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Important Tips for Growing Your Brand Online

November 05, 2014
penguin-brand

Packaging and branding go hand in hand, so we wanted to spend some time to discuss some of the things that are important to building a brand. It takes time and hard work to grow a brand, but even with a lot of hard work, many brands still don’t find the success they deserve and want. Over the last 20 years things have drastically changed due to so many people being connected online. The internet has changed everything when it comes to marketing, publicizing, and ultimately, branding. While it is still important to work on having an offline presence, it is even more important to have a good online presence since that is one of the first places most people look before they buy these days. Successful branding takes time and will not just happen overnight.

Website

Having a quality website that is easy for anyone to navigate is one of the most important things to online branding success. There are a lot of different elements on a website that are very important. First of all, your site needs to look trustworthy. If the site looks like a generic blogspot or wordpress site with a basic free template people are not going to be confident ordering from you. Before you do anything else you need to make sure that your site looks good and has security safeguards in place.

Another very important aspect is the navigation and usability. People do not want to play Sherlock Holmes on your site, they should be able to find exactly what they are looking for within a couple of seconds. They should be able to easily navigate around the site without having to think much about it. Your internal links should be very clear and should also be using a relevant keyword to each page that a link goes to. This makes it very easy for visitors to find what they are looking, and it is also great for your internal link structure.

Social Media Platforms

The social media platforms that you maintain for your brand are key to gaining visibility and trust online. They are the perfect place to spur conversations with your customers, which will have an impact on your brand in numerous ways. One of the factors to your overall search engine rankings is the social signals that are coming from active social media platforms. The more engagement, the better you look to customers, potential new customers, and the search engines.

A common mistake that many brands make, is using their social media platforms as billboards. It is important to use your social media accounts for more than just self-promotion. Share things that will be informative and helpful for your fans, or things that are on the lighter side like funny videos or images related to your niche. A good rule to follow with your social media platforms, and even your blog, is the 80/20 rule (this rule can apply to many other areas of life as well). This means that 80% of your posts should be offering some sort of value to your visitors and then the remaining 20% should be the more self-promotional types of posts.

Customer Service: Reviews/Reputation

Delivering good customer service is another ingredient that will affect your brand significantly. When you are helpful and accommodating to customers, the word will get around online. It may be from them talking about a good or bad experience with your customer service team, or from an actual review that they leave online. The golden rule here is that you should treat your customers how you want to be treated. If that is the mindset that your team has, then you will succeed. People pay attention to the customer service they receive, and many of them will be more than willing to share their experience with your brand online.  

Content/Blog

One of the most important factors for increased online visibility is having unique, quality content. The content that you create on your site should be beneficial to your customers as well as anyone else that may stumble on it online. Sharing tips and helpful advice are great ways to help add some value to the lives of your readers, and the fact that your brand is the voice sharing this helpful info will add a tremendous amount of value to your site.

Quality content will get shared on various social media platforms, it will also be worthy of other blogs and sites to link to. Backlinks are an important part of how your website ranks, so creating good content will add value to your site in this way as well. As the author of your brands blog the #1 goal that you should be striving for should be to become the authority in your niche.

Video/Images

Videos and images are arguably two of the most popular types of content on the web. That is because they make it much easier to connect with people since they can get to the point quicker than written media. Video and images can tell a story in a more efficient manner than reading, and with how busy people’s lives are these days, it makes a lot of sense.

Press Releases/HARO

Press releases are the perfect way to share big news from your company. This could include new products, new employees, and anything else that you feel would be newsworthy info about your brand. From an SEO standpoint press releases do not carry any real value, but they do still make a difference when it comes to exposure and brand awareness.

HARO means “Help a Reporter Out”, and this is a neat means to help generate exposure in many very well-known publications both on and offline. The way this works is when a reporter needs answers to something specific, they go online and submit their question the online HARO database. Once they submit the question it will then be available on the site, to people who have registered as experts in any given niche. Once the reporter posts the question they will also give a submission deadline for each question, so anyone that wants to answer can do so as long as they submit it by the deadline. The reporter then gets the answers, and decides which answers are the best so they can include them in the article.

What makes this a great way to get exposure for your brand is the fact that if your answer is used, you will get a mention and in most cases this will include mention of the brand/company you work for and possibly even a nice link to your site.

Consistency

One of the other keys to getting your brand the exposure that you deserve is consistency. Brand consistency will help establish your presence both online and offline, but with so many platforms available to share it can be difficult. You need to establish your message and then you must stick with it so you are delivering that same message every single time. This should be understood by everyone within your company so the message remains the same year after year.

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