How PPC Advertising Can Be Local Search Engine Marketing & Branding

Have you ever done local advertising through PPC? Then you know it is not cheap, in fact it can break your bank if done incorrectly. When done correctly however Pay Per Click Advertising can offer your small business branding through local search engine marketing at a low cost.

When setting out to do PPC advertising to brand your company keep in mind that it will not be much cheaper than regular pay per click. The payout however is that after seeing your ad displayed for so long prospective clients who may have been wary about trying your service are now going to start noticing your persistence. If you want to keep your cost down it pays to target a local area close to your business and keep your bid cheap, as well as having some other way of finding you on the web.

If you have a strong web presence outside your PPC advertising such as a decent web page, social networking for your business or maybe just a blog then customers will be able to shop your company. This is where your local search engine branding comes in to place, a prospect sees your ad a couple times and decides to research your company, but if you have nothing to help support your brand then this is where it ends. Having a strong web presence can help to market your business when being found through PPC branding.

With a little support from internet marketing your pay per click advertising campaign can yield more customers and cheaper leads. That is local search engine branding through advertising and marketing and having a first page placement locally on Google could be just what your business needs to optimize its web presence and further its branding. Before deciding on using PPC advertisements as a part of your branding campaign you should take a look into local SEO for optimization of your local web presence.

Personal Brand Marketing – Brand Buzz 101

I understand the importance of visibility. As a small business owner, being “known” can be the difference between a steady flow of revenue or closing your doors. Yet, being visible is not enough. Being remembered is most important and means you occupy some prime real estate in the mind of someone. Garnering “share of mind” means that you somewhere along the way they sampled your character and competence and you became memorable.

Marketing, by definition, is creating an exchange environment. For an individual, that could mean exchanging a referral, speaking positively on your behalf, a promotion or an introduction. Branding, by definition, is an emotion or image tied to a product. YOU are the product. Even in businesses, people are the brand and define the company, more than any mere mission statement hanging in the lobby. So, how does an individual create “buzz” for their brand for visibility and more importantly to be remembered so that they can develop credibility?

1. Know what makes you unique.

Whether you’re job hunting or wanting a position on board of director’s, you need to confidently know what value you bring to the table.

2. Get really good at communicating what makes you valuable.

Ninety-three percent of communication is tone and body language. Spend time on the words so that what you say and how you communicate are congruent with your value. Yet, know that communication includes your image, the way you present yourself, your workspace, your phone skills and even your lunch meeting etiquette. They must all be congruent with what makes you valuable. Any discrepancies will jeopardize your credibility and could produce negative word of mouth which is a problem that I will address in future articles.

3. Manage that communication.

If you’re creating “buzz” around your brand, it will require you proactively managing the communication. For example, if you’re new to a company or a position you will need to build a credibility wall. Yes, a physical wall if possible. It showcases every plaque, certificate, service honor, licensing, certification and degree you’ve received. This wall is your visual third party testimonial on the character and competence of your brand. Since that wall cannot travel with you, make sure that anytime you’re honored for volunteer service or recognized for a contribution that a copy of the “thank you” letter, note or card be placed into you personnel file.

Even if you’re on your own, these “proof of credibility” tools will take you far. As the vice president of a business fraternity in college, I booked speakers to speak to our fraternity for professional development. I asked each of them to write a letter for me about their experience working with me so that I could include that in my personal portfolio. Many of these speakers went on to become regional directors, chief operation officers, chief financial officers, company presidents and further that my portfolio has become quite valuable. Actively “buzz” your brand! Doing that will develop credibility; credibility will lead to influence; and influence with lead to leadership.

Freelance Marketing – Branding

This is the first article in a five-part series that details exactly what you need to market your freelance business and make it a success.

Freelancers know that marketing can be tough. With few budgetary resources in comparison to competing corporations, every marketing effort must be meticulously calculated for success. Just because your freelance marketing budget is tight doesn’t mean you should skip the basic tenets of laying a sound marketing foundation. Quite the opposite, in fact, it means that you have to be nearly perfect to build your business to the next level. And no matter whether you’re a freelance designer, writer, developer, attorney, virtual assistant or other contractor, success begins with branding.

Importance of a branded image

Customers make purchases based on emotion, and they justify with logic. Your brand image sets the tone for that emotion. If your branded image tells customers that you’re the best person to provide a particular service, if it makes them feel comfortable doing business with you and confident that you’ll produce the results they’re looking for, you have crafted an excellent brand that’s primed for success.

