In this day and age, we do nothing without the internet. We don’t buy a product, visit a restaurant or even book accommodation without scouring the internet to see if the brand, company or product looks credible or to read what people say about it.
Businesses and companies are involuntarily in a constant race to be number 1 online, and keeping your brand relevant and current helps you move just a bit closer to that prime position.
So how do you achieve online brand visibility?
Before you dive head first into the online advertising pool, take a step back and first look at your digital foundation. Advertising without a solid digital foundation will not only hurt you in the long run, but Google will also not be able to link who you are with what you are advertising. For example, if your PPC campaign talks about “the best coffee shop in cape town”, the landing page it gets sent to should say and portray exactly what you advertised.
So, you’re probably wondering how do you do this? How do you take a brand and spread it across the entire digital landscape to ensure that you’ve created a solid foundation?
You ensure that you create the necessary platforms to support your online strategy.
Follow 3 steps to build your brand online
1. Create a cutting-edge website
First on the list is, and always will be, creating a website. It’s one of the most important assets to have. It shows who you are as a brand, it builds credibility and allows consumers, as well as Google, to browse through your website and make their decision.
For consumers, it must convince them that you are the number one brand in your specific field or industry, and that they won’t find any better anywhere else. Google on the other hand looks at various factors and their decision on where you will rank on the search engine will be based on it. They look at site structure, site speed, the number of web pages, the quality of your content, inbound and outbound links, imagery, meta descriptions and so much more.
Some of the key features all websites should have
A mobile responsive website caters for the mass mobile growing adoption.
Good User Experience
A good user experience helps ensure that website visitors find what they are looking for easily and instantaneously.
Multiple sign-ups to engage with customers in the purchase funnel
Sign-ups help you gather leads as well as understand what your customers’ behaviour are during the funnel.
Types of Sign-ups
- Newsletter sign up
- Thought leadership download
- Enquire/ Get a Quote
- Contact Us
- Pop up live chats
- Pop up lead magnets
- Promotions, discounts and special offers pop up
- Related product suggestion pop up
- Pop up takeover page
Social Media Linking
Easily linking to your social media encourages website visitors to follow and share your content.
Good analytics tracking helps assess the site’s performance to see what’s working or not.
Visible and various forms of contact
Include contact and address details for easy enquiries.
A user-friendly navigation (footer and header) helps ensure your pages are easily findable.
Visually Appealing Design
Visually appealing design keeps website visitors engaged long enough to enquire.
Prominent Call to Action Buttons
Prominent call to action buttons encourage visitors to take the next step.
Testimonials and Client Lists
Testimonials and client lists help increase credibility and trust.
Trackable Phone Numbers
Trackable phone numbers assess how many calls are generated from digital marketing efforts.
With these 11 key features in place, you will already have a solid foundation. And now you can add more elements and optimise your website as you go.
2.Extend your digital presence to social media platforms
It’s important to not stop with a website. You have created this brand and extended it to a website, but consumers always want to know more. Whether it be out of curiosity or for research, most will want to see whether your brand is existent on social media. Social Media is also a great source for brand awareness and engagement. Once you have your brand extended across all the essential relevant social media platforms you can start communicating with consumers. It can be a product launch, daily facts, new articles, competitions etc.
Another major factor to consider is that Google sees combined social signals as a ranking factor. So, shares, tweets, retweets, followers, likes, pins, posts etc all influences how Google sees your site. And if you create great, quality content, more people will share. And the more it gets shared, the higher the chance that it will lead to natural backlinks. The key is to create quality content that reaches a lot of people, and then see how the consumers react to it. I will talk more in-depth about content creation in one of my next articles.
Essential social media platforms to create
Regardless of your industry, your social media platforms should reflect your brand. Each profile must have a brand consistent banner (the same look and feel as your website) and description that outlines what you do and the services/ products you offer.
Just remember that when you create these platforms, it should be consistent and clear throughout. Make sure that your descriptions convey the same message. Consumers don’t want to struggle to figure out what you do.
Essential social media platforms you should consider:
- Google +
Not all brands will have all 7 social profiles. Some brands will never need Instagram or Pinterest. Our advice; ensure that you have Google+, LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook to start with.
3.Create a blog to communicate with customers
The third step in the process is creating your blog. A blog plays a big role in your overall brand positioning, consumer perception and SEO ranking factors. It’s an extra tool that can reach new customers and form an online community where consumers can communicate and share ideas. The benefits of having a blog are endless.
- Communicate with current customers;
- Reach potential customers;
- Build a strong brand personality online;
- Achieve a higher search engine ranking;
- Gather feedback from your customers to know where to improve;
- Get testimonials and manage complaints;
- and so much more.
Planning your blog
When you start planning a blog, determine early on what role it will play as part of the overall marketing strategy. Will it be your main source of content and information? What type of content will you create? It can be informative, educational, entertaining, aspirational, lead gen driven, thought leadership pieces or case studies. What will your budget and sharing strategy be?
All of this plays an integrate part in the success of your blog. And remember, not all brands use blogs for the same reasons. Find your target audience and do your research to ensure you put the right content in front of the right people.
Once you have your blog set up and active, start to respond to customers’ needs by advertising on needs-based search terms. If you know what consumers are looking for, write content for it and ensure that your content pops up when they are searching for the related keywords. For more, read our latest article explaining this in more detail.
Your next step?
Hopefully by now you’ve created your brand and taken it online, but it doesn’t end there. The next step is optimising your website for conversion. This means you need to keep engaging website visitors in the purchase funnel with various sign ups to make sure that you continuously capture as much information about your target audience and their behaviour on your site
You’ve set the foundation and made yourself known online. Let’s see how you can make your online strategy even stronger.