Here are a few practical and actionable steps to take to transform a business into a Brand using the power of Digital PR with photography. The most successful businesses are those that are projected as brands. Brands are recognisable and identifiable, making it easy for people to identify with them.
We’ve seen in the Harley-Davidson example (referenced on this Branding page) above how humanizing your brand can be a very powerful branding strategy. When you make your brand more human, you make it easier for people to connect with your brand and the message that you’re trying to pass across. And from there, the next natural step would be to become staunch ambassadors of your brand.
To do this, you would first need to anticipate the problems of your potential audience. As soon as you’re able to understand their unique problems and the thought processes behind them, you’ll be well on your way to finding an angle that positions your product or service as the solution to these problems. Next, make it clear, through your marketing messages, that your product or service can provide value to your customers and provide solutions to their problems.
In other words, you’ll be selling a dream, a concept, and a philosophy, in much the same way that Harley-Davidson does.
Small Business Personal Branding Advertising Photo Example
Use Appealing Visual Content
Where would any branding campaign be without appealing visuals? Nowhere, that’s it. Visuals do not only speak louder than a thousand words, they are easier to process and remember. They are also more likely to be shared and engaged across various social media platforms than most other forms of content.
Your visuals are the face of your brand. They are likely to be the first thing that clients come in contact with when engaging your brand, and they are what your clients will remember when they leave. Quite simply, your visuals leave a lasting impression in the minds of people, which makes it easier for them to remember your brand when they come across similar images elsewhere.
To make your visual content effective, ensure that they are consistent. But first, make them easily memorable. Get them to pass a message across in a tasteful manner, and ensure that they are in line with your brand’s core values and theme.
Engage With Your Audience
There are several benefits attached to keeping an open line of conversation with your audience through both online and offline channels. Not only does this give you an opportunity to gain insights into consumer behaviours, expectations, concerns, and motivations, it also ensures that your business is constantly being talked about, which only bodes well for your brand.
Build and maintain a strong online presence by posting meaningful and engaging content online and interacting with a few engagements. Comment on values your brand shares with your audience, thank them for their loyalty and look for ways to give back to your customers.
What is Digital PR and its role in Business Branding?
The Internet is the world’s biggest marketplace. And as the marketing landscape changes, perceptions and attitudes have had to change as well. What this means is that traditional methods of generating interest and publicity in products and services are now all almost completely out of date. Digital marketing holds sway these days, and digital PR is the most effective way to position your brand to compete.
Like traditional PR, digital PR aims to shape the audience’s perception of a brand positively in order to drive engagements and sales. The key difference between both is that the latter is done online, with the use of internet-based channels, tools, and methods.
In addition to helping drive sales, digital PR can also help tell your brand’s story, identify your vision and goals, connect with your audience, and manage the reputation of your brand, including navigating potentially damaging crises. Digital PR practitioners leverage content marketing, social media, and search engine optimization (SEO) instead of traditional media such as television and print-based media.
1. It helps build solid, meaningful relationships with your target audience
When you humanize your brand, it’s only natural for your audience to want to connect and engage with you on a deeper, more profound level. Digital PR helps build lasting relationships as well as trust with members of your public. And when it comes to marketing, trust is an expensive commodity.
2. You get to pass across information quicker and more effectively
A huge advantage of connecting directly with your audience through your website, social media channels, and blogs is that you get to deliver authentic, timely information without hassles. With digital PR, you won’t have to depend on the schedules of traditional media houses or even wonder if your story will get published.
3. It helps with brand awareness
Building brand awareness is easy, convenient, and cheap with digital PR. It offers you the opportunity to promote your brand without any restrictions whatsoever, which gives you the power to shape attitudes and perceptions of your brand. With this advantage, you can build strong brand loyalty over time.
4. Positions you as an expert in your niche
If you’re regularly able to provide value to your audience through engaging, meaningful content, over time, your brand will come to be regarded as an authority in your field. When you’ve built sufficient credibility and trust, your brand will enjoy an upsurge in reputation and engagement.
