When you think about branding, and its importance, think of companies such as Coca Cola, Apple, and Pepsi. These are brands that are so well known, that very few people wouldn’t recognize them. Of course they are major companies, but you get the idea.
What is branding?
A brand is a marketing tool, which includes a company name, term, design and symbol – and anything else that identifies that companies items, and any other identifier that makes the company known to the public. If used for a firm, it is also called a trade name.
A brand is a promise of quality, consistency and reliability, among many other things, and basically defined, your company image and what your customers experience doing business with your company. Brands evolve and improve over time, because as the company builds credibility so does its image/brand.
In order to build a lasting and strong brand, the performance and delivery of your brand promise must be upheld. Setting goals works wonders in building credibility and respect with future customers and current ones as well.
Even when you’re not doing business, your brand is still working for you.
Here are some tips for building your brand, and becoming successful online.
Online Brand Design:
Choosing a brand (identity) for your business is probably the most important aspect of success, because it is what is going to draw customers, readers and others to your site, and knowing what you want to reveal about your company and image speaks volumes to the masses out there on the Internet.
There are professional marketing companies out there who offer Brand advice, but they are not cheap. Nevertheless with a little research into branding on the Internet, it will guide you in the right direction, without the extra expense of marketing help.
Online Brand Companies:
There are free consulting for brand companies, online such as Zing your Brand; and Martin Lindstrom, known as the expert speaker and author of Clicks, Bricks and Brands and Brand Building on the Internet. These should prove to be a treasure trove of ideas, and advice.
If you’re blogging and just want to create quality posts to draw readers, a very successful blogger wrote a guide about finding a fantastic WordPress theme. This might lead you to more branding ideas.
Follow great content:
When Bill Gates said, “content is king,” he wasn’t kidding. Finding, sharing, subscribing and following great content will put you in touch with the more successful blogs and teach you more about what others product, blogs or companies are offering, and how others are succeeding. Not to mention keeping connected to the successful ones.
A great place to find good content is Google Reader, for RSS subscriptions and to share your blogs and information.
Use Google’s free services:
That is a great brand, isn’t it – Google? They are one of the biggest on the Internet, and they offer so much. From organization of the blogs you follow, to helping to launch yours. It will also keep current with specific keywords that are in your area of interest, and send alerts through Google alert.
Another great freebee from Google is their Apps for business – which allows you to share files and documents with a team, and set up brand email addresses.
Get your brand out there:
A great start is to customize your email signature. Adding your full name, website links and related information such as your LinkedIn page says “professional” and promotes your brand.
A great website for customizing your signature is Wisestamp.
For the best possible Internet promotion of your brand, look to Social Media. It is amazingly easy to use, to gain contacts, stay in contact and most have business pages, such as Facebook. Setting up a Twitter profile takes very little time, and posting on Twitter can get you connected to many more people than you would imagine.
Facebook as well, has over 600 million users – all potential clients. Build a business page and a fan page so that your Twitter connections and Facebook connections will know more about your blog, website and brand. These are both endless sources of contacts.
Keep your writing scan-able:
The easier it is to scan, the more people will read. Use short sentences, and bullets, sub-headers and simplify. People don’t want to spend hours wading through long lengthy paragraphs.
Use free communication software:
There is nothing like keeping in contact and again, Google has the goods. Google Gmail allows you to set up a calling system and Google Plus is a great way to create a brand page. Skype also is a great way to stay in contact with potential clients, it’s free as long as you have Broadband Internet, and it has an iPhone app that works for making calls via Wi-Fi Internet.
Research your audience:
To build an online brand, you must know whom your audience is and whom you want to reach. Identify a target audience, and there are plenty of online companies to help you with that, such as comScore, Nielsen, Google Analytics and Compete. These services will help you learn about what you will need in an audience, including gender, age, household income, etc.
Build your reputation:
This comes with networking, and it takes time. Building link points back to your website will make you grow, and enhance your reputation. In order to do this you must first have a target audience, as well as a strategy for reaching them.
And, when you build links back to your website, it also enhances your search engine presence, and the more established your brand becomes, the stronger your reputation will grow.
Yes it takes planning and preparation, but doesn’t most everything that becomes successful? Think Facebook, and the length of time that it took to even become established. Patience, perseverance and really good quality content will be a great start.
Written by Justin Toladro
Justin Toladro is writing for Life Insurance Finder, a life insurance comparison website to help you and your family.