How to start a successful online branding campaign
Are you in the process of starting an online branding campaign, but are confused about what works and what doesn’t? There is a lot of information online regarding the best way to start a brand, and information overload can quickly creep in if you aren’t focused.
Firstly you must understand that what works for one brand might not work for you. The demographics might be different, your budget might be smaller or you failed to notice an important trend. You’ll see that there is a proven approach to how online branding should be executed in the hopes of hitting the ground running with your business.
In any case actively working on your brand from day 1 is important, and by reading this article you can figure out the step to do so.
Make use of multiple channels
For branding to be successful you must make use of different channels. For instance, companies with blogs generate an additional 67% more leads. Missing out on this one branding channel will cause you to miss out on more leads.
The best type of branding ensures that wherever potential customer turn to your name is out there. This includes search engines, social media portals, blogs and so on. Any location where your name is not competing with other brands you are basically giving up to the competition in that arena.
It’s estimated that a potential customer needs to make 6-8 visits before they decide to buy. Noticing your brand in a number of locations will funnel the potential customer to your website more times. Working towards that 6-8th visit means that you need to be in as many places as possible.
Therefore, don’t dump the majority of your marketing or branding budget on a single form of branding, but instead try to spread it out among the different avenues at your disposal.
Understand your identity
Before doing anything you must figure out what your brand is all about – there must be a clear purpose and message to your brand that won’t be ambiguous. One way of losing sales to your competition is by confusing the buyer with a marketing message that’s not focused. You must be proud of what your brand is about and stick to the core principles.
Great branding means that there is continuity between all forms of branding. If you’re selling a drink for example, then the message on the can should be identical to TV advertisement, social media ads and so on. If your drink is aimed at teenagers in one marketing campaign, but in another has a bunch of over 50’s drinking it then it can be confusing.
Part of creating a great brand identity is following industry trends – you must create a brand that matches the current trends. Trends help spot opportunities and gives you a way to stay ahead of the competition that is not aware of how the market might be changing.
Forge relationships with media outlets
Creating a brand on your own can be time consuming and costly. If you’re just starting out then you’ll be in for a shock regarding how hard it can be. However, if you understand how to leverage the different media outlets then the speed at which you get started can increase exponentially.
You’ll want to get in touch with bloggers, YouTubers and Instagram celebrities in your niche. Even a YouTuber that has a subscription size of 200-400k is worth getting in touch with as that’s a healthy audience size to get excited about. Also these individuals might not charge the prices that others will for helping you get your brand out there.
Once you find a good quality relationship that’s beneficial for you ensure that you look after that relationship. Ensuring these relationships maintain some level of longevity is to your advantage. Let’s say that you have a new product that you want to release as part of your brand, then these media outlets can boost awareness for that product.
Tell a story
The brands that tell a story tend to have the best luck when it comes to raising awareness. An emotional story is something that the average customer can attach to. Instead of a story you could have a purpose that’s not only profit driven but also one that does genuine good for the world.
For example, the Tesla brand created by Elon Musk manufactures cars that run on electricity, which reduces the amount of pollution that’s caused as a result of driving. You can get behind that idea because if you choose to drive a Tesla car then it helps the environment.
Telling a story can also build relationships, and that goes for media outlets too. If a media outlet understands what you are as a brand then they will be more willing to promote you on their platform. For example, if a YouTuber is selecting who to promote at the start of their video then they’ll want someone they can relate to.
However, be careful not to alienate part of your target market with your story telling. You must ensure that the story matches what the target demographics can relate to. Otherwise you’ll see that engagement for the very people you want to sell to is dropping.
Remember that 68% of people spend time reading about brands of interest to them. If you make your brand appealing and intriguing then expect higher levels of engagement from the audience.
Spend time on your SEO
Part of starting a good quality brand campaign is to improve the SEO of your website so that more traffic is flowing in. When you website is optimized for the search engines it has the power to bring in a steady flow of customers on a daily basis. Some businesses live and die by the amount of search engine traffic they receive.
However, climbing the search engine rankings can be a slow process so patience is key. You must get started right away, because the sooner you get started the sooner the results are going to come in. Your potential customers will be searching for you in the search engines once they see you via promotional messages. If you’re not visible then they’ll be puzzled as to why.
Not sure how to execute an SEO campaign? There are more than enough high quality blogs that can educate you such as moz.com and Search Engine Journal. Alternatively, take the time to look for a company that specialises in SEO and hire them. Sometimes outsourcing a technical task that in-house employees aren’t qualified to complete can be more productive.
Understand your success
There is no point in launching a branding campaign if you don’t have a way of measuring your success. You must figure out what success means to you, this might be the number of new people you have subscribed to your e-mail list, the number of website visitors or the number of sales. In any case you must create a system for measuring your success.
There are plenty of software options out there for monitoring the incoming website visitors and how they are using your website. The bounce rates of each page can be monitored, for example that indicates which pages are weak and need some work.
Ideally you should be able to monitor the success of branding separately among the different branding channels. This allows you to figure out what’s working and what isn’t. So if your social media campaign is rocking on Facebook but is lacking on Instagram then you can make adjustments to sort the issues out.
In addition to having software related graphs to show success get user feedback. The opinions of your customer matters a lot and you should understand them to the best of your abilities. From the feedback you can see where they might be confused when it comes to brand identity and likewise the things they liked.
The steps outlined above are great principles to build your branding campaign on. Brand image can be just as important as the products you’re trying to sell. Even the industry leading products will not sell as well if they aren’t marketed or presented in the right away.
Ensure that your branding is comprehensive and takes advantage of the different portals available online to make an impact. Don’t blow your budget on a single form of marketing as you’ll be shooting yourself in the foot. Eventually, your brand will penetrate the marketplace to the point where customers will help via word of mouth.
About the Author:
Sarah is a member of the MyMathDone.com team, which is in charge of content creation and website maintenance. Also she uses her in-depth knowledge of commercial legal matter, commercial off-the-shelf systems, marketing and engineering in business consulting for young entrepreneurs.