Putting a Face on Your Business: The Importance of Branding
Branding is not a new concept to the offline advertising world, but it hasn’t always been a huge part of online marketing. There was a day when most online marketers were completely nameless and faceless but they collected nice profits month after month. Today, branding is becoming extremely important to online marketing no matter what strategies you are using to gain attention and make sales.
Internet users expect a more personalized experience when they go online for information today. More are looking for entertainment just as much as they are looking for information. They have millions of websites and blogs at their disposal so if they feel bored or unimpressed by one they have many others to turn to. It is those that are able to establish a brand for their business that really stand out and keep these Internet users on their site.
If a consumer has the option of purchasing the same product from ten different websites, they are more likely to go with the one that presents itself as the expert or the most reputable website. They are going to feel more secure with the expert. They are going to place more trust in a site that seems to be highly valued by other consumers. Most will even be willing to pay a bit more to purchase from the best because they don’t feel as secure purchasing from the site that just has the lowest price.
Advertising through the SERPs
When consumers look at the search results page for a search they have performed, they are presented with a list of links and some paid links across the top and down the side of the page. Your link can be #1 on the list and not be clicked because #5 on the list happens to be from a website or company that is recognizable by the searcher. They click that link because they recognize something about it, even though you are ranked higher.
If you can brand your website or company so searchers recognize you in the SERPs, then you don’t necessarily need to be #1 at all times to get your fair share of clicks.
Establishing a Brand
A good brand is simply something that sticks in the mind of others. Offline companies want people to think of them when they think of a specific product or service, but online it is a bit different. You are reaching people through video clips and text, so you want them to recognize your name or a symbol connected to you when they see it on their computer screen.
The best way to do this is to connect with your audience in a more personal manner. Become active on Facebook and Twitter so they have access to you. Present yourself as a friendly, approachable brand and as an expert in your field. You are the guy to go to when it comes to your product line or niche. You can be trusted because of your experience, knowledge, and dedication to the field. You are out there to help people, not just make a profit.
If you can reach people in this more personal manner they will think of you more like a person with a name than a business that wants to take their money. If you put out valuable content that others learn from they will see you as someone who knows their business and who can be trusted.
Of course, releasing a highly entertaining video that goes viral never hurts with branding online either!