If you build your brand, they will come.
It’s an age-old saying (thanks, Kevin Costner) we like to toss around our (digital!) office to remember that a solid brand is the foundation of any successful business (and digital marketing campaign!), no matter the size.
We obsess about brands. It’s kinda our job. We tell the stories of Portland brands big and small through thoughtfully crafted video production, brand photography, and social media content creation. Over the years we’ve learned what works (and what doesn’t), and what it takes to bring your small business to major audiences.
We know that a stunning video with cutting-edge edits just can’t do all the legwork on its own — without a rockin’ brand and digital marketing strategy to back up that killer video, how will your biggest fans find you? This is why we don’t just make cool videos. Drawing from our team’s combined two decades-plus of experience, we guide our clients through the production process and beyond to help their business shine and show up, from all angles.
Wondering what it takes to level-up your marketing strategy as a small business? We’ve got lots of ideas, but here’s three simple solutions you can dig into today:
1. Get Googled.
What might a casual Googler find if they were to search for your business?
Like it or not, in our digital world, Google rules everything around us. It’s important — no, essential — to stand out on Google if you want to bring your business to new audiences. Since this might be your future client’s first time interacting with your brand, it’s important to get it right. Here are a few tips:
- Make sure your information is up-to-date. It’s a big no-no when information is inaccurate or inconsistent. This is your first impression, so make sure you show your audiences that you’re timely and detail-oriented.
- List your physical address. This helps your future clients understand that you’re real, you’re serious, and they can navigate to your office or storefront in just one more click, swipe, or tap.
- Reach for those stars. We recommend, especially for our clients with smaller businesses, to try to get at least ten Google Reviews. Reach out to your biggest fans and ask them to share why they think you’re so great. It doesn’t take long, but it when it comes to marketing, it makes the world of a difference.
2. Looks good.
For better or for worse, in the digital marketing world, aesthetics are everything.
Scour your digital footprint and make sure it’s consistent, in look and quality. Is your logo up-to-date on LinkedIn? Have you updated your new hours on Facebook? Are you using high-quality imagery to represent your company across your website and social media channels? (Spoiler: this is where that high-quality video production comes in!)
Especially if it’s been awhile, we recommend doing a complete web audit of your business to make sure everything is aligned with your brand and quality standards.
Here are a few questions you to consider as you sharpen your look and digital marketing strategy:
- Am I using images that clearly illustrate my product or service? Have I clearly illustrated my process, work practices, and any other essential behind-the-scenes context?
- Am I engaging my audiences across platforms in multiple ways? Am I weaving together high-quality writing, image stills, and video to tell a compelling, multi-dimensional story of my business? If my business doesn’t have the capacity to, for example, have an all-star presence on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, can I set some constraints for how I utilize these platforms to make sure my presence looks good without being over-ambitious?
- Do I need to edit? Is my website easy to read or is the copy cluttering the page? Are my calls-to-action clearly laid out or buried at the bottom? Do I need all three images or can I choose just the best one? Can I share my written copy with a peer or copyeditor (hint: we can help with this!) to make sure everything reads smoothly and in alignment with my brand?
3. Show your heart.
What does your brand believe in?
Nothing beats wearing your heart on your sleeve when it comes to building trust with your clients and customers. If you’ve done the groundwork of getting your digital presence airtight and you’re honest about who you are and what you believe in, your people will find you — even if your business doesn’t have that giant ad budget. Here are a few tangible ways you can put the heart of your brand into your digital marketing practice:
- Map out how and where your business interfaces with your community, find what interests you, and follow it. If you’re a local cafe, this might mean looking up your closest shelter or soup kitchen and committing a certain number of meals to donate to your houseless neighbors each week. Or, if you can’t spare the sandwiches, you could consider donating your time.
- Use your platform to be an advocate, co-host an event, or offer your expertise to support your community in some other way. This might mean structuring your prices so you can offer discounts to working parents, folks on EBT, or clients invested in reducing carbon emissions. Or, if you have a bigger social media presence, this might mean figuring out how to create space to amplify folks in your community doing work you admire.
- If you’re doing the good work, consider getting a third-party benefit certification to prove it. Certifications aren’t everything, but they can offer a measure of accountability and credibility to back up your commitments to social and environmental responsibility. Check out our blog post to learn more about our certification with B Corporations.
However you choose to embody your values, it’s important to note that showing your heart isn’t a direct sales opportunity, but a long-term investment in connecting with neighbors and peers.
As important as those five-star ratings are for your Googleabilty factor, word-of-mouth and community reputation can go just as far. Staying true to your values is just something you can’t rush, fake, or put a dollar sign on. That said, in the sometimes-cutthroat digital marketing world, it speaks volumes to have a heart and show it.
Ready to dive deeper into your digital marketing strategy?