As on online marketer or entrepreneur, one of the most important things to understand is that building your brand is not the same thing as making immediate sales.
Of course, it’s great if a Google, Bing or Facebook paid ad campaign does generate a quick Return on Investment (ROI), and with smart marketing and meticulous testing, it’s certainly possible.
Branding is much more about building long-term customer loyalty; that’s to say an audience of people with whom your message and image resonates, who will identify with and endorse your core values. Who are therefore far more likely to buy from you again.
Your website is the most important part of your online presence. It’s where you make your sales, but just as importantly it’s where you make your first impression. Attracting prospects and getting potential customers to engage with your brand.
Think of your site as the equivalent of the storefront of a brick and mortar store. Of course, it’s vital that your logos, banners and images are visually attractive and enticing. It’s also crucial that all of your site content, including blog posts, should be the same high quality to present a consistent and coherent brand profile.
Content marketing can help your site attract a steady stream of organic search engine traffic, while the use of accurately targeted paid traffic campaigns will go a long way towards to building an audience of people who are potentially receptive to your brand message.
It’s then important to follow up with visitors to your site by sending sequenced e-mails which reinforce your message. There are a number of ways to do this, but Ballantine has the experience and knows how to make it a painless process for you.
Aside from your own website, setting up a Facebook page is one of the best ways of building your brand.
Understanding that most Facebook users don’t go there with the intention of buying. So what you are trying to do is build an audience of engaged prospects without coming across as too “salesy”.
The best ways to do this are by:
- Sharing content from your own website (e.g. blog posts, videos etc)
- Sharing relevant content from other sites in your business niche
- Encouraging conversation and comments from people who have visited and liked your page
Recent changes in Facebook’s business model have made it harder to get organic likes and shares, but the good news is that their paid ads make it easy to drive highly targeted and inexpensive traffic to your page.
You can target by age, gender, location, and, perhaps most importantly, by interests. You can also decide whether you want likes, clicks to your website or more conversions.
For best brand building results, the logos and images used on your Facebook page should be the same as those on your own website.
For brand building purposes, Twitter is in some ways rather similar to Facebook. People do not generally go there with the intention of purchasing goods or services, but rather with the desire to get information from leaders and influencers in their area of interest.
So creating or sharing informative whether it be educational or just plain entertaining content for your followers this can be a great way to build awareness of your brand.
As with Facebook, the key to success is to avoid the hard sell. It’s fine to Tweet some links to your own website content, but this shouldn’t be all you do. Instead, try to gain visibility by sharing as much relevant content and following as many high profile individuals and businesses in your niche as possible.
The more relevant and useful links you can Tweet, the faster you’ll build a following for your brand.
By using Sponsored Tweets – a paid platform – it’s also now possible to make use of the influence of individuals who have already amassed a substantial number of followers in your market.
With an estimated 4 billion visits a day and an average visitor stay of 40 minutes, setting up a dedicated YouTube channel is a great way to promote a brand.
The imaginative use of video can establish an immediate connection with your audience, and the creation of attractive videos is a process which can now be easily automated.
Your videos then can and should be shared on your website, Facebook and Twitter outlets, always ensuring that all logos or images used are in harmony.
While Facebook, Twitter and YouTube are probably the most important social media platforms for brand building there are many others which can be integrated as your business progresses.
You might consider:
But whatever platform you choose, the keys to success are always high quality written content, attractive images and, perhaps most importantly, regular engagement with your audience.
At Ballantine we understand that with all the other demands of running a business it’s not easy to achieve or maintain these standards, but we also know that the advice and support of our experienced professionals can be a great help, and we offer a wide range of services designed to get you the best possible return on all your campaigns.
So contact us today for expert help with your marketing campaign.