3 Tips for Improving Your Online Branding
Branding your business can seem like an intimidating prospect at first, but it doesn’t have to be! While it is true that physical branding materials (business cards, signs, etc) can be expensive, there is one place that you can often brand your business with fewer expenses if things are managed well: the internet. No longer the domain of the big companies alone, the internet is a place where businesses of all sizes have an opportunity to brand themselves any time, day or night.
In order to brand your business online you need to know where to start. We have put together 5 tips for you that should help you improve your online branding even if you’re just starting out.
1 – Understand Branding
In order to improve your online branding you first need to understand just what branding is and what it does. If you are just starting out branding your business online you will also want to know more about doing so before you worry about improving upon it.
- Branding is so much more than just the name of your business, the logo you use, or the colors of your website. A brand is a philosophy, a methodology, and a mission all rolled into one. It is how you present yourself to the world.
- Branding is value. Your brand will impact how valuable your brand is, both in reality and in the minds of your target market. With the right branding strategy behind it, a business can build upon the existing value of something they offer, be it a product, a service, or the idea of a certain experience.
- Branding is persuasive. Your brand can help persuade someone to interact with your brand, and perhaps even purchase your products.
The difference between actual value and perceived value is the result of good branding.
2 – Be Consistent…Always
Consistency is vital to improving your online branding. The purpose of branding yourself online is to enable people to recognize your business and tell it apart from others in your market. If your branding is not consistent, how can someone know for sure that they are in the right place? Nothing closes a wallet faster than uncertainty when someone is shopping online. If you are not sure where we’re going with this, think of it this way: Consistency in branding is all about getting your message right and then repeating it over and over again in ways that are appropriate to the medium/platform you are using, i.e. Twitter, Facebook, etc.
- Your profiles need to be consistent. When your business joins a social networking site you are creating a point of interaction between your business and your customers. One of the most identifiable elements of your profiles is your username. If at all possible, brand your profiles with the name of your business. If this is taken, try getting creative and adding an action word before your business name, i.e. visit, buy, shop, etc.
- Make sure the images on your various profiles are following the same theme, or just use the same images exactly to create a feeling of consistency and unity. This is especially true of your logo which needs to be easily recognizable, distinct, and uniform across your entire online presence.
- Having a consistent “voice” for your brand is also important. Is your brand’s image friendly? Funny? Professional? Provocative? Knowing this will help you keep this the same across all of your profiles and platforms, especially if you have more than one person in charge of your general customer interactions via social media.
3 – Brand Your Main Idea
Is there an idea, emotion, or concept that embodies qualities you want to associate with your brand? If so, take action! The real beauty of branding comes when you are able to pair your business with something your market can really connect with.
Some brands enjoy great success because they have managed to associate themselves with things many people want to have in their lives such as wealth, luxury, action, adventure, etc. Don’t worry about having to be too direct about it either; a lot of big-name brands like Apple, Nike, and Adidas have been very successful at branding more abstract concepts for themselves.
This final tip is the big one; if you can succeed at branding an idea online, you have your hands on what some people call the ultimate marketing strategy!
How do you brand your business online?
Do you use any of these tips?