One sign that a brand is doing well is when most consumers can recognize its logo, and these people don’t even have to be fans or customers of the brand to do so. But as experts admonish, there’s more to branding than a logo.
When you build a business, you also build a brand. And with the pervasiveness and power of the internet, online branding coupled with offline efforts becomes part of doing business.
Get into the significant points of internet branding, what it is about, why it is important and relevant, and how to build or strengthen it.
What Is Internet Branding?
It is a process of building a business’s identity with the help of multiple online channels.
Website, blog, social media, and other digital assets serve as platforms for connecting with audiences, raising or strengthening awareness about the business, and positioning it in positive, persuasive, and practical ways.
Your brand identity sets you apart from the competition, starting with your visual identity—your logo, fonts and typography, color palette, imagery, and more. This “visual” of your brand must create a solid and lasting impression and be aligned with your brand personality, which reflects your values, beliefs, and mission seen in your actions online and offline.
Branding represents who you are as a business, what you do, and what you can offer to customers. It is what you want people to perceive you and why they would want to associate with your brand in the first place.
Consistency is key. Your visual identity should be uniform across all platforms. There may be modifications—for example, fonts for accessibility.
Messaging and tone of voice must also be on-brand, as evident in online content, tagline, slogan, and interactions. Considering the translation and cultural context, the right choice of words can avert PR disasters.
Branding centers on and shapes the customer experience, which necessitates online visibility for businesses in this digital age.
Why Invest in Online Branding
Online is pretty much the place to be for marketing and advertising. It is vast, borderless, and free-for-all because the internet can make celebrities or fads out of the most random things.
As these live stats show, this reach underscores the relevance of internet branding for businesses. More people are online and accessing the internet through one or more devices everywhere.
They surf, communicate, react to issues, watch videos, and buy stuff online. With the diversity and number of online users, some of them can be your customers for life. Making your business available online puts you in a better position to interact with customers.
Investing in online branding involves investing in long-term relationships with new and existing customers. It’s a process to build trust, which must be earned and maintained.
Online users can easily ignore you, given the countless businesses vying for their attention. That’s why you need to differentiate yourself and present your brand in a positive light.
And if they choose to listen and trust your words, make sure to deliver on your promises. Being honest is a must, especially in difficult times; transparency may be enough to regain lost customer trust.
Any type of business can benefit from a robust online presence one way or another. An e-commerce store can leverage digital advertising in the same way as a resort on a secluded island does. A brick-and-mortar store may venture into online selling as an additional viable source of income.
Promoting a business online does not have to be an either-or scenario with social media and digital marketing. The campaigns may be centered on attracting new customers and remarketing.
Online marketing is scalable, and a newly created business does not need to go big right away. It can start with running ads on Instagram, creating great content, or doing email marketing.
Having said that, a business may not need TV ads when there are YouTube ads or billboards in light of clickable social media cards. The key is to pick a solution or two and diversify as you move along.
How to Build Online Branding
Know Your Customers
This echoes a central marketing belief that not everyone is your customer. Your website and social media accounts may be accessible to all, but their content and design are made to attract a specific group who are likely to buy your products.
Defining your target market lends direction to how you want to pursue customers as a business. You also need to understand your competitors and what they’ve been doing. You may spot a benefit they have slept on and avoid the same mistakes.
Focus on your target audience and craft a messaging that would resonate with them.
Advertise, Advertise, Advertise
Budget is not a barrier to entry for digital advertising. Pay-per-click advertising, SEO, and product reviews may be enough to promote your brand in a market and get new customers.
For instance, advertising on Google includes Search ads, Display ads, and Shopping ads. The Google ads that are right for you will depend on your goal and campaign type.
Data helps you stay on top of your campaigns to generate real-money results. You can also bring in the experts to help make sense of the numbers and things you may have missed out on. Get in touch with a Google Ads specialist agency, like Grow My Ads, to boost the performance of your ads.
Offer Quality Products and Service
Product quality, along with price and value, is a top consideration for customers. News spreads fast on social media, and you can’t afford not-so-great stories about your products online.
On the other hand, satisfied customers are likely to recommend products to friends and family or buy again in your store. They may also be willing to share constructive feedback. In this case, your product is your publicity and your brand.
Interestingly, some business models don’t require much money to make money. Dropshipping lets you start an online store without having to store and ship products as the supplier takes care of these things.
Have a Social Media Contingency Plan
Social media makes you more accessible to customers, as well as trolls and haters.
Consider putting together a guide on dealing with trolling, negativity, and malicious actions threatening your online reputation. This social media contingency plan can address the critical questions of when to ignore and block, when to engage or maybe call a PR consultant, or when to take legal action.
Accountability also comes into play here. Clear the air for any misunderstanding, apologize for any mistake, and act on a crisis immediately.
The above bit about social media emphasizes the importance of social media training for employees.
Personnel in charge of responding to online queries should know what and how to respond. Whatever they say and however they act toward customers are taken by customers as company-sanctioned words and actions.
It also goes back to company culture as a component of branding. Your core values as a business should be integrated into the processes and behavior of everyone in the company.
Internet Branding for Business
All the profit and growth that the internet seems to promise a business underscore the work put into building one’s reputation as a reliable organization.
It takes more than 15 minutes to build your brand online. Be in it for the long haul, and make your presence known and felt. Tell your story, and connect with your audience. Satisfy customers with quality products and service and content too.