Monthly Archives: April 2012

Online presence is not enough to reach potential customers

The new rules of branding your business on the Web have shifted from presentation to engagement and interaction. It’s not enough to have a website, social media presence and consistent brand aesthetic online. We have listed some innovative but effective tips for a great start.

Even if you’re entering a flooded marketplace and online is certainly a very crowded, you always have a chance to make your brand and company stand out. People used to think water was all the same; now stores carry half-a-dozen brands or more. Marketers struggle with differentiation because they give up too soon. They think that this can’t be differentiated, it can’t be unique. Experts say the constantly shifting marketplace creates the need to be creative with your approach. The toothpaste market is one that professionals cite as a constantly changing product selection that requires vigilance on the part of brand managers.

Turn your face to online marketing, increase your connectivity, and gain traffic to you site from elsewhere. You don’t necessarily need to put out the next viral marketing video or hire an expensive marketing agency to achieve a high rate of traffic. All you need is a bit of effort, few tricks and commitment to make your site a quality destination for visitors. Add Facebook links, blog, SEO and build your site populated with links.

Pay attention to your About Us page because visitors always consider checking About Us to learn more about your company and the services you offer, it deserves a little more consideration and more respect. Sure, you need to include all the basics. But few tactics can make your About Us page a more exciting read and your company come across as more accessible. Avoid writing too much but focus on connecting with your site visitors. A more personalized page also means readily available contact information, it also shows customers that you want to hear from them.

Don’t start conversation for sake of doing it, once done you have to be an integral part of it. Social media has one very important perspective to share with brand management, the conversation. Like branding, social media is all about conversation and building effective relationships. The rules for brand messaging through new media versus traditional channels haven’t changed, but it sure got better and more interesting. It’s not enough to have a Facebook page or a Twitter account, you must participate in the conversation by making regular posts and replying to direct messages from your customers. Monitoring social media is a must for all companies, it has shortened the time frame for company responses to complaints or accusations. These days, companies need to acknowledge any issues and control the messaging in a matter of minutes instead of hours or days. You have 20,000 Twitter followers but it hardly matters to your customers. Experts say that Unless you’re in one of a handful of businesses like public speaking, managing a personal brand can be a huge distraction for company founders. Steve Jobs had a personal brand, but it is Apple’s product design that makes it a valuable company.

Brand name is very important for any business. Think about re-branding or another solution can be to acquire another brand. Appearing in the media as a source of expertise can go a long way toward building your brand. To gain media coverage, identify media outlets that are most applicable to your particular areas of expertise and send them targeted pitches. As with print, the Web has also democratized the world of radio. After you have become an area of expertise, you will find that there are plenty of opportunities to take your message on the road. Becoming active in professional organizations and attending conferences offer valuable opportunities for networking. Making an appearance as a vendor at an event can also offer long-term personal branding benefits.

Monitor your brand’s reputation and be ready to respond. Facebook, Twitter, and other networking sites have become essential components of many companies’ online marketing strategies, but there are countless other sites on which customers rant about their experiences. A question or complaint left unanswered on any of them has the potential to tarnish a company’s brand and scare away prospective customers. The most basic services, like Google Alerts, allow users to select keywords to track and to receive e-mail updates whenever they appear on the Web. Others like Social Mention and HootSuite clean profiles on social networks such as Twitter, Facebook and others for relevant comments.

Brand is all about trust and relationships, there’s no better way to build on that than by posting testimonials or listing big-name clients you’ve partnered with. That will lend your business a good amount of credibility. You might consider incorporating your clients’ logos somewhere on your page as an added visual element. Mentioning awards and recognitions received also make your business more appealing, company history, achievements interests readers.

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