According to the most recent data available, there are more than 1 million small businesses in Canada.
With so many options, how does a single business stand out in the crowd?
Learning a few simple and inexpensive marketing tactics to create brand visibility is crucial when starting a new business. Those same tricks will also help you sustain momentum as your company grows.
Finding techniques that are easy to integrate into your marketing plan is the first step.
Boost your brand with these 7 excellent strategies!
1. Update Your Google My Business Listing
A basic definition of brand visibility is being present where your customers are. Back in the day, that meant a billboard on a busy interstate or an ad in the Sunday paper. Today, it's a Google listing on the information highway.
If you haven't verified your company on Google My Business, do it immediately after you finish reading this post.
Why wouldn't you? This one is absolutely free.
And all it takes is a few simple clicks.
Once you're signed up you can update your business information, add photos, create engaging posts, and respond to customer reviews. All from any device — laptop, tablet, and phone. All still for FREE.
2. Increase Brand Visibility by Being Mobile
Research shows that 96% of potential customers use their mobile device when searching for local businesses. If your website is not responsive, how many of those customers are you missing?
If your website is not responsive, or mobile-friendly, your search engine positioning is destined to suffer. Google's mobile-first algorithm will make sure of that.
It's not that Google looks to penalize people. Their “customers” are search engine users and they want to provide the best possible experience for those people.
Since more than 40% of mobile searches are abandoned if the website takes longer than 10 seconds to load, Google started paying attention.
A mobile-friendly website is no longer debatable. Smartphone users present a huge potential to increase brand awareness in a non-pushy, customer-driven way.
Has your business tapped into that huge potential?
3. Manage Your Reputation
Brand visibility is fantastic when that visibility is clean, glowing, and filled with awe-struck customers.
Not so much when a customer is unhappy, has an unresolved issue, or blatantly tries to deep-six your business.
If you're putting your business out there for the masses to enjoy, don't forget about those with the potential to destroy. Having an effective strategy for dealing with reviews from customers goes a long way to developing your brand visibility in a positive way.
Even handling negative reviews in a well-thought-out manner can have positive results.
Perhaps you're thinking this won't be worth the time and effort. Who really reads the reviews, anyway?
Don't make that mistake.
Online reviews have a huge impact on purchase decisions. In fact, one survey revealed that 88% of consumers consider online reviews to be as trustworthy as recommendations from family or friends.
4. Optimize for Local SEO
When a customer asks Google to “locate the (insert your business type here) near me,” who pops up first? You or your competitors?
Search engine optimization is necessary for any business wanting to compete online. Being present in a search may not be enough if your business listing doesn't show up until page three.
SEO is a marketing strategy that helps you advertise your products or services in an unpaid, or organic, fashion.
Need some help?
Check out Moz' helpful guide for beginners. It will show you exactly how SEO can be used to build your website presence and boost brand visibility.
If you haven't focused any of your marketing budget on local SEO, now is the time to make the change.
5. Create a 360 Virtual Tour
You get what you pay for, right?
Show customers exactly what to expect when they walk through your doors.
Giving someone a visual goes a long way toward establishing a stronger brand visibility. New customers are more likely to recall what you have to offer, because of what your business looks like inside.
It's a game of psychology and played right, both you and your customer win.
A recent market research study found that listings with photos and a virtual tour are twice as likely to generate interest. The study, organized by Google Street View, also found that mobile users use map features 44% of the time when searching for local businesses.
Build trust in your business and your brand. Allow guests to experience what you have to offer before they arrive.
6. Pump Up Your Social Media Marketing
Influencers, micro-influencers, customer driven content, social media branding. Social media options can get a little overwhelming at times.
Rather than using the oft-ineffective “throw it out there and see what sticks” method, choose one or two social media outlets to focus your brand visibility efforts.
Knowing your target audience (or buyer persona) is an absolute necessity for choosing the right social media roads to travel.
Facebook's new Cover Video feature is an excellent starting point.
7. Consistency is Key
Your message needs to be clear and concise and understood within 3-5 seconds. It also needs to be the same on every marketing platform you use.
The best way to make your brand visibility “invisible” is by having a mishmash of marketing messages. Your goal is to intrigue customers to want to learn more about your business, not confuse and alienate them.
Stick to one simple idea, one logo, one slogan.
These simple hacks won't break the budget. Start implementing them now and watch your company's visibility skyrocket into the minds (and hopefully hearts) of customers.
Become Virtually Impossible to Beat
A high level of visibility compared to your competitors typically equates to more sales. It also prevents your competition from increasing their market share. That's the bottom line for any small business, right?
If you're ready to take leaps and bounds above your competition, it's time to take your brand visibility virtual.
Not sure how a 360 Virtual Tour can boost a company's brand online?
Start by downloading this case study. It shows what a few savvy restaurants did with search engine listings to increase online reservations by 30%.
Be seen, be enticing, and be memorable.
Book a virtual tour for your business today!