How to Build your Brand Online
The most important tool to build your brand online is the personal touch of your website. When you create a solid foundation, all of the other tools feed into the look and feel of your website. Your newsletter marketing, social media accounts, appearances in the media, and the content on your blog all work together to build your brand online. But there are a lot of moving parts. And it can get messy.
Do the Little Things Well
Business history is littered with examples of companies who had potentially great ideas. But messed them up. Often this was the result of not paying attention to the little things.
DeLorean is a good example. You probably remember it as the flying car from the Back to The Future movies. You know the one – with the wing doors.
The idea for the car was a stroke of genius. But they were terribly made. After all, who wants a car with cool wing doors but which will be delivered months late? DeLorean couldn’t get its production line in order. And when they were delivered, the cars would break down before starting to fall apart.
DeLorean had big dreams but failed to focus on the small things that really mattered.
Three Things to Focus On When Building Your Brand Online
Before you get stuck into any other aspects of online marketing, you need to get these three things right. They will lay the foundation for building your brand online:
1. Domain Name
Picking the best domain name for your business is not always easy because the most popular domain type (.com) is so hard to get.
Unless you have a huge marketing budget or an established offline brand, your domain name should be:
- Relevant to your business or industry (i.e., don’t call your website Amazon if you sell books. Do not make up new words like Pinterest).
New TLDs are being released [link to article 5] that are more descriptive. For example .shop, .web and .NYC. These will make it easier for businesses to get a suitable domain name. The downside is that some of them will not be released until 2015.
2. Consistency and Design
You will need to put a good deal of thought into getting your web design online. It needs to portray the image you want for your company. But always remember that it should be built for your customers. Just because you or your designers come up with a cool feature idea does not mean you should include it.
As for consistency, its importance cannot be overstated. Design helps in portraying your online brand in a professional way. But it will be lost if you do not have a structured style. All of the pages and posts on your site should have a consistent format; images should be the same size and only be used if they meet quality standards; and fonts should all be the same, as should other on-page elements.
3. Compelling, Well-Written, and Creative
Finally, your content should be carefully planned and implemented in order to properly reflect your brand. Your content should be:
- Engaging enough that users will want to read it
- Well-written. Today this means producing a great skim read. You are not writing a piece of literature so keep it simple. Sentences and paragraphs should be short. And use everyday words. A big vocabulary is not necessary.
- Creative and fresh. Try to stand out by putting a new spin on a story. Create content that is so unique that people must read it.
And Finally, Be Prepared to Change and Adapt
Your brand will evolve. So breathe into the idea that the work you do will never be finished. Look for ways to test what you have created and make changes or add new things when appropriate. Flexibility with your strategy is crucial.
And once you’ve created a solid brand on a strong foundation, get your product into a movie franchise that will be remembered for decades, like a DeLorean. It’s reportedly making a comeback. Flying cars, anyone?