Whether you have a well-established business or have just ventured into establishing a startup, online branding for your business is crucial to its success. These days, customers expect their favourite brands and products to be on the internet, where they can be easily accessed, compared with the competitors, and have orders placed for their products and services online.
So what is online branding? What steps does a business take to build its brand online? Explore all this and more in the following sections.
Online branding is the process by which a company or brand builds its identity on the internet via a website or social media platform. By establishing its brand online, a company digitally avails itself to both its existing and potential customers, so the customers can interact with the company, ask questions and get responses, and have a meaningful and pleasant customer experience.
In today's technological era, if you do not have an online presence, it will be difficult to build brand awareness and customer loyalty. Competitors can easily overtake your business in the market due to the lack of online presence.
Building your brand online involves several steps to help you build a strong identity for your business on the internet. You can customise these steps according to your business goals and requirements. These online branding solutions will allow you to stand out among the competitors and help you establish your brand’s reputation online.
The first step of starting a new business or building your online brand is to understand your target audience and competitors. You’ll need to focus on competitors that are successful in the niche that you are targeting as well as their products. What makes their business successful? What have they done to make people buy their products? These are some questions that you can ask yourself while researching your competitors. Here are some tips that can help with your research:
Search for your own products and niche online, and analyse all the relevant competitors that show up.
Chat with your current and potential customers and get information about their preferences.
Check your competitors' relevant social media platforms to see how they carry out their content marketing efforts.
Check the social media pages that your existing and potential customers follow.
Test the buying process yourself to get an idea about how your customers feel when shopping over the internet.
In addition, you can use our competitor analysis guide to help you conduct your research.
Your business name is permanent so it is best to consider one carefully before you invest in starting your business. A good name will bring a positive impact to your business while a wrong name will fail to resonate with your consumers. Choosing a good name is crucial for building an online brand as it helps in your marketing efforts. The name should possess some qualities:
It should not be similar to your competitors' names, so it won’t be confused with some other company.
It should be hard to imitate and possess a personality of its own.
The name should be easy to pronounce and remember.
Cross-check how a foreign speaker will pronounce the brand and make sure it does not have another meaning in a different language.
The next step is to create your business slogan. This slogan should be short, catchy, and brief, in which you can use it as a tagline on your business cards, social media platforms, and website. Ideally, it should encapsulate your business ethos.
After creating the slogan, you will have to choose the colours and fonts for the design of your company’s logo. Your company’s logo represents your brand and will appear on multiple online platforms and business cards. It is the face of a company, hence, it should be unique and identifiable. A logo can be an image, text, or a combination of both. Walmart is an example of a company’s logo that has its name and image placed side by side. An eye-catching logo increases the possibility of people recognising your brand by 80%, according to a Forbes study.
Colours are an essential element of building an online brand since they evoke feelings and convey certain messages. Different colours are associated with different emotions and tones. Red is often associated with danger, love, and passion, while Yellow is seen as youthful, creative and adventurous. You should select those colours that best resonate with your brand to create a strong identity in which customers can immediately associate with.
Similar to colours, fonts evoke emotions. Different fonts will set different kinds of tone to your intended message. Cursive fonts are associated with elegance and femininity, while novelty fonts are meant to be eye-catching and quirky. Make sure to choose fonts that are readable so your audience understands the message.
Creating and managing a company website is another essential component of online brand identity. After all, it is where you can display your complete product range, tell customers about your business, and offer them a fantastic online shopping experience. Be sure to make your website an easy one to navigate. A poorly designed site that is difficult to navigate will drive away potential customers.
When customers search for relevant products, a well-designed website that does not appear in the first few pages of a search engine’s results is not optimal. A website has to be SEO optimizsed in order for Google or other search engines to recognise it as relevant. Add content that is relevant and consistent across all pages. The website should have internal and external links, citations, and SEO optimised content.
No one can deny the importance of social media in online branding. Social media presence is essential for branding your business online. You can employ an omnichannel marketing approach using multiple social media platforms to offer customers an enhanced and integrated experience. Ensure that your content is consistent across all platforms so that your customers can conveniently switch from one platform to another without hassle.
Although social media marketing is the most efficient form of online brand promotion, there are other ways to market your business. This includes email marketing, blogging, and endorsements from influencers. When you employ an integrated online brand marketing approach, the chances of reaching your exact target audience multiplies. You can then boost your sales and increase conversion rates.
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