When it comes to branding, most people tend to think of big brand advertising: Coca-Cola, McDonalds and Microsoft spend money on branding. But it doesn't really apply to smaller businesses - or does it?
Believe it or not, branding is actually crucial to success in a small industry. In this article, you'll learn why that is, plus several of the big benefits of having strong branding in a niche.
Your Reputation Precedes You
Once your site has been around for a while, your reputation will precede you. That means that before someone even lands on your website, they will have heard about you.
They'll probably already have an opinion about you and your products. What that opinion is depends on your brand. If you did a good job, they should ideally think your products are high quality and that you can really solve their problems.
In other words, your brand can have a huge impact on your conversions.
Many beginning marketers have a hard time believing that type-in traffic can be a big traffic source. In reality however, a business that's been around for a while and has a strong brand often gets more traffic from type-ins than from paid marketing.
For example, Amazon.com gets a lot more traffic from people typing in their domain than people who end up there from ads. In much smaller markets, the same applies: people know your brand, know that you can help them and type in your domain.
This is a huge traffic source in the long run. The only way you'll do well with this traffic source is to manage your brand well.
Who would you rather meet in person or do a favor: Someone in your market who you've never heard of, or someone who you've heard of who has a great reputation?
Having a reputation that precedes you will open many doors. It'll open doors to guest blogging on other people's sites, to affiliates, to JV partners, to speaking opportunities, to free backlinks and a lot more. You'll even have people approach you to do brand new business deals.
You Are Your Brand
It's important to realize that building your business's brand means also building your own brand.
Not only will this open doors for your business, it'll also open doors for you professionally. Need a book deal? If you have an existing reputation, it's much easier. Need investors for your next venture? Want to steal a top-notch programmer from Google to work on your start-up?
Whatever it is you need in your life, by building a strong brand in your business, you'll automatically be seen as more credible in just about anything you do in the future.
The effects of a powerful reputation can't be emphasized enough. It's definitely less measurable numerically than ROI or traffic, but its power is there. Don't overlook it just because you're in a small market.