For most businesses, a major part of success comes from the connection that they can make with their customers. This includes the building of your online brand. When you are able to expand your online branding, customers can easily identify what it is that you are offering and why they should choose your products or services.
What is Online Branding?
The term online branding gets tossed around a lot, but what exactly does it mean? Online branding simply refers to how your business entity is perceived by customers online. At the simplest level – your brand is your business or your primary products and services.
Online branding is a large factor, when it comes to increasing your online presence. Sure, you can spend money on pay-per-click advertising, targeted email campaigns, and other forms of online marketing, but those methods only bring the customers to your doorstep.
Why should they step inside and look at what you have to offer? If you have a clear, direct message, customers will know what to expect and will become more likely to explore your website and browse your products or services.
With effective online branding, you can reach more potential customers and drive more traffic to your website. To ensure you are going about the process of building your online brand correctly, look over these 5 key components for effective online branding.
#1 – Research Your Audience
The first step to take is researching your audience. If you want to build your brand, you need to know who your audience is. Learn more about what they are looking for. Determine who your key demographic is. Create a standard customer profile and include the typical age, gender, occupation, income, region, and interests of your core customers.
Obviously, you may not have a just one type of customer that you are targeting, but focusing on a specific demographic can help you learn how to effectively target your customers. By narrowing down your attention to a single customer profile, you can develop your marketing skills and begin building your online brand. Eventually, you will be able to take these same steps to target other demographics.
#2 – Decide On Your Message
After researching your core audience, decide on the message that you want to deliver. What is it about your products or services that you would like your customers to know about? Focus on creating a voice for your brand. Remain consistent with the way that you deliver your message. This includes the tone that you use in your marketing, blog articles, and product descriptions.
Keep this tone in mind, whenever you engage in any form of marketing. Speak to your audience, converse with them, but do not throw content at them.
#3 – Use Multiple Marketing Methods for Online Branding
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You should never fully rely on one method of marketing. Try to include multiple marketing efforts, including social media postings, blog articles, targeted email campaigns, and provide them with relevant content. In fact – the majority of the content that you deliver to your audience should be useful, relevant information that they can actually use.
As you explore different channels for reaching your audience, again, remember to focus on sticking to your original message and tone. Consistently use the same techniques to build your online brand. Inconsistency will drive them away or even confuse your audience.
#4 – Include Social Media Integration
As mentioned, social media posting should be a part of your marketing efforts. It is a great way to reach your audience and actively engage them in conversation. People can easily comment on your posting and ask you direct questions. They can share the information that you provide, building more backlinks for your website and increasing social media chatter.
If you have no idea what type of content you should be offering your audience, take a look at your competitors. You should never try to emulate your competition, but looking at their efforts, their branding, can help point you in the right direction. See if they are more active on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or Google Plus.
#5 – Increase Exposure Using Online Branding
Using multiple marketing methods and including social media integration is all part of the overall goal – increasing your online exposure. Start building your online reputation and getting your name out there.
One way to increase your exposure is to network more with your peers. Increase your reputation as a voice of authority in your industry. Your peers will recognize your value and even share your posts and blog articles with their own customers.
Putting It All Together
Combining these concepts and putting it all together, you can begin promoting your online brand and expanding your market base. Always start with a solid profile of your core audience. Learn more about their interests. Use this information to decide on what type of message you need to deliver and the tone that you should use for your online brand.
Make sure that you employ a variety of marketing methods, with a large focus on social media integration. Interact with your customers and respond to their comments on social media or on your blog articles. Combine all of these methods to increase your online exposure and promote your brand.
The Web Presence Institute
Following these steps is not overly complicated, but if you need help – there are plenty of resources available, including a variety of webinars that will walk you through the process setting up your website, your social media profiles, and using online marketing to reach your customers. Learn more about the Web Presence Institute, in order to expand your online brand and increase your web presence.