Being a business owner comes with an array of unique challenges. For the new business owner, building your online brand is one of the biggest and most important tasks you must face.
In this article, we’re going to discuss what internet branding is, why you need one, and how you can build a successful brand that will meet the needs of your organization and your target consumers.
Before we go any further, let’s address the big question: Why is online branding important?
At its core, branding is your business’ identity. A combination of elements, including logo, website design, advertising, leadership, and employee culture, distinguishes your business from the competition. It also helps customers recognize you and know what to expect from your products and services.
Online branding takes the core idea of building your business identity and puts it in the digital space. This includes your website, social media pages, e-commerce, email marketing, and more. All of these separate elements play a vital role in telling your story, but it also helps your business communicate and connect with customers.
Online branding takes advantage of the internet and all of its various spaces to leverage your position in your industry. Without it, your business will see lower conversion and retention rates, reduced competitiveness with other brands, and confused customers.
There are 4 key factors to online branding. These include:
- Providing a quality customer experience
- Digital advertising
- Social media integration
- Building brand loyalty
If you want to connect with people as a business nowadays, you have to give them an excellent online experience. From the first glance at your logo and the tone of your customer service reps to your overall online presence
Digital advertising includes mobile apps, website banner ads, Google or Microsoft advertising, and social networks. Using these channels will help you deliver creative content to a wide, diverse audience and introduce them to your products.
We will talk more about how important social media usage is in your online brand later on. However, these online channels are a great place to showcase relevant content and increase your internet branding.
Finally, you want to build brand loyalty. There are hundreds of great ways to do this. However, focus on providing friendly and efficient customer service, be consistent in the content you post and your products, and provide customer incentives.
Building your brand online can seem like an overwhelming task. Although it will require time and effort, the reward is a solid, successful brand image that will be recognizable to new and potential customers for years to come.
Before you decide about your brand and its focus, you should research who your potential customers are. This can include elements such as gender, age, education background, income, profession, and hobbies.
Ask yourself what your ideal customer is interested in and what they value. What language do they speak? What country do they live in? What are some personality traits they possess? Use this information to figure out who you could easily sell to, what kind of online content will likely perform well, and what internet marketing strategy will work best to attract them to your business.
You should also be aware of who your competitors are. Your competitors have established businesses with a following of loyal customers. They are well-known in your market or industry.
Knowing who they are and how they operate on the internet can help inform what your brand will do. Identify areas of strength and weakness in their strategies and use that information to improve your own performance and out-do them.
Your brand’s name and logo, as well as the colors and fonts you use, tell the story of your brand. It is a crucial part of the experience your brand sells to consumers.
You will also want to set up brand guidelines or a style guide for how your logo, fonts, and colors are used. Consider color psychology when picking a color scheme and how different colors affect mood, reactions, and wants during the buying process.
Decide what tone you’ll use on social media and your website. Are you educated and professional, or more casual and friendly? There are no wrong answers. However, once you pick a tone, stick with it to avoid confusing your new customers.
These guidelines should also identify your brand’s mission, personality, and values, which will ultimately help new customers decide if you are a business they want to interact with.
Helping out a style guide for your brand is an important step of building your brand and online strategy. It is also helpful for teaching your internal marketing team how to use your logo to ensure consistency in all online spaces.
Part of having a solid online branding strategy is knowing what your unique value proposition is. This statement defines the value your business or product brings to consumers and the overall market. It can even determine your global reach.
This includes identifying price points for your products and what needs they will meet in the average consumer’s life. If you don’t know what your unique value proposition is, you’re going to have a hard time building a clear and effective online marketing strategy that will produce quality results.
Now that you are familiar with the basics of an online branding strategy and what you need to do to build a successful one, it is essential to highlight some areas you can utilize to take your internet branding strategy to new heights.
We’ve already established using social media is an important part of building a successful online brand. However, there are lots of unique ways to take advantage of these powerful online platforms.
Social media has a huge impact on consumer buying habits. Most platforms have marketing tools like sponsored posts and ads, which allow you to target specific users based on age, gender, interests, data, and more. Advertising on social media is a must-do if you’re looking to increase your online brand’s awareness and sales.
