What is branding? This is a question that every business owner should know the answer to. Understanding branding, particularly online branding, is paramount to success.
What Is Branding in Marketing? Online Branding Definition Explained
Whether you are a longtime business owner or a newbie entrepreneur, branding is something you have probably already heard of. But, what is branding anyway?
The definition of branding, within the context of marketing, is as follows: It is the act of positioning your brand so that it captures the attention of your ideal customer among a sea of competitors. It is a marketing tactic that plays a major role in turning first-time buyers into loyal customers who actively advocate for your product or business.
Among the types of branding — and there are several — the one that comes up more often in today’s digital landscape is online branding. Online branding, also known as internet branding, bears the same definition but with the added layer of using online communication channels as a means to get your message across.
The Importance of Branding on the Internet
You now know the answer to the question, “What is branding?” This time, it is time to ask, “Why is branding important?”
First of all, online branding is what identifies you as a business and sets you apart from your competitors on the Internet. No matter what kind of business you run or what industry you are in, you are bound to have competition. And, just like you, those competitors of yours have definitely made their presence known online. Therefore, if you want customers to drown out the noise and focus on you, online branding is essential.
Online branding also builds trust. When you use sloppy or inconsistent brand assets online, you can’t blame potential customers for seeing your brand as unreliable.
Aside from that, branding allows you to form a more-than-superficial connection with your audience. Fostering deep or emotional connections with your audience is what will transform them into customers and, eventually, brand evangelists. And online branding can certainly help you establish such connections.
Online Branding Strategies You Can Use
Online branding can come as a challenge if you don’t know where to begin. Here are some strategies you can use to get you started on the right track:
1. Write a Great About Us Page
A big part of branding is defining your business — what you do, what makes you unique, and what issues matter to you. One of the best ways you can get that message through, when it comes to the Internet, is to write a great “About Us” page.
Basic facts about your business are fine, but simply listing them down on your “About Us” page certainly won’t get the job done. This page should be all about your brand. Explain the purpose of your business, why customers should choose you over other options, and what you stand for.
Additionally, you should pay attention to the writing style and language you use here. Keep in mind that a consistent voice is imperative in establishing your brand across all online channels.
2. Create a Consistent Style
As touched upon in the previous point, you should create a consistent style of writing and tone of voice. These are things you will use throughout your website and across your social platforms. When you maintain a consistent style, customers are more likely to recognize your brand from your competitors. It also improves revenue by up to 23 percent.
To create a consistent style, make sure to first clearly define your brand’s objectives and story. This will help you with your tone. It is also worth choosing some key adjectives that perfectly encapsulate what your brand is about.
Consistency applies to your visuals, too. Use the same color scheme and assets on every medium of communication. In fact, the color scheme boosts brand recognition by up to 80 percent. Make sure to decide what color palette you want to use and what colors you want to stay away from. The same goes for font styles.
3. Tap User-Generated Content
Consumer engagement is a defining objective of branding, so it only makes sense to use a strategy that improves that. The existence of social platforms has changed the way brands communicate with customers. Through social media, it is now much easier to directly engage with your audience.
Encourage your followers to share brand-related content on social media or even straight to your website. Organizing a contest that requires users to follow your social channel and share a post for a chance to win prizes is a great way to do it. You can even pledge to donate a set amount to charity each time someone uploads brand-related content and uses your hashtag.
User-generated content can come in many forms — from simple photos with your products to video reviews and unboxings. It is your choice which one you want your followers to share. User-generated content serves as social proof, which then helps your brand come across as trusted and authentic. This, in turn, will help convert more viewers into buyers.
4. Take Advantage of Influencer Marketing
Influencer marketing is a strategy that can deliver impressive results, which is why many companies have and continue to utilize it.
If you are unaware, influencer marketing is the practice of partnering with an influencer with the goal of introducing your brand to its followers. An influencer is someone who has a large and dedicated online following.
There are many ways you can team up with an influencer, including but not limited to:
- Having an influencer share a promoted post or story of your product or service on Instagram
- Sponsoring an influencer video
- Writing and publishing a guest post on an influencer’s blog
The beauty of influencer marketing is that you don’t have to be a big corporation to use it. There are many kinds of influencers with varying degrees of popularity and numbers of followers. Of course, you will need to choose your influencer wisely. You want to work with someone who shares the same values as your brand and has your ideal type of customer as followers.
After determining which influencer you want to work with, the next step is to make contact. Make sure not to do this suddenly, though. Instead, form a professional relationship with them carefully. Start by liking and leaving comments on their posts and videos. Get to know their brand and do your research. Influencers are more likely to partner with you and create quality content for you if you show genuine interest.
5. Set Up a Customer Rewards Program
Once people have started to buy your product, the next logical step is to turn them into loyal customers. Brand loyalty is hard to cultivate, but you can do so organically through the magic of a customer rewards program.
Don’t let the size of your business discourage you. There is a program that will suit your business, no matter how big it is. Perhaps you can offer a discount code on their next purchase. Even writing a simple yet personalized thank-you message with every online purchase can make your customers feel special.
What Is Branding? Answered!
Clearly, branding is something that every business should spend time on. Seeing as how branding affects many facets of your business, including the most important one — revenue, you can’t afford to skip it. Yet, many owners still disregard the role branding plays in marketing either due to a lack of time or expertise.
This is where Tanner Grey comes in. We offer brand identity design services as well as other services that come hand-in-hand with branding such as social media marketing, online reputation management, and graphic design. Call us today at 844.500.1339 to learn more or contact us online to get a free estimate.
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