* Partner Post
Is branding the forte of large business with multi-million dollar endorsement deals only? Current research shows that most people are straying away from the antiquated belief. Branding is becoming more personal than commercial. Branding is now far more than the golden arches that remind us of Mc Donald's or the right swish that automatically put Nike in our thoughts.
If you are on social media, you may have notice a certain sharing trend among your friends. While some share cute cat videos, others might share metal concerts from the early 2000s. These are the personal preferences that define people and their personal brands. Your choices, statements and activity on the web contribute greatly towards defining your online brand. And the same holds true for the small businesses trying to find their footing on the web.
How is local branding different from branding for national brands?
Local businesses are not the small fish in a big pond anymore. While competing with the larger brands it is not mandatory for the local businesses to use the same platform. While Mercedes can buy jacket ads on the NYT, a farmer's market shop can hardly afford a colored ad in the same newspaper.
But now this small shop/outlet does not need to scrounge for space in a "NYT" overshadowed by the big-guns. Small companies can easily find their own strengths and their own turfs to compete from with a little help from a trustworthy SEO Baltimore Company. Most loyal customers value local business due to their personalized services and trustworthiness. And on top of these, they can utilize their location as their biggest asset.
For example – when you are looking for a restaurant you won't be interested in one that serves select seafood platters in India. You would of course want something good in your locality! Most of the big companies are centralized in the cities, whereas local companies serve a local, dedicated clientele bound by geographic margins. As a result, the appeal of the local businesses is increasing among the new-age consumers.
Check out these amazing stats if you are having trouble believing this incredible news. In the last year almost 82% of all consumers (who use the internet to find new businesses) have used a local business. Almost 98% percent of them are inclined towards using local businesses again in recent future. This is nothing but brilliant news for all small and local businessmen who are striving for some fame and fortune.
How does branding affect local search?
Most marketing strategies for small businesses have been siloed from social media strategies and SEO strategies this far. Till 2016 local search did not gain an impetus and SEO never wholly became a part of local Google search strategies. As the year waxed on the experts, webmasters and businessmen started understanding the importance of stitching the concepts of SEO, social media, Google SRL, reviews and Google indexes together.
Your search engine ranks directly depend upon SEO. In the case of local search result listings, the ranks are hugely dependent on the content of the websites itself. Your website should lay emphasis on your location, services and products so the search engine spiders can pick up the clues. Third-party interactions affect brand recognition and local search listing to a great extent. These include social media activity and active backlinks.
Other factors that do have an impact on local listing are business categories and keywords from the relevant Google My Business profile. Third party references are especially encouraged since Google recognizes these efforts as the proof of legitimate and local businesses that are functional and sought after.
How to build your own brand and reputation successfully in days?
There are quite a few things you must remember to make your journey to the top ranks smooth and short –
What is being said about your business definitely matters, but who is saying it matters more. If there are trusted and well-known local publications in your locality you should try getting a column space on their online daily. Share your positive reviews in local Facebook forums and magazines. For example – if you are from Dallas, check out the D Magazine, Dallas Observer and Guidelive.com for some well-reputed reviews. It is easy to reach out to a larger section of your target audience if you approach an established news and review source.
Engage in community chats –
Simply sharing and getting reviewed in reputed journals and websites is not enough. You should have your social media presence and you should engage your customers, potential customers and target audience in daily activities. It can be funny posts, tagging competitions, special quizzes or limited festive offers, but hosting such interactive events in online communities helps your business grab the eyeballs from the relevant sections of the audience.
The volume of activity that is drawn in by your profile on social media and your business website acts as a positive signal to Google. The spiders recognize your business as one that is well liked by a community and makes it possible for other users with similar search filters and keywords to reach out to you.
Use local lingo
Don't say "Supper" if you are trying to reach out to your customers in Dallas! We would rather like you to say something like, "we can reach SMU in 5 minutes", "say yes to pineapple on your pepperoni pizza" and anything else that people in your area can relate to.
Make posts about local events, festivities and current incidents that will draw positive attention from people. You can even use weather to draw extra attention. For example – "Free special summer coolers to beat the heat on every offer above $$$". A good local business is the one that has an idea of the local needs and fulfills them too.
Local search listing and SEO are intertwined like grapevines in Napa. It is not possible to look at one and ignore the other. If you do not have your local SEO game on, you will never be able to see the success that you are aiming for in your locality.