You should also use your feeds to post about more than just your products. Post about industry news, ask questions of your followers, or host contests to encourage engagement. You should also post user-generated content like positive reviews to help cement the idea that your business is the best at what they do.
Search Engine Optimization, or SEO, is a way of making your website or online content rank higher on Google and other search engines. The higher on the search page it appears, the more likely it will be organically seen and clicked on by people who are searching for your topic, leading to more sales.
Mastering SEO may take some time, as it is a complex marketing tool. However, there are a few basics to make a note of.
Know what keywords your audience is typing into Google, and make sure these keywords appear on your web pages and in your online content. You should also include descriptive URL slugs, optimize your images with descriptive alt text, write strong meta descriptions, and create compelling titles and calls to action that will entice searchers to click on your content.
Guest blogging is another tool that most businesses take advantage of to increase SEO. This provides backlinks to your site and reiterates your knowledge on the industry and market you’re in.
Crafting a website with SEO in mind is a great way to strengthen your online brand and increase your visibility, or brand positioning, in digital spaces.
There are many more traditional ways to advertise your brand online, such as banner ads or sponsored social posts. However, there are a few other creative solutions you can try.
A great example of free and effective online brand promotion is email marketing. These emails are a form of direct digital marketing that you can use to share the availability of your products. In fact, 93% of B2B marketers use emails to distribute their business’ content.
For every $1 that you spend on email marketing efforts, you can expect a return of around $36. Emails also have a higher ROI than social media sites like Facebook or Twitter and influence over 50% of consumers buying decisions.
Email marketing can also generate new leads for your business, which results in increased sales.
You could send out a monthly newsletter or notice new blog posts. You could also go the automated route and send welcome emails to new customers. Promotional emails that sell new products or offer discounts on existing products are awesome ways to make your brand stand out online and retain loyal customers.
No matter how you decide to utilize this digital marketing tool, email is essential for your business and will help you maintain your online brand.
Affiliate marketing is an online marketing relationship involving an independent seller providing links to a business’s products on their personal site. Customers purchase through the affiliate’s link. The seller makes a small commission from the company.
This arrangement is an excellent way to promote your business and reach the audience of the independent seller.
Influencers have also become a popular online marketing tool for brands in the age of social media. An influencer is a person with a large following, usually on a social media site like Instagram or YouTube, who can affect people’s buying decisions by promoting products on their pages.
If you can get your brand or product in front of an influencer who likes it, they can share your product with their followers for a fee. This introduces your product to thousands of new consumers it might not otherwise have reached through traditional advertising methods.
Blogging may sound very 1992, but it is a great way to produce quality, high-value content for your site. It is also a valuable tool that can help increase your brand awareness and elevate your marketing strategy.
A blog post can help tell your story. They can include photos, interviews with industry experts, news events, or be a guest blog with a customer or industry leader. It lends credibility and legitimacy to your brand by showing you are an expert in the field.
They are also excellent ways to attract new customers by answering questions that people are searching for online.
Don’t forget! The feel and design of your blog should adhere to your brand’s style guidelines. The voice and tone of your blog should also reflect your brand’s online personality. Doing so will take your online brand to the next level.
To have a successful business in today’s world, it is important to build a strong internet branding strategy. Doing so will help you separate your business from competitors, tell your brand story,
introduce your products to new customers and attract loyal customers that will come back to your business time and time again, and increase sales.
Let’s address some frequently asked questions regarding online branding and internet branding strategies.
There are four main branding strategies that effective online brands utilize. These include providing quality customer experiences with your brand, online content, and products, taking advantage of digital advertising, utilizing social media to promote your products, and building brand loyalty through customer service and high-quality products.
Online branding strategies are effective ways of spreading the word about your business on the internet. This includes building a strong brand identity, creating search-friendly content, advertising digitally, and many more.
To build your own internet brand, it is necessary to have a logo and brand identity. You should also have a website, a strong social media presence, a plan for creative and useful content for all of your platforms, and an effective communication strategy that includes email outreach.