22nd June 2021
Is your brand’s first impression up to scratch?
What can you achieve in 1.7 seconds? Not much, but according to Facebook, that’s the time your business has to grab someone’s attention as they scroll on their phone. In this digital information age, it’s make or break in under 2 seconds.
With those kinds of stakes, it’s more important than ever to bring your business to life through effective online branding.
Get their attention (and then hold on to it)
We’ve been taught not to judge a book by its cover, but marketing a business online goes against that very mantra – everything comes down to that first impression. You need to get their attention quickly and then give them a good reason to stick around.
But building an online brand is a lot more than just designing a logo and creating a website. It’s about creating an exceptional customer journey from the moment they discover your brand right through to the time they (hopefully) leave you a glowing testimonial.
The right branding is the key to giving your audience the trust and confidence to pick up the phone to you, make that purchase or sign up to your service.
So what do you need to think about when building a brand?
Authenticity: Keep it real
With so much competition out there and so much noise online, it’s essential that your brand represents your business in a clear and definitive way. Outline your identity and values as a company. What’s important to you? What sets you apart from the rest? Why should anyone trust you?
Make sure your branding is honest about what you do and what you stand for as a company. Don’t pretend to be what you’re not just to gain traction online. This may bring in website visits in the short term, but it can cost you valuable leads and cause reputational damage over time.
Consistency: Stay on track
You may have seen those companies that have a great Instagram account… only to lead you to a website that makes you question whether you’ve followed the wrong link. It’s important to not only remain consistent in your messaging and your values, but also your appearance. Brand consistency builds recognition and trust. Make sure your content across social media, your website, email marketing and other channels has a common theme and complement each other.
Community: Be one big family
It’s all well and good creating a fantastic brand, but if you aren’t listening to the needs of your customers, it’s all for nothing. Establish early on who your target audience is and what will lead them to you. Create an emotional connection with them. In these difficult times, people are craving a sense of community more than ever, so bring your brand to life by making them feel part of something.
Tools for building your brand
Branding should be a seamless experience – running through absolutely everything your business does. But here are some key areas that really are essential to getting it right online.
- Social media
There’s no ignoring the likes of Instagram, LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and Tik Tok – having a social media presence is key in the virtual world we now live in. Although clearly, you have to pick the right channels for your clients. Word-of-mouth referrals remain important, but social media gives you access to billions of potential clients.
Make sure your business profiles line up with your website and stay active. Matching profile photos, cover photos and up-to-date information with regular posts helps to build visibility and the reputation of your online brand.
- Your website
If social media is the window into your business, your website represents the customer taking the time to actually come inside. Well-written and strategic website content is crucial for improving your presence online.
With the average time spent on a website at a drive-by 15 seconds, you don’t have much time to get your message across. Clarity and brevity are crucial. As well as being well presented and consistent with the rest of your branding, make sure the content is SEO optimised to get the search traffic you need.
- Email marketing
Email is a great way to communicate directly with your subscribers. It gives you a chance to form that connection with your target audience, allowing you to communicate directly with them at a time that’s convenient to them. The right messaging, coupled with good branding, makes email marketing a highly effective way to engage your audience.
Blogs can be very valuable in driving traffic to your website. Whether you share blogs on your own social media channels or create back-links from other sites, it’s a key referrer of clients. Using an SEO strategy to make sure your blogs are optimised can make blogging a powerful tool to reach your potential clients.
Creating a Google My Business account is a great way to build trust and convey brand sincerity. When a potential client searches for your business name and sees a flood of 5-star reviews, it’s a vote of confidence in what you do. Asking clients to leave a review is a simple process that can go a long way in ensuring your brand’s visibility online.
Your online presence is effectively your business making its first impression – on a massive scale – so getting it right is key to drawing in new clients and letting everyone know what you offer. In this blog we’ve scratched the surface of what you can do to make your brand more visible, but we’d love to talk more about giving your business the online impact it really deserves.