If you’re running a business, you’ll want to ensure you’ve got a strong presence online. Having a strong brand online means you’ll be able to build a larger community of followers, and in turn build customer loyalty and increase conversions.
However, it can be difficult to maintain a strong brand online. Depending on your niche, there might be strong competition that makes it hard to stand out. You also need to know what to do in case there is a crisis that could damage your brand’s reputation.
So what can you do to create a stronger online brand?
The key to having a strong online brand is consistency.
You want to have an easily identifiable logo that is used across all your platforms, which includes your website, email signatures and social media accounts. Make sure your logo conveys what your brand is about, as it will often act as the face of the brand. People remember visual elements, so you want your logo and website theme to be consistent.
Make sure you have a consistent brand voice. How you communicate should be the same on your website as on social media. Is your brand voice more professional, or laid back and casual? This will change depending on your niche and your target audience. Just make sure this voice remains the same on every platform. This makes it easier for customers to identify and associate with your brand.
You need to keep track of what people are saying about your brand online. After all, you want to know the positive and negative views people hold. This gives you an idea of what you’re doing right, and what your brand needs to change.
You can set up brand monitoring through Google Alerts. Once you’re logged in, navigate to the Google Alerts page. Here, you will be able to enter a particular query which you want to monitor. Don’t cram all your keywords into one search – you can make numerous alerts. You’ll have the option to monitor everything, or you can narrow down your results to news or blogs, for example. Finally, you can decide how often you are alerted of your mentions, whether that be in real time or weekly.
This way you will be able to monitor everything said about your brand, and respond to any statements if necessary.
Monitor the competition
Sometimes you need to know what the competition is doing. Monitoring the competition allows you to notice if they have made any mistakes, and allows you to avoid doing the same.
Communicate with customers
It’s important to remain active on your social media platforms. In fact, Facebook displays how quickly a page responds to customers. You don’t want to come across as having bad customer service by not acknowledging a customer’s comment or question. People may be less willing to leave a comment if they know it will just go unanswered, and can see you have not answered previous questions left by other customers.
It’s also important to know how to appropriately reply to negative comments. It may be tempting to delete the comment or even block the user. Unless there are extreme circumstances where the customer has posted an abusive, explicit message, don’t delete the posts. People will know you have deleted their posts and may post again pointing this out.
With negative comments, it’s best to avoid getting angry or abusive. After all, you’re representing your brand, you don’t want to give off the wrong message. It may be difficult, but always try and stay composed when responding to negative comments. This means there will be less risk of damage to your reputation and brand through negative online comments.
Boost Juice is a great example of a brand that uses humour in its responses to customers. The brand generally communicates in a very fun, laid back way, which allows for humorous but professional responses to negative comments.
Create a blog
Creating a blog on your website helps to establish yourself as an authority in your niche. It allows you to show your readers that you know what you’re talking about. You should be writing about areas relevant to your business, without directly promoting your products. Write about content that your readers will find useful and want to share.
Blogging can also lead to more activity on social media, and more traffic flow to your website. Posting frequent blogs means you have more original content to share on your social media platforms, and encourages your readers to share it as well. Just make sure your website has easily accessible social media buttons to promote sharing.
Search engine optimisation (SEO)
You’re not going to have a strong online brand if no one can find you. In fact, 89% of consumers use search engines to research a product or service prior to making a decision. So it’s important that you have a good search engine ranking. To achieve this, you need to appropriately optimise your website.
You need to consider your:
- Content: what text is on the page, what are your titles and what keywords you’re using.
- Speed: how fast does your website load? This is an important factor for Google when deciding on search engine rankings.
- User experience: your website design should always keep the user in mind. Does it look good, is it easy to navigate and does it look trustworthy? Keep all these things in mind when designing your website.
Moz offers an extensive Beginners Guide To SEO for those who would like an overview of the important factors needed when optimising your website.
These tips will ensure you will be able to stand out from the competition and build a stronger brand online.