While most marketers are more focused on sales-related activities online such as running a PPC campaign and social media ads, many have already discounted the great value of using the same platforms to build their brand presence online.
Because of the massive surge of new digital technologies over the past decade, the way consumer interacts with brands have also changed. Today, a simple flick on a smartphone could mean a hundred-dollar purchase from someone who is just casually browsing his social media profile, or on the opposite end, taint the reputation of a brand due to inappropriate online content.
Depending on how you use it, the digital realm can bring your business to both success and failure. But one thing for sure: your business will slowly be buried in the competition if you fail to take advantage of it to establish a stronger brand presence today.
To help you out, we will discuss in this post the step by step process that you should take in building your brand’s digital presence today.
1. Make Sure Your Website Represents Your Brand Identity
Because 93% of online experience starts with a search, there is a good chance that a user will encounter your brand first through your website than any other online channels.
That being said, it is extremely important to leave a good brand impression to your audience the first time they visit your website – this includes your content, overall design, as well as technical factors such as site speed (because you don’t want your audience to think of your brand as incapable of delivering solutions on time)
Remember, most of your visitors may only spend a very short amount of time on your website before deciding whether to continue browsing or go back to search results. That means you’ve only got a few seconds to show to your visitors who you are, what you do, and why they should buy from you.
To make sure your website reflects your brand identity, consider the following steps:
- Start with the color scheme
If you already have an established color scheme for your brand, then you should definitely use those colors on your website. If not, then you should choose colors which embody your brand’s values and mirror the exact tone you want to strike. Check out this blog post to know more about color schemes in web design.
Example: Striking and Simple Color Scheme
- Be consistent with your web design
Although it may be quite tempting to just let your creative mind go wild and make every page of your website looks different, it is best to keep their design consistent throughout your website in order to strengthen your brand in your visitor’s mind. Repetition exposes your brand to your audience at an extended period, which means they retain information about your brand even after they leave your site and easily recognize it the next time they encounter it – both on online and offline.
- Use the right images
Many business owners often overlook the importance of using the right images on the website to promote their brand. According to science, the human brain processes images 60,000 times faster than it does text. Moreover, 93% of all human communication is visual. This is why high-quality, relevant images are a very important component of a website because it helps to communicate to your customers exactly what you do or selling. Check out this post to for tips in selecting the right images for your website.
Example: A right image that represents the message and the product.
- Set the tone
Knowing what to say to your customers is one thing, knowing how to say it is another. In most cases, it is on how you set the tone of your content that will influence your target audience’s perception of your brand, so it’s extremely important you get it right.
If you want to position your brand as friendly and approachable, then you should go for an informal voice. If you want to inject authority and expertise, you should use more formal language. To know more about the tone of voice for digital content, check out this blog post.
2. Use Videos to Tell Your Brand Story
One way to speed up the growth of your brand presence online is to use videos. Why? Because 55% of people consume video content thoroughly and 43% of people want to see more video content from marketers in the next years.
More and more people watch videos about products and services they are interests in and decide to purchase them because they watched the video. But beyond selling, you can also use video to tell powerful brand stories that create relationships and establishes an emotional connection with your audience.
You don’t have to be a film expert to create a video that triggers this response. When creating your own video for brand storytelling, consider the following actions:
- Use the “Show, Don’t Tell” Technique
The “Show, Don’t Tell” technique is an approach used by many story writers where they enable the readers to see what’s happening on the story rather than telling them upfront. This approach is very effective s it takes advantage of the audience’s imagination.
To learn more about this technique, check out this post.
- Tell Your Story Through Transparency
Although you want to appeal to your audience’s imagination and emotion, you should ensure that your story should only convey what is true. If your video is only based on a fictitious story, then make sure that your audience knows that it’s not true so as to prevent any backlash. Claiming a story coming from a real customer to be true even if it’s not will not only ruin your marketing campaign but can badly damage your brand image as well.
Example: Taylor Guitars, a brand that practices transparency.
- Showcase Your Personality
The number one challenge that you will face in the video is standing out from your competitors. What you can do to address this issue is to showcase the personality of your brand in a way that is relatable and memorable.
If you have someone who looks charismatic in front of a camera, then let him take the mic and speak about what your business do and what you can offer. You can also let your audience take a glimpse of what’s behind the curtain by shooting some footage inside your office or manufacturing plant to show how your business creates a valuable product.
Example: Dollar Shave Club, a brand that showcases personality through humor
3. Create Content
Perhaps the most important one, creating content is the most effective way to strengthen and expand your presence online. Whether it’s a blog, social media post, website, or email, content immensely helps you create the brand personality you want your audience to perceive.
There are a lot of content formats to choose from, but the following are the new ones that you should try out this year.
- Data Journalism
Data journalism takes in an investigative approach by combining data to find an interesting story or repurpose a story in a new way. Using data for content marketing not only educates the readers but also catches the attention of publishers who are interested in sharing original research and new insights with their audience.
Example of Data Journalism
Source: Careers in Public Health
As stated earlier, human processes information much faster than texts. Infographics are so popular right now because they are easier to digest than reading a data-packed report. To learn more why you should use infographics today, check out this post.
Example of an Infographic
- Evergreen Content
Evergreen content is a content that does not get out of date, always appears “fresh” and “timeless”, and lastly very useful and relevant to readers. It is a great way to position your brand as a thought leader in your industry and be a trusted resource for your audience. Check out this post to know how to create an evergreen content today.
4. Incorporate Social Media in Your Branding Strategy
Many people nowadays spend a significant amount of their time on social, which present a great opportunity for businesses who want to expand their brand reach online. However, it is important that you fully understand the pros and cons of each platform, who uses them, and how to engage with these users properly.
When planning to use social media for your branding campaign, here are the essential things that you should know:
- Choose the network that supports your brand image
There are numerous social networks out there, so it is up to you to find out which these are worth investing your time and energy. That said, here are several factors you need to consider when choosing the platform for your branding campaign:
- Facebook is by far the best platform for promoting brand awareness, as it has the most number of users worldwide. Because of its diverse user base, it is considered the greatest platform for promoting virtually any brand.
- Instagram is a great option for brands that rely heavily on images, such as clothing companies and restaurants.
- Google+, although hasn’t taken off as well, can be a great platform for people in the technology industry.
- Pinterest is the perfect social network for brands who want to appeal to women, such as jewelry or clothing companies.
- LinkedIn is the best choice for promoting business-related content with other business influencers.
- Share valuable and shareable content
Social media is a great venue to showcase some of your winning blogs and articles. You can also share contents from other sources such as memes and how-guides, but you have to make sure that they support your brand image. Here’s a blog that will provide you some tips when sharing content on social media.
Example: Jimmy John’s, a brand that knows how to use a meme right
- Take advantage of influencers
If you have a relatively unknown brand, leveraging the power of influencers is a great way to boost your brand presence on social media. Although you can build your own readership through producing great content, influencers allow you to expand your brand reach significantly, helping you to maximize your content mileage. To know how to use influencers to your advantage, check out this post.
To learn more about you can effectively promote your brand in social media, check out this post as well.
These are steps that you should keep in mind when building your brand’s digital presence. Follow these steps and your brand will surely gain prominence in the online world in 2017 and beyond.