Branding is an important piece of the marketing puzzle. Does your company have a motto or mission statement? How about a logo? What colors do you associate with your company? The answers to these questions and more are the outline of your company’s brand.
Think about it. When you head over to the Coca-Cola website, what colors do you expect to see? You’d probably be surprised if you didn’t see the classic red. If you visit Nike’s Facebook page, what logo do you look for? If the iconic check mark wasn’t there, you’d probably be confused. Branding allows users to immediately associate a website or social profile with a company.
Branding your business is important because it allows you to set your company apart from the competition. Whether your company is an international corporation or a small neighborhood establishment, you have the opportunity to brand your business in a way that makes you recognizable to your customers and potential customers. Being recognized can make the difference between getting the sale and losing out.
One of the biggest challenges of branding your company is establishing that brand so that people can (and will) recognize it. There are simple ways to position your brand online to make the most of your time and resources. It is important to coordinate your different online presences so that you are presenting a uniform brand to the public.
If a potential customer visits your Facebook page or YouTube channel, will they immediately recognize your brand? Do all of your online channels represent your company in an easily identifiable way?
The more that people can identify your brand, the better off you are. Chances are, Internet users may stumble upon your Twitter account before ever visiting your website. Why not make it as easy as possible for them to recognize your brand, no matter where they are on online?
Your Web site is one of the most basic — but important — places for you to establish yourself online. Most companies have a website, but is it a good one?
- Are you displaying your company logo and utilizing your company colors?
- Do you have an About Us page where visitors can learn about your company, your mission, and your values?
- Are important details — like your phone number, address, and social profile links — easy to find and read?
- Overall, is your site easy to find and use for your customers?
When was the last time you really looked at your website and assessed how it’s doing at representing your brand? Take a good hard look at your site and put yourself in the position of a consumer with little to no knowledge of your brand. Does the site do a good job of informing the public about your company? Keep in mind that your site shouldn’t focus solely on your products or services. It should establish your brand as an industry leader. and highlight what makes your brand unique.
Too often, companies hire a web developer to create their website and relinquish all control to that person. Web developers are great, but it is irresponsible not to take an active part in the design, implementation, and upkeep of your website. Creating, updating, and branding a high-performing website is an ongoing process that requires your marketing team and web developers to work hand-in-hand from the get-go.
Blogging platforms such as Blogger and WordPress make it easy to set up a company blog. As beneficial as blogs can be, the focus of them is often on the content. As the marketing mantra goes, content is king on the search engines. We talk a lot about content strategy (which is incredibly important), but there’s way more to a blog than the posts.
Your blog should serve an extension of your web site.
- Does your blog reflect your brand’s image? Values? Mission? Tone of voice?
- Are you utilizing the correct colors and fonts?
- Is the blog directing people to other important pages on your website and achieving your business goals?
Your brand should be well represented throughout the motif and design of your blog.
Your Social Media Channels
There’s no doubt social media is an important factor in online marketing today. Social platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn, and YouTube are a great way to market your brand. When used correctly, social networking sites allow you to create another point of contact for your brand — oftentimes before they’ve ever seen your website or products.
These sites allow you to create a personalized presence online that’s tailored to connecting with your target audience. Utilize these platforms to create personalized brand communities.
- Are you use your company logo?
- Are you including any tag lines, mottos, or hashtags associated with your brand when appropriate?
- Are you linking back to your website, blogs, and other online presences so it’s easy for followers to find you and connect?
- Are you interacting with your fans using the same tone and customer service skills you would in person, on the phone, via email, or on your website?
Fostering engagement and making your brand recognizable on social will help you stand out as a household name. Don’t forget to pay attention to the specific features and options on each channel as well. For example, Twitter allows you to create custom Moments and Instagram has Story Highlights. Play around within the various platform features and settings to create a page that really reflects your brand image. You want those who view your page to immediately identify your company and your brand.
Websites like Wikipedia and Yahoo! Answers, as well as reviews on Google, social platforms, and Yelp, are important because they offer user-generated content. While this leaves you with less control over the image of your company on these sites, they allow you to get an honest look at how the public perceives your brand.
To better position your brand, you need to have a clear understanding of how your brand is actually being perceived online. Search for your company on these platforms.
- Are you even listed?
- Is the information correct?
- How are you doing in terms of brand management?
- What are people saying about you on these online resources?
These information resource websites help you to read and understand how your brand is being received by the public. They also give you the opportunity to connect with users and position your company and your brand as industry resources. Most of these types of platforms allow you to interact directly with the posters to address complaints, answer questions, or report false information, all of which helps you keep a consistent brand image even when you’re not the one sharing the content.
Chances are, you’ve decided to try these various platforms because you are hoping to expand the reach of your company. Even when you are using different platforms and websites, you should present a uniform brand across them all. The more consistent you are with your brand, the better your chance of turning followers and users into customers. If you don’t take the time to create a consistent brand presence on your online channels, you aren’t utilizing them to their fullest potential.
So, what’s next? Great question. If you want to make your brand more consistent across all channels, E-Power can help. We’ll work with you to create a brand consistency plan that includes buyer personas (to help you hone in on who your customers are and where they’re spending time online), a tone & voice guide (to help keep communication similar across all channels), and so much more.