Your online branding is crucial to your success in the digital market. But what is a digital brand? It is every visual element, touchpoint and interaction your customers have with you online. From your logos and colours to the words you use, your customer reviews and how you represent your business online.
These days it isn’t enough to pop a few social posts online and call it a day. As a B2B business, you need to look at your entire digital footprint to ensure it is sending a consistent message and is a strategic representation of your brand.
To start with, there are a number of key components of your online branding you need to get right in order to stand out online.
Your website is your digital home. It’s where you control the message without any distractions.
However, if your website doesn’t clearly articulate what you do for whom and why, your potential customers will click away very quickly. Your message should be consistent and crystal clear.
You only get one chance at a first impression… and in the majority of cases, your website is that first impression. A strong website with a well-defined message will propel your online branding like nothing else.
Social proof isn’t social media… it’s the stories your customers can share about your business and how your products and services have helped them.
When your customers share their story in their own words, it helps to build trust… and gets you closer to the sale.
Testimonials are a form of social proof. But the real power is in case studies – ideally, video, if your customers feel comfortable.
Going further than case studies, if you have an impressive list of clients, you can add a scrolling logo banner to your website to showcase the brands you work with.
The company you keep is really important… and your prospects will look at who you’ve worked with in the past.
The age of the faceless brand is well and truly over. People care about who they do business with. And even in the B2B space, your customers will want to do business with people they know, like and trust.
You can add a face to your online branding by showcasing your team on your website. More than just a CV, your team profiles should show the passion and care of the individuals who work in your business.
If you are worried about poaching, you may choose not to include every individual, but you will need a selection of the team to showcase the skills and talent in your business.
Having an active social media presence is a cost of doing business today. And whatever social media strategy you adopt, it forms a part of your online branding.
For B2B businesses, LinkedIn is absolutely a no-brainer to connect with other professionals and businesses.
Depending on your business, you should post on another social media platform that will work for your business.
Facebook is often a good choice for B2B business.
If you have strong educational video, YouTube will be suitable for you and if you have a very visual product, look into Instagram.
Your content will be the cornerstone of your digital marketing and online branding. From the pages on your websites to your blog posts, social media posts and newsletters, by communicating regularly with your customers and prospects, you will start to build trust.
Content marketing isn’t about churn. It’s about creating quality content, consistently… and then pushing that content out to your various channels and platforms. A single blog post on your website can be optimised for SEO to bring in free Google organic search traffic, recorded as a video for YouTube, shared with an excerpt on your social media channels and included in your monthly newsletter.
Online branding is one thing… but if you don’t take a strategic approach that looks at the big picture of your brand and digital marketing, you will be throwing your marketing budget down the drain.
A haphazard approach will create brand confusion. And that is very damaging to your brand.
To get your online branding to deliver a return on your investment, you need to be strategic.
Start by defining your brand and your goals, and then build a strategic digital marketing plan that will get you the results you are looking for.