Starting the process of crafting an online brand may initially appear overwhelming, yet with a clear plan in place, it can transform into an exhilarating endeavour. At GRAVITATE Digital, we excel in navigating you through the digital landscape. Today, we are exploring the essence of brand building in the digital realm. We will discuss the important elements of building a brand online and provide tips on how to formulate a cohesive and effective brand strategy.
35 Tips: How to create a cohesive and effective brand strategy
In no particular order, we’ve outlined our top 35 tips for building a brand online. Let’s dive in!
1. Define the brand essence
Kickstart the brand building process by pinpointing exactly what the brand embodies at its core. It's important to have a clear understanding of what the brand stands for and what makes it unique. This includes considering your target audience, values, and messaging.
2. Create a strong visual identity
A brand’s visual identity includes elements such as:
Let consistency be the thread that weaves through all digital platforms, echoing the brand's ethos and narrative.
3. Foster a resonant tone of voice
The digital tone of voice is a reflection of a brand's persona. It refers to the way a business communicates with the target audience online. Tailoring a tone that resonates with the brand’s target audience while aligning with the brand’s values is akin to hitting a sweet spot in online engagements.
4. Build a website that reflects that brand
A brand’s website is often the first point of contact for potential customers, so it's important to make a good impression. A captivating, user-friendly, and informative website can translate to a lasting positive impression. A website should be visually appealing, easy to navigate, and provide valuable information about the products or services on offer. Check out our tips for website optimisation here.
5. Leverage the power of social media
Harness social media platforms as conduits to foster a rapport with your audience and to orchestrate a cohesive brand image. Regular, engaging posts that mirror your brand ethos can go a long way. Social media platforms are a great way to connect with an audience and build a brand online. Choose the platforms that make the most sense for the brand’s target audience. Regular, engaging posts that mirror the brand ethos can go a long way.
6. Create valuable and brand aligned content
Infuse the brand’s online platforms with valuable, insightful and engaging content. Be it blog posts, e-books or insightful articles, enriching content is the cornerstone of a magnetic online brand.
7. Engage in a two-way dialogue with the brand’s target audience
Treat online brand building as a lively dialogue rather than a monologue. It’s not a one-way conversation. Engaging with the brand’s audience through comments, shares, and likes can foster a community around the brand.
8. Monitor the pulse of the brand
Regular monitoring and analysis of the brand’s digital footprint is pivotal. Tools like Google Analytics or social media platform analytics can help to garner insights, enabling fine-tuning of strategies.
Furthermore, Google Analytics is a powerful tool for tracking the performance of a brand’s website. Among a meriad of metrics, it allows you to see how many visitors, where they're coming from, and how they're interacting with the website.
This information helps in identifying a brand’s audience demographics, their interests, and how they navigate through the brand’s website. This understanding is important for tailoring online content and marketing strategies to better align with the audience’s expectations and preferences. Google Analytics is not just a tool for analysis, but a driver for informed decision-making and strategic evolution in the digital realm.
9. Cultivate a culture of continuous refinement
Building a brand online is an ongoing process, and so to is the digital landscape. So it's important to improve and adapt over time as needed. This can include updating the brand’s website, creating new content, and experimenting with new social media strategies.
10. Harness the power of email marketing
Email marketing can be a powerful tool for building a brand and staying top of mind with a target audience being a direct line of communication to subscribers. Be it newsletters or drip campaigns, sharing valuable content and updates with subscribers can bolster a brand’s presence.
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11. Optimise the brand’s website for search engines
For a brand to be found online, it's important to optimise its website and content for search engines. This includes:
Partnering with influencers in the brand’s industry can help increase the visibility and credibility of a brand. Consider reaching out to aligned influencers to explore potential collaboration opportunities.
13. Utilise paid advertising in building brand awareness online
Beyond the scope of organic reach, investing in paid advertising is a potent strategy for elevating a brand's online presence. This entails deploying targeted ad campaigns across various platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Google. By doing so, you can precisely reach demographics most likely to resonate with a brand, thereby increasing both visibility and engagement.
Utilising compelling visuals and tailored messaging in ads can captivate potential customers and drive more traffic to a website. Additionally, leveraging data analytics from these campaigns provides valuable insights into consumer behaviour and preferences, which in turn, empowers a more refined and effective marketing strategy. The strategic blend of paid advertising with organic growth efforts can significantly accelerate the brand-building journey, making a brand a recognisable name in the digital landscape.
