SMB Branding Strategy


SMB Branding Strategy

Developing a small or medium business branding strategy is essential for success. Any business, big or small, needs to work on this process as a top priority. Authentic products that live up to their claims are now the main key to winning customers in today’s crowded marketplace. The main reason for this type of marketing evolution is that consumers now take customer reviews much more seriously than TV, radio or newspaper advertising.

Consumer Problems

Consumers are bombarded with tons of marketing messages every day and have learned to tune out most of them, at least on a conscious level. People only have so much time in a given day to concentrate on what they need to buy to resolve issues in their lives. Your brand needs to provide specific solutions to consumer problems that you have researched and understand. Developing a product that mirrors other popular but ineffective products that leave customers unsatisfied is the wrong path. Your goal should be more than just making quick profits.

You should develop a brand that overshadows competitors by resolving problems that they can’t. The way to win the attention and trust of consumers is read their reviews brand strategyonline of similar products and study their complaints. Figure out what would make them happy and deliver it through your products. Stay within your means of production and take note of what’s special about your solution. In other words, create strategies by thinking beyond what’s already available on the market.

Product Solutions

Once you have developed a product that satisfies customers by outperforming competitors, you need to plan a strategy on how to communicate the product’s benefits to your market. Avoid hyperbole that makes the product seem bigger than life, which was part of last century’s mass marketing philosophy just to sell units. In the internet age consumers are much smarter researchers and it takes more effort to win their trust. You can earn much more credibility by delivering what you promise instead of making big promises that trick people.

Your products will likely get positive praise if they exceed customer expectations, which gives people positive energy and confidence in taking credit for help others find effective solutions. If your products only meet or fall short of expectations, there’s a good chance the reviews will be more lackluster at best and have no effect at stimulating a chain reaction of positive reviews. Staying ahead of the curve should be your focus.

Communicating the Brand

A small business branding strategy will likely not involve expensive advertising, which is a gamble even for big businesses. Instead, you should pay attention to inbound marketing, which involves techniques associated with web content development designed to attract search engines and users. It also involves engaging with customers and potential customers online through blogs, social media, email, newsletters. The era of hard selling is ending and is being replaced by a series of informative resources that culminate into a sales funnel that points toward online product pages.

Throughout the inbound marketing process you should take a subtle approach that avoids sales talk. It’s better to initiate products with a wealth of information that begins with social media and blogs, in which you will have the opportunity of exchanging valuable information with curious people. Then you can direct them to further resources, such as your website, blogs and newsletters. From there you can provide direct links to your product pages where they can make purchases after you have led them toward making informed decisions. Any additional advertising you do in your small business branding strategy should give reasons for customers to visit your website. 

Ian ConklinIan Conklin is the President of OTR Web Solutions a web development company building marketing websites since 2000 with offices in Canada, USA, Europe and South America. OTR Web is a Value Added Partner with HubSpot.

For all your Inbound Marketing and Website requirements Contact OTR Web.


Why Social Media Works


What I have found is missing from many businesses today is old fashioned customer service. The kind of service where you connect with your customers and take a moment to chat with them. It was this type of customer service that built long lasting relationships and kept customers in the past coming back to business.

You can have a great product or service … but that can be replicated by your competition. What the competition cannot replicate is your relationship with your customers. Social Media is an excellent tool to build lasting relationships with your customers. Imagine writing a note or posting most anywhere and you get a direct response from the company president or a person within the company? These are the type things that make you go, “wow I can work with this company.”

How can you make this happen within your business and where can you find the time in your busy schedule? First off in today’s market you just have to make the time to get the job done and done right. Your competition is or will be soon … it is as simple as that. Second you are missing out on a great opportunity if you do not take advantage of Social Media.

It is not difficult to create a Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+ pages and that is probably the easiest aspect of the whole process. Search on Google for creating a Facebook page or any of the others and you will find step-by-step processes to get that aspect accomplished.

Once the pages are created that is where the work begins. First add links to your website direct to these accounts so that your site visitors can connect to your social media accounts. Then you need to add content to the pages. If you are a reasonably decent writer you can write your own content, though make certain the spelling and grammar is correct before you publish. It is always good to get someone else to edit your content before you publish.

What not to write … blatant advertising. Your readers are looking for help and information not another ad to go to your website to buy this product or that service. For example one of the tweets I will use for this blog is the title, “Why Social Media Works” which will include a link to this blog … which of course at the very bottom has a call to action if you the reader wants to see how OTR can help your company with their social media management. You always want to attract business but the key is to be low-key about it.

A very important aspect of Twitter is the capability to search for specific phrases that people are speaking about. For example OTR’s Twitter name is “otrweb” or @otrweb and I have that term as well as some industry terms in my search grouping. For example if someone is posting a question anywhere about #html5 I can get a notification about it even if it has nothing to do with OTR Web. This gives me the opportunity to answer their question and build a relationship … and maybe a new client over time.

I can hear you saying to yourself, who has the time for that? Searching through Tweets … there are thousands that come through my box every day. That is where Social Media management software comes to play. From a single interface you can have the software select relevant people you wish to follow, schedule Tweets, Facebook and LinkedIn posts and deliver to your desk those people that have made mention of your company. Follow up on those posts and you are building relationships.

Lastly there is the on-line blog … it is from here that you can write relevant information that can help make you a go-to guy in your industry. When you provide information that will help people it is then that you have built some credibility about you and your company. So take the steps to create your pages … get your blog up and providing good information about your industry and see the traffic to your website increase exponentially.

If all of this seems daunting to you still …  then as I stated earlier OTR is here to help manage your social media platforms. We can even write your blogs for you, create and enter your Facebook posts and schedule your tweets at optimum times. If you would like more information then contact OTR.