Five Ways to Help Customers Remember Your Business
It's only getting tougher for marketers to get and retain people's attention. Consumers in 2017 were exposed to a combined 1.59 hours of advertising daily through television, out-of-home media, radio and search, according to PQ Media, a research firm. Add in marketing media, like coupons and direct mail, and the total rises to 1.84 hours.
So how do you cut through this clutter and make customers notice — and remember — your small business without paying through the nose for ubiquitous advertising?
Here are five tips for making a lasting impression.
1. Focus on what makes you unique
To stand out in a crowded market, small businesses need to find something that sets them apart, whether it's a unique value prop, providing information potential customers can't find elsewhere, or eye-catching marketing strategies.
One simple and inexpensive way to do so is to look beyond top-level domains (TLDs) like .com or .net.
Beyond Red, which helps large firms conduct event sponsorships, registered Beyond.Red after finding that BeyondRed.com and other variations of its name were already taken.
The .RED extension piqued interest from clients, according to Adam Colthorpe, Senior Consultant at Beyond Red. “They are intrigued and therefore more likely to remember us, and that's a useful emotional association we want to create for our brand," he said.
Domain extensions can also be a great way to highlight new areas of business. A law firm, for example, could show off its life sciences practice with a .bio TLD.
2. Add a touch of familiarity
Being unique is wonderful, as long as there's an element that customers can relate to. We tend to like things we're somewhat familiar with — and are more likely to find them interesting, many studies have shown.
One way to create that warm, fuzzy feeling of familiarity? Positioning your brand as being part of the local community.
When it comes to TLDs, domains that refer to a place have a strong appeal. Country-code TLDs, such as .au for Australia or .bz for Belize, are great way to signal a local connection. (They're also a popular way for businesses to set up custom link shorteners!)
Consumers also view industry-related domains positively — it's an indicator they're more likely to find what they're looking for. Stores that sell gear for winter sports, for example, might benefit from registering a .ski domain.
3. One thing at a time
Trying to remember 10 digits is really hard. A 10-digit phone number broken up into an area code followed by a prefix and suffix? Much easier! That's because our brain is much better at remembering small pieces of information than big blocks.
Breaking up information into memory-friendly pieces is called chunking — and you can use it to your advantage when you share information with customers. Short, visual content plays well on social media — and is easier to consume on mobile screens.
When it comes to domain names, consider chunking your website name —for example, DoeLaw.llc instead of DoeLawLLC.com.
4. Use memory tricks of the trade
As with any endeavor, marketing should be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bounded. That's a mouthful, which is why the acronym SMART is the more common way to describe this type of goal setting.
Like chunking, acronyms are a mnemonic, a way to make it easier for our brain to remember things. Another age-old memory technique: rhyme. From the Iliad to nursery rhymes and pop songs, rhymes are a way to make a message stick. No surprise, then, that many businesses use them in product names (think Shake 'N Bake).
Mnemonics can also be used to create memorable domain names — for example, grow.pro or whiz.bz.
5. Say that again
Repetition is key for moving information from working memory, which we use when we need a piece of information for just a short while — into long-term memory.
Many businesses make the mistake thinking they only need to publish information once. If you're running a blog, or are sharing information on social media, it's a good idea to resurface the same key concepts regularly.
Attuning your marketing efforts to the way our brains process and retain information can be more effective and reduce the cost of making an indelible impression. Domain names are one way small business owners can take advantage of these insights into what makes things stick.