A brand is much more than a matching logo, letterhead and website. A brand should be the foundation of all your advertising and marketing material.
In fact, your brand should shine through everything that represents your business.
A brand helps you forge a relationship and build trust with existing and potential customers. And it’s just as important to build your brand online as it is offline. Where to start?
Where to build
The internet is the first place potential customers are likely to use to find out about you and your products. The internet enables you to reach, talk to and attract people from all parts of the globe, so it’s important to build a good brand online.
Until recently, a website used to be the sole tool for achieving this and, of course it’s still a vital tool, but in the last decade social media has developed. Its continual rise in popularity makes it hugely influential and important for any brand.
So, giving you advice on the best way to use social media will help you build your business’s brand.
Blogging on your website
Blogs are a great way to build a brand online because they provide your customers with constant content.
A blog will also maximise the value of your content. Using fresh and unique content in a blog will improve your search engine optimisation, which can only help develop your business.
Even though it’s free to use, the content of a blog should be beneficial for your customers. This will ensure that your rapport with customers will be strengthened and they’ll keep returning to your site.
Producing a blog demonstrates that you’re not just out to make money, but that you want to speak to and relate with your customers. This, in turn, affects how you’re perceived by them and continues to build your brand and therefore your reputation.
A response to your blog post is what you’re looking for. This interaction with your customers means that they’ll be able to leave comments for you and forward your blog to others, thus making your content even more valuable.
Networking with social media
Sites such as Facebook® and Twitter are becoming more influential in establishing brands. They are a great way to develop customer relationships and find out what people are saying about you.
When social media is used properly, customers won’t just come to you when they want to buy something, they’ll both follow and interact with you.
You can provide information, take polls, converse with customers and solve relevant problems for them. And every time this happens, your brand will be reinforced and your business personality will grow.
When you do all this and provide great service at the same time, then there’s a good chance that customers will pass on what you’ve shared and, within minutes, your brand will reach tens, hundreds or even thousands of people.
The key to a strong brand is consistency. No matter whether you’re tweeting, publishing a blog post, or selling a product via your website, your brand should be consistent and recognisable.
Your logo, colour scheme, fonts and ‘tone of voice’ should be used across all your online and offline platforms and should reflect your brand, no matter who creates the content or where it’s sent.
For example, you can change the background on Twitter to match an existing colour scheme You can also customise Facebook pages and, with both working in harmony, you’ll create traffic and establish your brand.
Building a brand online will only get more important
As an ever-increasing number of people turn to the internet to do business and network with each other, it becomes increasingly important to build your brand online.
You can achieve this by posting blogs on your website and communicating via social media. Just make sure that whichever type of social media you’re using that the brand is consistent, not just with each other but with any other online or offline representations of your business.
Peter White works for Serif, a leading developer of software for companies looking to develop their online presence. Serif’s web design software WebPlus, a professional website design software package and WebPlus Essentials, an easy to use website builder program, both include powerful social media integration.