Whether or not your actually sell online, your company’s sales potential will be limited if consumers do not recognize you online. Moral of the story (short version): there simply is no denying that to thrive your business needs to build a successful online brand. The challenge lies in figuring out how.
If your past or current efforts to generate an online following for your company, products or service line have fallen short of expectations, you may need to rethink your online branding strategy. Here are some considerations for improved online branding performance:
Capitalize on New(er) Social Platforms
Facebook and Twitter are tried-and-true online platforms, yet they are by no means the only worthwhile social media platforms for online branding. A number of newer channels offer more opportunities to build an online following—and do it faster and more cost-effectively.
If you haven’t already branched out beyond Facebook and Twitter, consider diversifying your social media portfolio by curating active accounts on:
These platforms are visually driven, allowing you to say more with less text about your company’s image, persona and contribution to customers’ lives. In other words, you can help your potential customers see what makes your business unique rather than just make claims about it.
As younger platforms, Pinterest, etc. may also provide more inexpensive marketing opportunities. (You may have noticed that it is extremely difficult these days to gain much traction on Facebook without the help of paid ads.)
Pause: Will It Fad Out?
Pinterest, Instagram and others are newer social media platforms, but not so new as to make anyone question whether they are worthwhile branding channels or not. But, new social media and gaming platforms are bound to crop up as interests change and technologies develop. Before investing anything—time and/or money—in a new platform, give it some time (like a few months) to make sure it’s not just a fad. Businesses that operate on fear of missing out may end up throwing away valuable resources on short-lived platforms like Pokemon Go or Farmville.
Visually Enhance Your Online Presence
Any platform you choose to include in your online branding strategy should be a platform where your target audience is mostly likely to virtually “haunt” (sorry, we couldn’t resist the Halloween-y pun). No matter where that is, users are always looking for a visually appealing presence. Text alone just doesn’t get it done—you need images. (Think about how many text-only statuses are scrolled past in every Facebook Newsfeed.)
The best images for any online branding campaign are genuine images—real people using your products, benefiting from your services, representing your company beyond your office doors. If you don’t have or can’t use original images, stock images can suffice, but your branding efforts will be better served if you at least edit those photos to appear less…stocky, if you will.
Optimize Your Online Presence
Wherever you post your brand image and voice, make sure your posts, tweets, pins, pics, etc. are optimized for search engine performance (even if that search engine is proprietary and not Google-integrated). Make sure you use all potential SEO real estate allowed by each platform, such as:
- Image or post title
- Image or post description
- Image or post link
Leave no field blank, and make sure your brand name and keywords you want associated with your brand are always included. (Want an example? Look at all of SonicSEO.com’s social media—you’ll be hard-pressed to find a post, tweet, pin or +post that doesn’t include “SEO,” “Internet marketing” or some iteration of those services.)
Give Your Online Branding a Direction
No matter what platforms you choose to include in your online branding strategy, all of them need to point back to your company website. You have to have a web property that is solely owned and controlled by you—i.e., an authoritative web presence where potential consumers can find the most and most accurate information about your company and what your company offers them…and a place to get those offerings.
If you need more guidance in developing a strong online branding strategy, contact SonicSEO.com for a consultation.