This is the story of how one small business took control of their online marketing and lived up to their brand.
The owner of a well established, family owned construction company was finding it difficult to keep up with everything he needed to do to manage his crews and find time to keep up with his marketing. He had a professionally designed logo, lettered trucks and a business card, but that is where things became a little messy.
A family member had created his website years ago, but it was riddled with typos and outdated information. He had a Facebook page, which included a snapshot of him standing in front of a wall dressed in a T-shirt and unshaven. The page sat abandoned with only65 likes, no posts and linked to a domain that didn't exist.
An online search came up with a few very positive Yelp reviews. Unfortunately, he never claimed his Yelp listing. and didn't know they existed. He had no Google listing which prevented him from being found in a search of his competitors. A Better Business Bureau listing revealed an A+ rating, and a YP listing was also unclaimed.
The owner also was frustrated and wanted to dump AOL as his current email provider, but didn't know what to replace it with. That's when he called me.
WHAT WE DID.
These changes helped a small business live up to the quality and the promise of its brand. They are now ready to take on the new year looking as great online as they do in person!
The life of an entrepreneur is always in motion. We grow and evolve, downshifting when needed and jumping into uncharted waters without looking back. Sometimes this constant movement can cause problems. The business is out of synch with your core beliefs and your marketing plan no longer reflects who you are and what you're trying to do. You are off brand.
My first meeting with a client is often when the business owner is investigating the addition of a social media or email marketing plan. I am coming into the business with a fresh set of eyes, looking at it from a customer's perspective, and what I see is a an outdated website, or a poorly constructed site that does not reflect the owner's professionalism. I see business cards with graphics and fonts that don't match, social media channels that are missing important marketing tools and email templates that underwhelm.
Do we go ahead and establish a social media marketing plan on top of a foundation that is not serving the business well? Not a good plan.
Recently, I was pleased to work with three businesses who faced this situation. They were initially unhappy to postpone their debut into the world of social media, but stepping back and looking at their business turned out to be very illuminating and up-lifting. Serious conversations between stakeholders refocused their attention helping them to unload outdated information, and showcase their products and services more effectively. The resulting updated websites and logos will, of course, require new business cards and collateral materials to follow. Online business directories and existing social media profiles need to reflect the rebranded image.
Re-branding a process, but it's kind of like cleaning out an over-stuffed closet. You get rid of a lot of stuff, figure out what's important to save and wear more. It's not fun in the beginning, but along the way you discover why you bought that purple pant suit in the first place. In the end, you will feel relieved, and reinvigorated to proudly wear "your brand".
Liz Provo, Mass Marketing Resources.