Branding your business online is a massive marketing challenge. It’s not simply about creating that brand perfect marketing message, but about spreading that message across the web. However, by simply piggy-backing your marketing message on already popular modes of online communication you can spread your brand all over the web.p>
That’s right, the ‘everybody, everyday’ internet chatter of blogs, social networking sites and even good old fashioned emailing can help you connect directly to your customers online.
So it might sound a little bit nineties, but the tried and true mailing list can be a great way to maintain brand awareness with customers. Regular newsletters littered with links back to your primary site remind customers of their one-time commitment to your brand and encourage them to revisit your business and reconsider your products and services. Competitions and offers, hinted at in email subjects, will attract customers to open them up and get involved.
Make your mail-listees feel a little special. They’ve taken the time to invest in your brand, now invest in them. Refer to them as VIPs and make it obvious that the special email offers are exclusive to your most loyal customers. Be warned, manically frequent and menacingly uninteresting emails will be considered spam, and get trashed pronto.
Establishing a Facebook page is a great idea for any brand, especially brands with a boutique flavour or a brilliant gimmick – but many have misconceptions about this social media channel. Effective Facebook-ing isn’t only measured in ‘Likes’. Engage Facebook fans with competitions and witty, topical statuses. If you clutter customer’s news feeds with boring updates you’ll be speedily de-liked. Keep it light, frequent and engaging, ask a relevant question and send out a small prize for the best answer. Your FB fans will love you for it!
Facebook and Twitter often get lumped together as the go to ‘social media’ for brands looking to expand online. But Twitter is a very different, feathery animal. The Twitterati are pretty suspicious of commercial spam bots so make sure you have a real human being at the key board – preferably someone with an eye for brand specific social commentary in 140 characters or less. Again, Twitter success isn’t so much about followers. Instead, concentrate on consistency and on-message customer engagement.
A corporate blog is great way to engage online customers with brand values and reinforce your company message. Blogging is an information-rich medium and needs special care when it comes to writing and editing. Don’t overload your visitors with dense text-heavy blog posts. Use lists, dot points and images to create visual variety and simplify your message. Don’t be fooled by the creative grammar of internet chat rooms a little lyrical finesse can go a long way in long form online writing.
Above all, make sure you’re showing off your brand consistently across your online platforms. If you’re a family law firm and want to brand your business as genuine, honest and grassroots, incorporate these marketing messages constantly and consistently in your corporate blog, Facebook page, Twitter account, and emails.
Be creative, be consistent and fire-up those super popular social networks! Online success is right around the corner.
Kelsey Damon is a business writer who specialises in online branding. She sees too many companies measure their Facebook engagement by ‘likes’ rather than by actual dialogue…it gets frustrating sometimes!