1. The internet is your new market, and it is teaming with potential customers who want what you have to offer. If you think that a website for your small business isn’t worth your time, expenses or effort, then you’re leaving cash on the table for the business competitors who know what’s good for them.
2. Search engine optimization is another online marketing tactic which has many tools for you to use. What are your customers searching for? You can target that search term and reap the benefits.
3. By handling your most frequently asked questions in a convenient FAQ page, you can always refer your customers (both in person and online) to this page. This can save endless hours of your time, while also addressing the needs of your customers. Time is cash.
4. When you have a website, suddenly you have a home base for the messages you have to share with everyone. You can take that to the next level by branching out and allowing your customers to sign up to be on an email list on your website. They can receive updates for the latest deals, blog posts, and more!
5. Gain credibility through a well designed website. “Design” isn’t just about the graphics. It’s about your content, your branding and the way that you structure your pages. If you take the time to plan properly, you can have an affordable yet extremely effective website running in a day.
6. You will also gain credibility with other business owners. To be able to say “You can learn more at my website” shows that you’re taking yourself seriously as a business.
Are you convinced you need a website for your small business?
If you’re not convinced that you need a website yet, I would love to hear about your concerns, and I will be more than happy to personally reply to you as well as update this Guide to address those concerns for anyone else who shares them.
If you’re convinced, then take advantage of our 2018 Website Promo with Affordability & Flexible Payment Options Built into it + PEACE OF MIND with MCS Ltd.
Send Us a Message Today to Get Started. Thanks for Reading.
Levels of Brand Meaning
Brands communicate the level of performance, reliability, and quality and can be designed to convey up to 6 different types of meaning.
For example, levels of meaning for the Mercedes Benz brand are as shown below (In order of, Meaning, Description and Example):
Attributes - What kind of image does the brand suggest? - Mercedes Benz suggests an expensive, well-built, durable vehicle.
Benefits - What functional and emotional benefits does the brand provide? - Mercedes Benz provides durability; it’s also about status or achievement - an emotional benefit
Values - What does the brand say about your values? - For Mercedes it communicates values of performance, safety and prestige.
Culture - What kind of culture does the brand communicate? - Mercedes represents German culture of efficiency organization and high quality
Personality - What kind of personality does the brand convey? - Mercedes Benz gives an image of a no-nonsense person out to perform well
User - What kind of customer buys this brand? - Mercedes Benz is aimed at an older person - a top executive or owner of a successful business
In this lesson we’ve looked at the elements of a brand, including brand name, logo, style, tagline, colors, and tastes and the steps involved in creating a brand.
We learnt that a brand can convey up to six different meanings - attributes, benefits, values, culture, personality and user - with the aim of giving it a unique personality or spirit.
Creating a positive brand association can lead to emotional attachments and loyalty leading to more profit for the firm.
Steps to brand building
There are two major steps in creating a brand.
1. Decide on the core product and determine what you’re ultimately offering your
customers that’s different from competitors- the core benefit. For instance for the core product could be to offer customized nutritious meals or prompt friendly service - for a cafe business.
2. Develop the product –making decisions about brand name, logos, taglines, quality,
packaging, and delivery. These decisions help to develop the distinct identity of the brand
and make it recognizable to customers.
Elements of a brand
This lesson covers the key elements of a brand that form the brand’s identity – name, logo, symbol, color, and design and the process to create brands.
We’ll see that a brand can convey up to six levels of meaning and the key challenge is to develop a set of positive associations for a product that’ll make it distinct.
So what are the elements of a brand?
a) Brand name: - this is the word or words used to identify a company, product, service, or concept For example, the company ‘Coca cola’ makes brand names like Coke, Fanta, and Sprite.
b) The Logo: - this is the visual trademark identifying the brand. Kenya Airways’ logo is recognized across Africa.
c) A Tagline or Catchphrase: - this is the statement providing the customers with a reason to buy. For coke – Open happiness; Cooperative Bank – We are you.
d) Graphics: - these are the images that identify your product. For example, the dynamic ribbon is a trademarked part of Coca-Cola's brand. Graphics may also include ‘shapes’ like the distinctive shapes of Coca-Cola bottles.
e) Colors: - Your brand colors can become synonymous with your products like the dark blue and white is associated with Nivea products.
f) Tastes, like Kentucky Fried Chicken’s trademarked special recipe are also key brand elements of KFC brand.