14. Utilise video in brand building marketing efforts
Video content is increasingly popular and can be a powerful tool for building a brand online. Consider creating promotional videos, product demonstrations, or educational content to share on the brand’s website and social media platforms.
15. Build a strong and positive customer service presence
Building a strong customer service presence online can help improve customer loyalty and build a positive brand reputation. This can include responding promptly to customer inquiries and complaints on social media, as well as offering excellent customer service on the brand’s website and other online platforms.
Chatbots are chat programs that automate answering customer questions and providing support on a brand's website. By providing quick and accurate responses, chatbots can help improve customer satisfaction and build a brand’s reputation. In addition to chatbots, live chat is a great way to connect with customers in real-time and provide personalised support. Consider using a live chat tool on a brand’s website to improve the customer experience and build brand loyalty.
16. Create a consistent look and feel across all digital channels
In order to build a strong brand online, it's important to create a consistent look and feel across all platforms. This includes using consistent colors, fonts, and design elements, as well as ensuring that messaging is consistent with the brand values and message.
17. Host events and webinars to connect and build brand authority
Hosting events or webinars can be a great way to connect with a brand’s target audience and build a brand online. Consider hosting educational events or webinars that provide valuable information and establish the brand as an industry leader. It's a fantastic way to establish authority and help the brand’s audience learn something new. Further, events are content goldmines and social media provides an opportunity to share insights, images, testimonials, and experiences during and after the event, keeping the brand narrative fresh and engaging.
18. Foster a sense of brand community
Building a sense of community around a brand can help increase customer loyalty and engagement. Consider creating online forums or discussion groups where customers can connect with each other and share their experiences with the brand. As a result, the brand can become the common ground where like-minded individuals meet, interact, and forge connections.
Encourage the brand’s audience to create and share content related to the brand. It not only engages the community but also provides the business with free promotional content.
19. Showcase customer reviews and testimonials
Customer reviews and testimonials can be a powerful tool for building a brand online, significantly contributing to building trust and authenticity. Consider including customer reviews on the brand’s website or social media platforms, or creating testimonial videos to share with the target audience. These activities can help to:
Provide social proof
Enhance a brand’s reputation
Improve conversion rates
Create a sense of community, brand loyalty and advocacy.
20. Explore customer loyalty programs
Customer loyalty programs can help incentivise repeat business and build brand loyalty. Consider offering rewards or perks to customers who consistently purchase from the brand such as discounts, free shipping, or exclusive access to new products.
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Ensuring that a brand’s website and online platforms have a positive user experience is vital for building a brand. This includes making sure that the website is easy to navigate, loads quickly, and provides a seamless experience on mobile devices. Check out our Top 10 Tips for Website Optimisation here.
Personalisation can help improve the effectiveness of marketing efforts and build stronger connections with the brand’s target audience. Consider using tools like email marketing automation to send personalised emails.
23. Use customer data to inform marketing efforts
Gathering and analysing customer data can help inform marketing efforts and improve the effectiveness of digital marketing campaigns. Consider using tools like Google Analytics or customer surveys to gather insights about the target audience's preferences and behaviours.
24. Foster relationships with industry partners
Building relationships with industry partners can help increase the credibility and visibility of a brand. Consider reaching out to complementary businesses or organisations and discussing potential partnership opportunities. Participating in online forums and community groups related to the brand’s industry can also help to build a brand's authority and drive traffic back to the brand’s site.
25. Consider investing in professional branding services
If you don't have the resources or expertise to build your brand online internally, consider investing in professional branding services. These services can help you create a cohesive and effective brand strategy and an online presence that accurately reflects the brand’s values and message.
26. Use social media to listen to the target audience
In addition to posting on social media, it's important to listen to what the brand’s target audience has to say. This can include responding to comments and reviews, as well as monitoring social media for mentions of the brand.
This information can help inform the brand’s digital marketing strategy and overall brand direction. The nature of social media means that it can support real-time interaction. Live-tweeting an event or sharing real-time updates on Facebook can keep the engagement alive and kicking, making a brand feel accessible and vibrant.
27. Leverage customer feedback to improve products and services
Gathering customer feedback can help to identify areas for improvement and make informed decisions about change to products and services. Consider using surveys or customer reviews to gather insights about the brand’s target audience's needs and preferences.
