Any business that wants to thrive in today’s digital environment needs online branding much more than ever. Branding has transited from colourful designs, taking up space on the internet with myriads of advertisement, and following the latest digital trends making the news.
Today, it is carefully aimed at attracting the right customers for the brand’s products while delivering efficient customer service in the process. When a brand doesn’t complete its responsibility of serving its customers, it would have failed woefully.
A business will experience reduced competitiveness, inaccessible products and services, customer confusion, and dissatisfaction when it doesn’t have a powerful brand name. A brand name resonates with the customers and acts as a clarion call.
What Is Online Branding?
Online branding is a brand management technique that depends on the world wide web and social media channels as a medium for installing a brand in the marketplace. Branding has gained higher value with the advancements of the internet as more businesses have leveraged social media and search engines.
Hence, website(s), search engine marketing, mobile content, social media, rich media, e-commerce, email marketing and more are crucial efforts to help a company brand itself online.
What are the Key Factors Responsible for Online Branding?
When building an online brand, there are certain key factors you must properly address to succeed in this line of work. These key factors include:
Competitor analysis is an essential aspect of any brand process that separates images, messaging, and approach. With so many digital tools available, analyzing your competitors is easier than ever. From searching online, sampling apps, to experiencing website UX and subscribing to their emails, competitor analysis is more open than ever before.
All competitor analysis grant you necessary data not limited to:
- Converting social media platforms
- The competitiveness for key search terms amongst competitors
- Huge Content Strategy
- Online Value Propositions
As a brand, your competitors are constantly watching every move you make – matching your prices, checking your content, and sending crawlers to your website.
The goal of branding is to help the customer make the best choices regarding different products and services. All businesses consider the place of gender, income, and the problem the product solves in the customer’s life.It’s both an opportunity and a challenge for these businesses to build these brands.
A brand’s connection with its audience will always deliver either a good or bad experience. For example, you can easily walk into a local store for some package food items wherein you pay at the counter. If you’re dissatisfied with your purchase, you can always return them.
Brand identity simply connotes a logo, a visual marker, and some focused types of colouring. Indeed, there’s a lot more, but these are most things that draw a customer. These characteristics can create interest, curiosity, affinity, and connections.
By constantly communicating these icons, your customers register them as your brand identity. An identity that delivers an emotion or a state of mind based on your perception, or positive or negative experience you may have had.
In creating an identity, ensuring it is easy to spell and label is a vital aspect. For example, Twitter has a simple logo of a bird with a dominant blue colour.
Messaging is a vital aspect of the online branding process. Including certain support, the product, service, or customer value are essentially what enables customers to get their requests granted within a small period.
Using the best practices in terms of brand messaging and then delivering online is a popular notion amongst many brands.
Beyond the top-level brand messages, each structure must deliver consistent levels of information, and an ongoing narrative with its audiences throughout the hierarchies of messaging to support the brand.
Digital media have given brands exciting opportunities to show, sell, share and deliver their products online. In branding processes, they uniquely define products in terms of their key messaging and top-level display in line with the brand image and positioning of the company.
Brands must then decide on the right mix of tactics to use, based on the product’s brand position, to fulfill and exceed customer expectations, differentiate the products from their competitors, and aid conversion.
When building a brand, your location is just as important. You need to answer key questions such as where your customers will leave, what your customers will like.
However, when you build a business online, its location loses relevance because the business is not in total control of its audience and its location. Although you might be running a local diner, listing your shop on google my business can change your fortunes immediately.
The business location usually comes into play when a brand wants to go international. However, if you’re running a small business, it’s best to stick to what works.
How individuals in an organization understand and deliver the brand promises is vital to making the brand work. The overall behaviour and understanding are all part of the brand delivery process. And to get the right people to follow this, demands you train them thoroughly.
By seeing, hearing, and reading about key members of the management or customer service team, customers may wish to check the history and credibility of the management team or find out more about a person they met to improve their investigation.
What Are the Advantages of Online Branding?
Mastering online branding is essential in the internet age for a successful business, and when you consider the advantages it offers your business, you would take advantage of this opportunity. Therefore, some advantages of online branding include:
Building Brand Alliance
Online branding accommodates different brand positioning and marketing strategies that differentiate not only separately branded products but also draw together endorser brands. For example, affiliate marketing websites are a perfect example of such linking between the eCommerce stores and another database.
Considering the economic implications of the convergence of technology, online branding presents a worthy the opportunity for businesses and companies to develop brands alliances and networks to increase the brand influence.
