What do Coca-Cola, Google, and McDonald’s have in common? You instinctively know something about them. Indeed, you probably consume their products or use their services. While you could choose products from other companies, you default to these. But why?
Do they have such superior, unmatched products in the market? Probably not. It comes down to branding.
You may have the best product on the market but if nobody knows about it, forget about sales. People buy Coke or iPhones because they know and trust these brands, not because there are no other alternatives. That’s the power of a lasting brand.
A brand takes on a life of its own. It becomes a marketing juggernaut that delivers results day in and out. You still have to work on maintaining it, but mostly, it runs without your constant input. Given the immense power of a strong, recognizable brand, shouldn’t you create one for your business? Of course.
Below we’ll explore the strategies top companies use to create influential brands online and what you can learn from them.
How do smart businesses cement their brands online?
Big companies like Coca-Cola have substantial marketing budgets. They can afford to run massive advertising campaigns online and through other channels like television, sponsorships, etc.
As a small or medium-sized business, you have a smaller budget. Therefore, you must get creative and leverage cheaper alternatives to create a resounding brand.
Luckily, the online space offers numerous avenues to create, promote, and benefit from your brand. Here are sure-fire ways to leverage the internet to your brand’s advantage.
1. Targeted social media presence
With more than 3.6 billion users across the world, social media platforms provide the perfect avenue for smart entrepreneurs looking to grow their business. You pay nothing to establish a presence on social networking platforms, making them cost-effective channels to promote your brand.
The most innovative companies use social media creatively and strategically. Instead of throwing stuff around and hoping something sticks, they target their audiences and woo potential customers through unique campaigns.
Fortunately, you can use the same strategies. For instance, utilize custom hashtags or piggybank on trending tags to reach a wider audience. However, only use or join relevant hashtags; otherwise, the tactic might backfire and cost your business.
Other proven ways to use social media in promoting your brand include:
- Running creative contests that connect you to users while increasing brand awareness
- Posting and re-posting relevant content that helps users solve specific problems
- Highlighting your company’s journey and the ideals that guide and connect you to customers
- Partnering with reputable influencers to expand your reach
- Running targeted advertising campaigns to reach ideal customers
Did you know that 77% of internet users read blogs? Given their popularity, blogs are a powerful way to connect with customers and reach an even broader base.
According to business blogging surveys, a blog increases your website’s indexing rate by more than 400%. Indexing refers to the number of pages visited, analyzed and listed by a search engine.
Indexing increases your chances of appearing in searches, therefore improving your search traffic.
However, the benefits do not stop there. Innovative companies use blogs to:
- Attract and convert customers
- Engage and learn from current customers
- Boost demand for products and services through calls to action
- Grow their online traffic and brand awareness
- Demonstrate expertise as thought and industry leaders
To get the most from your blogging investment;
- Only post genuinely helpful and relevant content for your audience
- Engage with users and answer questions through email, the comment section on the blog, or social media
- Include calls to action encouraging readers to connect more with your business or explore your products
- Remain consistent by posting regularly
3. Leverage Wikipedia
Wikipedia receives over 14 million unique visitors every day. That makes it a goldmine for anyone looking to boost their online presence or brand awareness.
However, getting on Wikipedia is not a walk in the park. For every company with a Wikipedia page, a thousand others come nowhere close.
So, what does it take to get on Wikipedia?
It comes down to three critical elements: Your page must be neutral, rely on verifiable and reliable sources, and finally, it must be notable. That sounds easy until you get to the execution. For example, how do you prove notability?
One workaround consists of starting with a short paragraph (stub) and building from there; instead of writing a 1000-word article that an admin deletes, start small while working on your sources. For example, this Asiaciti Trust Wikipedia page is just a few paragraphs but highlights all the significant points.
Despite the apparent challenges, a listing on Wikipedia can cement your presence and reputation online and help you reach a wider audience. At the same time, it’s a double-edged sword that can sink your business. Take negative press, for instance. The stories may appear as sources on your Wikipedia profile and remain there for good.
4. PPC and social advertising
Half of pay-per-click (PPC) visitors are likely to make a purchase compared to their organic counterparts. That number jumps on social media. Smart companies have taken notice.
According to SpoutSocial, 89 percent of marketers use Facebook in their brand marketing efforts. Instagram alone has seen a sharp rise in usage among US marketers.
What can these top marketers teach you about PPC and social media advertising?
First, it works. Otherwise, marketers wouldn’t pour billions into these avenues.
Surprisingly too, you can follow the same playbook. You don’t need a huge budget to run an advertising campaign through display search or social networking platforms.
Indeed, advertising platforms allow you to target your audience to a granular level resulting in better value for your money. Every dollar spent on PPC or social advertising results in substantial leads and boosts your brand awareness online.
Paid advertising works incredibly well in promoting your brand online because:
- You can test different messages to identify the most effective
- You can also test different market segments. If an ad doesn’t work with a particular audience, switch to another segment and gauge the results
- It allows you to reach a broader and more targeted audience quickly or simply get your name out there if you’re just starting out
- It’s cost-effective. You only pay when a user clicks on your advert and gets redirected to your landing page or website
Additionally, you can retarget users who click on the ad but don’t make a purchase. Just because someone didn’t complete an action on your website doesn’t mean they lack interest. The internet is full of distractions; retargeting helps you tone down the noise and connect better with customers.
To create a lasting brand, the message must be consistent across many mediums both offline and online. Use our four tips to propel your brand into one that remains first in the minds of your targeted audience. Do you want to know how to create a professional logo for your brand? See this article.