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How to Get Your Online Branding Right

With digital marketing now an essential part of any marketing campaign, and the world of the web now more integrated with proper PR than ever before (here’s an interesting piece exploring the ways that PR can benefit digital) there’s never been a better time to improve your online brand, or to start a new one!  However, there are some important things to remember when building a brand on the web, which is why we got together with Web Hosting Blue Book to create these tips on how to nail that strategy:

Build a really good site

This is the ideal starting place for two reasons: firstly, your website remains the flagship of your brand.  It’s all very well investing time and effort in a digital marketing campaign, but if all those links are leading back to a shabby, poorly built website, site then the chances are that you’re wasting both time and money.  Secondly, a well built site remains an essential part of ranking well in the Google search engines.  You will pay in traffic if your flagship is full of holes, so to speak.

Actually think about social, rather than just charging in blindly.

Whilst it’s impossible to argue against the fact that social media is now an essential part of online brand building, too many companies simply charge in and start posting rubbish, rather than actually thinking about what they’re going to do.  Just as you would with print marketing, you should take the time to create a genuine content strategy for your social account.  This planning is well worth the investment, as it’ll enable you to make a positive start right away.  Once you’ve lost customers on the web, you’ve probably lost them for good.

Build a consistent voice.

When any marketing department has reached a certain level, it’s entirely possible that you’ll end up with one person dealing with social, one person writing the blog, one person building the infographics…  Whilst this sharing of the load helps to increase productivity in the early days, it can often lead to the brand ‘voice’ being disjointed, or even non-existent.  Would you send out three promotional leaflets advertising your company that sounded like they were all written by different people?  No!  Work out what your brand’s voice is BEFORE you start creating content, not after.   You need to create a genuine identity, or you’ll never stand-out from the millions of identikit companies on the web.

Don’t oversell.

Web consumers aren’t stupid.  They know that, in the end, companies are on the web because they want to increase sales.  That’s the point!  However, avoid over-selling.  By all means make customers aware of offers you have on, new products you’re planning to release soon and other genuine notifications.  However, if every single Facebook post you make sounds like a sales letter, you’ll lose followers.  Treat users as the real, intelligent people that they are and you’re far more likely to get a positive response.

Be interesting and unique.

It can be hard to build an interesting voice, one that stands out.  In many ways, it’s like writing a TV script – sometimes, ideas can seem great but by the time they’ve been through all the stages of creating a show they can be rubbish, just as a poor idea can excel when portrayed by a great actor.  However, if there’s one thing that’s really worth sweating blood over on the web, this is it.  Don’t try and be false (users will see through any false bonhomie in a second), but do try and be genuine.  The more “real” you are, the better the response will be.

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