Reinforcing Customer Relationship
The Internet is an efficient branding tool used by a lot of businesses as it presents a plethora of ways to promote a business. Constant activities and communication make it quite easy for a business to communicate its brand message while dealing directly with the customers.
Since brand knowledge and familiarity are two of the biggest factors that influence the purchase decision of customers, creating quality online branding can establish closer customer connections with brands and strengthen customer loyalty and relationship.
Diversifying Brand Meaning
Online branding helps a business communicate with customers directly while granting an opportunity to collate customer information to establish a database of customer purchase patterns. The segmentation of the customers into specific groups with specific needs even offers better-customized services.
Hence, the customization and targeting of smaller groups may generate a diversity of experience with the same brand. The same brands have different meanings for distinct groups of customers.
What are the Challenges of Online Branding?
Building a brand online comes with its challenges. While a few might be technical, most of them would be fundamental. But for this context, it will concentrate the focus on these major challenges that include:
The internet is an environment replete with information regarding different subject areas of life, business, technology, innovation, etc. Because of the wide scope it gives businesses, branding is an important way for customers to better identify the businesses.
These businesses introduce all forms of online marketing and branding to ensure their customers remain loyal to them while creating strategies to lure customers away from their competitors or to get those who have found a trustworthy brand.
Management of Diverse Communication Channels
Online branding cuts across the most popular social media platforms with different websites or mobile applications. As a growing business, you need to ensure the consistency of the branding content across these channels.
Furthermore, it is also a challenge for the company to find and solve the complaint comments on brands in time, minimizing the negative effect.
Building an Online Brand Through Social Media
Social media has its own algorithms and techniques that anyone who seeks to build social media presence must implement. There won’t be any need to focus on the whole functionalities as you’ll learn three unique strategies to help you that include:
Engage With Your Audience
Maintaining an active account by posting lots of updates is vital for online branding. And it is a good alternative to blowing up advertisements non-stop about your brand. So this poses an interesting question for you, what should you be doing to stay active in your social networks? Well, simply get engaged with your audience, of course.
The dilemma most times would be the choice of a social media platform wherein you can remain active (especially when you don’t have a huge team). Well, you can learn how to choose the right social media platform for your business after you have read this stellar article.
Have Constant Brand Image
One of the most vital aspects of branding is keeping a consistent image across all of your online properties. This will make it easier for a person irrespective of the path they take while looking through your properties so they will always know it is your brand. For example, someone might:
- Discover your fan page through a friend’s activity stream and then trace it to your webpage
- See a tweet from a follower, visit your Twitter profile, and then move to your webpage
- Start at your website, then click on your social media icons to see how much engagement you’re getting
Just like you wouldn’t want pages on your website to have their own unique teams, you will want your social profiles to perform similarly.
Help Individuals Find Your Profile
If finding you gets tasking for your customers, they might switch to something easier. But you would want to avoid that as much as you can, hence, you need to be very visible.
Being this visible means that you will introduce certain functionalities to your profile which will help them identify you from a search. These functionalities include:
- Put Social Icons on Your Website: Let customers or prospects to your website know you are engaging with your audience on social media actively by adding social icons to your website design. You should include them in common places like the header/menu bar, sidebar, and footer. They don’t have to be large and in charge, but they have to be visibly attractive.
- Put Social Links in Your Communications: If you use email marketing a lot, then you should introduce social links to your email signature. Similarly, you can implement this action if you send newsletters or any form of document.
- Make Your Profiles Search Friendly: Whenever someone searches for your brand name + Instagram, your Instagram handle should show up in the search results. If that isn’t the case, there’s a sure way to fix it. Simply, ensure that the name of your social profile (and the username if possible) matches your brand name. You might be tempted to keyword optimize your profiles instead of optimizing them for your brand name—this is something you need to resist.
Online branding gives you that unique presence in the marketplace that makes it easy for your customers and prospects to identify your business on any platform wherein they see an advertisement or a sort of publication.
Determining your key factors such as competitors, products, online messaging, and competitors would help you structure an online presence easily. And although excessive information is a big demerit to branding, the ability to create brand alliances poses an immense advantage.
Online branding is tough and can take a lot of money out of your pocket when you don’t do it professionally and keep making mistakes. You can actually avoid losing time and money when you introduce the right professionals to help you.
Start by booking a free consultation session with us today by clicking “I want a Free Consultation Session”, so we can help you set up your brand online for optimal success.