Branding is sometimes called the voice of the company – it is something which, once created, should end up being instantly associated with your company and the goods or services they provide, no matter where the brand is seen. A brand itself can be almost anything – a symbol, a piece of artwork, a special design, or a slogan being the most common ones. Branding works best when it is consistent through every form of media and marketing used by that particular company, as it creates a coherent image in the minds of customers who see or hear of it, thus making it more likely that they will turn to the business in question if they have need of those goods or services.
In this regard, brand building is often combined with Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), as SEO is something which can bring the brand into the public eye with more regularity. Ultimately, the goal in branding is to create something which is unique and eye-catching, and which will serve its purpose in bringing the idea of the company to people’s minds at the appropriate moment. The problem with an expanding digital world is that the brand has to change to better fit with it, while at the same time maintaining cohesion with what came before.
Site as brand representation
A good brand visibility strategy is one which recognizes that websites have to be much more than simply well-designed and suited for the purposes of the business running them – they need to accurately represent the brand as well. In creating a website, particularly if your business and brand had existed beforehand, you need to ensure that the chosen designs and colors (among other things) work towards promoting that brand with a minimum of dissonance between sources.
Brand identity is possibly best described as a means of showing visitors and customers what the virtues and ideologies of the business are. A design which stretches across all the forms of marketing used by the company is one way of doing that. To use examples from popular sites, Wikipedia is a site which is completely black and white, except for the pictures, as befits a site which is an encyclopedia. Other sites, which are not information-focused, are more colorful.
Link building always matters
Link building is something which is simpler than most people would imagine when they first get into the business of online brand building – it can quite easily be reduced to a two-step process:
- Find something that you want to link to, be it a website, social media feed, or blog.
- Work out how to get that website or blog to link to you.
Link building is something which is particularly useful when it comes to building a brand for several reasons; the main reason is that links – particularly when they come from a more well-known source, bring traffic. Traffic means an increase in Google search results, which in turn means the brand is better known.
Set up a blog and generate expert content
A blog is another useful way of building a brand, and in some ways, it dovetails with the link-building process itself. By setting up a blog, the business or people running it can use the blog to promote the brand; they can do this by using the blog as a means to interview people within the business itself, to highlight the specifics of the business processes, and also potentially to highlight other products and brands, in the hope that the favour will be reciprocated. The use of SEO is also helpful when it comes to improving search results in Google.
Social media to engage with your audience
Social media is something which is becoming more and more popular as a tool for marketing and branding. Most, if not all, of the population spends time on social media, and so it is a good way for companies to engage with their audience, and continue the process of associating their brand with the needed goods and services. Social media is also useful for its ability to engage with people beyond the obvious – having someone like or share something on social media means that it is now visible to everyone who is connected to them, and the networking continues beyond that.
Reviews and a brand image
Reviews are always important to a business, as they are the key to having a good reputation, and one of the ways to appear in Google search results. Encouraging people to leave reviews – making it easy for them to do so by providing a variety of ways for them to leave reviews over and above the normal review sites which exist – is a good way of building brand image in people’s minds, as the reviews will be more easily seen, and be an indicator of the company’s success in their own field.
Making your brand name visible at the top of search results is something which can take some time, but which is vitally important, as studies have shown that unless you are on the first page of results (preferably in the top five hits), you may as well not have a brand name in the search engine at all. There are a number of ways to boost the presence of your brand online and off, but the most important point is that a brand must be coherent if it is to do its job properly – it must maintain some semblance of what the business stands for while it changes throughout being on social media, being discussed on a blog, and other things.
Amanda Brown is an experienced marketer at WillbeCoded with particular expertise within brand building, content marketing, and SEO. She pays careful attention to the latest online marketing and eCommerce trends to share it with her audience.