5 Productive Ways to Establish Your Brand Online
When people think of brands, they think of established companies like Target, Nike, and Whole Foods. But it’s not just big companies that worry about branding; all businesses should be mindful of their brand. A business’s brand should be consistent, and send a certain message to customers; which ultimately boosts business. Believe it or not, there is a kind of science to establishing a brand, but don’t let that stress you out. These 7 branding tips should help you think about how to effectively brand your business.
#1 Search Yourself- What Do You Find?
Search yourself on Google. What do you find? Does a link to your Facebook make an appearance? Perhaps a picture of yourself (hopefully not an embarrassing one)? If you have a common name resulting in hundreds of other like-named individuals showing up, consider adding a distinguishing mark in your title. A middle initial is an easy way to separate yourself from everyone else with your name. Distinguishing yourself is especially important if someone else with your name is doing something “displeasing” that you definitely don’t want to be associated with (think: A news article featuring Jane Smith who was found pickpocketing local businessmen at the park after an all night-long binger).
#2 Find a “Home Base” Where Your Brand Ultimately Lives
Usually, a company has a home base, where all of its information about products, services and contacts are located. Typically, a website serves as the best home base, but blogs can also suffice. Just be sure to have everything else online (your Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, etc.) link directly back to this site. Don’t be afraid to have plenty of links related to your brand; because the more links you have, the more likely you will pop up on online searches. Word to the wise: don’t use a social media site to ultimately house your brand. With so many other people contributing to your social media outlets, they can easily distort your business’s image.
# 3 Make Use of Social Media- All the Cool Kids Are Doing It
With so many people glued to their various social media outlets, it would be silly not to use them to your brand’s advantage. Facebook is the best way to reach potential clients with over a billion people using the site (insert jaw-dropping motion here). Just be sure you’re consistently updating your Facebook with interesting content. With a steady flow of fun articles and pictures, the “liking” and “sharing” will result in extra brand exposure. Of course, Instagram is also a fun way to share your brand, especially if your products are visually pleasing (like clothing, jewelry, properties, etc.). Pinterest is another creative way to direct traffic to your website. While most people think Pinterest is just for DIY-ers, it has recently evolved into a great network for sharing pictures. On each “pin”, be sure to include your brand’s website, increasing traffic there.
With so many social media sites (there are even more than are mentioned here), it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. But start with one, and slowly add more to your daily regimen, and you’ll be a social media maven in no time.
#4 Learn How to Write A Press Release
Press releases are a great way to get the word out about your product and/or services. It increases brand visibility, and doesn’t cost much at all. Press releases keep other businesses updated with what’s going on with your business, and gives them a chance to get to know your brand better. Before writing a press release, be sure you understand the correct format and phrases to use. It’s important to represent your brand with a professional voice. Submitting press releases through an agency you trust is also a great option, but may cost a little more money.
#5 Start a Blog
Channel your inner Carrie Bradshaw (minus the annoying friends and overuse of puns) and begin to write a blog relating to your brand. Creating your own engaging content is a fun way to increase traffic to your site. While the blog should of course relate back to your product and services, expand the content of your blog to create more conversation. The ultimate goal of blogging, is to turn online traffic into actual leads- this is a business after all! An easy way to do this, is to post a “call to action” on the blog, leading them to your website. The “call to action” can be a fun contest, or just a subscription to the blog itself. This automatically gives you the potential customer’s info so you can communicate with them directly. Boom- there’s your next lead.