Not Branded Online? You Don’t Exist

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In an increasingly digitized world, technology has taken over our lives. Our grandparents have smartphones, we’re constantly posting those over-filtered selfies to social media and adopting new technologies such as the smart home daily. Digital has become a way of life. And one that we’re comfortable with, might I add. So, how is it possible that there are still businesses struggling to create a digital brand?

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Do You Trust Me?

Before we get into what you should do to create a solid brand online, let’s explore why it’s important. As humans, we make decisions based on logic and emotion. We spend months researching what car we want so we can make a logical purchasing decision and we buy a $1,000 pair of shoes because we’re so overcome with joy when we try them on. When brands are trying to obtain conversions—whatever those may mean to your business—it’s important to keep this is mind. The thing both logical and emotional conversions have in common? Trust and credibility.

Put it on Display

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Nothing says I’m open and honest about my business like displaying reviews on your website. And while it may seem like we’re opening Pandora’s box here, it really is an essential step in branding your business as honest. According to Entrepreneur, nearly two thirds of people search customer reviews before purchasing something—people want to know what others are saying about you. So why not put your reviews on your website for potential clients to view? Not only does this make it easy on them, it gives off the impression that you’re open about your business, which, typically, means you’re a trustworthy business.

The Other Kind of Reputation

We have broken up reputation into two categories—your reputation with customers and your reputation as a subject matter expert. It’s very likely that your customers are visiting your website and social media channels because you’re offering them something they want or need. Often times, this is the content you’re sharing.

No one wants to read the same boring content, so why not shake it up? Show your audience that you are indeed a subject matter expert in your industry if you’re a B2B by writing intriguing blogs posts and sharing highly curated content that teaches them something or offers knowledge. If you’re a B2C brand, the content will obviously be quite different, but it should always add value. Share an article about the newest design trends and how to hack them or how to accessorize the newest iPhone with craft supplies. The important thing to remember with content is that it needs to give your audience something they didn’t have before.

Buffering…

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You have now established that you’re a reputable brand that values feedback and trust, but what’s next? Customer experience (CX) has taken over—and for good reason—and it’s no longer acceptable to have a website that takes forever to load. With people abandoning sites that taken too long to load, it only behooves you to update your website.

After you’ve updated the functionality of your website, it’s time to move onto design. Customers should be able to easily navigate your site to find the information they’re looking for. Significantlysuccessful.com suggests using a layout that displays “information in a concise, informative, helpful way, and focus on keeping your website very organized.” We agree. We also think it’s important to use company colors and to create a feel that is in line with your business.

Your Logo is Your Brand’s Face

When you meet someone, you typically take a mental snapshot of their face so you can remember who they are. The same thing happens with brand logos. We dare you to name a single person who doesn’t know what restaurant the golden arches are associated with! A logo is your brand’s face both on- and offline, which is why it’s so important to have a professional, representative logo.

How does this tie into your online brand? The more we see something, the easier it becomes to recognize. Having a memorable logo that is on your website, social media profiles and blog posts gives you much more exposure and opportunities for brand recognition.

Adding in the Human Element

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We are ecstatic that, more and more, we’re seeing brands infuse their content with personality. Unfortunately, there are still many brands struggling to be authentic online. If your audience wants to read through all the HR-approved corporate talk, they’ll go to your website. Social media is not the place for this. It’s where you add your personality, your brand’s personality, to show your audience that you are indeed real people.

Adding the human element to your online presence is all about your tone and the messages you’re putting out. Entrepreneur included email blasts and videos to the list as well. What a great opportunity to get in front of the camera and talk about your brand as a human being, not a corporate giant. They also suggest that customers can very easily identify “corporate-speak,” and that it doesn’t go over well. Customers want to build a personal relationship with your brand, not a corporation.

Social Media is for Being Social

The last, and perhaps most important, aspect of building an online brand is effective social media. You’re creating and curating content that your audience loves, but are you adding your personal flair to it? Social media is about being social with your audience, so having a personality is essential. Establish what your personality is (fun, spunky, authoritative) and stick to it. Create content that uses a tone representative of your personality. Engage with your audience in the same tone. Be authentic to your brand and don’t be afraid to be human.

Creating your brand online can be terrifying and overwhelming. Black Bear is happy to consult with you to create a memorable brand. Your business depends on your brand persona and digital presence, so let’s make it awesome!

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