Branding is a very broad topic. For some people, visual design is the first thing that comes to mind.
For others, they may view branding with a slightly negative connotation and believe it’s too abstract. While those are all valid thoughts, the right type of branding can be very important for a business. When done correctly, branding helps to define a small business and gives people a reason to connect with it.
One of the ways to move away from the abstractness sometimes associated with branding and focus more on what it can actually do for your business is to look at its most important elements. That’s why we want to cover the essential ingredients to build a brand for your small business:
What’s Your Purpose?
Building a brand starts with defining why your business exists. On the surface, this may seem like a simple question to answer. But as you dig into it, you’ll likely notice that it’s surprisingly complex. Although it can take some time to get a clear and concise answer to this question, doing so will create the foundation for the rest of your branding efforts.
A brand is something that makes a promise. The specific promise will vary from one business to the next. Regardless of the specific promise your business makes with its brand, what’s extremely important is to stay consistent with that promise. In terms of how to do that, it’s something that needs to happen at every level of your business. From how you provide customer service to the visual elements you use across the social media for your business, staying consistent will build the type of trust that your business needs in order to grow and thrive.
Since purpose and consistency are key ingredients of a small business brand, it’s easy to understand why branding isn’t an activity that exists in a silo. For a brand to really mean something, every member of an organization needs to be involved. Another benefit of getting every employee fully on board with your brand is they will help you spread its message.
Employees aren’t the only ones who can spread the message of your brand. If you identify your purpose and create an organization where everyone consistently shares that message, you’ll gain loyal customers. These customers will act as evangelists for your brand and help grow it to levels via channels like word of mouth that you could have never done on your own.
Social media continues to be a very important part of building a small business brand. While staying on top of social media can seem quite challenging at times, there are ways to make it easier. Learn more about Send Social Media and how our tool will help streamline your social media efforts.
When used to talk about things that are published online, the word viral refers to content that people consume and are then compelled to share with others. For a business, the benefits of publishing viral content include increased awareness about their brand, more visitors to their website and improved search engine rankings as a result of more people linking to their site.
Although there’s no way to guarantee that a specific piece of content will go viral, there are best practices you can follow to maximize your chances of success. So without further ado, here are five viral marketing tips you’ll want to keep in mind:
1. Inspirational Stories about Real People
Humans are hardwired to respond to stories. And given how moved we all are by emotion, it’s easy to understand why human interest stories are such a powerful recipe for viral content. What’s great about this specific kind of viral content is it can help create a very positive association with your brand.
Blog posts are the most common type of online content. While the right type of blog post can definitely go viral, it’s worth noting that there are other forms of online content. Quizzes are the perfect example. BuzzFeed and other publishers have perfected this type of content. The great thing about quizzes is not only are they very engaging, but it’s easy to build in a viral hook that makes people want to share them with friends after taking them.
3. Motivational Content
Some of the most popular pieces of content on YouTube, reddit, Instagram and other social platforms are focused on motivation. The reason is most of us need a kick in the pants every once in awhile and are well aware of that fact. So when a piece of content has a strong message that’s very motivating, the people who enjoy it want to then share that same positive feeling with others.
4. Long Pieces Packed with Value
A lot of viral marketing tactics focus on crafting content that’s fun, entertaining or brings out different emotions. As we discussed above, those approaches can definitely work really well. However, you don’t necessarily have to go down that route in order for content to go viral. Another strategy is to craft “epic” pieces of content. By choosing a topic and then publishing the longest & most authoritative piece of content on it, you can make it go viral within your industry. This strategy can also work really well to rank for highly competitive keyword phrases.
Even though they’re by no means a new type of content, info-graphics are still very popular. That’s why including at least one in any viral marketing campaign is a very good idea.
If you’re looking for a way to monitor the content you publish to see how well it performs, take a look at our social media management dashboard and all of its very useful features.