5. Helps improve SEO and drives conversion
It takes a lot of consistent effort to get to this stage, but digital PR can give your online channels, particularly your website, a boost on Google’s SERP rankings. Studies show that results that are ranked on Google’s first page get more engagements, resulting in higher chances of conversions. Take your SEO seriously and watch more traffic flow to your website.
6. Affects brand reputation
Most people tend to engage with the first result that provides a solution to their needs on Google’s SERP, provided that the website is backed by good reviews from other customers. The equation here is simple; high search ranking plus good reviews equals conversion. Coincidentally, both factors are determined by brand reputation. Good digital PR helps cultivate and maintain a great brand reputation, which will make your brand a lead magnet.
List of Effective Digital PR Strategies
These are some of the strategies that a savvy digital PR practitioner would recommend to drive up your brand’s reputation online:
Build your brand’s authority and trust by creating and sharing meaningful and valuable content
Add your company’s website to directories for easy recognition
Source backlinks from high-quality websites, blogs, and online publications
Share press releases across various platforms
Create a rewarding affiliate and referral program
Cross-promote your content across your websites, social media channels, and blogs
Publish content on guest blogs
How to do Small Business Branding
For a long time, people thought that small businesses have no business with branding. The rationale behind this thinking is the cost of setting up the visual elements of the brand (aesthetically pleasing logo, colour palettes, website, business cards, etc) would simply overwhelm the fledgling business before it even gets a chance to get up and running. To a certain extent, this is true.
Branding can be expensive, which is why people assume that only big corporations can afford it.
The problem with such thinking is that it focuses too much on brand identity, which is not all branding is about. Sure, your visual properties are important, and there’s something authentic about designing a masterpiece of a logo before your business takes off.
But there are other aspects of branding that are just as important and cost far less, especially for small businesses. The good news is, you can always scale up, refine, and iterate your brand as your business grows.
Branding affects your customers’ impression of your brand. Your customers form these impressions based on your brand personality and their experiences engaging with your brand. Luckily, you can shape these perceptions without breaking the bank by taking note of the following 6 strategies.
For every product or service you’re offering, there is likely to be hundreds of other businesses offering the exact same. It’s up to you then to give your customers reasons why they have to choose you. You may not even need to innovate, just look for and provide innovative ways to solve problems or provide an existing service.
In a nutshell, become known for something that would be difficult for someone else to replicate. Be very specific in ways others have not.
2. Specify and outline your purpose
When you know what you’re about, it becomes easier to convince a large group of people to buy into your vision. From the get-go, know what you stand for, and let your customers know it too. A good way to do this is to draft a purpose statement that will serve as the guideline for your business moving forward.
3. Identify your target audience
This is equally important for small, medium, and large enterprises. Knowing your target audience allows you to be intensive with your marketing and branding efforts, not just extensive. You shouldn’t try to target everybody, because that will just not work.
4. Deliver an amazing customer experience
For startups, word of mouth referral is one of the best and most authentic ways to grow your business. How to get customers to become ambassadors of your brand? By providing them with a standout experience for them. If you manage to leave them with a positive impression of your service and brand, you can rest assured that there’ll be plenty of repeat patronage. Not only that, you will have set a standard for excellent customer service that’s bound to do your brand’s reputation no harm.
5. Infuse your brand with personality
Studies have shown that emotions play a very active role in the buying habits of people. Before making a purchase, people often consider how that product or service will make them feel. This adds up to the fact that you can make your brand infinitely more attractive to your audience by playing up its emotional angle. When you personalize your brand, you help your customers see how you can be a great fit for them, because you identify with their needs.
6. Build up your visual elements
Your brand’s visual properties are still essential elements of your brand identity, so you will still need to invest in them at some point. A logo, tagline, and other such branding collateral will not only help you gain traction in the market but will ensure that your message gets broadcast in a way that your target audience will hear loud and clear.