The digital world is a noisy market. If you intend on building a brand online and is starting as a small business, you have to know that you will be competing against many other brands with a similar niche and brands that have already established themselves in the market with devoted customers and have huge budgets for marketing.
In order to stand a chance in the competitive market, you need to find ways on how to differentiate your brand from the others. Whether you are a business, a service, a blog, or trying to grow a solid following online, it is important to build brand awareness that represents what you stand for.
Branding is not just all about having a well-made logo or a well-placed advertisement. If you want to stand out in this competitive and noisy market, you need to be clear about what you say your brand is.
Make no mistake about building your brand. Here’s a comprehensive branding guide that may help you as you dive into the nitty-gritty of building your brand online.
1. Discover Your Purpose as a Brand
Every successful brand has its purpose as to why it exists. It’s what drives the whole branding process. Whether it is for a business or service you are trying to introduce to the market, or for a personal blog that you want people to follow, your brand has to reflect your purpose.
To define your brand purpose and identity, you need to be able to ask these basic questions:
- Why does your brand exist?
- What differentiates you from the other brands that are already in the market?
- What does your brand offer?
- Why should people trust your brand?
These ideas will serve as the backbone of your brand which you can use when making your story, tag line, visuals, and more. Consumers worldwide today are now influenced in buying based on a company’s values and impact and not only on what it offers. Dig deep and find what your future customers can trust your brand with.
2. Know your Competitors.
Your goal is to find your edge from your competitors. It’s basically convincing your customers why they should avail of your service instead of the others. Knowing how your competitors move in the market will help you think of what you can make differently from them for your brand to stand out.
Competitor research is a vital element of your brand development so make sure you do not skip this part.
3. Be Specific in Identifying your Target Market
When building your brand, you need to identify who exactly is your brand’s target audience? Who exactly are you trying to reach?
Identifying your target market and knowing their behaviors and lifestyle are important factors for building your brand since your brand development and how your brand will be moving in the market. Your mission as a brand is to meet the expectations and demands of your target consumers.
The key here is to be specific in identifying your target market. When you do your research, instead of searching for general terms like “teenagers”, go for a more specific search such as “teenagers who loves to buy clothes online”.
By focusing on a specific target market, you’ll be able to build your competitive advantage and it will ensure that your brand message will come across clearly to your target audience.
4. Invest in your brand
If you want your brand to look professional, you need to be willing and prepared to invest in it.
In order to have a complete brand identity, you need to have some basic things such as a logo, website, professional tools as well as some ads for marketing. Although you can manage to have these prepared by yourself given that you have the skills to create your professional logo and website, these are some of the basic online marketing must-haves that are always worth investing in.
For your logo, you can always use logo maker sites to create your own. However, it’s worth getting someone to design it professionally. As for your website, hiring a developer to do your website is definitely worth investing in. Online consumers are drawn to well-made websites which is something that web developers are experts of.
Using professional tools such as SEO and PPC Ads are also good investments for your brand as upgrading to premium online tools and putting up ads on social media and being visible in search engines will help you build brand awareness online and it will save you lots of time in making your brand known online.
5. Set the tone of your brand
The key to setting the tone of your brand is consistency. This is a basic brand principle that you should always follow. This should reflect in everything that your brand produces. From your social media campaigns, emails, ads, and contents, the tone, voice, and values should be consistent. For example, if your brand represents fun and friendly vibe, then the fun and friendly tone should be transparent across your website and content. This is important in order to create a clear brand image.
6. Launch Your Brand Online
Now that you have the foundation of building your brand, all there is to do is to build your brand awareness online and improving your digital presence. With consumers now going online to do almost everything from doing research to purchasing, it is important to be where your consumers are. The very challenge in building your online presence is really how you can convince your target audience in order to convert them to actual consumers.
There are many ways on how you can build your online presence:
- Creating Your Content
Create content that will draw your visitors in. Create engaging content that will interest your audience, be it an article on your website, filler content, videos, infographics, and basically anything that you put on your website. Keep your content in-line with the tone of your brand voice for consistency.
- Engage in Social Media
Choose a couple of social media platforms (Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Youtube, LinkedIn, etc.) that is fitting with your brand and that you think your audience would like you to be seen. Choose platforms where you can easily interact with your audience and where you can easily introduce your brand to consumers.
Share contents daily if possible and keep your engagements active so your audience will know your brand more.
- Promoting Your Brand
There are various ways on how you can promote your brand. You can circulate your brand online via paid ads (PPC campaigns), email-marketing, through blogging, and even endorsements from influencers which is likely a trend for brands today.
Branding allows your business to have a competitive advantage in the online market. With a lot of brands that exist online, it can be hard to stand out. With the noisy market today, the key is to send a clear message to your target audience about your brand.
Remember that a bad brand can put a business in a negative light while a good brand can create skyrocketing sales. A solid brand building process can help a business form trust with its customers which eventually converts to more sales. Therefore, it is important to develop a consistent brand identity that reflects your mission as a brand.