What is online branding?
Online branding is a brand management technique for strengthening and refining a company’s brand in the online marketplace.
It allows you to gain a closer connection with your potential customers, which in turn leads to increased sales, greater brand loyalty and improved customer retention.
There are a number of different tools for managing your brand online, the main ones being:
- Search marketing (SEO)
- Mobile content
- Social media
- Email marketing
When developing an online branding strategy, whichever tools you want to use, there are some key factors to consider.
1. Define your target market
This is the first thing you should think about when it comes to your online branding. Your customers – and potential customers – are the ones who are going to be interacting with your brand, so you need to make sure it resonates with them. Who exactly are you targeting your brand towards – think about thinks like gender, age, interests and location. Use this information to create a picture of your target customers, so you can build a digital brand that will be engaging and fun for the audience you want to attract.
2. Create your brand’s identity
When you start developing your brand identity, think about how you want your audience to perceive your company. Modern? Traditional? Street-wise? Professional? The options are endless, but it’s essential to have a clear idea of what you’re trying to achieve. Think about brand logos or names you know – what makes them stick in your mind?
Having a memorable logo or name will help you massively with your online branding as you’ll be instantly recognised. The colours you use on your logo are also important as they can have a psy-chological effect on how your brand is perceived. Certain colours can be viewed in different ways, so it’s important to factor this in when creating your brand. Red, for example, is said to evoke feel-ings of romance or danger, while blue touches on emotions like serenity and coldness, and green is often associated with nature and eco-consciousness.
Other ways you can master brand identity is through being seen as a likable company. Being reliable, trustworthy, showing empathy and engagement will build a rapport with you customers, which in turns makes it more likely they will buy into your brand.
3. Choose the right channels to promote your brand
In the digital world, companies have the opportunity to really showcase what they have to offer to a consumer. There are so many ways to promote and advertise your products online, including:
- Video advertisements (TV or social media ad)
- Online shop
- Shopping ads
- Social media
- Augmented reality
You need to decide which are the right advertising channels for your business. Which of these options best fits with your brand values and can help with the conversion of sales.
4. Communicate your brand’s message
Your brand message should be clear and concise, communicating precisely what your brand does and what you have to offer. How can you create a strong message for your customers? Think about the target audience you want to advertise to, what they want to hear, what you can provide and what other competitors are offering. This should help you conceive a clear message that will resonate with your customers.
5. Consider your competitors
Reviewing your competitors is a vital part of the brand development process. Seeing what your competitors are doing online could inspire you to refine your campaign or branding to target a new audience.
Check out your competitors and see what they are doing differently to you. It’s easy to go online and view other businesses that operate in the same market, so use that to your advantage. Do they have a memorable logo? Are they using bright colours in their marketing campaigns? Are they pricing higher or lower than you? Do they offer deals or promotions?
Big corporations are constantly checking out the competition to see what they are doing, as they don’t want to be caught out by a clever new idea. You should do the same. Use competitor analysis templates to help you gain insights into what your competitors are doing to target their audiences.
6. Get your people on board
The people who work for your business are vital to your brand identity, as they are the ones who are selling your products or services. The way they look, speak, their attitude, all contribute to how your brand will be perceived. It may take a while to find, recruit and then train the right people. But once they know what your brand stands for, and what that means in terms of how they communicate with customers, they will become your biggest ambassadors, and play a key role in the success of your brand, both online and off.
Tap into our online branding expertise
Online branding and marketing go hand in hand. If you market a strong identity online, it will help you attract, retain and convert more customers and get ahead of your competition. By focusing on the priority areas outlined above, you can develop an online branding strategy and provide a more powerful, consistent proposition for your consumers.
If you’re looking to increase your brand awareness online, we can help. At Tailored, our full suite of digital marketing products provides a one-stop-shop for your online needs. From social media and email campaigns to websites and software, we are digital creators for business. Whatever you need, our digital experts can help.