Branding of your business may seem daunting at the early stage, but with the inception of the internet, it does not have to be so. While physical branding business cards, posters, etc., can be expensive, there’s an alternative; the internet. It helps you brand your business at a lower cost if things are well managed. The Internet has opened a channel that allows small businesses to create brand equity at previously impossible levels of investment. Even independent professionals can be identified in terms almost equal to those of a multinational. These are the elements that companies and individuals must consider to establish a consistent brand on the Web and create the first good impression that a company who wants to grow will take.
To be able to brand your business online correctly, you need to know where to start. Below are tips that will help you improve your brand online, even if you are starting up or small business.
Understand what branding is
To improve your brand online, you need to be aware of what it is, its benefits and what branding does. If you are promoting your business online, you’ll also want to learn more about the process behind branding before worrying about improving it. Understand that a brand is more than the logo you use, the name of your company or the colors and structure of your site: a brand is a methodology, a philosophy, and a mission. This is how you present yourself to the world. Also, a brand is valuable; your brand will affect the value of your company, both in reality and in the spirit of the target market. With the right branding strategy, a company can exploit the existing value of something it offers, whether it’s a service, a product, or the idea of a particular experience. Branding is all about persuasiveness. Your brand can help convince someone to interact with you and even request for your services or buy your products. The difference between perceived value and the actual value is the result of a good brand.
Understand your Brand
To have a successful brand, you need to make sure there is no misinterpretation between how you perceive the brand and how it is perceived by your clients, prospects, and others. The best way to eliminate this event is to ask yourself what are the values, principles, and philosophies to associate with your brand. If the values and philosophies do not match, try and figure out if it reflects a gap between your brand and your online reputation. Understanding your brand also includes you asking yourself some serious questions like what your brand stands for and how it relates to your branding online? For your brand to be relevant, you have to think about your market: your competitors, your target audience and the industry.
Create a website
The importance of a personal website with a domain name that is uniquely branded cannot be overemphasized. A website builds credibility, trust, accessibility and helps you have a notable presence online, which in turn helps improves your online branding. A personalized company site is a center that hosts all your information and explains why you should have a customized website for your brand. Make sure to add your brand logo in the header section, footer template and also about us page.
Be Consistent across all Social Media Website
Whenever a company enters a social networking site, it creates a point of interaction with their fan base and potential customers, and the most immediate element at that point of interaction is the identifier, also known as a username. Choosing the right username is the first step in online branding when you are using social media. The best option is to use the same name as the URL of your website. Therefore, if the site is “brand name.com,” an appropriate username for your business may be a @brand name. Now, using the same username multiple times in different social environments is an essential part of brand consistency on the web. The advantage of this is that every time someone interacts with your brand on multiple pages, it creates a sense of continuity and in turn increases the value of that username compared to others.
Another suggestion, even concerning social networking accounts, is, if possible, to link these pages by adding a link from one to the other. The more points of interaction you have with your potential customers, the more you find which will increase your perceived value.
Once the social media handles have been sorted out, the next thing to put into consideration is contents, always start the conversation by developing your content. You can create a hosted blog on your website and advertise via social media to increase the traffic to your website. You can write a press release about any activity you want to engage in; you can also publish an interview for your local publication, which generates more authority for you.
Create a Blog for your Brand
Creating a blog can improve the visibility of your brand which increases your chances of getting more clients. If used effectively, a blog is one of the most efficient ways to enhance your brand’s visibility online. Blogs dramatically improve the ranking of your website, drives traffic, establishes brand validity, and increase coverage. Also, blogs help maintain interaction with your clientele.
Don’t be scared of Change
Once you have discovered how your brand is viewed online, you may need to make some changes to make sure the correct message is displayed. Do not be afraid to change, your brand is at stake, and you have to do everything you need to improve it.
Gone are the days when prospective clients only relied on newspapers, radio jingles and magazines to find services and products. Today, the Internet is the first place to find out about the services and products that they want. Hence, it is essential for companies to build and improve their brand online. If your company is on social media such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube, always remember that your goal is for customers to recognize your brand immediately with the same logo, and username across all platforms. Put up interactive discussions that will require your clients to comment and interact, make use of blogs and create a share button; this will not only help you build a strong brand but will also help people find you on the web.