Whether you’re a digital company already or you’re taking your brick-and-mortar business into uncharted territory, a robust online presence is an expectation versus and expectation to the rule.
And with so many moving pieces of that presence, it’s easy to overlook the oftentimes lost art of branding.
Think about it. Businesses get so laser-focused on doing things “by the book” that they end up looking like every other face in the crowd.
Given the wealth of platforms and marketing channels available today, cementing you brand as something for prospects and industry players to remember is arguably easier than ever in 2018.
And no, it doesn’t have to break the bank.
With the help of the following seven tips, you can check off the basics of branding online to ensure that your company doesn’t get lost in the shuffle. The sort of DIY and guerrilla marketing tips outline below cost next to nothing and can be utilized by any business regardless of your size or industry.
Make Your Creative Choices Count
The design choices you make in terms of your website, logos and imagery all have a lasting on your audience. Whether it’s a business card or your company’s social media presence, having distinct creatives will immediately set you apart from the boring, suit-and-tie crowd.
The aforementioned Google is a great example with their distinct color scheme and typeface which have become staples of their brand. Similarly, the likes of Facebook, Instagram and Twitter are all noted for their iconic imagery.
Achieving the same sort of impression means making the right creative choices. For example, the logo experts at Flashmarks note that “basic (1- or 2-color) combinations are easier to remember,” and therefore make a stronger lasting impression on people. While something as simple as your company colors may not seem like a big deal, subtle touches certainly count.
Don’t Be a Copycat
A relevant tip for the pointer above and branding in general, it’s crucial that you don’t try to do what competitors or industry bigwigs are doing. Sure, you’re than welcome to draw inspiration from other marketing campaigns: having a swipe file of potential ideas is totally fair game. That said, at the end of the day being a total copycat will do nothing to make your business stand out.
Find Your Brand Voice ASAP
Perhaps one of the most straightforward ways to ensure that you don’t get accused of being a follower rather than a leader is by having a bold brand voice. Whether it’s cracking jokes on social media or being willing to stand up for your principles, having a distinct brand voice has become an expectation for businesses today.
Serial Commenting is a Smart Move
To make that voice heard, you can’t be shy.
Serial commenting via channels such as blogs, social media and industry forums is a good starting point to reinforce that you’re part of your industry conversation. Additionally, answering questions and conducting Q&As does double duty of building your authority and signaling where you stand as a business.
Be Consistent But Selective in Terms of Marketing Channels
That said, you can’t afford to spread yourself too thin. You don’t need to dominate each and every social channel, especially if your audience isn’t there.
Maybe you find your footing on LinkedIn. Perhaps Twitter is your bread and butter.
Either way, choosing the right social business platform means taking a targeted approach to where you spend your time.
Publish Your Own Resources
Nothing screams “authority” like educating your audience. Through downloadable or free resources like webinars, ebooks and blog content, you can further engage your industry and prove that you’ve been around the block. Doing so instantly positions you as a leader rather than a follower.
Combined with the tips above, you can spread your resources like wildfire and regularly remind prospects and industry players that you’re producing content.
Encourage Others to Hype You Up
Last but not least, perhaps the best way to give you brand a much-needed boost is by letting others do the talking.
Retweets. Positive comments. Case studies and testimonials from your customers
Not only do these things represent branding firepower by themselves, but also that your efforts are paying off. Anything you can do to signal yourself as a helping hand in major point in your favor.
Ensuring that your brand stands out online does not require a huge influx of cash if you know where to focus your efforts. No matter what your industry might be, these small steps can help cement what your business is all about in the eyes of customers and competitors alike.