September 26, 2011 · 3 min read
Top Tips: Building Your Brand Online
Developing your brand online is an important part of any marketing strategy, however many companies are often unsure about what steps they should take. While building a website is a great stepping-stone in creating a successful online presence, it is not a stand-alone solution. So, we’ve created a list of tips to help you improve your brand presence online.
1. Do your research. Before investing any money in online marketing, find out how your brand is already perceived online. In addition to doing an assessment of any digital media you already use, you should also find out what others are saying about you. Read popular blogs from your industry, search your company name in Google and follow any conversations about your brand on social media. Once you’ve got a good idea of where your brand currently stands online, you’ll be able to assess its strengths and weaknesses and what areas you’ll need to work on.
2. Create an online strategy. Like offline marketing, your online marketing needs to have a strategy that will successfully build your brand. This plan should flesh out goals, target audiences, and the digital media you will use. Your online strategy should also work alongside your offline marketing in order to create a cohesive brand image and unified marketing messages.
3. Mix it up. Digital marketing has such a variety of media to choose from so find out which ones will work best for you. Using several different channels will enhance your brand and reach a wider audience, all while strengthening your presence online. From websites, email, and social media, to mobile apps and e-commerce, select the combination right for your marketing mix. Make sure your brand remains consistent throughout but alter your approach in order to take advantage of each platform’s unique strengths.
4. Put in the time. Even though digital media is able to reach people 24/7, creating a successful brand strategy won’t happen overnight. Be prepared to put in the time and effort that you would for an offline strategy, and soon you’ll be well on your way to a great brand presence.
5. Stay active. Because people will be able to visit (and re-visit) your brand so easily online, you need to make sure that your online presence is always up-to-date and active on all platforms. Keep blogs and other social media relevant, send out timely emailers, stay on top of your search engine optimisation, and make sure websites, profiles, apps, etc include the latest information about your brand.
6. Market yourself offline. As ironic as it may seem, make sure to include your online presence in any offline marketing material you create. For example, mention your website or social media profile on any print advertisements, or include a form to sign up to your email newsletter in the direct mail you send out. Not only will this unite your overall marketing strategy, but it will also inform people of your brand online.
7. Get creative. In addition to using some of the “traditional” online media such as websites, email, and social media, take advantage of the opportunity to get creative with your brand online. Think about what your customers would benefit from, whether that’s an app, a short video, or a social network you create for your industry. The options are limitless, and so are the benefits.
8. Know your industry. Keeping an eye on how your industry develops online is a good indicator of how your competitors, clients, and industry leaders use online marketing. By knowing what everyone else is doing, you’ll be able to see if there are any gaps that need to be filled and what methods are successful for others. While it is important to present your brand on the main platforms that your industry uses, don’t be afraid to break away if you see an opportunity somewhere else.
9. Monitor and evaluate. Like any marketing push, you need to monitor and evaluate how your brand develops online. Much like the initial research stage, follow industry blogs, subscribe to RSS feeds, and search your brand on social media. This will help you determine if you are successfully developing your brand and if your marketing goals are being met.
10. Don’t wait around. Now that you know what steps you’ll need to take to improve your brand online, it’s time to take action. Get started today and see your online brand image improve tomorrow.