Brand-building remains critical for business success, and the Internet has become an essential part of any modern company’s brand creation. By harnessing the resources available online, businesses can reach more people than ever before. Here are seven tips for building an online brand identity.
1. Use Social Networking Platforms
With social media sites, companies can reach more consumers at a personal level than in the past. These sites enable business owners to create fan pages, answer questions and even point potential customers to main websites. In many cases, targeted ad campaigns can be designed with the use of valuable demographics information.
2. Track Online Actions
To ensure that online ad campaigns, designs and interactions are effective, business owners should utilize tracking services. These can range from basic information on site visitors to more complex information on demographics and results. Several companies offer comprehensive tracking services that keep businesses updated on the success of their online branding efforts.
3. Invest in Quality Design Work
Using low-quality design work on a logo and website could cost big when it comes to consumer response. For best results, businesses should work with experienced web designers and have a logo created with web use in mind. A company’s website should be designed with consistent usage of colors and form that match the company logo. Social networking pages open up additional opportunities for professional design, letting savvy business owners stand out in the crowd.
One of the biggest advantages of hiring a professional designer is the professional expression of company purpose. For example, a dentist’s office would benefit from a dental logo design that takes its role in the community into account. By contrast, an amateur designer might not understand how to visually convey certain aspects of the business in order to create a logo that appeals to the target market.
4. Keep The Website Updated
In today’s market, nearly all consumers visit company websites before doing business with them. If a site features outdated design, old information or bad links, it reflects poorly on the company. In many cases, visitors will simply hit the back button and find an up-to-date website that works properly. To prevent this from happening, a site should be maintained continually so that it reflects the professionalism that the company would convey offline.
5. Work with Online Media
Press releases can work just as well online as offline, but the Internet also holds many more opportunities for media exposure. Applications for quotation by media, guest blogging and YouTube interview appearances are just a few of the effective ways businesses can develop their brands with the help of online media.
6. Post on Forums
Popular discussion forums are valuable for exposure to other posters and visitors from search engine results. Companies can create profiles at forums, answer questions and participate in discussions, developing a positive image that is invaluable for branding purposes. In many cases, website links can be placed in forum signatures as well, resulting in increased interest and more business.
7. Reputation Management
While the Internet opens up many opportunities for positive exposure, it also makes it easy for competitors to create smear campaigns. For a fee, companies can hire reputation management firms, which will monitor online postings and reviews for falsehoods that may be damaging to business. If problems are discovered, steps can be taken to resolve the issues before they catapult into something much worse.
With more and more consumers using online methods to conduct research, search for businesses, shop and more, it is becoming essential that all modern small business owners create an online presence that fits in with the overall marketing objective of the company. Effective online branding will allow a company to send the right message to its customers across the web while effectively conducting reputation management.
About the Author: Ebele Okocha is a business consultant with an interest in startups and small business. She is also a contributing author for Logomojo, a company which can deliver a one-of-a-kind dental logo design, and high-resolution, personalized branding and design services for all types of businesses. Logomojo offers its clients the opportunity to work directly with in-house, expert designers to develop fully custom, exceptional quality logos that stand out in a crowd.