What do you think of when you think of athletic shoes? Cozy jackets? The best Thai food? Those names popping into your head: brands! If you aren’t working on building your company’s online brand presence, your business is missing out on serious cash. People trust brands more than they trust random vendors. Taking the time to build consumer trust by building your brand is essential.
Building a Strong Reputation Online
It’s easy to slack off on our online branding when business is going well. What happens as consumers continue to shift toward online shopping?
Omnichannel distribution is here, and people are pulling out their credit cards to make purchases. Will they be pulling out their credit cards for your products and services?
Here are the nine best practices to follow when building your brand online.
1. Choose an Easy-to-Brand Business Name
Your business name is at the core of your brand. While your colors, fonts, and logo are part of the brand image, your business name is what people need to remember in order to locate your company again.
Your business name shouldn’t be long or confusing. The simpler you make your name, and the catchier it is, the more people are likely to remember it and return to you through name recognition.
2. Grab Your Domain Name
Once you know your business name, get your domain name right away. You want to get a domain that is your company's name, and this is why it's important that your name be short and catchy. If you can make your domain three words or fewer, that's ideal.
Website domains that look like "thisisasuperlongdomainname.com" aren't user-friendly.
It would help if you also got your domain name with as many domain extensions as possible. You don't want other people running websites with the same name. If the only difference is between .com and .net people may get confused when navigating to your website.
3. Don't Skimp with Your Online Branding
As business owners, it's easy to try to do everything ourselves. Writing copy, designing logos, creating websites, marketing, sales--the whole nine yards.
When you're putting your branding package together, you shouldn't skimp on the quality.
Unless you're a professional copywriter or graphic designer, pay a little bit of extra money. Get it taken care of by someone who has experience and a portfolio of amazing work. Investing in your brand image is important to your overall success.
4. Produce High-Quality Content Regularly
Producing high-quality content on a regular basis will establish your brand as an authority on the topic. If you don't share your knowledge with your potential clients through your website and blog, they won't know you're an expert.
Having a strategic content marketing plan in place is essential to growing trust and loyalty for your brand.
Your blog should generate fresh content at least once a week. This will enable you to keep visitors engaged, as well as gain new visitors.
5. Keep It Business
When you're posting content on your website and creating a great user experience, it's important to create a strong About Us page.
Your About Us page is a great place to post a family photo and a little about yourself, but don't go overboard. Your customers want to solve their problem; they aren't interested in having a full family history lesson.
6. Don't Ghost Your Social Media Channels
When people visit your website, they're likely to look at your social media pages as well.
What are they looking for? Signs of life!
If your social media channels look like a ghost town, that creates distrust in your visitors. They may begin to wonder if you're even open for business.
Post on your social media channels at least once a day so that people will know you're operational and active with your business.
7. Use High-Quality Graphics
No one wants to look at a pixelated chart. Trying to save money on images by using low-quality graphics isn't a good strategy for branding.
Find images that not only are high-quality but images that help communicate your brand message. High-quality graphics and attention to design show your potential customers that you're a serious business that pays attention to detail.
8. Don't Be Afraid to Spend Money
When you're growing your business, you have to spend money to make money. Whether you're spending money on graphics, web design, coders, or other products and services for your business, you need to get comfortable with spending money to make money.
While bootstrapping your business might not be easy, putting in extra work so that you can pay for top-quality services for your business is vital.
9. Focus on Inbound Marketing
Traditional marketing is outbound marketing that interrupts the potential client throughout their day. For example, they might be shopping in a store and see a handout about a product or service that he or she isn't necessarily looking for.
Inbound marketing, on the other hand, brings a solution to users when they're searching for that solution. For example, if your business sells top-of-the-line pens, if a potential customer searches for information on how to make a handwritten letter look beautiful, you would have content to help them.
Your blog could have an article sharing how the pen that the potential customer uses has a great deal to do with it, as well as other points to fill out the article with helpful information.
Inbound marketing is highly effective because the user is already in the frame of mind for the solution that you offer when you do inbound marketing.
It's true that the visitor might be in the early stages of the buying cycle, but that's where lead nurturing allows you to build the relationship until the visitor is ready to buy.
Now that you know how to build an effective online presence, you can get started today. Even small steps towards enhancing and creating a strong brand can make a major difference. Pick an area and follow through. Keep repeating the process until you have a full brand makeover.