In this article, Amy Harris, Marketing Executive for the B2B website Expert Market, offers ways to establish the tone of your brand.
Establishing a brand and developing that brand recognition amongst potential customers is one of the core elements for a successful online business. Branding will help demonstrate not only your identity, but also your values and integrity, to consumers.
There are now many different available strategies which can be utilized to strengthen brand recognition, from social media and pay-per-click to SEO, mobile, affiliate and email marketing and more. The methodologies used may differ, but all will provide you with the tools to target your audience and make your website more profitable.
The process of establishing a strong brand presence may be time consuming but the associated benefits will make it time well spent. Here are the benefits:
(1) Becoming a trusted brand will optimize your sales within your customer base and grow sales as your market develops.
(2) It will allow for the development of brand loyalty as your identity becomes established.
(3) The business will benefit from referrals from other high quality sites.
(4) The site will receive a higher level of search rankings from your targeted keywords.
(5) You will benefit from higher traffic and lead-generation from sources such as social media and SEO.
All businesses and entrepreneurs will need to get their online branding ‘out there’ in order to establish credibility and to attract, not only customers, but potential investors and partners as well.
Tips for Online Business Brand Establishment
A great way to benefit from the free promotion of your brand is through media requests. By being quoted in articles and the print media, you can demonstrate the legitimacy and authority of your business.
Helpful sources to use are FlackList, Haro and MediaKitty. Establishing a profile on Facebook, Google or Twitter will also help to develop brand recognition and presence. Try using Disqus to demonstrate your business knowledge and ethos through observations and posts.
Create your own unique social email signature incorporating applications such as RSS feeds and social icons to allow other users to learn more about your company, products and services. Establishing a newsletter which your customers can subscribe to and sharing monthly content about the current events happening within the business – new products, enhanced services or upcoming media events or promotions – will develop a brand relationship with subscribers and allow them to introduce your business to friends within their network.
To reach a different sector of potential customers try guest posting on blogs which match the same expertise as your business. Be sure to pitch your content to match the style and focus of your chosen site and, if followers like what you say, they will become familiar with your brand, presence and services.
Why Branding Matters
It has been estimated that over 90 per cent of small businesses don’t think its necessary to invest in brand development for their products and services. However, in the words of leading business author and motivational speaker, Robert Kiyosaki, “If you are not a brand, you are a commodity”.
Every business, large or small, needs to establish their presence in the market place, making them stand out from their competitors and demonstrating to their customers what it is that they stand for. Through this comes consumer recognition, trust and loyalty.
For those still in doubt about the need for brand establishment for their online business, just consider Richard Branson and his Virgin Group. Founded by a lone geek with entrepreneurial pretentions, he chose his brand carefully, steadily developing it over the years to become the David to the other corporate Goliath’s in the sector. By never losing sight of his core brand, he has established an incredible loyalty among his customer base and respect and admiration from his peer group.
How have you established your brand?