If you are looking to build an online brand, here are hard-learnt tips to help you do it successfully.
Technology has changed the way people interact and as it continues to evolve, it is important for us to take our business online and build a strong online presence and awareness of brand. While some reading this may be tech savvy, most of us struggle to keep up with all the speed at which the digital marketplace moves. To assist you managing an online brand, it is important to have an understanding where and how to start. Here are some essential tips to help you build your online brand successfully.
1/ Defining Your Brand
If you want to have customers be loyal to you then they need to understand your brand and what your brand values are. Customers relate with brands when they share the same core values with them. They will be inclined to recommend your brand to other people if trust is built on what you stand for and why. A good way to start is by writing down what your brand stands for. Form this into a mission statement, that is prominent on your website, that expresses your values & vision so not only your customers know this but every employee.
2/ Understand Your Target Audience
Marketing, be in on or off line, is not a “one size fits all” strategy. Understanding your target audience is absolutely vital so you can match your various business offerings to the right customers. The demographic profile of your audience, and their problems and desires is critical to also understand. Does your product or service solve their problems? Deep dive into researching what your target audience likes, their interest and hobbies, what drives them to your business. This will assist greatly with gaining their engagement and prolong your relationships with them.
3/ Establish Your Brand Identity
Make sure the way your customers see your brand is aligned with how you want to be identified. Your brand’s image should reflect the essence of your brand’s personality. It is how your customers will relate to you. Making a professional impression is absolutely key and needs to be maintained throughout all digital platforms as well as your brand off line with it on say physical products like sports bottles given away at company events.
4/ A Mobile-Optimised Website Is A Must
In 2018 a company’s website is more important than a business card. It represents the business in a global digital marketplace. Google notes that there are more company searches on make now and this is growing rapidly year on year. So many companies have websites that are not mobile optimised and responsive. Google spells out that it’s imperative that your prospective customers do not struggle to view your website on their smartphones. If they do, their statistics show that they simply click away to a competitor. To ensure a great customer experience on your website, be sure to include a homepage delivering quality designs in your visuals, brand logo, trust signals and testimonials and most importantly, a clear list of your products & services you offer. An ‘About Us’ is also well visited by web traffic and should have clear professional photos of your team and external links to your social media channels.
5/ Building Your Brand Via Social Media
Platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn are some great social media channels to use to drive traffic to your website. Social media is proving to be the most effective way to interact and build relationships with an online audience.
Some business owners are tempted to interact with an audience on every social media channel out there, and there are over five hundred of them. This strategy can be flawed, as it spreads you too thinly and when this happens it tends to not work in your favour. Every social media platform has its own unique and overlapping users. It’s important to really understand your target audience as there is no point targeting an audience on Instagram if your targets don’t use Instagram.
Your social channel strategy needs to start by choosing and leveraging the appropriate social media platform that your customers or prospective clients use. It’s important to not forget to hashtag your brand on your social media to boosts your brand’s recognition and engagement rate.
6/ Utilise SEO For Brand Recognition & Keywords
Search Engine Optimisation, often referred to as simply SEO, is a marketing strategy that helps optimise your website content visibility on search engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing. By getting found high in the results of these search engines sees you get ‘free’ and buyer intent traffic to your site. It’s important that people can first find your brand when searching for it, then it’s a matter of establishing the relevant keywords that your customers search for your product or service. Getting found high in the search results for your services is a powerful endorsement of your brand which they see in the search results meta titles and on your website on clicking through.
Creating an interesting meta title headline that has an alluring hook and includes your brand will entice people to click through to the website. Then it’s important that the website lives up to their expectation of an authority site with great offers and content to be explored by them
7/ Create Content And Maintain Consistency
Getting your social media audience or Google’s introduced traffic to your website is one thing, retaining them is significantly harder given the speed that people make intuitive decisions. By creating unique, relevant, consistent and engaging content on your website or social media channels for that matter is imperative. However, this can be overwhelming and doesn’t have to be. It can be as simple as educating and engaging your audience consistently by republishing things that are well written and the author is acknowledged. This is called curating content and can be done through all your digital channels.
Over time, the content you deliver on your site will build trust and credibility with your website visitors and social media audience. It takes time, it takes a lot of work and patience! Video is fast becoming what people are preferring as their medium for getting trusted information. You no longer need a professional camera as a smartphone, a clever video clip and a social media platform like Facebook or Youtube can get your brand and message to go viral. Engage your audience through a diverse array of content methods and consistency and your brand will certainly become known and fast.
8/ Think Outside The Square
It’s always important to remember the old adage; to get noticed, do what everyone is not doing. As new trends arise, the pioneers who are steering the industry are speaking up around the world. To prepare for what’s ahead, these early adopters and industry experts are the ones you want to be following. If you think one of these industry leaders would be worth listening to, then there is an extremely good chance that your social media audience or those on your email list will want to too.
Many fast-growing companies have achieved this upward trajectory by leveraging the ‘authority and trust’ of achievers in their industry. The industry celebrity becomes the face of the product when endorsing it, or is indirectly endorsing the product or brand by association with it. One way is to have high-profile entertainers & keynote speakers talk at an event you run. Their presentations can be leveraged by recoding them and distributing them via your social media channels and a blog article on your website.
Here are two of many must-see speakers we recommend checking out to present at your event. Both have ‘been there-done that’ and hugely successful, as well as being able to pass on tips for avoiding difficult times as they both experienced:
Bob Ansett is a business entrepreneur and best-selling author who needs little introduction. The story of how he built Budget Rent a Car from scratch into a multi-million dollar international business – only to be overtaken by a financial crisis – has been well documented in his three best-selling books, Bob Ansett – An Autobiography, The Customer and The Meaning of Success.
John Anderson founded Contiki Holidays in London in 1962 because, at the age of 22, he wanted to travel Europe but didn’t have enough money. Under John Anderson’s leadership, Contiki became an internationally recognised brand, one of the world’s leading tour operators and the largest operator to specifically cater to the 18-35 year old market.
You can learn more about both speakers here : https://www.celebrityspeakers.com.au/
9/ Keep It Simple
Above all, keep the strategy you use to establish your brand online simple. That way it will get implemented and can be maintained. To this end, a summary of the simple basics we have covered are these:
- Define what your brand is and what you stand for
- Understand your target customer audience
- Analyse where the audience hangs out and only target them there
- Establish a great website that is optimized for Google and mobile devices
- Use consistent engaging & branded content on social media and your website
- Think outside the square to leverage celebrities and viral opportunities
Author : Tony Adams
Tony is an internationally recognised search engine optimisation (SEO) consultant, digital marketing speaker and serial entrepreneur. Tony’s many successful business ventures included co-founding Australia’s fastest growing record company Scorpio Music that managed and assisted brand major international artists including Evermore, Matt Corby and Lisa Mitchell.