In order to expand the reach of a business, online branding is an effective and needed strategy. Small businesses who can’t afford to spend too much with advertising will likely find online branding the best way to be known by customers and clients. Here we will discuss the 3 most important areas of online business success – online reputation management, online branding and industry authority.
Creating a personalized and meaningful logo is a good start for online branding. This logo could be placed in the business website, social media business account, business cards, business forms and emails. A logo will become an image that will represent the company both online and offline. So pay special attention to the creation of a professional and meaningful logo – it will be used in many others parts of your brand, identity and marketing.
Using social media often is also an effective way of online branding. Nowadays, the social media had become very powerful in engaging people and business prospects. Having a good social media presence will help the business attract prospect clients online, and furthermore, helps you to establish rapport and trust with prospects.
Along with the logo, a tagline could also boost the company’s image. Creating an effective and positive tagline or business slogan will help promote the company to their possible future clients. For example, your tag line could be “Helping Dentists Find Clients within 10 miles of their dental office”, or “We turn your website into an online television”, or “We place you on the top of Google or we won’t charge you”. A tag line should be just a short sentence and something that prospects can remember.
Through email communication with the buyers and suppliers, the company could include their business email signature. This simple signature could be an effective way for the business to be known better. The business signature can include almost everything that your business card shows – from name and title, to address and emails, as well as a tag line.
Creating a business website will definitely enhance the company branding. The website should contain all the relevant information about the business. Having a website will help potential clients to learn about the services and products of a company while allowing prospects to contact us, ask you questions and/or engage with others at your site. Keep the website simple. It should be designed for a niche audience – a beautiful website designed for a conservative lawyer or CPA will not look great for a rock band. So, first analyze and select your firm’s primary and niche audience, and then have a web designer build a site specifically for that audience. Don’t try to make everyone happy. Focus on your audience.
Blogging through the website could help the company interact with her customers. Informative and insightful blog posts that are related to the company’s products and services could capture the interest of online prospects. It is essential to write posts from a heart and not try to duplicate an article format. Just be yourself and talk to your audience, in a very informal and friendly way. You can share product and services information but above all, try to educate your audience with great educational posts that would me your prospects come back to your site and better yet, to share your blog posts to their friends and associates.
Having positive testimonials and reviews could make potential and current customers gain enough interest in buying (or cross-buying) from your company. Positive reviews are powerful indications that a company is doing the right thing in the business that satisfies their current and previous customers. This will definitely get the attention of future customers. Now, let me share with you a secret.
People no longer pay too much attention to anonymous testimonials such as blah blah by “Amy N”. Nobody knows who “Amy N.” is and your firm can make that up! Instead as soon as you have a happy customer or buyer, ask them to use their iPhone or Android to create a short 30 seconds long video testimonial and just email that to you! There is power with visuals and it shows that the client testimonial is real, from a real person, who has trusted you and offered you the testimonials. The value of a video testimonial is probably 100 times more than the traditional text-based testimonials!
Ultimately, to truly reduce your cost of advertising, marketing and client retention, you must focus on your company online reputation, authority in your industry and branding.
Make sure you check all references on social media and on search engines about yourself, your employees and your firm. If you encounter negative reviews, deal with them. Try your best to work things out with those who wrote the negative reviews and have them happy so they would change their reviews. If that was not possible, then hire experts (online reputation management firms) to help you with pushing the negative review to the lower pages of search engines, or in case of social media, to create many positive reviews, voices and buzz to overwhelm anything negative out there. But again, try to make things right and as first step, take care of people who wrote negative things about you.
As far as authority in the industry, write articles to be published in your industry magazines and news channels or publish a book to distinguish yourself from your competitors, or become a guest speaker at various local and national TV or Radio shows. The sky is the limit, if you focus on your online brand, online reputation and industry authority. Good luck.