Almost every business wants an amazing online presence that attracts more customers, but knowing how to develop one can be a difficult task. With so many different sources for advice on digital marketing and obtaining the best results for your efforts, it can be hard to know who to trust. However, that’s why we boiled things down to the basics in generating a comprehensive list of some first steps you should consider. Check them out below:
Assess Your Brand’s Values
Although to some it might sound like overkill, doing an audit of your brand’s before you share them with the world is a crucial first step towards building your audience. According to LucidPress, 64 percent of consumers explain that shared values are one reason they maintain a relationship with a brand, which goes to show how much your mantra or mission plays a role in consumer decisions. No matter if you feel like your brand is as strong as the likes of Apple or is having a hard time fitting in on the local scene, this should be a primary piece to the foundation for your online presence, establishing the core as to why others should gravitate towards your business in the first place.
To begin, take a look at your current branding assets and ask yourself objectively what personality does your brand have. Is it the face for revolutionary tech? Your source for water sports? No matter what the case may be, this needs to be unique to the core function or service that separates you from the competition. For example, the outdoor adventure clothing company Mountain Hardware pitches itself to more of the serious adventurer, while The North Face has a much simpler branding style that’s accessible to a wider audience. As your brand is the foundation for how others will look at you for years to come, don’t rush through this, but rather give yourself something you’ll be proud to share anywhere.
Start Using Visual Content
With a solid brand in place, a smart consideration to establish early on is using visual content. This is becoming practically the norm for most professional social media accounts, utilizing design or video content to catch your audience’s eye, keep them engaged, and get them sharing. Plus, visuals are much more intuitive for your blog, because as noted by Hubspot, with 43 percent of people admit to skimming blog posts, effective visuals can help tremendously with getting them to share your content. However, as great as visuals can be, they’re also not the cheapest to produce.
When producing visual content, the name of the game is learning how to create content consistently. For example, you could have a marketing video production team for your big projects or announcements making well-designed flyers and animations for your social channels. Expensive items like that should be assigned to the tasks that will have some longevity, with the other things that go along with it being done in-house. Ultimately the people you bring on for your visual content should be those who not only represent your brand’s identity but additionally are willing to stick with you long-term, growing with your company.
Find Your Voice (And Stick With It!)
An often overlooked aspect of reaching out online as your brand, having a voice that’s identifiable will be crucial. Stemming primarily from the personality you established from your values, your brand voice needs to be as human as possible, which can be a pretty difficult task. However, as noted by Sprout Social, with 30 percent of millennials willing to engage with a brand on social media at least once a month, there’s a reason why we’re okay to align ourselves with them on a day-to-day basis, which starts with finding what’s natural for you.
When establishing your posts, ask yourself what your brand personality is. Even though everyone wants to be funny at hopes of going viral like Wendy’s or Moon Pie, those social media accounts also follow the same style of voice every day, with once in awhile getting back into the news. Instead, offer an approach you consider honest to your audience, keeping your posts and comments real to responses you’d like to see out a business like yours.
Make Word Of Mouth Everything
Finally, to genuinely establish a great community will come with others doing the advertising for you. This is where you’ve found success, because as noted by CrowdSpring, 84 percent of people are willing to purchase because of a referral, regardless if they know the person or not. While this sounds like the obvious goal for any business, generating that online needs to be authentic, or else you run the risk of losing much more than you’d gain.
Although a simple suggestion, a good initial practice is asking those who’ve bought your product or service to post about it on social media, utilizing a specific hub for reviews such as a hashtag or tagging you in a post. You’d be surprised by the number of people that check out your tagged items when first learning about your business (especially on Instagram), as social media is a primary research tool. Furthermore, offering an incentive for these reviews (show us your review, receive 10 percent off your next order, etc.) can help accelerate building a foundation. Remember, a golden rule for word of mouth advertising is focusing more on quality over quantity, where genuine feedback reigns supreme.
What are some tools you’ve used to establish a great brand online? Comment with your answers below!