Effective Online Brand Building is Key to Lead Generation
Guest Blog By Ronald Aguilar of RingCentral
In today’s internet age, online presence has become a necessity for business success. Therefore, companies need to pay attention to effective online brand building even as they pursue capturing leads.
Most customers judge a company’s credibility by its online presence. Therefore, your online brand should be authentic, relatable, and recognisable to attract consumers to your products or services. Online brand building can help you capture the interest of your target audience. To help you, we provide useful tips you can utilise to create an impactful online brand.
Understand Your Brand and Your Customers
To start, there is should be no difference between your perceptions of your brand and how other people look at it. Jot down what you think are the main qualities of your brand and then ask others who know your business what they feel are the standout aspects of your brand. This will help you to understand your brand and how it is perceived by others.
The second step is to understand the needs and wants of your customers. Your online messages should be crafted for your target audience and to do this you need to learn the online habits and traits of your customers as well as how they wish to engage with your company.
Using a business intelligence software also helps, especially if you have tons of customer data with you. For instance, you can slice and dice purchase histories, customers by demographics or bestselling items and see potential patterns and trends that will help you define your customers’ preferences. Sisense is a good business intelligence solution that suits both small business and enterprise needs. But you have more options and do not hesitate to try a Sisense alternative that fits your budget and workflows.
Perform Consistent Branding
Your branding strategy needs to be consistent across all the channels you use such as your website, blogs, social networks etc. This helps in reinforcing your brand by creating brand recognition. Ask yourself what your business is about and then craft your online brand smartly to attract customers to your products or services.
You need to create and use brand guidelines for consistent branding across all mediums. Inconsistency can create confusion in the minds of your customers. Therefore, establish consistent brand guidelines for aspects such as imagery, logos, colours, fonts, design elements, messaging etc. to develop and reinforce your brand.
Educate Brand Reps
It is not enough just to create brand guidelines, it is more important to apply them with focus. To achieve this, you need to provide updated brand guidelines to all your brand reps – from contractors to employees. This will inform them how they should carry out customer interactions on online channels so that their brand is represented well on these important mediums. Personal branding is important because brand messages shared by staff members on social networks get 561% more reach versus the same posts shared via the company’s official social channels.
Make Use of Video Marketing
Videos are hogging the internet and IP video traffic is expected to be 82% of all consumer internet traffic by the year 2020. For this reason marketers are using engaging videos to boost their brand. Consumers prefer videos as they can watch them quickly and the format is also simple to digest.
A smartly crafted video can attract your audience’s attention and showcase a positive and strong brand message. You can make use of popular video sites such as YouTube, Vine, and Vimeo as well as video facilities offered by social networks like Facebook. Post branded videos on these sites to promote your products, attract visitors to your site, and make your brand recognisable to your target audience.
Begin a Blog
Add a blog to your website to improve your brand’s online visibility and to improve your ranking on search engines. The blog can make your brand more valid and credible, and increase reach. Plus, you can use it to create closer relationships with influencers and customers.
Publishing useful content regularly on your blog can make your company look relevant, authoritative, and informed about the latest trends in your industry. You can use the blog to publish content and articles on your services and products, your opinions and views on industry issues, and the goals and objectives of your company. You can also use your blog to announce your achievements, for instance, how Samepage leverage Financesonline.com reviews to highlight its awards.
Reply in Real Time
You may be scheduling information online as per your timetable, but it is essential to reply in real time to those who send messages to you. This is an important aspect of online brand building because people who communicate with you expect immediate responses. Therefore, reply in real time to broadcast the message that your company thinks each customer is valuable.
Build Long-Term Relationships
It is essential to develop close long-term relationships with your customers and others who are involved with your brand. Make sure you keep in touch with them with regular messages and sustain their interest in your brand. This is important as 25% of millennials state brand loyalty motivates their buying decisions.
Make Appropriate Changes as You Go Along
Online brand building is an ongoing process and you need to take stock at regular intervals to learn whether everything is proceeding according to plan. If you run into issues, make appropriate changes to overcome the challenges to ensure smooth progress.
Make Your Website SEO-Friendly
Your website is an important branding tool and therefore you need to optimise it for better search engine ranking. This can attract more visitors to your site and boost your brand’s visibility on the internet.
Use Social Media Marketing
Social media marketing is a cost-effective way to promote your brand and products. Make use of the popularity of social media networks to promote your brand’s recognition, get loyal customers, and improve your sales. Social media marketing is a great leveler as it enables small brands to compete in even terms with bigger names.
Create and Distribute Good Content
You need to focus on creating and distributing relevant and useful content and messages to engage your audience meaningfully. Your followers should not treat your content as spam and therefore you need to send carefully crafted messages to targeted receivers.
Monitor Online Chatter about Your Brand
Your brand may find a place in articles, forums, social media and other discussion venues. So you need to learn who is saying what about your brand and its impact on your reputation. Monitor your brand’s online mentions to get an idea about how it is perceived by the internet community.
Plus, make your brand visible and active on websites frequented by your target audience. For instance, you can also explore the unique channels to quickly build your brand like approaching sites for software reviews to get recognised. You can also find out how your competitors are managing their brand online and whether their strategies are proving effective.
Participate in Online Discussions
After finding out the venues where your brand is being discussed, you can join in on the fun. Interact positively to questions and comments, and respond constructively to criticism. You can turn negative views into positive ones by showing that your company has the will to respond quickly and make things right for disgruntled consumers.
Providing quality service is important and your company should show that they are willing to go the extra mile to ensure customer satisfaction. Plus, you can contribute actively by participating in discussions about challenges, solutions, and trends, which will indicate that your company offers both customer support and thought leadership.
Use Tools for Brand Management
There are numerous tools available for online brand monitoring and management. These include services such as Google Alerts which sends email notifications for a designated phrase or name. Plus, platforms such as Sprout Social, Hootsuite, and Social Mention offer monitoring tools for social media to analyse traffic and brand mentions.
Brand Connect is a useful portal that helps in fast distribution of files, offers access to important brand materials, and helps to improve messaging and branding consistency across PR, sales, marketing, and customer support teams.
Get Help from Mentors
As the saying goes, two heads are better than one. There is a lot to learn about brand promotion and management and you can do so by getting advice from knowledgeable and experienced mentors who can teach you the tricks and tips of online brand building. They can teach you the strategies that worked for them as well as those that proved ineffective. You can benefit from their proven expertise to grow your brand online.
Do not Copy Other Brands
Many companies make the mistake of copying successful brands. This makes them look lazy and bereft of ideas. It is important for an online brand to look original and authentic. You can do so by analysing your company objectives, remind yourself why your business goals are important, and by determining the image you want your brand to portray. Keep these guidelines in mind to create your own distinct and unique identity that will tell your customers your company is a cut above the competition.
Plan Long-Term Goals
Keep the big picture in mind as you build and develop your branding strategies. They should be aligned with your company’s objectives. The main aim of promotion and branding activities should be to help your company meet its long-term goals.
Be clear about the branding tools you wish to use over the next few years. Determine your social media strategies for the next year. Analyse how your branding campaigns can contribute to your revenue targets. In short, your branding strategies should be geared for the long term and include plans for the next month, quarter, and year.
To sum up, understand how your customers perceive your brand, services, and products. Give them what they want to leave a positive impression and enhance your customer reach and brand growth. Build long-term relationships, and be honest and open about the value of your brand. This will enable you to distribute this value to your customers and create your own unique online brand identity.
Guest Blog By Ronald Aguilar of RingCentral