If 2015 was a rubbish year for your business, you’re now fully intent on making 2016 stellar. If things went pretty great in 2015, you’re on the kind of high that makes you chase bigger, better things in the year ahead. Suffice to say therefore, no matter what you do or on what level you do at, you’re gunning for a seriously rewarding 12-month stretch.
Sadly, there’s limited room at the top and more businesses than ever before are gunning for it, making dreams of glory tricky to breathe life into. Now more than ever, brand marketing is playing a key role in determining who makes the grade – even over and above things like product quality and value for money.
So when it comes to getting your brand’s name not only out in the wild but portrayed in the best possible way, what’s the focus of the pros going into 2016?
1 – Shared Focus
First up, experts are once again reminding businesses that the time has come to start paying disproportionate attention to their primary websites only. The reason? It’s simple really – social media is taking over as the primary driver for businesses all over the world. You of course need a solid site to make things happen, but your social media presence (or lack thereof) will play a huge role in your performance going forward.
2 – Follower-Following
One of the best ways of both expanding your audience of prospects and building your brand’s name/image is to get into the habit of following your followers. Be proactive in finding out who they are, what they do and who they have in their own networks. There’s really no room for sitting around passively and hoping they’ll come your way – it’s far more effective to go hunting yourself.
3 – Guest Posting
Thought guest posting was dead? Not even close, although spamming the web half to death for SEO purposes really has gone the way of the dinosaurs. By contrast, contributing to websites and blogs of influence and high reputation has never been more powerful and relevant when it comes to brand image boosting. And of course, links in high places are never a bad thing to start stacking up.
4 – The Power of Local
The old ‘crawl before you can fly’ analogy comes into play for brand marketing in the months ahead too. Put simply, there are thousands of businesses across the country turning their backs on biblical success, simply by having decided to target the whole national market instead of focusing on their own locality. Building a local following and eventually expanding your brand’s reach and influence is far easier than trying to net vast national audiences all at once – especially these days.
5 – Story-Tellers
Last up, it’s also become apparent that today’s consumer isn’t exactly enamoured with the faceless web retailer, or those based overseas that serve as little more than virtual vending machines. Instead, the public en-masse is responding more favourably to the story-tellers – the businesses that draw you in with their back-stories, their mission, their ethos and plenty of rich information about the people behind it. What you sell and the price you sell it for matters of course, but so too does who you are, what you believe in, why you do what you do and so on.