On the way home from school when I was a child, we would stop at a corner sweet shop. I knew my mum and dad liked the shopkeeper and his wife, he was dead friendly and always spoke to us kindly. Needless to say, I looked forward to eating his sweets and the short jaunts to his cozy shop.
Branding yourself is no different from the corner shop concept. As you and I know branding has more depth than a logo or corporate identity. It is you and the value you offer to your clients, the way you treat your employees and serve in the community and in this digital age, your presence online. Your brand embodies all that you are and do. Almost everyone is trying to implement some type of online branding strategy, some are doing brilliantly whereas others are not doing so well.
You could benefit from some online brand loyalty. Here’s why. Online consumers spent over $200 billion in 2007, according to www.bizreport.com. This means that the web is a great resource for loyal customers willing to spend money on your products and services. About 70% of American families are in a constant search for local products and services on the web, according to www.dotster.com. So, start the branding.
Here are a few ideas to get you thinking about online branding strategies for your company:
Develop Consistent Content and Messages
It’s not a bad idea to take your current branding strategy and freshen it up a little – an inside look at your companies DNA or branding document should prove to be beneficial and will develop messages that can be used throughout all marketing mediums.
Take a Look in the Mirror
Synergizing your look online with your traditional marketing materials is a must (We’re hoping your current materials look stellar – otherwise it may be time for a brand overhaul). Confusion is not what you want when a loyal customer takes a gander at your site. We have clients that only use our SEO services and when we check the analytics data they have a high bounce rate as their website does not reflect the quality of their services or their printed materials. Food for thought.
Social Media Plan
The power of social media is getting stronger with Facebook leading the herd plus Twitter and YouTube hot on its heels. A social media commitment only makes sense. What is so great about social media you may ask? Remember the shopkeeper and how my dad knew him? He was in my dad’s network of friends, that’s what social media can do for you today. You can create communities of interest and connect with pockets of similar interests, which are made up of people situated locally or all over the world. Within these networking sites people get to know you, track your progress, the services and products that you offer. As we all know people like to buy from and patronize companies they know and like.
Enter the Blogosphere
Blogs are the new sitcoms. People tune in every week (sometimes everyday) to see what the newest happenings are in their favorite areas of interest. As a company, keeping a blog can help direct an influx of traffic to your site that would otherwise not find you. Blogs also give your company credibility in the field. All in all the more knowledgeable you are in your area of expertise the more you have to offer to your clients, customers and patients.
Overall, a top-notch online branding strategy is essential to surviving in the long term. Just check back to the stats if you disagree. We’re looking forward to hearing your comments, suggestions and ideas.
Thanks for your worthy blog. You could say it’s “Ashworthy!”, or maybe not. What I appreciate is the Ashworth way of explaining things. Clear and thoughtful information that’s worth reading about.
(and Eve, your expression, “dead friendly” made me laugh but reassured me too. A British client recently told me he was “dead excited” with the work I was doing for him. I was hoping that was a good thing.)
I love the phrase “Ashworthy” we shall adopt it into our messaging document and implement it into our overall branding strategy! The cool thing about online branding is that most of it’s results are trackable, which as you know is often not the case with traditional marketing methods. Brian you know you’re dead cool!