The average person is exposed to 4,000 to 10,000 ads each day. That equates to millions of ads each year, or in other words, billions of dollars spent by brands placing their logo, product, or advertisement in front of your face in the hopes of creating brand awareness.
For a lot of small, local business owners, spending tens of thousands of dollars on advertising isn’t possible. Not only is it not possible, but 62% of small businesses find it an ineffective way of targeting new customers.
A common question small business owners ask is “how can I stay relevant in the digital age?”
The answer is simple: create a memorable experience.
In this article, we will break down three simple strategies your dog walking and pet sitting business can implement immediately to target new pet parents, strengthen your current brand presence, and personalize your small business in a way that makes it true to you.
1. Be Where Your Customers Are
Gone are the days where direct mail marketing and flyers are the most effective methods of marketing. As social media continues to rise, the effectiveness of traditional marketing continues to plummet. Today, local businesses are leaning on the internet and social media to effectively target their audiences – from tracking users based on posts they’ve clicked on to targeting users based on accounts they follow on social media.
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Large brands aren’t the only ones who are able to benefit from this. As a small business, you have access to the same set of tools, and likely at a much lower cost! If all of this is new to you, we recommend starting by setting up Google Analytics. It’s never too late to sign up and it’s completely free! After setting it up, let it run for a 2-week minimum before diving into your data.
Once you’ve started your exploration, it’s important to track your audience insights (including, but not limited to: Demographic insights, Location information, and most importantly, your visitors’ interests. Understanding your audience is a critical and often overlooked aspect of branding, and doing so will allow you to effectively change the way your brand is visually represented and target new audiences on social media.
In a study by Euclid Analytics, it was found that 45 percent of Gen Z shoppers use Instagram to find new cool brands, followed by Facebook at 40%.
2. Repetition & Reinforcement
Once you’ve learned how to find where your customers are and how to effectively target and communicate with them on the web, you’re ready to start doubling down on your branding efforts.
The average attention span is 8 seconds and the average post on social media is scrolled past within 1.7 seconds. At first, it will feel as if you’re pushing out social post after social post with no return. But here are three things you can do to start creating consistency across every piece of content your brand releases (whether that be on social media, advertising, etc.):
Protect Your Brand Identity
To make sure your brand is instantly recognizable, it’s important that you prominently display your logo and do not alter it in any way! Here is an example of Scout’s logo Do’s and Don’ts:
Use More Color
Your brand’s color palette should be used to evoke an emotion from your viewers. If you’ve already established your brand colors, hopefully, they already reflect the feeling you want your audience to feel when interacting with your brand! But if not, here are some basics to keep in mind (look where Scout falls on the chart!):
Bring Your Brand to Life
Successful brands know how to attract and grow their audience of “ideal customers”. One of the easiest ways to start doing that is to use photography to influence your audience. If you don’t have the means to produce content yourself, there are plenty of free sources online to help you get started (such as Unsplash)!
Once you start creating consistency across your posts, be sure to create a set of do’s and don’ts so others at your company can feel empowered to contribute to your brand! On average, customers can only remember a few brands per category, so in order to stay relevant, it’s important that you use repetition and consistency to keep your brand top of mind and your competitors out of sight!
3. Be True to You (And Have Fun With It!)
The final step to attracting new customers and strengthening your brand is learning how to personalize your small business so that it stays relevant, unique, and longed for.
In order to stay true to your brand, it’s critical that you know what your brand represents and how you communicate that to your customers. We recommend establishing communication guidelines in tandem with your logo, color palette, and photography guidelines. A successful set of communication guidelines will influence how your small business presents itself to customers across every stage of the buying cycle – from social media to your website to check-out to support.
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Treat your brand as if it’s a member of your team – it should live and breathe personality and evolve with age. It’s important you consider your small business from a customer’s perspective – would you want to associate yourself with your brand? Can you pinpoint exactly what it is that keeps you coming back? If not, determine what is lacking and remember that your communication guidelines are meant to evolve over time!
Remember: Recognize Customers as People, not Numbers
At the end of the day, there is no secret formula for keeping your small business relevant or creating memorable experiences, but results will come to brands who put a focus on their customers.