As more opportunities open up for small businesses to utilise all the Internet tools available there is the chance that your marketing efforts can become a little scattered and your message and brand, which started out as consistent and uniform, wakes up one day with odd socks on!
Web site, email headers, Facebook page, Twitter, YouTube, Google Places listings, online directory submissions, article submission sites, blogs, press releases – so many tools are available now for your small business to get its face out and about online.
It’s important to have a co-ordinated online marketing campaign that keeps your colors and graphics consistent so your brand integrity is maintained across all the relevant platforms.
This will help to:
- Show your customers that you have a consistent quality to what you do, creating an impression of reliability and trust in the customers’ minds
- Show that you are professional and organized in how you present yourself – so you are more likely to offer professional and well-managed services or good quality products
- Create a recognisable image or identity for your company. This opens up opportunities for further online marketing in later campaigns and strategies where you want to push a particular message quickly and efficiently.
- Attract brand advocates that will act as testimonials to the quality of your business products and services
- Separate yourself from the rest! Other similar businesses offering similar products and services will be out there. Set your self apart by having a brand that people instantly know and associate with quality. Consistent brand marketing will help to achieve this and to lessen the chance of your business being confused with the others (which are obviously inferior!)
- Show that you are up-to-date and relevant – people expect you to have a presence on social media networks, a web site, a listing on local maps and a YouTube channel. Getting your business logo out there in all these places shows that you are a modern, forward-thinking business that moves with the times.
Like it or not your market segment will be monitored and commented upon online, whatever your business does. People will be talking, as that’s what social media is increasingly allowing people to do – reviewing and commenting upon business services and products.
Make sure the comments about your business are positive, by keeping your branding consistent and identifiable; you don’t want your business to end up in the “odd socks” drawer!
The local business takeaway:
Brand awareness campaigns can be an expensive exercise in marketing. Ideally we want to link any marketing we do with getting customers to move towards a purchase rather than just know we exist. To get the most ROI I’m going to suggest that you co-ordinate the branding between the ‘Big 4′ – Facebook Profile Image, Facebook Custom Landing Tab, Custom Twitter Background and Custom YouTube Channel Background images. Whats more these images should include your website address and give the visitor an incentive to visit your website.
If using a graphic artist to generate your images make sure to quiz them on the particulars of the social media branding as each platform requires different ‘tricks’ due to image placement or size restrictions (YouTube background image must be no larger than 256K for example).
Check our resource page from time to time and we will add links to free graphic websites. If you have custom social media graphics for your company that you are proud of then link them in the comments below.