Modern entrepreneurs have reached the level of global celebrities and their brands are in the limelight of media attention. Small businesses, on the other hand, face a big challenge: how to escape obscurity and make a name for themselves. Well, fostering a positive corporate image is a long and slow process.
There are numerous avenues that can be used to get in front of people and engage them. Web and social media, for instance, have a great impact on communication and marketing strategies, but they need to be used in the right way. One thing is for certain – you cannot neglect your image. How others perceive your business makes all the difference.
First impressions matter
Making a good first impression is paramount. It prompts customers to check out what it is you have to say and offer. That is why you need to pay close attention to your website’s appearance. A visually appealing, easy-to-navigate website always has an edge over an outdated-looking, dysfunctional site. So, take your time figuring out the navigation bar and main features. Optimize landing pages and showcase attention-grabbing calls-to-action to reduce bounce rates. Make sure your pages load fast enough, in under two seconds if possible. Invite people to dive in and learn more about you.
Social media has rendered business-related information easily accessible to a wide audience. This incredible level of exposure is a double-edged sword. Yes, brands are in a position to reach many people with their campaigns and interact with them on a daily basis. However, user expectations are rising and they want businesses to be responsive and attentive. A bad customer experience can spread like wildfire and tarnish a reputation in an instant. Hence, active social presence and quick reaction times are more important than ever. They give you a chance to turn disadvantaged situations around.
Blatant self-promotion is not the way to go. The right approach to building relationships is one that relies on targeted, meaningful and perpetual interactions. Here, note that content marketing represents one of the hallmarks of modern digital marketing. It is a strategy that revolves around adding real value to the lives of consumers via posts that are educational, entertaining and informative. It proves that you care about the wants and needs of people— that you are not just after the money in their pocket and bank account.
This brings us to another key point. Aggressive ads and sales pitches constitute the old approach to marketing that falls short in the age of social media and messaging apps. Likewise, promotion that is based too much on products and services could put customers off. Therefore, refrain from spamming and raving on about how good you are. Cultivate trust by putting the customer first. Feature industry news, expert insights, analysis, white papers, and research. Become a go-to source of handy information and content.
Traditional marketing is not yet obsolete. In fact, many people still prefer to use the phone instead of apps and browsers. But, do not just randomly start calling people and disturbing them during lunch. You can easily buy 1300 numbers to give an impression of a professional, reputable business. Many companies use these single point inbound points to boost sales and inquiries and enable customers to reach them via a single business number. An additional benefit is that these numbers are charged at lower, local rates and they also streamline call management.
Furthermore, devise a sound press strategy. Identify what the focal point of your story is and what you want customers to know about your business. Find out what media outlets your target audience uses the most and allocate your resources accordingly. Bear in mind that you also have to tailor your pitches to what each particular outlet expects from you. This spadework will increase chances of transmitting news and credible information that echo your core mission and messages. It can work miracles for your efforts of improving the public image.
One of the often-overlooked aspects of a company’s image is its internal essence and soul — corporate culture. It sets the tone and stage for the story you communicate with the world. Moreover, it has a profound impact on the employees. Namely, workers who are happy and engaged tend to share their experience via social media and other channels. They act as your devoted brand ambassadors. So, be thoughtful when it comes to running and managing your business, especially in the HR department. It will paint the image your project onto others.
Put the best face forward
Business image is a delicate thing– it takes a long time to build and can be destroyed in a blink of an eye. Therefore, you must embrace a planned, strategic approach. Forge a stellar website and establish a strong social media presence. Be there for people, the moment they need something from you. Create a positive brand experience that goes beyond your products and services. Use appropriate channels and be consistent. Gear the content to preferences and expectations of the audience. It is time to hone your respectable image and let it fully shine.
Chris Mcdonald has been the lead news writer at complete connection. His passion for helping people in all aspects of online marketing flows through in the expert industry coverage he provides. Chris is also an author of tech blog Area19delegate. He likes spending his time with family, studying martial arts and plucking fat bass guitar strings.