How to build a reputable online brandMarch 24, 2014 9:52 am
Here is some advice to help you build a strong and trusted online brand.
Keep your messaging clear
In everything you do, make it easy for potential customers to instantly understand what your brand is about. First and foremost, this should be reflected in your company name and website domain. Your business name should be something memorable, clearly explaining what products or services you provide. For British businesses a .co.uk domain is a great way to instantly indicate that you are a trusted British business, supplying quality goods and services.
Do your market research
The only way to build brand evangelists, advocates and a strong customer base is to really know who your audience is. Therefore, research into your audience and market is essential. Once you begin to understand the mind-set of your audience you can start to plan your marketing activity and online content to address the needs of your customers in much more relevant ways. Consider what social media platforms your audience is using, such as Twitter and Facebook, and reach out. Find a tone of voice that fits your brand and communicates what your brand is all about, whilst still being engaging to your target customers. This tone should be consistent and replicated across all brand activity.
Play to your strengths
Take the time to understand your strengths and leverage them to make your brand stand out. For example, if you have an inspiring story behind your brand, tell it. A compelling brand narrative is a great way to engage and inspire potential customers, and can also make for great blog reading – another great way to keep your online content fresh and will also help your Search Engine Optimisation (SEO). Similarly, identifying your weaknesses is just as important: draw up a list of areas for improvement and plan a strategy that will help you turn them into strengths going forward. Researching what your competitors do well can be a helpful way to discover areas to improve on.
Trust is a critical component in building and maintaining a strong brand. Customers are more likely to recommend and return to a brand they trust. One way to do this is to build brand value with quality content. The more helpful, engaging and knowledgeable content you provide, the more your potential customers will quickly identify you as experts and thought leaders in your industry. Customer service or online chat functionality, blogs about your products or quirky ways to display key information, such as taste notes or product features are all great ways to help your customers make the right choice. With this in mind you should also ensure your website reflects a level of expertise and professionalism. A well-polished, reputable website will speak volumes and for many customers searching online, nothing turns them off more than a poorly designed, disorganised website. Most importantly, remember to be approachable. Customers will be more endeared to you if they know they can interact with your brand. Having a presence on social media platforms is an essential way to build engagement and trust with your potential customers, bringing them on the journey with you.
It’s far easier for a business to build a community of brand advocates if everyone involved in the business demonstrates passion for the brand. Passion is a big driving factor that helps us to keep pushing forward in business so the minute you start to lose love for your brand it can have a negative effect on your activity and brand image. Make sure you are your brand’s biggest advocate so that customers, colleagues and external business contacts truly buy into it and spread the word.