Online branding is simply what you put out on the Internet. It’s what many customers see first and make judgments based off of when searching for your company. Google will always display what it thinks is most relevant to your business based on their internal search algorithm. Often times, these are assets like your website, social media and online site reviews of your company. Luckily with most of the results for your business, you’ll be able to directly or indirectly make them positive.
Why Online Branding Matters?
When you go to a trade show, you bring a nice sign, get your employees dressed up and prepare to shine a positive light on your company. Why should what you put out online be any different? Online branding is defined with a few things; consistency, volume, and emotion. Your potential customers see these things and unknowingly make a decision based off of them. If your reviews are predominantly negative, well you can kiss that customer goodbye. If your site is full of grammatical errors and hasn’t been updated in months then you can say sayonara to another potential buyer. Whether or not you’re putting in effort or being aware of your online branding your customers are, and they’re making decisions based off of it.
What Can You Do For Your Online Brand?
Update your branding
I know I know, isn’t that what this article is helping me to understand? Well, yes and no. To really make headway on your online branding you need to know what you want to put out about your business. Who is your company now? Who does it want to be? Having your staff on the same page regarding the current mission of your business can make worlds of difference in changing your online branding.
Make consistent messaging
Consistent messaging is as easy as sitting down with all your content creators and getting on the same page with things like tone of voice, color schemes, and logos. It’s a lot like a director for a movie. Just by watching a movie you can pretty safely guess the director in a lot of situations. Was there a ridiculous amount of explosions? Oh, it’s probably Michael Bay. A huge plot twist that ties everything together? A Shyamalan for sure. Why shouldn’t customers be able to do this with your business? Even things as simple as a color scheme can help your customers to recognize content that comes from you immediately.
Make yourself useful online
Provide content your customers need. Talk with a few of them and you can get an idea of the questions that they have about your industry. Use this information and update your site with a new blog to answer that question. This serves three purposes; it gets traffic on your site, helps give credibility to your site and helps make you a frontrunner when a customer is making their buying decision as you have already helped them.
Monitor your competitors
As much as we all wish we were, nobody is the sole provider of a service. You should be keeping up with what your competitors put out, taking cues from them and generally just being aware of what their online brand is looking like. This is the best way to grade how you’re doing with online branding as the only way to truly know if you look better than someone else online is to see how they look.
Increase your visibility
This is the final and hardest step we’ll talk about —showing up better on search engines like Google is the most effective step to making your online presence better. Pushing positive assets to the top while masking negative ones is a complex and time-consuming task but the results more than speak for themselves. If you’re making blogs every day, answering questions and have the most consistent messaging ever it won’t matter if you can’t rank on Google. Doing extensive research on this matter and devoting time and assets to it is an important part of business in the 21st century.
Protect your reputation online.