So your offline brand has been established, a shiny logo has been created, and you look towards spending time and money on online branding. Indeed, it’s a wise decision.
According to the report ‘Digital in 2017’, 50% of the world’s population is now online. Online brands benefit from these numbers, as the internet allows brands to attain more viewership and visibility.
Advantages of Online Branding
A behemoth called New Media is here, and it brings with it, the age of digital culture. Online brands can enjoy more connectivity with their target audience through social media channels, as global social media use has increased by 21% in the past year.
Moreover, mobile social media use has surpassed 2.5 billion users globally. Reading such staggering numbers, you might ask yourself about the possible benefits of becoming an online brand. Online marketing of products and services assist companies in gaining them more visibility and exposure, by carrying out cost-effective processes.
Want to become online? Here are some challenges you will face
Be prepared to meet head-on with some challenges. An offline brand has to devote time and resources for carrying out immense research into the communication of a brand image, in a multi-platform environment of the internet.
Customer expectations and demands have to be understood, as the customer base of the brand changes continuously.
Possible cyberattacks are growing security concerns, which can be tackled using up-to-date security systems and employing resources in information security practices.
Now that you know the challenges, I will provide you with 5 steps, that will get you started on your online branding journey.
Get started! 5 Great Tips for Online Branding
Activities such as the creation of WordPress websites, search and social media marketing, development of mobile content, and email promotional activities assist in building an online brand. I will now provide you with some tips for successful online branding.
1. Role of Social Media
A snap, a tweet, a blog and a whole lot of buzz. Online brands must strive to have a distinctive online presence. Communication of the brand image must be consistent across platforms that guide your brand, as it wades through its journey across the internet.
Bookmarks, tab icons on web pages and web applications, mobile app icons and the logo of the brand must remain consistent.
A great example is Maybelline New York’s communication of its brand image. The brand is easily recognizable in various channels, thanks to its consistent logo. Maybelline New York India also makes sure to display steady advertisements across various platforms, like the #COLORITYOURWAY campaign.
Major social media marketing platforms, such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest and many others can be used to gain new followers for successful brand positioning.
Platforms must be chosen, keeping in mind their compatibility with the objective and identity of the brand. After analysing data, brands must ensure they are sending high quality and shareable content to consumers.
Care must be taken in choosing the right type of content, that not only supports your brand image but also assists in increasing the brand’s viewership and visibility.
This report shows that the demographic of audiences of each social media platform can be broken down, to understand customer base better.
2. Audience Targeting
Under audience targeting, brands identify a set of audience, to whom they target their online advertising efforts. I have mentioned this tip early on, as it engulfs latter concepts such as Retargeting and Keyword Research. Online brands must target their audience on the basis of their location, interests, behaviours, and demographic.
Online branding strategies of companies must promote their products and services through channels that are in contact with potential customers. Possible ways to carry out audience targeting is through:
a) Unearthing information about your audience, by understanding demographic and psychographic profiles.
b) Writing creative content for advertisements that better connect with your customers, which can be done just by observing the conversations of your audiences on social media platforms and by using social media listening tools.
3. Monitor your Competitors
Online branding must pay attention to the competitor brand. Companies must conduct competitor analysis, to understand the competitor’s online branding strategies.
An analysis can be carried out through activities as diverse as observation of the competitor’s social media marketing and content strategies, to subscribing to their newsletters and emails. Mistakes can be avoided and the brand image can be safeguarded, by keeping an eye out on your competitors.
4. Research your Keywords
Usage of certain keywords enables a brand to reach consumers that are on a lookout for a product or service. Proper keywords, hence, might lead the brand to reach its targeted audience.
Keywords generate improvements in a company’s efforts in search engine optimisation and social media marketing.
You might be wondering now, how you would use keywords efficiently in your first ever blog post or article on your new shining website. Here are some interesting steps you can follow-
a) Heady Mix of Keywords: Using headwords and long-tail keywords in your content. Headwords are more competitive and more likely to be searched by customers, as compared to long-tail keywords. An example of headwords is ‘silver jewellery’. The long-tail keyword version of this would be ‘buy silver jewellery online’.
b) Content First, Always: Your content must have superior quality, communicating its objective in a clear manner. Remember to not force SEO words into your article, as the need for including the words must come naturally.
c) Keyword Tools: Use keyword research tools such as Google Trends and Google AdWords Keyword Planner to understand which keywords are trending nationally and globally.
An interesting statistic tells us that,
“A website visitor who’s been retargeted with a display ad is 70% more likely to convert with you.”
Retargeting is a part of online branding strategies, that aim to convert web traffic, using advertising. Also known as remarketing, it is a cookie-based technology that targets people who have shown interest in your products/services or have previously visited your website. Retargeting is a conversion marketing tool.
In conclusion, I would like to add that online branding, using the means of targeted advertising and regular promotion using social media, helps in leaving a lasting and positive impression with customers. Unwavering branding online can also help create customer loyalty.
Useful Suggestions for Your Brand
I would like to suggest that online brands, to ascertain successful brand positioning, must take into account the language, location and culture, while promotion of products or services.
Even though a company might target the local customers, online presence of the company might lead customers from different parts of the world, to be interested in the online brand. Customer base of an online brand is always susceptible to change, and there is always be a need to reshape the content being offered to customers.
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Do you think that I have left out an important topic in online branding? Share your own insights into building a stronger, more powerful brand. Don’t forget to comment below!
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