INTERNET BRANDING STRATEGIES
Online branding strategies are an essential tool for any new business getting off the ground. It can help in connecting with potential customers in the digital space and engage with them in meaningful ways. A good branding strategy should be a priority for every company, and it should convey to the customers the advantages of its products and the reason they should be chosen over their competitors. If a company’s branding strategy makes an impact on the customer’s mind, it is very possible that they might return to it even if they do not buy anything straight away. Some of the strategies companies should implement are discussed below.
Expand Your About Us Page
The ‘About Us’ page on a company’s website should always be engaging and interesting. It is an opportunity for the company to introduce itself to the customer and showcase its brand and values. By reading the ‘About Us’ page of a company, a customer should know what the company stands for and what it does better than anybody else.
This page should not be neglected only because it may not be the most heavily visited page on the website. Those who do visit it should walk away with a strong impression of the company and a better sense of the brand. Also, developing the ‘About Us’ page will give the company a better idea of its messaging and values, which can be used in other marketing materials as well.
Document Your Buyer Personas
A study conducted by OrderDynamics showed that 74% of online retailers miss out on sales by promoting irrelevant content to their consumers. Therefore, it is clear that a company must focus on marketing content to the right buyers.
Ideally, a company must have a general idea of what kind of consumer would be interested in their product. For example, if a company sells camping supplies, they should know vaguely (based on market research and historical data) what their average buyer might be like. Even if a lot of data is not available (as is the case with some new companies), the company should build a generic persona and narrow it down as and when they gain data on the consumers. Various tools exist to collect demographic information (Google Analytics, customer surveys, customer reviews, etc) and all of them should be utilised. When a company learns more about its buyers, it should begin to market more relevant products to them, and this should result in a big boost in their sales.
Create a Brand Style Guide
A consistent brand and visual style are key, no matter what branding strategies a company uses. This helps customers quickly recognise the brand and identify it, and an inconsistent brand voice can confuse customers and give off an unprofessional impression. A brand style guide is a must-have for every company and must contain:
- The brand’s mission
- The story of the brand
- Adjectives which describe the brand
- A buyer persona
- The colour palette of the brand
- The typography to be used (fonts)
- Versions of the logo and use cases for each version
- Best practices for visual content
The more detailed it is, the better. A brand style guide can be shared with employees and freelancers hired to create marketing material so that all such material has a consistent voice.
Develop a Customer Reward Plan
Brand loyalty is also a big part of online marketing, along with attracting new customers. A great way to do this is to have a robust customer reward plan. This can be implemented in many simple ways such as:
- Including a personalised thank, you note with each online purchase
- A discount code for a certain number of purchases
- A store credit system which customers can earn with purchases
Having a program like this gives the impression of a company which cares about its customers, which is very beneficial for retaining customers. Additionally, a unique rewards plan can also be used to market the company. For example, companies donate some amount to a charity whenever someone makes a purchase. Such programs are great for marketing and can help in getting the company’s name out there.
Encourage and Share User-Generated Content
Engagement with customers is a huge part of online marketing, and one of the best ways of doing this is through user-generated content. Followers should be encouraged to share brand-related content on the company’s website as well as social media. Content such as unboxing videos, product reviews, tutorials, etc. are a great way of providing real proof of use for products. It helps build the confidence of other customers in the brand.
Users can be promoted to share such content by giving them simple incentives, such as a gift card for posting a piece of content. This can be a very worthwhile investment for companies.
Build an Influencer Network
Influencer marketing is a way of online marketing where companies work with someone who has a significant online presence to advertise their brand to that person’s followers. This can be done in many ways – a branded post on an influencer’s blog, having the influencer share a photo of them using the company’s product, or even having a live branded session with the influencer. Another great way is to host a branded charity stream with an influencer, as it is good marketing and it also shares a good social message.
The first step for such marketing is to identify the influencer the company wants to work with. This should be someone who is closely aligned with the company’s interests and values. Influencer database tools like Upfluence can be very helpful for this.
Once potential influencers have been identified, the company must build a professional working relationship with them. Engagement with the influencer is necessary before contacting them with an offer to do a branding deal. Influencers will be much more likely to engage with a company for a deal if that company has taken the first step to engage with its content.
These are a few of the many possibilities provided by online marketing and are a great stepping-off point for companies who want to build an online brand presence.
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BY - SHIVALIK CHANDAN