Online branding strategies are not that different from offline strategies. Where businesses buy billboards and radio spots offline, they pay for Facebook Ads and podcast placements online.
The difference, however, is that online we have so much more freedom of choice. We can pinpoint demographics, streamline our messages, and generate razor focused messaging that goes only to those who will respond to it. It’s not direct marketing because we’re not trying to make the sale.
It’s branding your business as an authority on a topic that is of great interest to your target customers.
Businesses are increasingly using these strategies to boost their traffic and resulting sales, but many are also making mistakes along the way. Here are five common such mistakes and how you can avoid them and the huge amounts of money they can cost you:
- Forgetting Who The Brand Is – If you own a business, you ARE the brand. Whether it’s a Fortune 500 or a small business that only serves local customers, your name and image are a part of it. Don’t hide from that – take advantage of it by using your face and words to reach your audience.
- Lacking Consistency Across Channels – The web is a mishmash of dozens of different channels. To reach your target audience where they spend the most time, you need a consistent message that they can come across wherever they go. Don’t be funny on Twitter and serious on Facebook and jargon-heavy on your company blog. Build plans for all at once and show consistency in your message.
- Not Taking Any Risks – If you try to play it safe and keep your message as generic and boring as possible so as not to step on any toes, you’ll never be “exceptional” and people won’t take notice. Controversy is not the solution, but at the same time, don’t be afraid to stand out from the crowd.
- Trying to Please Everyone All The Time – You have an ideal audience. Write for them only. Don’t try to create a message that can somehow resonate with everyone who comes across it. That message does not exist.
- Neglecting Hot Channels – It’s easy to say you don’t have time for Facebook or Twitter, but how many of your potential customers are on there waiting for you to find time? Do your research, determine where your audience spends its time and focus your efforts there.
There are more. There’s a reason people hire Great Leap to manage their online brands and develop content to drive traffic back to those websites.
It takes time and energy to find success in any online market, let alone dozens at once. But if you avoid these five mistakes and create a clear action plan to communicate your brand and its value to the prospects you are targeting, you’ll start to see some clear positive results.