How to grow your company’s brand online
With almost 90% of adult Brits believed to have access to the internet, it’s clear that growing your company’s brand in the internet space is a wise thing to do. With each passing year, brands that don’t have an online presence are finding themselves more and more isolated from the consumers they’re looking to reach – and with internet usage growing year on year, this isn’t about to change.
But what form should the online growth of a firm’s brand take? There are, after all, so many different channels from which to choose. With social media, email, search and more all competing for your attention, it can be hard for a busy business leader to sit down and make the judgment. That’s where this article can help: it will explain what the main brand types are, and it will also look to explain why each one could benefit your business.
Social media and emails
When it comes to basic online marketing, two of the most common channels are social media and email. Social media marketing is relatively new, but the intensity of engagement that the millions of users of major social platforms have makes it irresistible for most firms. The possibilities are endless: marketing collateral such as video is handy here, while the high degree of time that users spend on social platforms means that they are also great ways to get important, urgent messages out in the event of a reputational crisis.
Email, meanwhile, has long been a favoured tool for marketers. It offers a number of advantages: the arrival of spam filters, for example, means that customers have much less noise in their inboxes – so a quality, relevant and targeted email stands a good chance of getting through and standing out. Email is also a naturally conversational medium: people associate it with chattiness and brevity, so if you’re creative enough to release some to-the-point email content, then it’s bound to go down well. While the process may seem laborious (contact emails need to be sourced, for example, and then stored in an organised and easily accessible way), it’s possible to automate as much of the email marketing process as possible by using a service such as Mailchimp.
Many people will have heard phrases such as “search engine optimisation”, but few will be certain as to what they mean. In essence, it is the practice of designing and writing a website in a way that Google’s behind-the-scenes robots appreciate – and hence rise up through the search results. This could be the inclusion of keywords, for example, or simply the inclusion of lots of refreshing and unique content. For any internet brand, some search engine optimisation – or SEO – is essential. For local businesses that are providing specific services, it’s even more important to make sure that you’re coming up highly when people type in keywords that are relevant to what you are offering.
However, the sad reality of the modern online world is that the very formats and channels that can bring consumers closer to your brand are also the same channels that can lead to your reputation being damaged online. Take social media: while the ease of broadcast offered by a company Facebook page is a boon in many ways, the ease with which a customer can post a reputation-damaging complaint beneath it in the comments is a real curse.
The same goes for search engine results. At the tap of a keyboard, consumers can bring up the information that you want them to see about your brand – but if there are negative results out there, it’s likely that consumers will also see those. ReputationDefender is used by many companies to correct negative online coverage and present a more fair view of them, and there’s definitely something to be said for taking a systematic approach to the problem rather than hoping that it will go away on its own.
Growing your firm’s brand on the internet is something that requires key decisions to be taken. That’s because there are simply so many choices available: should your firm pursue a social media marketing strategy, for example, or should it go for a mix of SEO and email? However, by thinking through the benefits of each one and looking at where your existing strengths lie, you’ll be able to ascertain which marketing method works best for you.