Why you need to build a brand and not a business online
What’s the difference between a business and a brand? When do you reach the stage that you can say “We’re not just a business, we’re a brand as well.”?
For many small businesses, establishing a brand reputation is a huge mountain to climb in unchartered territory. Nevertheless, every business should invest time in defining their brand. Even if you have no employees, you would still benefit from creating a brand for your business and yourself as its leader. Defining and building your brand is the fairly simple part. The real question is – how do you get your brand out there, recognised and liked?
So, what does having a brand really mean?
“Simply put, your brand is your promise to your customer. It tells them what they can expect from your products and services, and it differentiates your offering from your competitors’. Your brand is derived from who you are, who you want to be and who people perceive you to be.”
A brand is a set of associations that people make with a company, product, service, individual or organisation. These characteristics are actively promoted via marketing and corporate identity. These include brand assets such as a logo, symbol, colours, fonts, values, overall style and tone. Together, these portray an image of your business that attracts customers into a desirable community where they ultimately want to buy from you for more reasons than just liking your product or service.
How to build brand awareness and “likeability” online
After defining your brand’s image, you need to work hard at ensuring the right people both know about and, most importantly, like it. In today’s market, it is vital to connect with your audience on a personal level. So how do you do this?
• Design a great logo and use it. Everywhere.
• Develop a catchy tagline which highlights your brand’s vision.
• Create brand guidelines to ensure all content and marketing materials are instantly recognizable.
• Build trust, reliability and credibility. On your website, tell your audience your personal story, your journey so far, core beliefs… make them feel as though they know you. Also, provide existing customer testimonials to show how others view your business.
• Be social! Be active on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, blogging. These are all great ways to show off your brand ‘personality’ and make you more personable. Create useful or entertaining content to build credibility and interest, especially if you can help provide solutions to problems for your target audience.
• Online videos and podcasts allow us to make very different personal connections with our audience. Seeing us ‘in the flesh’ creates an immediate reaction that can’t be felt as effectively in reading a blog or eBook.
• The most important thing is to be yourself and be consistent. Building a brand won’t happen overnight, so make sure you don’t lose your vision or values along the way.
How do you make sure the right people are aware of your brand?
Making sure your brand is likeable is one thing. But if no one knows your brand exists or traffic is not being driven to your website or social channels, how will any of your potential customers know how great you are? Ultimately, building your brand online will require some local online advertising that reaches your target audiences.
SeeLocal’s brand awareness campaigns are great at driving increased traffic to your website and social media pages. Our expert designers will create engaging display ads and a landing page in your brand style. Our technology cleverly retargets people that visit your website or landing page but leave before taking any action, thus encouraging them to re-visit and engage with your brand.
If you’re serious about building your brand online, get in touch, and we’ll be happy to see how we can help!