28. Integrate customer service into social media
Social media can be a powerful customer service tool. Consider using social media to respond to customer inquiries and complaints in a timely and professional manner.
29. Create a blog
A blog is a great way to share valuable information with its audience and establish the brand as an industry leader. Consider creating educational or informative blog posts that showcase the brand’s expertise and provide value to readers.
30. Utilise social media
Share organisational culture: Sharing your organisation’s culture on social media can help build a strong brand personality and connect with the brand’s audience on a personal level. Consider sharing behind-the-scenes content or showcasing the personalities of team members.
Promote events: Social media serves as a dynamic channel to amplify a brand’s event promotion endeavours. Consider creating event pages on Facebook or using Twitter hashtags to spread the word about a brand’s events. Leveraging platforms like Facebook and Twitter to advertise events is not just spreading the word; it’s inviting engagement, fostering community, and building a narrative around a brand's activity in real-time.
Use Instagram to showcase products and services: If the brand is in a visually-oriented industry, Instagram can be a powerful tool for building a brand online. Consider sharing high-quality photos of products or services, as well as behind-the-scenes content and organisational culture.
Use Pinterest to showcase products and services: Similar to Instagram, Pinterest can be a great platform for visually-oriented businesses. Consider creating boards featuring the brand’s products or services, as well as related content and ideas.
Use LinkedIn to connect with industry professionals: LinkedIn is a professional networking platform that can be a great way to connect with industry professionals and establish a brand as a thought leader. Consider creating a company page and sharing valuable content related to the brand’s industry.
Use Facebook to share business updates and connect with the target audience: Facebook is a popular platform for businesses to connect with their audience and share updates. Consider creating a company page and regularly posting updates, behind-the-scenes content, and engaging with followers.
Use YouTube to share videos: In addition to sharing videos on social media, YouTube is a great platform for hosting and sharing video content. Consider creating a company channel and regularly uploading educational, promotional, or entertaining videos.
31. Identify customer personas to inform marketing strategy
A brand creates customer personas by fictionalising representations of their ideal customer using market research and data. Creating customer personas can help to better understand a brand’s target audience and create marketing efforts that speak directly to their needs and interests.
32. Optimise Google My Business to improve local SEO
If a brand has a physical location or serves a specific geographic area, it's important to optimise its online presence for local SEO. Google My Business is a free tool that allows you to add business information and reviews to Google search and maps. Check out our top tips for building business reviews here.
Customer surveys are a great way to gather feedback about a products and services. It can facilitate direct communication with a brand’s target audience regarding their experiences and expectations. The data collected aids in making informed decisions to align a brand’s strategies with customer preferences, thus solidifying the brand's position online.
34. Utilise retargeting to increase brand awareness
Retargeting allows a brand to target users who have previously visited its website with personalised ads as they browse the web or use Google search. This can help increase brand awareness and drive conversions from potential customers who may have otherwise lost.
35. Apply for industry awards
Seeking industry awards isn’t just about the accolade, it can be a strategic move in amplifying a brand’s online presence. Winning or being shortlisted for awards can help with the following:
Credibility Enhancement: Awards are a testament to a brand's excellence and adherence to industry standards.
Increased Visibility: Award nominations often come with media coverage and mentions on awarding body platforms, providing increased visibility and opportunities for brand discovery.
Competitive Edge: Being an award-nominated or winning brand can set it apart in a competitive online marketplace, signaling a high level of professionalism and quality.
Content Opportunities: Awards provide substantial content to share across a brand’s online channels, showcasing achievements and eliciting trust amongst the audience.
SEO Benefits: The online mentions and backlinks from reputable award sites and media outlets can improve a website's domain authority and search rankings, making it easier for customers to find the brand.
Consumer Confidence: Prospective customers often feel more confident engaging with award-recognised brands, which can lead to increased conversions and customer loyalty, essential elements for sustainable online brand building.
Building a strong online brand is a multifaceted endeavour requiring a blend of strategic planning, consistent execution, and timely adaptation to emerging trends. As the digital landscape continues to evolve, keeping the brand at the forefront of your audience's mind will necessitate a blend of tried-and-true strategies and innovative approaches.
Want to learn more? Reach out to the GRAVITATE team today for a chat.