We live in a world where about 70 (more or less) percent of buying experiences happen online. Just maybe your brand has a space in the online community, have you given a thought to your online brand recognition?
It’s not enough to register your brand online and assume people will easily search and find your brand. There is a need to focus on building your online brand recognition. Why? It’s simple. Just how do you intend selling your goods and services, and reaching your target audience online when they don’t even know you exist?
Customers are becoming technologically savvy and would rely on a company’s online presence as a validity test of its credibility in the market. As such, generating significant online brand recognition and exposure should be the first phase in any organization’s online marketing strategy.
The goal should be for your customers to have your brand at heart, so that whenever they think of products or services related to what you offer, your brand is pictured in their mind. When you think of toothpaste in Nigeria, for instance, Closeup comes to mind; for noodles, you mention Indomie.
These brands have done a lot to boost their brand recognition that they have become household names everyone knows. Attaining similar feat can be challenging for startups and younger brands, and it can be more difficult online where there’s a large amount of outside noise to contend with.
How then can you boost your online brand recognition?
For your brand or business to succeed online, it must be authentic, highly recognizable and relevant. There must be a meaningful connection between your audience and your brand. Just how could you make this happen? Here are my top 5 tips.
Define Your Online Brand Strategy
Sincerely ask yourself these questions: “What is my business really about?” “How do I want my brand to be perceived online?” “Which online channels are suitable in reaching your target audience?” Answering these questions helps you identify a roadmap on how to effectively enhance your brand recognition across all online channels.
If you operate a B2C (business-to-consumer) business model, for instance, you would want to consider having a website and optimizing social platforms best for your brand such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube, among others you could choose from. Having the right insights about your brand and knowing the right strategy gives you the leverage to effectively channel all efforts to increase your online brand recognition.
Study Your Competitors
Identifying mistakes and strategies used by your competitors with established online brand acknowledgment helps you think of unique ways to create genuine online brand image that appeals to your target audience.
Winning the heart of your online audience is about having the right concept and being ingenious about it. Existing ideas are inspired by what others have done in the past, and learning from someone else’s strategies places you a step ahead in your online branding strategy.
Reinventing the wheel by doing nothing different is a waste of valuable time and resources. Studying your competitors give you a head start on how to enhance your brand recognition online with ease and avoid unnecessary mistakes in the process.
Create Worthy Content
One of the most effective marketing strategies to promote your business and enhance online brand recognition is through quality and resourceful content. Creating worthy content is essential to any successful online marketing strategy today.
Your target audience is more likely to be engaged and talk about your brand when you provide them content that are authentic, ‘relatable’ and useful. Using images and graphics also help to make your content more appealing to your audience. Some e-Marketers put the average engagement rate of content with images at 87%, which is 83% higher than any other content type. Can you imagine what that could do to your brand consciousness?
Having a blog is another way to develop and share great content with your audience. Blogging on topical issues, ideas that will interest people and on strategies that resonate with your industry, position your brand as an authority.
However, considering the “rule of thirds” in your content creation is very essential. It suggests that:
⅓ of your content should promote you and your business with conversions in mind
⅓ of your content should cover industry tips and trends from thought-leaders or relevant resources
⅓ of your content should be based on interactions with your customers, users, or community members
With the “rule of thirds”, you cultivate relationships with not just your customers but with influencers as well.
Partnering with influencers in your industry is another way to boost your brand online. Identify influencers who could complement your brand and build relationships with them. Building relationships with these influencers require sharing their content and tagging them on the social media platforms they are most active on, commenting on their posts, and publishing well-researched and engaging content influencers will be interested in.
If you write great content, built a relationship with the influencers and consistently share their content, they will become your online brand recognition ambassadors. Then, you can leverage on their networks to promote your brand online.
Social Media Optimization (SMO)
You probably already have various social media accounts on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and the likes, but how well do you leverage the full potentials these platforms offer to boost your online brand recognition?
Social Media Optimization is one of the most effective and cost effective ways to enhance the online visibility of your brand. For instance, Facebook provides budget friendly options to promote your website, posts and pages to incrementally expand your reach. This gives your brand the needed exposure to connect with your audience.
Organizing social media competitions could also trigger interest in your brand. It is a positive engagement strategy that increases the likelihood of your brand gaining enhanced recognition online. Becoming a member of some online forums and communities related to your niche is another good method to adopt. This aids in interacting and engaging a larger audience that may be unfamiliar with your brand.
However, it all boils down to building relationships which goes hand in hand with online visibility and brand recognition. If you must fully optimize social media to promote your brand online, don’t discount the value of connecting with your audience on a personal level as replying to their comments, answering their questions, appreciating their tags and likes, and thanking them when your brand is mentioned in their posts.
On a final note, being original, authentic and relevant are vital elements in developing your online brand recognition. Attempting to be like other brands just because they are established is a sure way to fail.
You have to be honest with yourself about your brand’s value, envision how you want your brand to be perceived online and with the right strategy, your brand will soon become a household name that everyone loves.
Co-editor on Sharp Journal, Michael is a proficient writer, journalist, poet, publicist and author. He is an avid blogger with a nose for trends and penchant for poetry, social media optimization, copywriting and more. Feedback—firstname.lastname@example.org