In January 2019, the Yellow Pages made the decision to go completely digital, and discontinued printing its business directories in the UK. This is relevant in part because it signified the end of a 51-year run of printing, but more so because it represented a seismic shift that has occurred in advertising over the past 20 years. Without an online brand, a business will now die.
Marketing necessitates online branding. Though any successful campaign will diversify the mediums it uses, online is now arguably the most important. With this in mind, lets explore how to approach the problem of building an online brand.
Before you begin developing your online brand, its important to first get a wide breadth of data so you know how to construct it. A good place to start is by looking at your competitors to see what they’ve done. Specifically, you want to target members of the competition that have run extremely successful digital campaigns. Adwords and Facebook Ad Library are both good resources for finding out how the competition goes about targeting audiences. You want to extract the techniques that are most effective, and use them to promote what makes your own business so unique.
Apart from competitor research, you should also do substantial research on your target audience. Specifically, you should look at Google trends, Google analytics, Facebook Insights and Adwords statistics. With the data gleaned from these resources, you’ll be able to build an accurate profile of your audience that you can then use to develop your online brand.
Diversification Of Channels
When building your online brand, diversification is an enormously useful strategy. As such, you will want to build your brand through multiple channels. This means advertising on as wide a range of websites, apps and videos as you can, so long as they fall within your target audience’s interest. You should utilise as much of the Google Display Network’s reach as possible.
Understand that from an organic search perspective, you want to make sure that your messaging is consistent across all the channels that you use. So though the mediums, channels and funnels might be diverse, the prospective clients are still being exposed to the same information. This allows consumers to more readily recognize your brand, which is the centre of the bullseye for online brand building.
Building Your Reputation
The effect of word of mouth didn’t go away with the Internet, but was instead amplified. Since people are now deluged with a selection of possible products, they’re more likely to use cognitive shortcuts in choosing one brand over another. The most frequently used shortcut is public opinion, so it’s enormously important for your brand that this remains positive.
Your online reputation is partly built through the interaction you have with your audience. To this end, make sure to have an active presence on social media. You should be using this channel to inform customers on your newest products, updates on your business and links to articles on your webpage. Comments on these posts should be readily responded to in as constructive a way as possible. You should also respond to any online review, be it an affirming response to a positive one, or a reconciliatory and understanding response to a negative one.
Though important, you shouldn’t build your online reputation only through audience interaction. You should create content that can exist on its own, that are used for entertainment or information. So videos, blogs and posts should be produced regularly. Create a schedule with this type of content and stick to it, as this reliability in content not only facilitates SEO, but also draws more and more customers in.
The Importance Of Branding
Your online brand is not disconnected from your brand itself. Both the online subset and your brand more broadly exist in a kind of positive feedback loop with one another. It is for this reason that you should take the building of your online brand very seriously. Its success means the success of your brand generically, which is the single overarching purpose of all of advertising.