How to Build a Successful Online Brand
It’s important to remember that although your business hours may be 9-5, your website is available for customers 24hrs a day, all over the world. With this in mind, it’s necessary to the company that your brand is well represented - even when you’re asleep.
Take a Step Back
You really must start at the very beginning. In order to have a successful brand, you first should be able to sum up your company’s ethos. What words and phrases first come to mind when you think of the company and the product or service you provide? What is the image you are trying to portray? Successful businesses thrive because their customers remember what it is they are about, and what they can offer. It may help when doing this to try and construct a mission statement so you can share your vision and values in-depth with potential customers.
What is your target market?
Now you know what you’re company means and offers, you need to think about your target customers. Most businesses have a specific audience in mind for their products or services, and this helps to direct the tone of your brand identity. What’s more, this in turn gives customers a connection and relationship with your company. Of course, you don’t want to isolate a particular age group for example, but you need to be aware that trying to appeal to everyone can actually lose custom.
Don’t be a Copy Cat
There is nothing to be gained in trying to copy what other brands do, instead think about what makes your company different. There has been a popularity surge recently in independent businesses who can offer a more personal feel to their service. Remember too that you can afford to be more daring in your decision making than large co-operations in terms of promotions and advertising, and therefore could make a larger impact with your target market.
Got Any Fans?
It is absolutely essential that you have a presence on all social media. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, YouTube (if necessary) are all easy ways to get the word out about your company. Be sure to post regular updates on all accounts, and where possible try to upload the same or a similar post to maintain a professional look. You also need to engage with customers who may comment on them, and in a tone that also maintains the brand’s identity. It’s often worthwhile to try and use social media as a method of promotions, discounts or competitions as they can quickly increase your fan base.
You need to offer your customers more than just your product – you also need to be providing valuable content on your website and social media. Creating something that can be shared across the platforms will not only help you to gain visibility, but also strengthen your relationship with customers for going that extra mile. You shouldn’t feel bad either about sharing content that is not your own if you feel it would be of use, because this will show that you are not just in it for yourself.
Chart Your Progress
How many Facebook likes have you gained in the past week? How about Twitter followers? How many hits has your website got? You need to keep on top of your ratings week-on-week so that you can easily identify an influx (or decrease) of online traffic and act accordingly. It’s one of the best indicators of how your brand and content is performing, and is it vital that you pay attention to these figures.
Remember the Basics
Just like the start of the process, it’s important to take a step back and remember the most important points. Make sure that your site is easy to navigate. Make sure your logo is clearly visible on each and every page. Make sure you upload content both on your site and social media. Quite simply, don’t forget that this is a professional website which portrays the image of your brand – and you wouldn’t want that image to be a sloppy one.