In our previous article, Promote Your Brand Locally Today, we talk about modern-day brand promotion, local targeting, succeeding as a small company against bigger brands, social media advertising, and plenty of other aspects of brand promotion. Also, we've scratched the surface of brand promotion to local customers, and today we're exploring the subject in depth.
Here's what you should know about effectively promoting your brand to local customers:
Know Who You Are Targeting
A business will go from zero to hero in a matter of seconds if its product/service reaches the right type of people. Unless you have a specific idea in mind of who you are branding for, rely on data search to help you build your customers' profiles in terms of their gender, age, education level, location, income level, and other relevant parameters. Why does identifying your target audience matter? Because it will help ensure your brand is specifically targeting consumers who will benefit the most from your products/services or your content.
Give Your Brand a Believable Story
Your competition may have a deeper pocket, but you should respond with a better brand story.
Market research suggests customers respond to genuine, authentic brand storytelling as it's giving them a chance to emotionally connect to something real and personal. The concept of building a brand story equals having a unique selling point or a USP.
There are two ways you can build your brand story:
- a) Tell the truth, i.e., your actual motives to start this brand and hope it goes well, or
- b) Craft a brand story using social listening tools that will help you score with your primary target audience
Social listening tools help brands gather keywords, topics, and conversations surrounding it, and then using that information in the content shared online.
Other than building a brand story, you need to find a way to tell it to your customers. Naturally, you'll include it in your About Us page but you shouldn't stop there. The customers need to be constantly reminded of who you are, what you represent, and – most importantly – why they love you and stay loyal to you.
A few ways to share your brand story is through:
- Web stories
- Social media posts
- Video content
You can share anything from your own and your teammates' testimonials to photos/videos from team buildings, conferences, and various behind-the-scenes moments. Make sure all content is appealing, appropriate, and engaging.
Develop Your Brand's Assets
A USP will take you a long way with the customers, but that's not where things end. For a brand to stand out, having unique visual assets is crucial. Assets like a recognizable color scheme, a killer logo, and a tagline will help your target audience remember and recognize you in the sea of similar content.
Since these visual assets will show up on everything related to your business, this is definitely not the time to budget. Instead, create exceptional visuals that will stick.
Keep an Eye out for the Competition
While we've all enjoyed Benedict Cumberbatch in "The Imitation Game", no one’s going to be imitating anyone here. Being anyone's replica is the last thing to aim for, and we're here to help you avoid it.
We will, however, encourage you to spy on the competition.
Spying on the completion doesn't mean stealing from them. Au contraire – you want to research what they are doing in order to differentiate yourself from what's out there. Furthermore, by studying your competitors' past and rise to glory, you can learn what got them there and whether those techniques could be beneficial to you. The idea is to build your brand in a way it stands out from the rest and encourages your potential customers to choose you over the competition.
Monitor your competition via mentions and general sentiment surrounding their brand.
Make Use of Social Media
Social media interactions have changed the way of reality today, and not just in the way we communicate but also in the way we shop. Use social media to both market your product and make yourself accessible to your customer base.
Choose the best social media platform for your brand advertising and the most fitting way to promote your product. Naturally, you don't have to choose a single platform nor a sole means of promotion. Are web stories your thing? Great, go for it! Do you enjoy UG Instagram posts? Good! More of a Facebook type of a brand? Then, use it!
We've talked extensively about the impact of social media on product branding in our Promote Your Brand Locally Today, so check it out for more useful suggestions on how to make use of social media when it comes to branding.
Build a Tribe
Your own followers are your biggest treasure-trove, and it's up to you to use that power to promote your brand.
According to some of the biggest marketers out there, WOM (word of mouth marketing) is still the most effective way of brand promotion. To promote a brand, you need customers, and that's where your followers come in. How, though? You know what they say – if you don't ask, you don't get, so make sure you ask!
Be open about needing your followers' support; ask them to endorse your brand and, in doing so, help you boost traffic and conversions. Research suggests that 4 out of 5 local customers don't decide on a brand unless they've heard something good about it/read a positive review, so it's utterly vital to have your own brand ambassadors to cheer you on in good faith.
This is why it's essential you have your own tribe.
What's the difference between a tribe and a group of supporters, though? While a group gathers around a product/service, a tribe gathers around a message, an idea the brand stands for or a personal story that resonates with them. If your customers agree with your own and your brand's ideology, they'll emotionally connect with you and stick with you through it all.
But, how do you build an authentic brand story with your local audience? Here are a few steps you can follow:
- Get vulnerable – People crave connection and honesty, and that's what you should give them
- Make it all about "you" instead of “we/I” – Yes, it's your brand, but it's them who need to feel invited into your world. Successful branding is all about shifting the focus from "I/we" to "you"
- Be trustworthy – Don't promise what you can't deliver; consistency and honesty (even when it's not too favorable for the customers) will take you far. What's genuine always pays off
Make Every Employee a Brand Ambassador
Long gone are days of booking celebrities as your brand ambassadors; now, people are more about real experiences, and that's precisely what you need to give them.
Although your followers do make for your primary brand ambassadors, they are not the only ones who can enjoy the role. That's right! Your employees can be amazing brand advocates if you let them have it. But, how? By treating them right, helping them enjoy the work they do and sharing the same ideology with them. That way, they'll be more than happy to talk positively about your brand without even being asked to. As a plus, you can develop an incentive program as a reward system for all your good-hearted ambassadors.
Collaborate with Influencers
One of the quickest ways to promote your brand is through smart collaboration with influencers, but not just any influencers.
Micro-influencers seem to be all that rage of branding (especially local branding) as they've established themselves as trustworthy and dependable sources of information. Research suggests over 61% of customers trust micro-influencers with their product/service purchasing, especially if it's in the niche close to their general likes. Find reputable micro-influencers within your niche and see where this takes you!
Over and Out
Successfully promoting your brand to local customers may seem easy, but there's a lot of behind-the-scenes work you need to include in the process. Re-read the advice above, think about it, and let us know what you think! In fact, if you got any other suggestions, we're more than willing to hear them out!