Online branding is important for small-business growth

Consumer preferences have changed, and people want to be able to interact with a brand through multiple channels, including the company’s website and social media profiles. Although most large companies have adjusted their strategies to accommodate this preference, many small businesses are falling behind. Consumers do not differentiate between small and large business advertising, and Internet marketing methods can help small businesses gain a competitive edge.

In fact, more Canadian small-business owners are recognizing branding as a way to succeed in a competitive environment and improve customer loyalty, according to a recent study from American Express. More than half of survey respondents felt having a strong brand was critical to attracting new clients.

“Having a powerful brand is vital in today’s economy, it can be the difference between a business that blends in with the crowd or stands out from the competition,” said Athena Varmazis, vice president and general manager of small business services for American Express Canada.

Although consumers utilize social media to research products, services and companies before making a purchase, many small businesses are still relying on traditional advertising. Sixty-one percent of small-business owners left it to their employees to personally communicate brand information to customers, despite the fact that respondents generally found this to be an unsuccessful strategy.

Branding improves with Internet marketing

Having a recognizable brand is just as important for small businesses as it is for bigger companies. Many local organizations are not capturing online marketing benefits to the fullest extent. The majority of business owners want to expand their brand, but most are unsure where to start. Some business owners relied only on themselves for their company marketing efforts. This task could get lost with their other responsibilities. Many are not taking advantage of online marketing agencies because they were investing in other resources.

“Branding plays a significant role in the overall success of their business and shouldn’t be taken lightly by business owners,” said Varmazis.

Many Canadian small-business owners were concerned about economic conditions and outlook for their companies. Affordable online marketing can increase small-business visibility, which can help them attract new clients. Business growth in the face of economic uncertainty is important for all company owners, and creating a brand and promoting it through online channels can help organizations get new customers.