Increasing your brand awareness is one of the most significant aspects of marketing your company.
Running a business is challenging work. That’s never been more true than in the past year. And 2021 doesn’t seem to offer up any easy challenges so far.
Focusing on building new business by connecting to new customers can be simple to understand yet complex to execute.
This list will cover some valuable methods to get new customers into the door while improving your existing brand image.
1. Commercial Photography.
Everyone knows how well pictures sell. That’s just as true with business services as it is for consumer products.
Whether it’s on a flyer or brochure, your website or even posts shared on social media, having images that attract people on the proper emotional level matter.
You want the first glance someone has with your company to support your reputation.
Looking professional, trustworthy, and relating to your ideal customers can dramatically boost your brand.
Hiring a commercial photographer can help with that. They’ll be able to understand who your best customers are and what sort of composition showcases what you do in the best light.
Professional photos of you, your business, your services, and your products are also an excellent investment.
You can use them on your website, digital campaigns, print media, and social!
The right combination of media and copy can pay dividends over time.
When you’re looking for the right commercial photographer, don’t just measure cost.
While it’s important, you stay within your budgets, be sure to ask them the right questions.
Have they worked with other brands in your sector? Are they familiar with or interested in the type of service or products you offer? Do they understand your target demographic?
Finding a photographer that’s enthusiastic about building your brand image and translating that into business growth should be your goal.
Pro Tip: ask about rights and usage in your project. You’ll want to make sure the contract allows commercial use across multiple channels.
Plus, if your photographer understands where the images will be used (and how), that can help them compose the right shots that’ll perform well for your company in the long run.
2. Think like a media company.
Hard-hitting cold calls have their place. However, that’s sales, not marketing.
If you start building your new 2021 marketing strategy by injecting sales tactics, you’ll be wasting your effort.
The modern consumer is savvy. They know how to spot sales pitches, and you’ll never deliver any value if you’re dishing out content that viewers aren’t interested in.
There’s a time and place for everything. So start putting effort into reaching people in new areas.
Think of your brand as a media company first. You have a great product or service, but are you the go-to leader in your industry?
Put all of that expertise to work by having your in-house subject matter experts (SMEs) talk about what you do.
Informing the general public (that includes businesses) on how they can benefit in the areas you operate in will present your brand as an authority.
This means publishing blog posts, articles, and white papers. Or maybe shoot a mini TV series and stream it on YouTube or Facebook.
You can start regular Q&A sessions (or respond to questions people are already asking) on TikTok and Instagram Stories.
Or jump on existing podcasts in your industry or your local region to talk about your knowledge and history.
Word of mouth has always been the best form of marketing, so get out there and give people something to talk about.
3. Narrow your target audience.
Looking at the wins you already have is an excellent place to start. You probably have great long-term customer relationships and want to build more, right?
Analyze those fantastic clients of yours, and use that to build buyer personas or ideal customer profiles.
Whatever strategies you start to deploy when improving your brand for 2021, the last thing you want is to waste energy.
Ensure you’re not marketing to people who won’t likely buy your products or seek out your services.
The more your narrow down your niche and focus on who you’re marketing to; the more efficient any marketing endeavors will be.
4. Define your Value Proposition.
What is it that defines your business? If you haven’t sat down to look at your value proposition, now is the time.
If you need help, or you don’t have the resources in-house, hire a professional.
Make it simple, direct, and straightforward. Potential customers need to see at a glance what you have to offer them.
Putting a great value prop in place will help you and your team do that.
5. Live by your Mission Statement.
Just like how your value proposition clearly defines the advantage you give to your customers, your mission statement has a similar role in directing your entire organization.
More than a public-facing message as to what your brand is about, a concise mission statement can aid your staff too.
Your mission should positively change every employee, transaction, marketing effort, and sales interaction.
So publish your mission statement proudly, and empower your team to live by it.
6. Find a Marketing Expert you Trust.
Many of the strategies you’ll find on this list can be accomplished by yourself and your team.
While you are the expert at what you do, time is likely your most valuable commodity.
Don’t be afraid to approach a marketing and creative media agency.
There will be many options, some specific to the types of services included in this list, that you can partner with to fulfill your needs.
Just like our recommendation for commercial photographers, vet your potential agencies by their experience in your sector.
7. Refresh your Logo.
No excellent marketing plan is stagnant. Likewise, your customers won’t stay the same either.
You can bet your competition will take every chance to keep their brand image updated with current trends.
Refreshing or redesigning your logo doesn’t have to mean abandoning the roots of your past.
If you’re a legacy brand, a good designer will incorporate those elements of your history into a new design that follows the latest best practices in design trends.
Keeping your look fresh also tells your customers (new and old) that you’re a progressive and constantly evolving company.
8. Optimize your website.
Every organization needs to own its digital presence.
Your website is never a set-it-and-forget-it project. You need to ensure your website is up to modern standards, from the most simple landing pages or digital business cards to truly robust websites with complex features.
The basics here include optimizing your site map, page titles, page descriptions, and the content itself to take full advantage of people reaching your website from search engines (SEO).
The more advanced opportunities for building an authoritative website lay in content marketing.
That’s strategizing new content to publish on your website (typically in the form of blogs, articles, white papers, slide decks, eBooks, guides, podcasts, and more) that offer value to your potential customers.
Content marketing works two-fold in that continuously updated valuable content raises your authority score for search engines, and providing valuable assets to your potential customers will build brand loyalty.
Be sure to keep your website updated to conform to the latest security standards. Not having an SSL certificate (HTTPS) will make it difficult for some browsers even to allow access to your website.
Finally, your website should maximize the user experience.
Technically that’s called UX/UI design. It boils down to making sure all visitors to your website can find what they’re looking for easily and that each page loads fast.
Your website should never hamper anyone looking to hire you – in fact, your website’s role is the opposite.
Your website should intuitively guide users into making a purchase.
9. Maximize your Social Media schedule.
The key to unlocking the potential of social media marketing for your business is to establish a schedule.
Just this month, Instagram published a resource for business accounts. It’s a data-backed study that shows how customers engage more when a business they follow frequently posts updates even if they’re small.
Making a calendar or schedule to create, publish, and analyze social media posts can help your team streamline their efforts.
Taking advantage of templates can make that job a lot easier too.
Have a set time or day to re-post reviews, or highlight a service, showcase a specific product, or throw out an update about what’s on the table for the day.
Take advantage of general trends like daily throwback photos, and actively participate with your customers.
Encourage user-generated content (UGC), and give your brand a human voice.
Don’t worry about posting too frequently or resurrecting a popular post from the month before.
Not everyone will see everything. Staying at the top of your audience’s mind is paramount.
You can do this by always sharing authentic content. Instead of trying hard to come up with the next viral idea, just be yourselves.
Have your trusted staff take the lead on content ideas – document what you’re already doing and what your customers are already saying.
And start using a robust calendar tool to organize your team’s effort. There are plenty of third-party options, and a service you already subscribe to may have a social media calendar add-on.
You can always set up a shared spreadsheet to accomplish the same task manually.
Test out different solutions, and find what works best for your brand.
10. Follow up with your customers.
Customer retention is just as necessary (if not more critical) than growing new business.
If you’re not already practicing an established follow-up strategy, you’re leaving opportunities on the table.
Treat your customers like VIPs. Check-in on them, show them you stand behind your product or service.
Just show them you care by devoting a part of the day/week/month/quarter to place their business needs first can dramatically increase your brand LTV.
For consumer products, you can supplement business needs with your customer’s quality of life.
Remember, this isn’t the place to up-sell someone on additional services or add-ons.
It would help if you showed genuine compassion.