CAREER ADVANCEMENT / JUL. 31, 2014
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Branding and Marketing Lessons Small Business can learn from Large Corporations

As Google continues to drive content marketing and its core values, there is a clamour among brands to incorporate these values into their traditional marketing campaigns. This is easier said than done, as it relies heavily on the cultivation of high quality content that can actively engage both new and existing customers.

Your motivation is also crucial, as content marketing should never be used simply to drive traffic to a specific website or page. Instead, it should be focused on establishing your brand as a thought leader within its industry, and reaching out to targeted consumers with insightful, informative and challenging copy.

3 Key Lessons that Small Businesses can learn from Large Corporations

If you are unsure how to implement content marketing strategies or successfully establish your brand, however, it may be worth analysing the examples set by large corporations. Although the lessons learned will need to be adapted and tailored to suit your existing budget, they can provide genuine inspiration for independent firms. Consider the following: -

1. Invest in Specialist Content Creation Skills

Once you commit to content marketing, it is crucial that you showcase a willingness to invest both time and money into the endeavour. Content marketing cannot rely on the combination of words and imagery alone, as your output must be original, insightful and crafted with the highest level of skill and strategic thinking. Drinks brand Red Bull provides a prominent example of how this should be done, as they employ an entire department that is devoted to developing content marketing strategies and interactive copy for external both internal and external communications. This has helped to establish a renowned and clearly defined brand, and while your resources may be minimal, you should always look to invest in the services of a specialist copywriter or creative marketer who can bring innovative content ideas into life.

2. Consider the Role of Brand Ambassadors

There are some brands that operate in challenging and niche industries, which face opposition due to their nature or the controversy that surrounds them. The gambling market provides a relevant case in point, and brands within this sector have been forced to think creatively in the quest to distinguish themselves and alter public perception. Pokerstars have excelled in achieving this aim, primarily by employing the services of sporting legends such as Ronaldo and Rafael Nadal as brand ambassadors. By aligning their brand with popular, hard-working and revered sportsmen, they have transcended their own industry and reached out to a wider demographic of customers. While you may not have the opportunity to partner with such iconic figures, you may want to consider aligning your independent venture and surrounding brand with a local celebrity or relevant industry figurehead.

3. Develop a Community Around your Brand

If we develop the concept of brand ambassadors further, we are introduced to the idea of building an entire community around a business model and marketing strategy. Global brands such as Nike, Starbucks and Coca-Cola have all successfully adopted this philosophy, and subsequently inspired loyalty simply by interacting with regional communities and marketing their services organically. This is an ethos that runs through every commercial practice, from the creation of content marketing materials to the development of advertising campaigns and promotional offers. This is a lesson that small business owners should implement from the outset of their journey, as this will enable them to reach out to their local community and forge a strong and loyal base of customers before they look to expand further.

The Last Word

While you may lack the human or financial resources of leading international businesses, there is no reason why you cannot replicate their branding strategies on a much smaller scale. Armed with creative thinking and knowledge of successful branding techniques, you can drive your small business forward and achieve recognition without exceed your budget.

Image Source: Flickr / Starbucks Brand Logo

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