So before we get started, what is the function of branding and why is it so valuable to your business? It is simple really: Branding in a nutshell is about building a greater awareness for your business. Branding also refers to a key set of strategies that influence the behaviour of your customers and impact the overall image and value of your brand too.
In order for you to gain advantage in the marketplace you’ll need to develop a high value brand, a great market position and a clear corporate identity. An excellent way of doing so is through the influence of online marketing. Online branding is a technique that allows you to position your brand in a globally accessible marketplace – in this day and age it is paramount that a company has an online presence in order to succeed.
1 – Define your objectives by understanding your audience
Before you begin you’ll need to decide exactly what it is that you hope to achieve with your brand, but before you can do that you have to understand your audience. Understanding your target audience will not only help you set realistic goals for your brand but you’ll also be able to target your marketing campaigns appropriately by being able to identify exactly what your audiences needs are.
When you research your target audience there are a few things that you must bear in mind:
• What are the demographics?
• Are your products or services gender specific?
• Is there a specific age group or can you target people of all ages?
• What will their interests be? Are you selling to specific type of person?
Once you’ve identified these key areas you will be able to choose your objectives and set yourself realistic and achievable targets. You must ensure that your goals are specific, realistic, achievable, measurable and timed.
2 – You need a voice! Give your brand a personality
In order for your target audience to be able to relate and identify with your brand then it must have a personality. If you’re not speaking the same language as your target audience then they will definitely not get the message! Social networking is one of the most valuable ways of gaining exposure, though in order to do so effectively you must ensure that your brand appears to be friendly, non-intrusive and approachable.
3 – Create unique and exciting content
If you truly want to succeed and gain advantage in the marketplace then you’ll need to be covering all areas! Companies have realised that creating a blog for their website is one of the most effective ways of building trust with their customers and another great way of connecting with them too.
Creating unique and relevant content is also an incredibly viable way of building more exposure for your business through improving your ranking on various search engines. You must ensure to be sharing unique, exciting, original and useful material! Keep it entertaining and informative and you’re customers will keep coming back for more!
4 – Never stop making connections if you want to continue branching out
Social media is one of the most powerful tools that any company can use! Through this social medium you are able to connect with people from all over the world and it is a fantastic way of increasing your awareness and giving your brand a recognisable and approachable personality
By gaining more fans and followers online you’ll be significantly increasing your chances of reaching more prospects. If you promote your presence on social media platforms through your blog and website you can increase the odds of people following you. All of the major social media platforms have some form of “follow” button that can be linked to your social networking account and website.
It is a snowballing effect that will benefit you in an exponential fashion. A great way to get the ball rolling is to start making connections with people of influence within your industry. For example if you are selling protein and other natural supplementary products you may wish to engage certain role models in the industry by retweeting popular athletes – it is also very important to engage your audience and ask questions!
5 – Optimise your website appropriately – Making a strong first impression is essential
Branding is all about how your audience perceives you as a business. In order to keep your clients coming back you need to make a strong first impression. Having a well optimised and aesthetically appealing website is one of the most influential ways of making a great first impression. If your website is attractive, easy to navigate and clearly defines your brands personality then you will surely be able to start building a stronger following.
It is also very important to ensure that your website is thoroughly optimised for search engines. Search Engine Optimisation or (SEO) is a form of online marketing that implements strategies and tactics that naturally increase your rankings and can significantly increase your overall brand awareness – it takes time so you must look at branding as a marathon – You will not achieve instant results in a day though with some careful planning coupled with a well thought out strategy you can achieve anything!