You can’t spend much time online without seeing people talking about the importance of online branding, building a brand, defining your brand, you name it. But what is your brand, really? In many ways, brand is everything. It is the sum total of your company, your product or service offering, your people, your values and mission. Perhaps most importantly, it is the public’s perception of all of the aforementioned. Your brand is a customer’s first impression of your company, and it also determines what their lasting impression will be.
In the digital era, your brand position online tells customers and prospects what you have to offer and what sets you apart. It’s more than just your brand identity—your logos and color schemes and typographical choices. It tells customers about your unique selling propositions and the benefits that you offer which are the importance of online branding.
These days, most brand positions are established online due to the simple fact that “online” is where people are most likely to do research and find products and services. They’re looking for everything from home goods to new homes. The first step, of course, is simply having a digital presence. That’s an unavoidable necessity for pretty much any modern business.
But simply being online isn’t enough. It’s just the price of admission for doing business in the digital era. To stand out, you need online branding strategies that will help your business grow, thrive, build trust, draw in new customers, and retain existing ones.
Let’s take a closer look at online branding strategies for your business:
First, we have to answer a fairly simple question: Just what is a brand strategy? Simply put, it’s a comprehensive plan that covers the long-term development of your brand. That doesn’t necessarily tell you a lot, though, does it? What that means is, it’s a business plan focused on building the brand that you want for your business and making sure that it’s the impression customers and prospects walk away with. It’s not just about how your company looks, but how it feels. A good brand strategy ensures that your company’s brand evokes the emotional impact that you’re hoping for and communicates what makes your business unique.
As such a far-reaching thing, a brand strategy is made up of a lot of component parts. The digital component, your online branding strategies, will likely include a wide range of approaches, including the following:
Web development to increase your organization’s visibility, legitimacy, and credibility, and to ensure that audiences know where and how to find you when they come looking.
Content marketing including blog posts, infographics, videos, and case studies that tell potential customers what sets your business apart.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) to help you rank higher for targeted keywords and drive customers to your digital doorstep.
Social media messaging on sites like Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, or Pinterest to build customer relationships.
Email marketing to help promote sales, events, discounts, new products, and more.
Paid advertising (PPC) to increase the number of impressions and clicks and get your brand in front of as many eyes as possible.
Public relations efforts to increase awareness through publishing online press releases and other outreach.
All these online branding strategies (and more) work together to create your digital brand. But just what is the importance of online branding again? It’s a way to control and determine how potential customers and prospects see you, what they think (and know) about your company, and how they feel about your brand. Building an online brand is about forging a “strong identity” that customers can recognize and understand, but that’s just one of the many benefits of online branding strategies. Online branding can also…
Make you an authority in the marketplace, meaning that customers are likely to turn to you if they have questions or concerns.
Give you greater market reach so that you can get your product or service in front of the eyes of more potential customers and prospects all over the world.
Increase site traffic and “qualified” leads, which reduces the work that you have to do in order to reach clients and prospects.
Create value that can, in turn, lead to brand advocates. When customers see your brand as adding value to their lives, they’re more likely to recommend you to their friends, family, and coworkers.
Make it easier to launch new products or services. One of the hardest things about launching something new is building it up. With an established online brand, you can use that built-in base to jumpstart your new endeavor.
Of course, building your brand is just the beginning. It’s just as important to stay consistent across all the different channels of marketing, advertising, public relations, and media. Maintaining an online brand requires dedicated (and consistent) effort and attention, which is where a partner like L&P comes in.
As a branding, marketing, and media firm, we like to think of ourselves as the best little big-idea shop in Texas, and we’re here to help you connect every aspect of your business to make sure that your customers always get the right impression, whether it’s their first impression or the one they’ll take with them.