Your brand is more than just the name of your organization. Your brand is the entire image you present to your customers. A brand is a great example of something where “the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.” Your brand has a variety of attributes including:
- A personality
- Likes and dislikes
- A distinctive style
As long as businesses have existed, they’ve used branding to connect with potential customers. The introduction of e-commerce hasn’t changed the concept of branding. However, branding in the internet age does require some specialized know-how.
Today we’re going to look at e-branding. Check out our complete guide below:
Your business could be a large multinational firm or simply an e-store you run from your home. Either way, you still have a brand. Creating a brand often requires both creativity and the ability to analyze the market. If you don’t possess these skills in abundance you might be better off hiring a professional.
An effective brand understands who the potential audience is and how to communicate with them.
Here are a few tips to keep in mind:
- Your Brand Should be Simple
What do you do best? Do you offer the highest quality merchandise on the market? Do you offer the lowest prices? Are you experts in your industry? Do you offer the friendliest customer service?
Ideally, you’re no slouch in any of those avenues. But you still want to build your brand around one core idea. This is what everyone will think of when they think of you.
For example, Coca-Cola proudly touts that they’re “the most popular and best-selling soft drink in the world.” The core idea is here is that they’re the biggest and the best.
On the other hand, Wal-Mart is the “low price leader.” Obviously, Wal-Mart is a gigantic corporation with stores all around the world, but that’s not what they focus their branding on. Instead, they want you to think of “low prices” first and foremost.
- Your Brand Should be Memorable
There’s a lot of competition out there. Keep your brand easy to remember. Think of “Target.” The name is just one word, with a bulls-eye logo, in the familiar red and white colors. The logo even relates directly to the name, helping to create a unified brand.
- Your Brand Should be Consistent
Once you’ve established a name, look, logo and style, you want to stick with it. Reinforce your brand at every opportunity. However, this doesn’t mean your brand has to look 100% the same at all times.
Depending on the specifics of your brand, you might be able to add slight alternations as appropriate. During the Christmas season, change your brand’s colors to red and white. Add a Santa hat to your mascot. Or add other little Yuletide touches. This same idea can be applied to other holidays and events.
Boosting Your Brand Online
What’s in a name? Sometimes, a lot — especially if your company name can be found online at a domain you don’t own. You want to buy as many top-level domains as possible such as all the .com, .org, .net and so on.
You’ll also want to own any reasonable domains associated with your brand. For instance, www.targetbullseye.com redirects to the main site for Target stores. You won’t find “targetbullseye.com” in any advertisement. But customers still might reasonably think that URL is part of the store.
Even more importantly, owning these related URLs is a great way to help prevent fraud. A link to a real sounding website can help “sell” a phishing email. Even small businesses can fall victim to this type of behavior. You might want to allocate a portion of your marketing budget towards purchasing some of these related URL’s.
Buying Your Own Brand Name
You’ll likely want to spend the bulk of your budget on ads for your brand. But isn’t buying ads for your own brand a bit odd? Internet marketers have a variety of opinions on the subject.
Generally, however, we recommend buying ads for your brand. Here’s a more in-depth explanation as to why:
Boost Your Quality Score
Looking to raise your average quality score? Brand search campaigns generate high quality scores quickly. Plus, buying these kinds of paid search ads is usually pretty inexpensive. After all, your brand name doesn’t have a lot of specific use for your competitors…
…unless your competitors don’t want to play fair. If your competitors buy your brand names, you might have to buy theirs in return. This will help level the playing field and, hopefully, prevent traffic from leaching.
Rich snippets are your safest way to stay as visible as possible. Depending on the search terms, you (and your potential customers) might not see any organic results above the fold. This visibility should always be a top priority.
A clearly marked ad at the top of the search results just really hammers home you’re who you say you are. The user understands the link in the ad will lead to the official brand. This can be especially effective for seasonal promotions attached to your normal brand – an example here would be the seasonal Honda promotion Happy Honda Days.
Keywords and other SEO strategies allow you to have some control over how your organic results are displayed. But paid ads give you even more control. There are many reasons why Google might ignore one or more key pages on your site. With a paid ad, you can place that ignored info where potential visitors are sure to see it. You’ll be able to determine your own sitelinks, and that’s usually worth the extra cost.
While this might not be an immediate concern, keep this tip in mind for the future. If you ever find your brand in the middle of a controversy, paid ads are an important part of online reputation management. Paid brand terms can help push negative PR down past the fold. In some cases, every little bit of positive PR helps.
Ideally, your paid results will be right above your organic result. First place is great. Second place is pretty good, too. But first AND second place is the best. That’s what you’re getting when your paid listing sits right on top of your organic listing.
Boost Your Brand Online Today
Any company of any size has the potential for their brand to be big online. After you’ve designed your brand, you only need to invest in a few paid terms in order to quickly boost awareness among your potential customers. Done correctly, your brand will appear in the two top positions above the fold. Your brand can reach an ever-expanding audience and find great success.