Does your online presence represent your organisation accurately? Are you embracing the digital revolution or getting lost amongst the noise? Are you utilising opportunities online to stand out amongst the masses of competition?
Research shows that 51% of our purchases are now made online, and this percentage will only continue to sky rocket. Whether your company is B2C or B2B, it is crucial that you are using the many different online mediums to develop your brand.
Rather than feeling intimidated and overwhelmed by digital, get excited about the different creative ways you can now reach your audience! To simplify how you can develop your online brand successfully, we’ve put together a step by step guide to show that digital really can be as easy as 1,2,3:
1. What does your website say about you?
Your website is typically where you will make your first impression. People visit your website to understand you as a brand, your ethos, who you are, what you do, how to buy from you, how to work for you and everything else in between.
It’s easy to see the importance of having a website that you are proud of, as it will set the tone for the rest of your online presence.
Studies have shown that you have 4-8 seconds to get your message to your audience, based on the average adults attention span. Is your website doing this? Or would a user click off your homepage and potentially onto a competitor’s site?
There are several key components for any successful website:
- A clean, consistent, aesthetic design
- No grammar or spelling mistakes
- Built with mobile first in mind
- A smooth user journey with clear call to actions
- Keyword optimised content
- A consistent tone of voice
Some of these may seem obvious, but it is amazing how often you see some of these basic mistakes being made. It is easy to become immersed in your own brand and miss key errors such as typos. Ask third parties to proof your website on different devices and browsers, then ask them for honest feedback on how it works for them.
2. Are you using social media confidently as a brand?
Social media is becoming one of the main ways in which a brand communicates with customers and potential customers, with almost 9 in 10 US companies using social media for marketing. But, some organisations still may not understand why social media is right for them or their target audience.
The incredible thing about the internet is that there are conversations happening globally around topics both mainstream and niche. If there isn’t already a conversation happening relevant to your brand, then start one!
As a brand, it is critical you understand who your audience are and which platforms they will be on. Always ensure you are interacting with the right people to reap the benefits of social.
Don’t feel like you need to have an account on every platform available. It is far more effective to select the platforms where you could deliver daily engaging content, build up a followership and engage with people, rather than just having unused accounts.
3. Don’t underestimate the power of an onsite blog!
Our last, but certainly not least, step to successful online branding is to feature an onsite blog on your website. Some people underestimate the importance of an onsite blog, however they provide a number of benefits for your digital marketing campaigns. Ideally, you should be posting a new blog every week to ensure that a consistent momentum is maintained.
So, why exactly are blogs so important for your brand?
- They allow your website to become a resource, meaning that people will spend longer on your website, as well as clicking on to different pages
- By ensuring your blog is keyword rich, you can increase Google rankings effectively
- They can help to position you as experts in your field
- You can share across platforms and use the blog to drive your social content
- They can be a fantastic tool for link building
Your onsite blog allows you to get creative, talk about topics which are important to you and really inject some personality into your online presence. Of course, for your onsite blog to really power your digital campaign, it needs be updated regularly, as well as being keyword optimised to increase your Google rankings.
What are the next steps for your brand?
The next step for you and your brand is to re-evaluate where your online branding is at.
As mentioned before, you should outsource this where you can, whether that be to friends, family or a professional third party. Ensure that it is someone you can trust, who is not already too immersed in your organisation, in order to receive honest and constructive criticism.
Then it’s time to get experimental and really explore the different platforms out there!
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