Online branding is your company’s reputation on the Internet. How do potential online customers perceive you and what you do or the products or services you offer? By looking at your website, can a potential customer or client tell what you offer or the products you are selling? Why should a customer choose you as opposed to another company offering a similar product or service? What separates you from your competition? If you can’t answer these questions, perhaps you should re-evaluate your online brand. Certainly, if it’s not clear to you, it’s not clear to the general public. A confused or bewildered customer will quickly go elsewhere to do business. You have only a matter of seconds to capture their imagination and interest. Is your website capable of doing that? These are all important questions you must answer as a business owner.
If you’re not sure ask yourself some simple questions:
- in three words what do I offer?
- what am I selling?
- is there a compelling interest in my product or service?
If you don’t know or are unsure, you should consult with a web marketing consultant who can guide you through the process of online branding.
The internet provides your audience with many options. Are you prepared to attract them to your brand through the use of targeted keywords, compelling web content.
Online branding should be part of your overall public relations strategy. This is your opportunity to inform potential customers about you and the products or services you can provide them. It’s also your opportunity to persuade them through good content that you are the one with whom they should do business. It’s also your opportunity to gain their trust by offering valuable information about your industry. A blog is an excellent way in which to continue to communicate with your potential customers and solidify your online brand. Just as in traditional public relations, online branding is all about communication and good relationships. If you’re perceived as the expert or the one with the best product or service, customers will flock to you.
Two key aspects of online branding that are different from a traditional public relations campaign include the use of link building strategies and social media. Link building strategies are very similar to a traditional networking campaign. You will be known by those with whom you associate. In other words, you want to make sure you link to other websites that are reputable and relevant to your core business. This builds your online community and furthers your web reputation in your particular industry. A website may live or die by the quantity and quality of its links. This is one of the ways in which search engines such as Google and Bing determine the relative merit and quality of your website. It’s important to hire a good web marketing company to help build these reputable links. Social media is becoming more influential each day. The explosive growth and use of social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook are essential to the growth and online branding of any business, small or large. Both social media sites have played huge roles in how business is conducted worldwide. If you’re not convinced of the power of social media, take a look at how the revolution in Egypt started. That’s right, it was a Facebook campaign that toppled an oppressive regime that had been standing for 30 years! Just think of what a good social media campaign could do for your business.