woman taking a photo of her tailored dress
Engaging with your audience and building trust are key in building a strong brand. — Getty Images/vgajic

When it comes to making a strong impression on a prospective patron, your company’s image and brand mean a lot. Consider that presenting your brand consistently across all your chosen platforms can increase revenue up to 23%, on average. The problem is, 42% of consumers don’t trust brands.

Building a more robust brand takes hard work and a dedicated effort from your team. There are countless tactics you can try. For guidance, we consulted with a few pros who suggested the following proven approaches.

[Read: How Augmented Reality Is Driving the Evolution of Brands Like Wayfair]

Amp up your SEO

It’s hard to grow your brand if clients don’t know you exist or can’t easily find you online. That’s why it’s crucial to improve your rankings among search engines like Google. The goal is for your site and any content you publish to be among the top results that appear when people conduct a keyword search.

The steps to achieve this are numerous, but often include the following items:

  • Adding title, description and keyword metadata on your website.
  • Using alt tags.
  • Employing plenty of links throughout your site’s pages and content.
  • Enhancing your page loading speed.
  • Using header tags to break up your content.

Ryan Fitzgerald, owner of Raleigh Realty, followed these and other tips and saw his website traffic increase from 5,000 to nearly 100,000 visits per month.

“Our SEO branding strategies created a lot of trust with folks,” he said. “Now, when you Google ‘moving to Raleigh’ or ‘moving to Charlotte,’ you see that our website ranks at the top of the search results because both people and Google trust our brand to provide valuable information.”

Fitzgerald added that “a referral from Google is even more trustworthy than a referral from a friend in the eyes of a consumer because they come across our brand in an organic way — through search.”

[Read: 4 Affordable PR Strategies for Small Businesses]

Make sure the content is relevant to your business and your clientele.

Tiffany K. Schreane, professor and marketing/advertising expert

Create compelling content

One surefire way to establish a stronger brand is through clever content marketing, advised Tiffany K. Schreane, marketing/advertising expert and professor with Borough of Manhattan Community College.

“Creating whitepapers, blogs, articles, videos, podcasts, and other content online — posted on your website and social media platforms — that educates your target audience and draws awareness to your company and its offerings and benefits is worth the effort. It has the potential to position your brand as an industry leader among other competitive brands,” she said. “But this content shouldn’t be a sales pitch — it should be aimed to inform and inspire.”

First, carefully identify your target audience. Next, create a list of topics and subject matter categories that you can create content around and for which your business provides solutions.

“Make sure the content is relevant to your business and your clientele. And ensure that all information you write and post is accurate and factual,” Schreane said. “If you’ve conducted any research and have any interesting data or statistics to share, try to include them in your content, too.”

Also, always check for typos and grammar to ensure clean and easy-to-read content.

Showcase great photos online

Any small business can repurpose stock photos or generic images to convey a message. But smart business owners go the extra step by creating and posting fresh and relevant photographs that are better visual representations of what they do and who they are.

“We take copious photographs and videos, mostly of our work at various stages of completion, and post them on our website,” explained Joe Palumbo, owner of Ice Dam Guys LLC, a company that removes ice dams from roofs. “Reusing some ‘greatest hits’ kinds of photos is okay; but, in general, you should try to take and post as many different images of what you provide as you can.”

Instead of hiring a costly professional photographer, Palumbo secured a quality camera and got in the practice of taking photographs of himself and his crew while on the job — including before-and-after shots to demonstrate the impact of his services. He said patrons appreciate seeing who they are considering doing business with — the actual professionals at work on a real project.

“It’s also a good idea to encourage your customers to post online reviews and include photographs of their own in their reviews,” Palumbo said. “Photos make your expertise seem more real to others; they make it easier for would-be customers to know what to expect of your company and what it offers.”

[Read: How to Find an Influencer to Help Boost Your Word-of-Mouth Marketing]

CO— aims to bring you inspiration from leading respected experts. However, before making any business decision, you should consult a professional who can advise you based on your individual situation.

To stay on top of all the news impacting your small business, go here for all of our latest small business news and updates.

CO—is committed to helping you start, run and grow your small business. Learn more about the benefits of small business membership in the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, here.

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Published July 17, 2019