Standing Out Online: Separating Your Brand in the Digital Business WorldWeb.com Team
- Your brand is the image you want customers to have of your company.
- It reflects the way you treat customers and respond to their needs.
- Online marketing helps you build brand awareness and keeps your brand relevant for years to come.
Sitting alone, deep in thought at his art studio, graphic designer Rob Janoff carefully studied the bowl of apples on his desk. He had been tasked by a little-known startup computer company to develop a simple and easily recognizable logo for a new brand.
The logo Janoff created was quickly approved by the three company owners in their tiny strip-mall office. Now, over 50 years later, the Apple Inc. logo has changed little and is one of the most recognized symbols in history.
The logo was inspired by an apple that allegedly fell from a tree, striking Isaac Newton on the head and prompting his revolutionary discoveries on gravity. The story behind the bite out of the Apple logo is less romantic. “I simply didn’t want it to look like a cherry tomato,” said Janoff.
What is Your Brand?
Your brand is more than a logo. It’s the image customers have of your company and how they experience your business. It’s the way you treat them, how you respond to their needs and how they feel when they use your product or service.
It’s important to define your brand in the early stages of your business before the market does it for you. Your core brand message should focus on:
- Your unique value proposition – This is what you do best and how it brings value to customers. Do you offer greater product quality? Better customer service? More on-time deliveries? Clearly describe what you offer your customers and how you do this better than anyone else.
- Your target audiences – Who are your customers and how will your company overcome their challenges? What motivates them? Get to know what your customers need and more importantly, why they need you.
- Your mission – What sets your company apart as a local and world community member? How are you bettering the lives of those you serve? Communicate what drives your business to make a difference.
Adopting a “Digital First” Brand Mentality
Branding strategies continue to evolve. While customers were mainly targeted with things like static print ads and direct mailers in the past, branding today means quickly capturing their attention on a smartphone or tablet screen with a message that creates a connection and inspires action.
Digital marketing is here to stay and companies will benefit by adopting it as a primary marketing and branding focus. A marketing executive who has helped Netflix become a leading digital brand, says online marketing tactics are efficient, affordable and give you the power to quickly “turn the brand volume up or down.”
In the ever-growing digital market, distinguishing your brand may seem difficult on a limited budget. However, there are cost-effective ways to stand out from the competition. Here are some ideas for effectively reaching your target audience and creating a memorable brand.
Build a Brand, Not Just a Website
While a website is critical to the success of your business, it is the hub of your brand, not the brand itself. However, a good website communicates your key brand aspects, including your unique value proposition, your mission and solutions to your customers’ challenges.
Your website will build brand awareness and trust with your target audience, differentiate you from your competition and inspire customer action. With the easiest do it yourself (DIY) website builder for small business and custom website design services, Web.com makes it simple and affordable to create a site that attracts customers and builds your brand.
Choose Your Social Media Channels Carefully
There are over 243 million monthly U.S. users and approximately 25 million monthly Canadian users of social networks and the number is growing. You can easily and cost-effectively reach your customers with targeted posts on LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and other social sites. However, you need to determine which social channels are right for your business to build awareness, increases engagement and inspire action.
For example, LinkedIn represents a cross-section of career-driven professionals while the vast majority of millennials use Facebook. Once you have determined your target audience, test various social channels to see which ones prompt the most responses. You can also study your competition’s social approach for more insights.
Like any marketing strategy, you should clearly define your goals about how many followers, responses, customers and purchases you want to gain. You should also develop a social media calendar so you can post on the right channels at the right times to reach your audience. If you need assistance, Web.com can show you how to use social media for business.
Start a Blog (and Stick With It)
A great way to build brand awareness and provide useful and relevant content to your customers is by consistently blogging. A website blog positions you as a thought leader in your industry, builds and strengthens customer relationships with your brand and creates opportunities for others to share your blog link.
Most importantly, blogging helps attract more customers to your website with search engine optimization (SEO) benefits. By including SEO keywords in your blog content, you’ll enhance your search ranking when customers look for your business on directories like Google, Yelp and Bing.
Web.com can easily help you add a blog to your website and put your business in front of more people with local SEO strategies.
Refresh Your Online Content Often
Updating your website content keeps your brand relevant and customers engaged by giving them more reasons to visit your site. When you create a new blog post or podcast, promote it through your social channels or through an email campaign with a link to the new content.
When you refresh your website, online search engines take notice and continue to keep your company name and brand relevant in the online directories. Refreshing your content also helps you to understand what topics are resonating with your customers. Also, tracking website statistics with online tools like Google Analytics shows you how customers are using your site and what prompts them to take action and do business with you.
Build Your Brand Online
From helping you build your brand and showing you how to build a brand identity to developing a content strategy, we are here to help you make the most of your website and online marketing experience.
Let’s work together to make your brand stand out online.
Products mentioned in this blog post include: