other websites and through email marketing. All of these efforts – particularly when combined – will help generate customer attention while also helping to lead more clicks to your website. And for those of your who may not sell anything online, do not consider this a wasted effort. You website is still a key factor in consumer decisions, even if you don’t offer the opportunity for puchases to be made online. Speaking of which…
Tip #5: Strengthen Your Website Quality
Branding – just like first impressions made among individuals – happens in just seconds. Knowing this, do you feel that your website accurately represents your company if only viewed for just a few seconds? The reality is that many customers land on a website only to quickly leave it. This abandonment happens fast, with Nielsen Norman Group reporting that websites have as long – or as short, depending on if you are a glass full or empty kind of person – to capture customer attention. To help keep customers from leaving your website, consider the overall image your website offers. Does it compliment your branding? Is it a fair representation of your physical storefront or business, if you have one? Now consider what call to action – if any – it has? Do customers know what to do on your website once they land there, or does it lack a clear value proposition for customers to easily connect with? Consider where the gray areas are in your website, then aim to make them boldly stand out so that you can keep customers engaged on your website versus quickly leaving it in search of another.
Tip #6: Make Your Website Mobile Friendly
As if keeping your website up to date and well branded wasn’t enough, it’s also critical to have a strong performing mobile website. This has recently become even more of a pressing issue thanks to Google announcing that they will begin to rank websites based on their mobile friendliness beginning this May. As explained on their company blog, Google explains that “we’ll start rolling out an update to mobile search results that increases the effect of the ranking signal to help our users find even more pages that are relevant and mobile-friendly.” Some details in which Google will identify websites that are eligible for the “mobile-friendly” label include if text is readable without zooming in, sizes content to the screen so users don’t have to scroll horizontally or zoom and places links far enough apart so that the correct one can be easily tapped. To see if your website is mobile friendly, Google offers a free test… which you can take here.
Tip #7: Get More Involved Within Your Community
Chambers of Commerces, local networking groups, Mainstreet organizations and countless other locally minded groups offer terrific ways to connect with other business owners, community leaders and customers. Your involvement can range for attending networking events to hosting community meetings in your storefront, restaurant or office to volunteering based on your expertise as a way to give back to your community. All of these efforts will not only connect you to new people – aka potential customers and business advocates – but also help you become more familiar with your local marketplace. This knowledge is powerful if you apply it to your marketing efforts and overall business plan, particularly if your business depends primarily on your local marketplace for customers.
Tip #8: Know Your Customers Better
Businesses of all sizes can take responsibility for not knowing their customers well enough. After all, customers change over time. Some move away, others stop visiting your business due to lifestyle changes, all of them age… and so on. The list is endless as to why customers change, which is why it’s important you make it a priority to stay up-to-date with who your customers are, how their needs may have changed and ways in which you can better support them.
And finally, remember that quality attention is deserved… not simply received. It’s a nonstop effort for companies to capture and keep consumer attention, so make sure your efforts are consistent, as well.