Your online brand is the digital marker of your business and can represent the sum of people’s perception of your company or service, it’s never been more important to get your message out loud and clear.
We know that a fantastic brand is as important if not even more important than having a fantastic product. A great product can be produced relatively easily, a great brand however, takes a long time and careful cultivation. These days, our main source of information is searching for a company’s online presence. If they don’t have a digital profile, or you can tell they set up their website and social media pages poorly or left them to rot, you’re far less likely to engage any further with them.
Why does my business need a website, social media presence and a good brand online?
They’re looking for you! If someone is talking about you or your business, it’s almost certainly being typed into a search engine. If you don’t have a website or profile on social networks? More than likely, no customer for you. Even online (perhaps especially online), people are looking for established companies and quality referrals. If you’re nowhere to be found, or you’re not communicating your worth to prospective customers, you may as well not even exist.
Getting your voice heard. The most profitable companies, small and large, have a single thing in common. They have established themselves as a leader in their particular field by building a strong brand. The market is full of people offering similar goods and services. This can make it difficult for the consumer to be able to differentiate one business from the other. Online branding with a strong website and social media presence alleviates this problem and clearly marks you as different from other players in the market.
Building trust. A professional appearance and presence in the digital marketplace builds credibility and trust. People are more likely to gravitate to a business that appears polished and legitimate and makes its services and availability clear. By communicating with your clients on a digital level, you become a trusted source of information which is an invaluable asset when creating company awareness and brand credibility.
Push & Pull. Nowadays, people are moving towards pull marketing as opposed to push marketing. Push meaning you’re going to the consumer; pull meaning the consumer is coming to you. More companies should now be focusing on pull branding, or online branding. Recommendation is a big part of business. Recommendations give you access to a whole new client base, and maximize your profitability. However, it’s very difficult for people to recommend your business to others if they are not sure what your brand is. Online branding will help people recognize and get familiar with your business.
Expanding your reach. With a great website and online presence you’re not limited to your local reach; you can go national or even worldwide if you want to. If you want people near and far to engage with your business, setting out your ‘digital stall’ is important. It allows everyone access to your company, it delivers instant information in the marketplace, thus giving businesses the ability to advertise their products and services, going beyond distance. Think about how you could build new relationships outside the four walls of your workplace!
Branding has developed beyond billboards and a memorable logo. A strong online brand increases the value of a company, makes acquiring new customers easier and can even inspire employees, with staff more likely to feel that same pride and work in the same direction to achieve the goals you have set if everyone understands your company mission and reason for being. Your brand is the short-hand for you and your business, make sure it’s writ large online.
By David Marrone
With some hard-work, time and technical expertise you can DIY, or use providers like SoleTrader.com that offer purpose-built websites to small businesses and let the experts do it for you. You can call 0203 411 0812 or visit http://www.soletrader.com to get started today.
For regular updates just follow us on Twitter @SoleTraderWeb and Facebook @soletraderwebsites