Let me start with a brief definition of what branding is. According to the American Marketing Association, a brand is a name, term, design, symbol, or any other feature that identifies one seller’s good or service as distinct from those of other sellers. Think about water – we all consume it, but we all have our preferences. Have you ever asked yourself why you prefer Nestle instead of Dasani? Branding is finding an answer to the question, “why is my product better than yours?”
There are two types of branding – offline and online. By no means are they the same thing. It wouldn’t be wrong to assume that both of them have a similar purpose– which is, increasing awareness of one’s brand, advertising one’s products, and boosting one’s profits – however, online branding has a high potential to reach an international audience. This feature makes it superior to other types of branding.
I’ll present you a short list of 10 must-follow rules for your online marketing campaign. I hope they’ll help you reach your goals and make sizable progress.
Choose a Target Audience
Before mapping out your branding strategy, it’s important to figure out who your target audience is. Research is the key to success here. Your game plan won’t thrive if you don’t understand the basics. So, how do we lead a target market analysis?
- Scan your product– what are its main characteristics? What do people like about it? What need does it meet?
- Now, examine who’s purchased your products in the past. Consult with your marketing strategist or Sales department. Make sure you have a clear idea of who’s been interested in your articles before.
Now that you’ve examined what happened until now, it’s time to inspect what’s going to happen next. If you are not satisfied with your current target audience – maybe you predict future product changes or perhaps your public is not wide enough – now it’s time to identify your new target audience. How can you do that?
Step #1: Gather information – does your business idea have to change to meet the new expectations? How can you reach out to favorable buyers?
Step #2: Create your new clients’ profiles. Gather intel on —
- Their age – who’s your average customer, a Scout girl or a usual retail salesperson?
- Their occupation and income – what do they do? How much do they earn?
- Their location – where do they live?
- Their education level – what is their background? Can they relate to your content?
- Their values – what do they believe in? Are they liberal? Are they not? How do they think?
Step #3: Who’s your competition? Analyze your rivals’ marketing strategies. Notice their prices. What type of clients do they attract? Are their reviews better than yours? What is going to be your plus?
Come Up with Your Brand’s Own Identity
Why are you special? What makes your company stand out? What are your unique values? To create a successful business brand, you must come up with strong messages and values and figure out a proper way to deliver the information to the broad public.
“Think outside the box,” advises us Clara Smith, a writer for iThink. “Take my example. Before starting a dissertation for a new client, I always research his or her background, political stand, and understand his or her interests. If your customers find no value within your set of values, they should not be your clients in the first place. And you should not be their seller. When you choose a direction, you stick to it. Marketing is as simple as that.”
Use a Captivating Design
There are many details to consider when choosing your brand’s design. Let’s take a look at some of them –
- Choose your style – make it fit your attitude! Your design must say, “hey! that’s me!”
- Choose electric colors and mix them up –customers are subconsciously more attracted to bright, shiny colors, and find dark, pale colors dull. Use bright colors for your logo, templates, and fonts as well.
- Be original – come up with a phrase that shocks or a shape that catches your eye in a hot second!
To get the best outcomes of your branding campaign, you must be consistent. Clients need to be reminded continuously about the quality of your products and services. If you are not persistent, you risk losing customers. Here’s what you’ll have to do –
- Use your logo and designs consistently throughout your articles and blog posts.
- Give your employees access to using the logo/brand’s stamp persistently.
- Design special webinars to teach marketing strategies to your staff.
- Combine offline elements with online branding (for instance, print promotional materials).
- Keep your company’s personality rolling – advertise it as much as possible, wherever possible. Keep your brand’s attitude consistent;
- Subscribe only to channels and platforms that promote your ideas and values – keep everything else aside.
- Search for proper influencers – research the market well and choose the ones that would advantage you and your brand.
- Partner up with companies willing to read and promote your content! Keep yourself visible. Be there.
Optimize, Optimize, Optimize
Let me start with four leading reasons why any company should optimize its website –
- Optimization keeps search engines and websites connected — yes, that’s right. You’ll lose traffic if you are not able to maintain a good connection between your website and Google, Yahoo, Bing, or any other search engine.
- Optimization boosts up your ranking on various search engines through keywords.
- Optimization brings more traffic to your webpage.
- Optimization improves click-through rates.
Now, what should you do to optimize your website? Now that you’ve already analyzed your competition and spotted your improvement points, it’s time to make Google your best friend. Here’s how to:
- Research keywords – they link back to your content, which leads people back to your page
- Use CEO skills – researching keywords is not enough; you’ll have to place them in the right places to draw attention to your content and not mislead your readers into thinking you’re only interested in promoting your page.
- Include meta titles and title tags
- Design a traffic report and track your progress
- Keep your content creation rates up and keep refreshing your blog posts
Move on to the next point to find out how to build up new content.
Build Up Quality Content
Building up great content should be your primary focus. Content creation differents you from other sellers and says, “I am better because…” Give your customers reasons to buy from you by using the best writing style and promoting methods.
Creating new quality content can become challenging after a while as you might run out of ideas. That’s why you need a strategy to keep yourself pumped and organized!
- Reanalyze your goals and values. Mix them up to create new approaches.
- Review your already-created content and think of a creative idea to compress it. Come up with something brand-new that’ll amaze your target audience.
- Brainstorm ideas and ask around – if you need some help, don’t hesitate to ask for it. You could even blog about it and ask your customers for advice! In the end, it’s for them, so they are the perfect group to reach out to.
Focus on Social Media
Raisin brand awareness is a must-do part of every marketing campaign. Focus on social media and its perks. Instagram, Facebook, Twitter – they’re all useful tools for advertising your products and increasing your profits.
- Choose the right networks to be active on
- Choose Visual Branding over any other type of branding – visuals attract numerous customers
- Promote your business approach and the company’s values – let people in! Let them be part of your authenticity
- Post as often as you can – if you can come up with three Instagram posts per day, do it. That’s how you raise awareness of your brand and product
- Choose interesting topics to focus on
- Network! Connect with your social media friends; ask for feedback, come up with ideas, form partnerships
- Share abundant content!
Keep Communication Open
Communication between you and your public should be constantly open. Inviting people to share and comment (on) your posts is an excellent place to start. Your audience should feel free to text or question you as much as they want. That’s how your brand builds trust, and you end up developing solid relationships and extending your network.
The only advice I can give you here is – don’t make empty promises! If you are unable to travel to a specific place or provide a particular type of content, don’t ramble about it online. Keep it to yourself until it’s certain that you’re able to keep your promises. Be honest with your public if you want them to trust you. Bonding and creating stable relationships are both vital, as I’ve clearly emphasized earlier.
If you do make a mistake, apologize. Do not act as you forgot. Make them understand you’re sorry that you could not keep your word and explain why. Transparency is the number one key to increasing trust in your brand.
Mind the Feedback
Last but not least, measure your progress and ask for feedback. How are you doing? Where are you at? How much have you developed in the last month? Do you think you could’ve done more? Listen to what others have to say and decide on your own – are you or are you not satisfied with your work? If you feel like there’s room for advancement, act on it. For instance, if you haven’t tested various branding elements until now, it’s time to do it. You can find more info on this here.
Branding makes the differences between success and failure. Make sure you increase your online presence by coming up with quality content, developing strong social media advertising skills, optimizing your website, using captivating designs, and creating with your brand’s own identity.
Audrey Lamp is a proactive journalist who likes to get knowledge, analyze and present fresh ideas. Her background and various interests determine her genuine passion for writing. Find her on Facebook and Twitter.
Also published on Medium.