Branding, Marketing, Small & Medium Enterprise (SME), Social Media

Get Found: 7 Local Branding Hacks for Small Businesses

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Whenever someone mentions the term brand, a lot of people automatically assume this has something to do with major corporations such as Coca-Cola, McDonald’s or Facebook. Still, branding can be of as much use to smaller local corporations during their initial stages. Sure, the scale of these branding efforts is much smaller due to the restricted budget and the specific needs of the local market, but there are some other (minor) differences that need to be taken into consideration. With this in mind, here are seven local branding hacks your small business could benefit from.

Look for Local Publications

Even though major journals and magazines always seem more reputable, when it comes to the local occurrences and businesses, it might be more effective if you were to turn to a local publication. For instance, those with a base of operations in Queensland, Australia, might want to consider Brisbane publications such as Brisbane times, Big Rigs Newspaper or Quest Community Newspapers.

Word of Mouth Recommendation

No matter how digitalized and hyper-connected modern world becomes, some things never change and a word of mouth marketing still remains the most reliable form of recommendation. Sure, the fact that you are going local doesn’t mean that everyone in the given area is acquainted with each other, only that the difference between the WOM outreach and the maximum outreach gets significantly smaller.

Local SEO

In a recent interview with experts behind a renowned company for web design and SEO from Brisbane, it came to our attention that local searchers usually tend to focus on local results. This being said, it may become paramount for you to try and secure a spot for your company on the Google+ results and in this way reach out to those who are living nearby.

Engaging Your Audience in Person

Even though in-person engagement is universally good for any global campaign, logistically, such a thing is much simpler on a local scale. For instance, you could throw an event where your clients would be able to address you directly and go out with all of their concerns, suggestions, and comments. At very least, you could use your own social media profile in order to engage a regular customer and ask them directly for their impressions surrounding your business.

Local Language and References

Even though in the past it was mostly used to connect us, one downside of the internet is that it has made people skeptical about the truthfulness of any information they find online. In other words, you need to show people that you really are who you claim you are and one of the easiest ways to do so is through the use of local lingo and references. Furthermore, it might also be a good idea to look for a local celebrity to endorse you (a bit of influencer marketing) and in this way gain a no small amount of credibility.

Respond to Negative Comments

Seeing how major corporations get insane amounts of comments on a daily basis, they can afford to skip responding to most of them. Unfortunately, when you are a small company and you receive an overwhelmingly negative comment, your brand stands to suffer greatly. Ignoring it might turn out to have negative consequences while deleting it might provoke the commenter into going on a rampage against you. Therefore, the best way to handle criticism (even the unjustified one) is by turning the other cheek. This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t defend your business, but keep in mind that starting an online argument doesn’t stand to win you any favors (or new customers).

Create a Great Content

Finally, no matter how altruistic you may feel at the moment, keep in mind that everyone online has an agenda. In other words, your clients are on your website for their own benefit and not yours. This being said, make sure to write a content that actually stands to bring some value to its readers. First, offer valuable tips or reviews that are based on facts and numbers. Next, try to make it as interesting as possible and finally, try to use a voice that would suit both local (something we already discussed) and a niche expert.

As you can see, while some of these ‘hacks’ may be universally applicable, there are those that are specific to local businesses. The main thing here is that you establish your goals (short- and long-term) before you even start and then work hard on achieving them by any means you have on disposal. After all, everyone has heard of the proverb: “Think globally, act locally”.

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Cate Palmer

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