BeYB welcomes guest post from Sara Aisenberg!
Building your online visibility and credibility is crucial for business and career success. The reality now is if you do not show up on Google search you simply do not exist! In this very useful post, Sara outlines four ways professionals in even the most mundane industries can build an online brand that consumers can get excited about. Enjoy and connect with Sara on G+
How to Establish an Online Brand in a “Boring” Industry
If you’re a lawyer, cleaning specialist or real estate broker, you know that marketing your business can be a challenge. Why? Because — let’s face it — consumers tend to be more responsive to marketing efforts that promote “interesting” industries, such as a fashion and technology.
So, as a professional in a “boring” industry, what can you do to increase the ROI (return on investment) you get from your marketing efforts? In my experience as a marketing professional in the insurance industry, the answer lies in building an engaging, recognizable brand.
Here are four ways professionals in even the most mundane industries can build an online brand that consumers can get excited about.
1. Build and maintain a quality website
These days, it’s not enough to have a website that features nothing more than your company name, logo and contact information. Your website must be a thorough reflection of your business — from design, to content, to user experience and everything in-between. Not only should your website explain who you are, what you do and how you do it, but it should also feature
- photos of your company in action
- testimonials from past clients
- the best way to get in touch with you
- anything else someone looking for your services/products might need to know
Because your website is the most important aspect of your online branding campaign, don’t be afraid to spend a large chunk of your marketing budget on it. Work with a great designer who understands your vision and can execute it. Then enlist a skilled web content writer who has experience writing about your industry and knows how to implement SEO techniques that search engines will love.
2. Become more personable via social media
The easier you make it for people to both find and interact with your company, the better.
Because we know that social media is becoming increasingly important when it comes to SEO, you should set your sights on establishing your brand on these platforms. How? By registering accounts for your business on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, YouTube and any other platform that is relevant to your industry.
Once you register, provide as much information on your profile as possible, including:
- your website
- a profile picture (preferably your logo)
- hours of operation
- other helpful information about your company
The more informative your profile is, the more questions you’ll answer for potential customers. Well-rounded social profiles can also help build trust.
After your profiles are set up, start posting! Think about your target audience (who your business caters to currently and who you’d like to attract in the future), and develop posts that are interesting, original and informative. Stumped? Remember, most people use social media for social purposes, so don’t blast your audience with boring or overly promotional information. Help keep them up-to-date by sharing interesting yet relevant posts, such as:
- little-known facts about your industry
- current or upcoming special events/promotions
- photos/bios of your staff
- links to reliable articles and other sources that pertain to your industry
As you gain more followers, acquire more “likes” and continue to build your company’s presence on social media, remember this:
“Genuine engagement is crucial to cementing your foundation as a social brand.” (Tweet This!)
What’s the easiest way to do this?
- Reach out to your followers and fans.
- Respond to their comments and questions in a timely, friendly and informative manner.
- Always promote a positive, professional image.
If you think the general public won’t get excited about working with your business, think again. As a marketing professional in a niche area of the insurance industry, trust me: even rudimentary social media techniques can boost brand outreach for businesses in “boring” industries.
3. Let the facts speak for themselves
It’s likely that you’ve spent countless hours building your business, and this level of dedication must remain while you build your brand. As a business owner, it’s safe to assume that you care deeply about the reputation your business upholds. To hold yourself accountable when it comes to providing top-notch service and/or products, set up profiles on review sites, such as Yelp and Better Business Bureau, to allow your customers to describe their experiences with your business.
Let your customers know that these profiles are available and that you want their feedback. At the same time, promote positive reviews and address negative ones in a professional manner. Doing so will show your customers, as well as your competitors, that you’re serious about providing quality customer service and maintaining your brand’s positive reputation.
4. Keep an eye on your competitors
When it comes to branding your business, remember: “Keep your friends close and your enemies closer.” Marketing techniques that work will stick and then spread like wildfire, especially in industries that are difficult to engage. If a competitor is spending a lot of time and effort (and maybe money) on a particular kind of marketing, chances are it’s working for them and will probably work for you, too.
Thanks to the Internet, marketing is easier than ever, even for the most “boring” industries out there. Your efforts now have the ability to reach more people than ever. Find a way to get potential customers excited about working with you and your business, and your efforts will be rewarded.