In today’s modern market place, where 90% of buying decisions are based on internet research, it has never been more important to ensure that you have built up a strong and reputable brand for your business online – one which is going to do you justice when your prospects and clients go online in search of the products and services you provide.
Your online brand is there for the world to see 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, all year long so you need to make sure it is promoting your company in the right way and helping to generate solid leads for your business day in and day out. Here are my top tips for helping to build your brand on the internet.
1. What does your website say about you?
Your website is usually your prospects first point of contact with you so you need to make sure they get the right first impression from the layout, design and content that you have on your site.
If your website is professionally designed, user-friendly and really SELLS your products and services to the user then you are much more likely to keep them on your site and encourage them to engage with you online – which is the whole purpose of having a website in the first place!
Make your website as much of a brand as you would with your storefront or head offices. Your website not only needs to sell your products and services, but it also needs to sell you as a company, and the benefits of choosing you as their provider.
2. Creating thought-leadership content for you and your company
Your online presence leaves a digital footprint and shapes the perception that others have of you when searching for you, your company or your products and services on the internet.
It is so important when your prospects first encounter you online that you make the right impression, and the more exposure they have of you the more this relationship is strengthened and refined – which is why producing a wealth of thought-leadership content which brands you and your company as industry leaders in your field is crucial to helping build your brand online.
The content you choose to produce can be anything from articles, videos and blog posts to tweets, Facebook updates and any comments or discussions you have produced in forums. Every time you post or say something online you’re leaving a breadcrumb trail leading back to you. So producing great quality content really is the name of the game and can really help you to build a solid brand for yourself and your company online.
3. Build your brand through your company blog
Having your own personal blog or company blog gives you a sandbox where you can collect and share resources and information, as well as your own personal insights and vision – which all help towards building your brand on the internet.
Setting up a blog is a really easy process, but it’s also one where you can easily waste a lot of time and energy on unimportant details if you are unsure of exactly what you are doing. The easiest way to get started is by opening a free account with one of the many free blogging sites available on the internet such as Blogger or WordPress.
Through your personal or company blog you can provide your prospects and clients with further information about your business and valuable content about your industry – helping to build your brand as an expert and industry leader in your field.
4. Get social to build your brand
It’s no secret that the social media revolution is firmly upon us now and with so many social networking sites to build your brand and promote your business there has never been a better time to get social and get connected to the huge network of social media users online today.
Facebook now has over 955 million users, Twitter has around 500 million users and LinkedIn has over 175 million users to date – so are you starting to see the potential yet? These millions of users could all be potential customers and clients for you and your business if you approach social media in the right way and build a social brand that will help to support your overall online presence.
Through social media you can give a very personal tone to a corporate brand, by engaging with people and encouraging them to interact with you and your company as a whole online. Retweet some of your followers on Twitter, connect with them on Facebook or LinkedIn, comment on other industry blogs and grow your online network in the process.
The more approachable an online brand seems, the more likely people are to engage with them and this will put you ahead of others in your field who have not yet managed to harness the power and infinite reach that social media has across the world.
About the Author: Sean McPheat is a serial entrepreneur and Managing Director of MTD Sales Training, who have delivered sales and management training to over 2,000 different organisations around the world and to over 50,000 staff.
Sean’s weekly email tips go out to over 60,000 people interested in sales and management, and his MTD Sales Blog is visited by 5,000 people each week.
Download Sean’s free sales course and improve your sales skills and effectiveness.