This is the key to online branding for your business
Branding used to be all about your logo design, sponsorships, and television/radio ads. These elements really worked together to build cohesive branding, but with modern business - everything, including your brand is now online. So how do we tackle online branding? Keep reading to find out.
In this article, I'm going to give you the key to selling your brand online and having ultimate recognition with your prospects and in your industry.
Online branding is increasingly important as it seems competition is skyrocketing higher and higher every day. Let's get started.
1. Use Social Media
So to some of us, using social media is a fundamental business concept. However, using social media still earns top mentions from me (and most professional marketers as well). The reason being social media is a source of tremendous customer interaction, and for many businesses, social media is where your customers will interact with you the most.
To those not in the know, your online branding lives through social media. Keep this in mind moving forward.
Since social media is there already, use it to your advantage and leverage social media for building your online branding. Tell your brands story, share your company values, and create genuine interaction. By doing all of this, you will create a lasting impression with your prospects and customers of what your brand stands for (and what your online branding looks like). These interactions go a long way to creating a secure connection of how your branding looks, and what your company does.
Some final notes on social media. It's actually an excellent idea to divert 10%-15% of your overall marketing budget to grow your social media following even if it's NOT one of your primary marketing initiatives.
Because a following on social media is a renewable resource for your business. This means spend once to establish your audience and retain the ability to generate impressions and communicate with interested prospects in the long term at no cost! Cool huh?
2. Understand your brand's value, and it's ultimate effect on your bottom line
Despite what a quite a few small business owners might have told me about what they think when it comes to the growth of your business, your brand is EVERYTHING. I'm not talking about your logo design and a few colors though, while those things ARE essential I'm referring to your reputation as a whole, and what segment of your industry has recognition with your branding assets.
So what actions can you take in your marketing to preserve and promote a growth condition for your brand?
Using display ads is a great cost-effective way to get your brand in front of an audience before the start to develop an opinion (positive, negative or otherwise) about your brand. An additional plus to an expertly executed strategy are the benefits of looking more substantially established than you might really be. While this might offer more value to startups or small businesses, this awareness helps drive trust and gives the industry an impression of your brand and your foothold in your market segment.
For some no Calls To Action, no offers, no selling what so ever might be a hard pill to swallow when we are sacrificing real world marketing budget for this initiative. This is the very reason why it's so essential to understanding the value your brand can bring to the table in more ways than instant sales.
By gaining exposure and recognition, your increasing familiarity which can ultimately drive a positive ROI (hence the title of this section). It is pretty well known that people who recognize your brand are more likely to buy in when you put an offer in front of them.
Try growing your recognition in your industry, by diverting as little as 5% of your budget to awareness for 12-months and take a long look at what this buys you. You probably won't miss that 5% but it will go a long way in your long term growth strategy.
I think the vast majority of marketers (and their direct supervisors) would be more than impressed with the results of this minor change to the budget.
Okay, so I know that we just got done discussing knowing your brand bottom line, but the public perception of your brand can either make your break your business - so I think it is vital to talk about in depth.
All of that being said, let us talk all about stars, thumbs, and recommendations (as these are different measurement metrics of your reputation health online). As a business owner, you should be keeping a very close eye on anything that has to do with public perception of your business - because this can quickly affect your sales process and furthermore the bottom line.
Consider what ideas your brand stands for, how you treat your customer base, your business values, the vendors that you support. All of these things combined with community feedback - will be what your prospects and customers will use to determine their viewpoint on your brand.
The worst part? Consumers are not necessarily concerned with making a fair and unbiased assessment when considering your brand.
So how can we stack the deck in our favor? Make sure that public reviews are better than ever. With the tools that exist today, you can easily monitor your reviews and send out requests automatically to make sure the excellent reviews keep rolling in your doors.
"But what about negative reviews?" you might be asking. To learn more about these strategies, signup to download our guide "The Ultimate Guide to Build Your Branding for the Digital World"
4. Marketing Automation
Proper digital marketing (as mentioned by Hubspot.com) is all about delivering: the right content, to the right person, at the right time, every time. When becoming a HubSpot certified agency partner, I heard that phrase more than a few dozen times. However, how do we use this practice in a real-world scenario?
This is where marketing automation steps in. By only delivering your prospects and customers relevant content (to their email, social media or other avenues) you keep the conversation going and can send an offer to get a prospect to convert. That conversion can come in the form of an email, scheduled meeting, phone number, or many other actions that have value for your business.
Without going into a long tail conversation about marketing automation tactics, we use website & social engagement to determine precisely what we need to send a specific prospect. This creates a conversation as natural and relevant as a real salesperson could do and without all the annoying phone calls and badgering.
Just like anything with life, growth is about consistency. In the Fitness, in Education, or with your business - consistency WILL produce results.
Take these practices and apply them over time. Be sure to be consistent with your efforts and don't abandon a tactic just because you don't see immediate results.
To learn more sign up to download our guide below "The Ultimate Guide to Build Your Branding for the Digital World"