Any marketer will tell you – the internet has changed branding and it’s never been more important. In social media, consumers identify with your brand first so your brand message should be meaningful and your voice must be consistent no matter what channel is being used to communicate with your target audience.
Social also means it’s no longer just about clever creative and timely ad placements – its about establishing a brand on the channels that matter to their customers and, most importantly, tracking responses and interactions to those efforts. Effective branding in the inbound age is as much about “what” as it is “where.” The brand is susceptible to damage by disgruntled consumers, competitors, influencers and potentially by your own employees.
The 5 Crucial Aspects of Online Branding
Inbound marketing begins with “getting found” by customers that can, in turn, drive conversions. Through online branding, your company can take the additional steps you need to measure and improve your marketing.
- Achieving Brand Consistency Across Channels: The best brands have the most compelling tag line, the most engaging website, the coolest social apps, the emails that remind you of what you need, when you need it, and the blog that’s a must read for your product usage. That’s the way brands need to interact with their audience – and the brands that can execute all of these things are the brands that people are willing to pay top dollar for.
- Positioning a Brand into Play Online: Branding in the digital age is inherently different because the internet moves fast. That means your brand can achieve great success and failure in one fell swoop. A strong brand has to be good at simultaneously executing in all channels leveraging its strengths while complimenting the other.
- Segmenting and Personalizing a Brand Experience: How do you create a consistent, complimentary and compelling experience for a brand? You strive for consistency using tone and voice, colors, fonts, design elements, messaging and positioning that support the message and value proposition of your brand. Each target audience has its own more customized and refined experience based on their product preference, but consistency is maintained in the overall digital experience.
- Monitoring Brand Interactions on Social Media: Understanding your target audience and developing highly targeted content that appeals to buyers’ needs, goals, and interests is the secret sauce of the digital branding exercise. Creating buyer personas based on their demograhics, technographics, their pain points, and their typical day either at work or play is the key to building a successful brand.
- Building a Social Media Response Plan: Protecting a brand again detractors and competitors is paramount people are talking about your brand beyond the pages of content that you create. And, for better or worse, those comments and discussions live in cyberspace forever. Using tools like Google Alerts, Hootsuite and RavenTools can help you to monitor brand mentions and have on hand a “holding statement” for any major event and for each channel. This is a brief statement you can post you will respond in greater detail as soon as possible within a certain time period.
Remember, you should be monitoring what is being said about your brand online and be ready to respond and create a dialogue with your online community. It will generate new customer-brand interactions and develop a positive online image for your brand.
‘Handling’ Your Brand Online
Creating a “handle” that is the same or similar to your brand name for all social media profiles makes it easy for people to find your brand online while preventing misrepresentation by others. A “handle” is a social identity for your brand that is completely unique and cannot be copied by others. When someone searches your brand in different social platforms, it should ideally be the same, making a streamlined process for finding your business. When applied across social media channels, this creates a strong, consistent brand presence.
You may encounter some challenges as you create a uniform handle. Your brand name could already be taken or the site may limit the number of characters you can use in your name. Keep this in mind as you brainstorm what your handle will be. If a profile already exists with your name, you can consider other variations of your brand and identify your profile with your brand logo, brand description, website, and other social profiles. This will make it clear that you, not another profile, represent your brand.
Even if you do not plan to use certain social media platforms, it is valuable to secure your brand’s name and profile on those sites. At the very least, it prevents others from identifying themselves as your brand.
The importance of protecting your brand online goes beyond easy recognition and a consistent brand image. A uniform online brand identity allows your customers to gain a clear understanding of who you are as a company and what your business represents. Positioning your brand to showcase the unique product or experience you offer customers is vital to promoting how your company will benefit them. Doing so moves your brand from simply being present online to generating measurable leads and actions.
Securing your brand online provides the opportunity to use social as a resource for your marketing efforts as you can directly interact with your customers. It is a straightforward approach to defining the experience customers receive with your brand.
Additions & Feedback
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