July 18, 2022
By: John Tomblin, Senior Solutions Architect
HendersonBizz, a division of Sofvue, LLC
Printed with permission of Sofvue, LLC and the author
The landscape of branding has changed more in the past two decades than in the last 200 years. More specifically, the way we brand our small businesses has become engulfed by the “Digital” branding concepts and tactics all of us must undertake to capture a piece of the market share pie. Businesses with a strong digital brand can pierce the veil and not only grow, but takeover market from competitors that may have an inferior digital presence.
In this Internet age, the digital presence is a way to stay in touch with your customers and keep them up to date on what’s happening at your company. It can be as simple as a Facebook page or a company website, or as complex as a companywide enterprise application CRM system. Whatever your path, it will require considerable effort, time and knowledge from you and your team.
I recently sat with our team to compile some tips from our in-house experts that will help you build or strengthen your company’s digital positioning. Let’s discuss five.
1- Build your Company Website
A well-designed website is an essential part of any digital strategy. With it, you can highlight your work and build your reputation. It’s also a great way to establish credibility.
However, to create a professional website, you need solid coding skills or an expert like Henderson Bizz. We’re a leading website development company in Henderson and Las Vegas, with more than two decades of experience building websites. That aside, if you decide to go it alone, here are some best practices.
* Ensure the site is easy to navigate.
* Minimize the number of popups you show to visitors.
* Keep enough white space around the site to maximize site aesthetics.
* Ensure that your website is “mobile-friendly” because more than 50% of traffic to your site is going to be from a person using their phone.
* Use Call-to-Action tactics (CTA’s) to highlight what you want your visitors to do on your site.
* Add your contact details (business address, phone numbers, etc.) and ensure this information is at the top and bottom of every page of your site.
* Make sure you have SSL setup correctly.
2- Get Busy on social media
Social media is a great way to promote your business, interact with customers, and keep them coming back for more.
Follow these tips to make the most out of social media.
* Know the right platforms. Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are great places to build your online presence if you are a retailer or wholesaler, but not so much for B2b companies or vendors who are more inward focused with its customer base.
* Make sure that your profile is filled out completely. This includes a picture of yourself (or your company logo) and an introduction about who you are and what business you're in.
* Post regularly (but not too often). For Henderson Bizz, we typically post 5 or 6 unique media pieces every day. It's important to post regularly, but it's also a good practice not to flood * people's feeds with multiple posts daily, otherwise, they will block your content from ever displaying again.
* Make sure each post offers something new or interesting enough so that followers will want more than just another selfie photo from their friends' account.
3- Start a Blog
Many people in the marketing space argue that blogging is a great way to build trust with your audience. I disagree. What blogging does is offer you the ability to create credibility with your subject content with and for your audience, but you can’t build trust with someone you’ve never met in person. Trust comes from interfacing with people, whether in person, over a cup of coffee or lunch, over a Zoom meeting or through phone conversations. That said, you can use your blog content to share ideas, stories, and strategies that add value to your customers lives. Your blog content should help you establish yourself as an authority in your field. Also, assuming your post has stellar content, it can also be a great source of traffic for your website.
Start with these best practices:
* Keep the content relevant to what you do and who you serve.
* Post regularly (at least twice weekly) so readers know when to expect new posts from you.
* Use keywords and phrases that reflect what people are searching for when looking for information about topics related to your business. You can use tools like Ubersuggest and SEMrush to find the right keywords for your blog.
* Use bullet points or short paragraphs of text to break up the content into digestible chunks that are easy for readers to skim through quickly. This will help them quickly find what they're looking for so they can keep reading if they want more information.
4- Leverage Email Marketing
Email marketing, when done correctly and ethically, is still a great way to reach your audience. In fact, it is still one of the most effective ways to build relationships and generate sales with your customers. Email collection should be organic and not forced, and DO NOT BUY or use email lists. These lists are often very dated, inaccurate, and have not been vetted to ensure that the recipient even wants your content. Email collection should be the result of customers or perspective customers contacting you and asking to be on your company’s email distribution list. This increases your domain authority and reduces spam rates. It also keeps you off blacklists.
Here are some ways to collect emails organically.
* Add a subscription option to your website.
* Run contests on social media to get the email addresses of people interested in your business.
* Offer gated content (in exchange for receiving an email address). This process has its own set of pros and cons.
* Give discounts to new users when they sign up on your website and ask to be part of your company’s distribution list.
Once you have an email list ready, follow these best practices.
* Generate a strong subject line to increase the open rate. The national average is a very low 1% to 2%, but when done correctly, can be as high as 5%. We once launched a digital email campaign that had an open rate of 62%. You can also customize the subject line in each email based on the reader's interests or preferences.
* Use personalization to increase engagement and conversions.
* Add images to your emails to make them visually aesthetic and increase engagement.
* Include a CTA and an email signature in every email.
5- Partner with Influencers
Influencer marketing is another great way to build a powerful digital brand in 2022. Influencers are people with an audience who are experts in their respective field and have a large audience of people who want to hear what they have to say. People like Don “The Rock” Johnson, Gary Vee or Dave Ramsey are just a few examples, but there are thousands of others. We are currently working with a new health and fitness company who has numerous IFBB contacts they plan to use to produce both blog articles and videos about their service offering.
These influencers can help you target your audience by creating content on social media, blogs, videos or podcasts that get more shares, driving traffic back to your site or online store. And when a person with a huge following in your industry promotes your business, you’ll also gain instant followers and enhance your online visibility. One of the most famous influencers is the story about the founder of Spanx, Sara Blakely, who went from 0 to 100 after a single appearance on a national talk show.
Building a robust digital brand has always been important, but as local markets morph and compete in an ever expanding global market, and with more people running their lives, jobs, businesses, and even schooling from home, digital branding has become an even more critical aspect of small business. By following the five steps mentioned in this article, you can build a great digital brand from scratch. However, it is worth mentioning that it takes time and effort, and patience - just take it one step at a time and you’ll soon reach your goals.
If you don’t have the time or resources to build a digital brand, we’re here to help. At Henderson Bizz, we’ve been helping small businesses create a strong digital presence with websites and app development. Just ask us about some of our case studies where we’ve had sites receive upwards of over 15,000 unique visitors in a single day -- and we can do the same for you. For more information, please give us a call in Henderson at (702) 213-1638, or Phoenix at (623) 845-2747.