It’s easy to slap a name onto your business and call it a brand. But that alone won’t cut it these days – especially not online. It needs constant nourishment and attention in order to position it into something that will be successful.
The great thing about promoting your brand online is that there are plenty of tools available out there for you to use. Like websites and blogs. Social media and local business listings. Online maps and directories. E-newsletters and RSS feeds. Of course, by building a brand online, you can also reach and influence more people than ever before – and at a much quicker pace than through traditional means like radio, TV, or print.
Before you throw your brand onto the World Wide Web, however, it’s best to follow some of the online brand management tips which you’ll find below.
Develop an Online Marketing Strategy
You may have a lot of high-quality valuable information on your website, but that doesn’t mean that people will automatically find and become passionate about your brand. You may be sharing lots of industry-related information, but that doesn’t mean that you’ll automatically rank well with the search engines. While a website is essential, it is also important to deliver your brand through a strategic set of online tools. These include blogs, social media and networking sites, online press releases, and link-building efforts, among many, many others. The key is to seek your audiences out and find them on the web in places other than your own website. It takes a comprehensive online marketing strategy to be successful in building your brand online.
Deliver Fresh Content
Once you catch the attention of a reader or viewer, how do you sustain it? The answer is simple: keep coming up with new interesting, exciting, engaging content. And then let your readers and viewers know about it. Building your brand online is an ongoing exercise that requires you to keep looking for new ways to get your message out there.
These days more and more people are getting information sent to them instead of them actively searching for it. It’s extremely tough to engage the public if you’re just going to wait for them to visit your site. So offer subscriptions to your blog via RSS or E-mail. Build new links by posting relevant articles and submitting them to directories. Be interactive and relevant by sharing what you have to say in other websites, forums, blogs.
Sites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, and Flickr are hugely popular because they let people interact with each other ever so easily, as well as share information on common interests. Sign up on these sites and put your brand in a place where it can be talked about, reviewed, discussed, supported, and loved. Social media sites are also great for building up your page rankings. So take advantage. Most of them are free anyway.
Listen and Respond
The Web gives voice to everyone who has something to say – and not just those who have something to sell. Listen to what people are saying about your brand. If it’s praise, thank these people and show them your appreciation. If it’s negative, have a response to the community. Defend your brand passionately but diplomatically, in such a way that other people can see how open you are about dealing with criticism and perceived issues with your brand.