How To Build A Brand Online
Building a brand online entails a number of similar or identical steps to building an offline brand, however, the complexity and intricacy of the digital age makes it far more challenging to create a successful brand in the online world. Quite simply, there are more proverbial balls you need to keep in the air at all times, not to mention some legal challenges you will need to overcome. Regardless, if you manage to execute a comprehensive brand strategy and optimize your online presence across the board, you will set the stage for long-term success in your industry.
Today, we’re going over all of the essential steps you need to take in order to build your startup, and scale, test, and adapt your entire brand identity to the requirements of search engines as well as online audiences, with the ultimate goal of creating a thriving digital presence for your company. Here’s what you need to know.
Creating your brand’s personality
Let’s start by creating the foundation of your online brand – its unique personality that will set it apart from the competition (among other crucial elements) and help you connect with your demographic on a more personal level. The true power of a brand’s identity is the ability to bring the emotional, visual, and technical elements together that will appeal to the search engines and consumers alike. Here are the steps you need to take to create a compelling personality everyone will love:
- Begin by researching the unique values of your audience. What do they people care for, what are they passionate about? Make sure to alight your values with theirs.
- Avoid clichés when defining your value set, mission, and vision. Quality? Everyone expects that. Dedication to excellence? Please. Make sure that these messages are worth reading, and that they strike an emotional chord with your audience.
- Create a distinct tone of voice for your brand – one that sets you apart, but also appeals to the unique sensibilities of your demographic. Adjust the tone so that it speaks in a manner that is familiar, friendly, and engaging.
With these elements taken care of, it’s time to build a visual identity that will grab the attention of the online market.
Building a striking visual presence
Next up, your brand’s visuals. It should go without saying that your brand’s visual identity should be optimized for both the online and offline realm, as you will want to use it in your offline as well as online marketing strategies when the time comes. After all, even fully-digital agencies understand the power and potential of a branded promotional product or two.
When building a visual identity for the online world primarily, you need to consider several crucial elements:
- Make it simple, make it easy to replicate on a piece of paper, and make sure it portrays your brand’s essence.
- Pictograms, images, complementary visuals. Complementary visuals need to follow the design patterns laid out by your logo and color scheme.
- Color scheme. The colors you choose should complement your brand’s personality in order to portray the brand in the best possible light. Try to use colors that are close together on the color wheel.
- Choose fonts that serve a distinct purpose, as they will influence your tone of voice.
All of these elements need to embody the unique values, stories, messages, and tone of voice that define your brand’s personality, in order to build a well-rounded brand identity. If you allow your visuals to tell a slightly different story, though, you will invariably create confusion for first-time website visitors, and alienate them before they’ve had the chance to experience your stellar service, or buy your products.
Emphasizing UX and CX in web design
It should go without saying that one of the most important elements of a thriving online brand is the overall user and customer experience on your website. These metrics are absolutely vital for your long-term success in the online business world, as your entire business rests on the design of your website, quite literally. This is something that business leaders operating in highly-competitive regions, such as Australia, have realized some time ago, so let’s follow their example.
In the Land Down Under, every experienced digital agency in Sydney will make sure to complement the brand’s identity with performance-driven web design in order to ensure a seamless browsing experience on every platform, for every visitor. Every element of the website, every page, and every image, need to load quickly, and they need to load properly, no matter if you’re viewing the content on a laptop, or a smartphone.
What’s more, the agency you choose to handle your branding process should focus on creating a solid site structure that will enable seamless and easy navigation for all users. Combined, these solutions will drive UX and CX, and set the stage for higher rankings in the SERPs.
Optimizing the brand for search engines
While you do need to build your brand with the customer in mind first and foremost, you also need to integrate the best SEO practices in order to position your company high in the relevant results pages and thus elevate its visibility, marketability, and reputation in the online realm. To achieve this, you will need to:
- Create a content strategy. Your site needs a constant influx of fresh content to keep fueling its reputation in the eyes of the relevant search engines. Create a blog page, and be sure to diversify your content offering from time to time.
- Conduct thorough keyword research. Keywords allow search engines to index your pages and display them as relevant search results to online users – make sure you use the right keywords in every piece of content.
- Optimize the design of your site for maximum user experience. If unsure, read the previous section again.
- Create a comprehensive dissemination strategy. That’s in the next section, so keep reading.
- Emphasize user-generated content and first-party reviews. User-generated content is invaluable nowadays as it creates social proof for your brand, and feeds the SEO machine. However, your focus should be on generating 1st party reviews directly on your site instead on 3rd party websites.
- Create a backlink strategy. To rank higher in the SERPs, you will need to build your backlink portfolio. Guest posting is an excellent way to do this, as you can ask reputable bloggers to publish your pieces in exchange for a mention and a link that leads back to your site.
Brand marketing, dissemination, and WOM
On a final note, don’t forget about the importance of proper marketing and dissemination. After all, how are people supposed to find out about your brand and experience its awesomeness if there is no comprehensive marketing plan to put your company in front of the eyes and ears of the right audience? In short, you need to invest in marketing this final product you have built – your amazing brand.
To cover all of your bases, you will need to share your content on social media and all other relevant platforms, grow your email subscription list and send out personalized stories and promotions, reach out to notable influencers to turn them into your brand ambassadors, and more. Leave no marketing tactic unexploited, and don’t forget to invest in search engine and social media marketing in order to position yourself at the very top of every relevant search result.
To build a brand in the online world means to balance the need to appeal to a human audience and their AI counterparts. Follow this guide, and you will have the framework you need to create a winning brand identity that will command respect and recognition from its peers, while creating an inextricable bond with your customers.