“People don’t care about my brand yet.”
Perhaps, like me, you’ve said this before about your small business. The key word here is “yet.” Because it takes time to get people to care. And it takes a lot of consistent work.
In this post, I’ll discuss some actionable steps you can begin implementing today to prepare for the day when plenty of people care about your brand.
Brands, like people, want to be loved. And unlike people, who often start out loved even though they didn’t do anything to deserve it (looking at you, babies), brands need to do something to earn people’s love and attention.
In her insightful book, Marketing: A Love Story: How to Matter to Your Customers, Bernadette Jiwa tells marketers the following: “Don’t make people click. Find ways to make people care.” [emphasis added]
Easier said than done, but not impossible. So, how can you get people to care about your small business?
1. Consistently put out quality content
Understand that building a strong brand people care about takes time.
As of this writing, my company is only a few months old, which means I haven’t had a lot of time to get people to care about it. If you’re a business owner or a marketer for a startup, you can likely empathize with this.
I’m confident, however, that if I consistently put out new content that my target audience will like, I’ll build trust and give people a reason to care about my brand.
Side note on search engine optimization (SEO)
If you attempt to include as many relevant keywords as possible into your content, you’re more likely to rank higher in search engines (which helps with brand awareness). But don’t get caught up too much in trying to crack Google’s search algorithm–make sure that any keywords you provide fits with the content. Otherwise, you might as well be keyword stuffing.
2. Be relatable in your writing
Your goal is to communicate a message in a way that’s easy to understand. So use a conversational tone in your marketing content. This is your brand voice, so you’ll likely want to have some guidelines surrounding it if other writers will be working on it.
This may require bending some grammatical rules, such as having a one-sentence paragraph.
Or ending a sentence on a preposition, which is something I stand by.
But if it’s easy for your audience to read and understand, while generally following grammatical basics, you’ll have done your job.
Sometimes, such as when writing a case study, you may have to sound more formal. But you can still be relatable. Think of your blog like a meeting with friends and your case study like a meeting with potential customers — you can still be relatable in both instances, though one will likely require you to be more formal than the other.
3. Find topics that are relevant to your target audience
This is key to any content marketing strategy. At some point, you started in your industry without knowing much at all.
As you began studying the ins-and-outs of your field, what were some particularly useful things you came across? Do you know of solutions that can address specific pain points your audience is likely to have?
Your content marketing should explain these things.
For example, as I’ve studied marketing, I’ve learned the value of a customer-centric site. As a result, I’ve written multiple posts that touch on that topic.
You can also break down a longer piece of content into smaller “bite-sized” chunks for use on a social media platform (like LinkedIn). And if you have a podcast, you can talk about these topics on your show.
4. Understand your purpose
Why do you exist beyond making a profit? At Ten Fifteen Communications, our purpose is to…
Click if you care what our purpose is
At Ten Fifteen Communications, our purpose is to help small businesses with their digital marketing at a price that is much less than a typical agency. Thank you for reading!
That means the content we create and the conversations we have should promote that purpose. It has to be embedded into our messaging. But in order to do that, it must be defined.
Have you defined your purpose? If so, does your team know it?
Once you know it, do your marketing efforts reflect it?
5. Do good
Philanthropic initiatives can be a great way to show people that you share their values. And according to a 2017 study by Cone Communications, 87% report a willingness to spend more money with a brand whose values align with their own.
If you haven’t already, start planning something good your business can do as a team. If you’re a business of one, perhaps consider providing opportunities for clients or customers to get involved with a good deed. For instance, you could give your customers the opportunity to donate canned goods, coats, or toys when they come to your office.
Then, feel free to mention this on your site or social media channels.