In today’s competitive market, business success depends on your ability to connect with your audience. To make that connection, you must cultivate a strong brand presence online.
The following 5 fundamental tips will help you position your brand effectively online:
Know Thyself: Carve Out a Distinctive Identity
Unlike marketing, which describes what you do to attract customers, branding is all about who you are. So, the secret to successful branding lies in the strategic personification of your business. Ultimately, you want people to relate to your business as though it were a friend or family member—you want people to like and respect you.
Before you can connect with your customers, you must establish a clear sense of self. Who are you exactly? What is your brand personality? Are you serious and authoritative? Or playful and warm? Your brand identity affects the type of people who are drawn to you and how they engage with you.
Related Article: Why is a Personal Brand Important?
When your business has an authentic brand personality, it should shine through in your online voice. Your online brand identity should not be a carbon replica of your closest competitor—be unique, be yourself. In the digital sphere, imitation doesn’t win hearts and minds—innovation and authenticity do.
Find Your Tribe: Target the Right Audience
Before the digital age, customers were just that: passive, faceless individuals whose sole purpose (in the eyes of marketers) was to buy. In creating new interactive platforms, the Internet has revolutionized the dynamic between businesses and their customers.
Customers are now more than customers; they are community members. In a competitive online marketplace, it is essential to build an engaged community around your brand.
Once you’ve worked out who you are, think about who belongs in your tribe. Who will appreciate your unique brand personality? Who’s unlikely to buy into your particular worldview? Who needs your services? Many businesses fail to address these questions and, consequently, become so broadly focused that they connect with nobody and sell nothing.
To reach your target audience, you must understand your customer base. Knowing their demographics, such as age, income, interests and location, will help you determine who to target online and where you’re most likely to find them. If your business offers retirement services, you’re unlikely to connect with your tribe on Instagram, where 90 percent of the users are under 35.
Think of Your Website as a Clubhouse
To strengthen your brand online, think of your website as a clubhouse, a desirable place where like-minded people congregate and learn from each other.
Everything about your website should be clear, informative and compelling. A dull or clunky website can deter your tribe from finding the clubhouse. Break down digital barriers, such as complicated navigation, wherever you can. Give visitors something worth talking about and sharing with their friends.
Don’t just cross your fingers and hope that people will stick around on your website; incentivize their visit. Engage your tribe with a compelling Call-To-Action, whether it be the promise of a pertinent newsletter or access to exclusive content. Make visitors feel like they are being treated to a Members-Only experience.
Don’t Be Anti-Social
The rise of social media has created a perfect storm for effective online brand building. When done right, social media interaction makes loyal customers, advocates, and sometimes evangelists, out of those who buy.
The days of launching a product in the marketplace and simply telling people to buy it are a thing of the past. A successful modern business does much more than tally transactions; it builds robust relationships.
The key to strengthening those relationships is remarkably simple: be sociable. The neighbor who keeps to himself and never engages with anyone is never the most popular guy on the street. The same goes for your business.
If you don’t engage with people, your brand will flounder. If you open up the lines of communication and make a genuine effort to engage people in conversation, your brand will flourish. An authentic, accessible brand identity is a magnet for wary consumers. As long as a brand ‘treats them right,’ people really do learn to like and even love certain brands.
He Said, She Said: The Power of Reviews
You might have a compelling pitch to convince customers that you are wonderful, but endorsements from objective, independent parties will ultimately speak louder to your tribe. In an increasingly competitive digital landscape, the almighty review has become more coveted than gold.
Reviews and testimonials are a democratic way for your tribe to discover you and consolidate your brand reputation. Most business owners dread negative reviews. But all consumer feedback, both negative and positive, can help businesses. Encouraging feedback demonstrates a brand’s capacity to respond to customer needs, which in turn leads to more conversions and higher click-through rates.
Online reviews can help search engines direct traffic to your site. Google claims that companies with review-based ratings experience a significant rise in click-through rates, compared to those without ratings. It’s been estimated that three in four consumers have clicked through to a website after seeing its review on social media.
Author: Nital Shah is the founding director & COO at Uplers Solutions with more than 8+ years of experience under his belt in this field and a profound level of expertise in search strategies, planning and management. He has served big corporate brands of Australia, with Uplers the winner of the All Star Summit of 2015. He is a talented and motivated individual who likes to keep everyone around him happy and content. Nital can be contacted here Twitter.