How to identify your branded image

It’s important to identify what, exactly, your brand represents from the onset – before you do anything else. You can develop a branded image for your freelance by first listing the benefits of hiring you. This could be a guarantee, proven past results, service-specific superiority, low pricing and many other qualities.

Next, compare your list to your competitors to discover advantages. What can you do better than your competitors? Shortlist these qualities, and compare them to the qualities your target audience is seeking. If you can find a quality that: a) you exhibit exceedingly well; b) your competitors can’t compete against; and c) that your target audience wants enough to leave your competitors; you have your brand image.

Branding through design

Graphic design takes your freelance businesses’ branded concept and morphs it into a visual motivator through the use of colors, fonts, logo and layout. These traits are universally applied throughout your identity package, which consists of business cards, brochures, flyers, pocket folders, posters, your freelance work and other materials. All of your advertisements, including banners and rack cards, will carry your brand image. With dazzling brand design, your customers will come to instantly recognize what you stand for at a glance.

Choose a skilled graphic designer to develop your brand identity, and you’ll be on the fast track to success. Never skip this critical phase – your brand is what sets you apart and uniquely identifies you from the competition. It builds customer loyalty and ultimately increases sales. When you do it right, your return far outweighs your investment.

Auto Body Shop Marketing – Branding

This is the first article in a five-part series that details exactly what you need to market your auto body shop and make it a success.

The auto body shop business can be tough to start and run if you don’t have a well-oiled marketing strategy. In this series of articles you will find the tools you need to fine-tune a winning auto body shop business.

Importance of a branded image

Branding your auto body shop is the first step to long-term growth. Some auto body shops make the mistake of skipping this step, and might do quite well until a market-savvy competitor comes along and takes a bigger piece of the pie. Crafting a thoughtful and creative brand identity that influences your customers can be a difficult task, but the effort is well worth it. A memorable brand that evokes just the right emotion will almost always win over a nameless, brandless competitor. Brands build trust.

If your auto body shop is not branded, then you’re just another mechanic. There’s nothing to differentiate your company from the competition. You have no competitive edge. But if you can come up with a compelling brand that demonstrates who you are and what you can do for your customers, you can elicit emotion, spur recognition and fuel sales.

How to identify your branded image

Take the time to fully explore your options so you can craft an image that speaks directly to your customers. Apply conceptual thinking with modern motivators to craft a branded image that can easily double or triple sales – and even more – throughout time. The following five steps will help you identify your brand:

1. Define your niche – What is your niche in the auto body shop industry? Do you perform collision repair work or do you custom-build hot rod bodies? Do you cater to personal projects or commercial businesses, or do you work exclusively for the upper class or racing professionals? Your niche market and your brand are two different things: your niche is who you cater to; your brand represents the psychologically based ideals that make you appealing to that market. Ask yourself how you differ from the competition and focus on those elements to help you define your niche.
2. Describe your benefits – What you do is one thing; how it benefits your customers is another. Make a list of your features and benefits so you can identify why your customers should choose your auto body shop instead of another. Be creative, and ask others for help here – sometimes there are benefits to doing business with you that you have yet to recognize. Your current customers can be an excellent source of information here.
3. Know your customers – List your top customers and identify shared traits so you can create a “perfect customer” profile. Why do your customers buy from you? What are the key services you perform for them? Once you’ve identified your primary customers, consider your secondary customers. Perhaps you specialize in classic cars, but also take on collision repair jobs in between “perfect” customers. Sometimes, your “secondary” customers make up the bulk of your income. If you understand who your customers are, you can begin to establish mutually beneficial business relationships.
4. State your mission – Where does your company stand today, and where do you want it to be in two years? Five years? Ten years? Your mission should encompass who you are and where you’re going.
5. Sum it all up – Your brand is an expression of all of these things. Jot them down and brainstorm potential taglines that represent your company’s core identity. Pick the most memorable.

Branding through design

As an auto body shop owner, you’re familiar with design. Your artwork cruises the streets every day, seen by hundreds, thousands and potentially millions. Your task is to convert the intricacies of your auto body work into a singular branded image that expresses what you do, how you do it and who you do it for.

Your company colors, logo, corporate identity package, website, ads and other collateral are all a reflection of your brand; so familiar, cohesive design must be applied to all mediums. In time, anyone should be able to see your logo and instantly know who you are and what you stand for. Once you achieve that, you’ve developed a remarkable auto body shop brand.