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 Web site, what colors do you expect to see? If you visit the Nike Facebook page, what logo do you look for? Branding allows users to immediately associate a Web site 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 could stumble upon your Twitter account without ever visiting your Web site. Why not make it as easy as possible for them to recognize your brand, no matter where they are on the Web?
Your Web site is one of the most basic, but important places for you to establish yourself online. Most companies today have a Web site, but is it a good one? Are you displaying your company logo and utilizing your company colors? Do you have a page where visitors can read about your company, and how the brand was established? Is the Web site easy to find and easy to use?
Too often, companies hire a Web developer to create their Web site, and relinquish all control to that person. It is irresponsible not to take an active part in the design, implementation and upkeep of your Web site.
When was the last time you really looked at your Web site, and assessed how it's doing at represent your brand? Take a good hard look at your Web site, and put yourself in the position of a consumer with little to no knowledge of your brand. Does your Web site do a good job of informing the public about your company? Your Web site shouldn't focus solely on your products or services. It should establish your brand as an industry leader. Use your Web site to explain and highlight what makes your brand unique.
Blogging platforms such as Blogger and Word Press 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 we all know, content is king on the search engines. But there's more to a Blog than the posts.
Your Blog should be an extension of your Web site. Does your Blog reflect your brand's image? Are you utilizing the correct colors and fonts? Your brand should be well represented throughout the motif and design of your Blog.
Social Networking is an important factor in online marketing today. Web sites like Facebook and LinkedIn 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.
These Web sites allow you to create a personalized presence online, tailored to connecting with your target audience. Creating a profile on these sites gives you control over the information and image the members of these communities obtain. Utilize these Web sites to create personalized brand hubs. Use your company logo. Include any tag lines or mottos. Set up links to your Web site, Blog, and other online presences. Include photos and videos. Post your commercials. Interact with your fans online and you will be positioning your brand as a household name.
Twitter allows you to brand your account page with your colors, images and more. The Twitter Settings options allow you to get creative with your color choices and background designs. Play around within the settings to create a page that reflects your brand. You want those who view your Twitter page to immediately identify your company and your brand.
You'll also notice some Twitter users display their contact information or company specialties as a part of their background image. While this may take some extra work in terms of formatting and design, it is helpful.
From the videos you offer to the background of your channel, you have the potential to brand your YouTube account.
YouTube allows you to tailor your page in much the same way Twitter does. Through the Themes and Colors menu, they have preset themes or you can choose to create a new one that is all your own. You can add your company logo as your profile picture. Link to your Web site.
The videos you add to the Web site allow you to broadcast your brand. Add your commercials, record a tour of your facilities, highlight key product demonstrations, the possibilities are endless. You have control over the content people associate with your brand, are you utilizing this control effectively?
Web sites like Wikipedia and Yahoo! Answers 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.
Search for your company on Wikipedia. Are you listed? Is the information correct? How are you doing in terms of brand management? What are people saying about you on these resources? While these resources give you less control over your brand, they are important tools for gauging the public's perception of your brand. To better position your brand, you need to have a clear understanding of how your brand is actually being perceived online.
Information Resource Web sites allow 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.
Chances are, you've decided to create a Facebook or Twitter account because you are hoping to expand the reach of your company. The more people you network with, the better off you are, and Social Media channels give you the opportunity to do that networking. Potential customers could find your Facebook page or your LinkedIn profile before they ever visit your Web site.
Your Social Media channels hold important opportunities for impressing potential customers. You can utilize all of your online channels to position your brand and build better relationships with customers. Even though you are using different technologies and Web sites, you should present a uniform brand across them all. The more consistent you are with your brand, the better your chance of turning Social Media 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.