Now that you know what the advantages for the digital branding (from our previous post) of a startup and small business are, it’s time to see what the best Digital Branding Solutions For Small Businesses are so you can implement them into your strategy.
Being active on social media. Don’t you find it a little bit weird when a company doesn’t have social media accounts? Or it does, but it rarely/never uses them? The first thing I do when I discover a new company online is check out their social media accounts and their website to find out more about them and how they communicate with their audience. Chances are that I’m not the only one that does this. Posting useful information for your audience and answering their questions in a timely manner are things you must do in order to grow your business.
Being awesome at customer service. This is related to the first solution. Nowadays, people rarely go to your website to search for your support/contact email address or to email you about a problem or question they have about your product/service. What they do is ask that question directly on your social media accounts. It’s easier for a customer to tweet a company, send them a private message, or leave them a comment on their Facebook page. What you need to do is to be there to answer their concerns. Social media acts like a support channel as well, so don’t ignore it.
Being consistent and relevant. Many startups and small businesses fail to be consistent when they first launch, but this is definitely one aspect they shouldn’t neglect. Be active on social media, post relevant news to your audience from different sources, use email marketing and show your audience that you’re open to feedback and at improving your business. If you fail here, then your target audience will go somewhere else, especially if they stop seeing any sign of activity from your side. Digital branding is about being as close as possible to your audience.
Target your audience. As I’ve already mentioned, social media is a great tool because you can target your audience. That way, the messages you create will reach only the people who are truly interested in your company. This also means that you’re not wasting your time or your money, which are incredibly important resources for a startup or a small business. Not all social media networks are going to suit your business, so choose only the ones that are relevant, and where you can find your target audience.
Storytelling and content marketing. When combined with Search Engine Optimization, storytelling is a powerful tool that will help you deliver value to your audience. Once you understand how storytelling works, you can go ahead and start creating a strategy that will fit your company’s objectives. You can implement storytelling in your blog, and in your social media posts. It’s imperative that you use more than just words. Storytelling can be achieved through the power of visual content as well. Infographics, short introduction videos on your website’s homepage, slideshows and presentations all successfully integrate storytelling while delivering value to your audience. REF: SQUIRILY
Why digital branding?
There are over 3 billion Internet users worldwide. Needless to say, your company’s online presence is a must these days. You already know that. But what you might not know/understand is why you need to work on finding digital branding solutions for your startup or small business.
Here are some of the most important advantages of digital branding:
It’s budget friendly. Startups and small businesses don’t usually have a lot of money for traditional marketing. Offline promotion can get quite expensive. TV exposure, radio, outdoor signs, banners, posters, and appearances in magazines or newspapers all cost a lot of money… money you probably don’t have. So why not invest the little you’ve got in something effective?
You don’t need a lot of employees to handle digital branding. For traditional marketing, you would probably need a whole department of employees. A marketing manager, a designer, a copywriter, a project manager, a strategist, and the list can go on and on. Finding and implementing the right digital branding solutions for your business can be done with a handful of people or perhaps very few.
The only thing you will need is an Internet connection. Because everything you’re going to do will be happening online, you can work from anywhere you have an Internet connection. In addition, if for some reason, you and your team can’t be in the same place, you can use Skype to communicate. There are also other productivity and management tools that will help you keep track of everyone’s progress.
Digital branding is targeted and effective. It’s easy to implement a digital branding strategy because unlike traditional marketing, in the online environment, you are able to target and control the messages you’re promoting so you don’t waste your time. If you know the characteristics of your target audience, then it’s going to be much easier for you to create the messages and choose the right social media platforms.
You can easily engage with your audience. On the Internet, everything happens now. You have to be there at all times (if possible), and be active. It has become so much easier for people to interact with a brand on social media, or through comments/chat on their website.