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Online Branding Best Practices

Online Branding Best Practices

Online branding is an essential part of building your business or personal brand – mistakes in the way a company presents itself online can hurt its bottom line.

Online branding mistakes can keep customers away and, even worse, can cost your business money. By registering a strong internet domain name with your business name in the address, you can create a solid online brand for your company. To avoid online branding mistakes and build a great reputation, check out these tips:

1. Choose an Easy to Remember Business Name

Keep it short and easy to spell. The “sound” should be pleasant to the ear when the company name is spoken aloud. If people cannot easily identify the product, that is your first online branding mistake.  A short, descriptive name of the product or service is more appealing than a long, personal name that has no meaning to the outside world.  People won’t know you, but they’ll know what the item or service is. Promote your business and products first, your personal name can come later. You can find more information on how to choose the perfect brand name here.

2. Find the Right Domain Name

Domain names absolutely MUST be short and descriptive; if possible, three words or less.

For example, if you were to sell something at reallylongbusinessnamegeenowIcannotrememberwhatIwanted.com, it becomes very tiring to write that URL into a browser or search engine. Most likely, the shopper will have a number of typographical errors that send them back to square one – or to another website.

So it is important for you to take as much time as needed to pick something that’s easy to remember – and easy to spell! This will mean quick access to your website. Choosing an internet domain name that tells the searcher who you are and what your product or service actually does.

While you’re at it, register your chosen domain name with as many domain extensions as possible so that, for example, if people type in a “.org” they’ll be redirected to your “.com.” If you plan to use a custom link shortener, you can find some tips for picking a great domain name for that here.

3. Facilitate Communication Among Your Employees

Does everyone know what “branding” means? Do they know what your brand is all about? Do they understand your brand personality and the image your business is trying to cultivate?

Salespeople, marketing teams and technical staff should all be educated on your brand and kept in the loop about how to advertise your products or service. Everyone is part of the process, whether they’re running social media, adding to your blog or responding to customer queries. Online branding mistakes can often happen because of something as simple as a salesperson giving out the wrong information to a customer. But in the online world, a msitake like this can be seen by many.

4. Communication Leads to Consistency

When the presentation of ideas changes from one format to another, the result can be confusion. Consistent messages lessen the chances of this happening and allow customers to better define why they need this product or service. Make sure all your email blasts, social media posts or other advertising contains the same branding communication techniques, messages and brand voice.

5. Go Pro for your Online Branding

Is copywriting your passion? Can you string words together in a way that promotes, excites, motivates and calls your reader to action?  Can you design logos?

If the answer is no – and it’s okay if it is – then hire a professional writer and designer to handle the very important job of creating online brand collateral for your website. Don’t make the mistake of thinking it’s too expensive or it just doesn’t matter, it’s well worth it because you branding will likely represent your company for years to.

6. Produce Fresh Content

Online branding and business blogs go hand-in-hand in modern marketing.  Have your professional writer on standby; produce fresh content which features keywords for your business at least once a week.

7. Stick to Business

It is a major faux-pas for a business to feature too many personal items on its website. An “about us” page is great for sharing your company’s origins and the story of how it came about. But stay away from posting anything too personal. When shoppers are looking for a service or item, they’re not drawn in by family photos taken in your store. They’re looking for signals that you are a professional and reliable business. Keep the focus strictly on what your company has to offer a potential client and save the other stuff for Facebook.

8. Take care of your Social Media Channels

Social media is an important channel for online branding. Facebook, for example, is an extremely useful tool to promote sales and services. But your brand’s presence on social media must be consistent with your website and any other online channels you market yourself on.

For all kinds of social media, from Twitter and Pinterest to Instagram and the rest, make sure the content you post is well-written and provides value to your target audience. Casually and informally engage your followers while showing off your industry knowledge and professional ideas.

Be selective with the comments you allow to appear on your pages. But simply having a presence on social media is great for your online branding as it allows you to dictate and contribute to the conversations consumers are having about your brand.

9. Use High-Quality Graphics

Carefully chosen and sharp, high definition fonts, images and graphics deepen the visual experience you bring to your potential customers. It tells them so much about your brand in seconds, without bombarding them with text.

High-quality graphics will leave consumers with the impression that your company is professional and quality too.

Think about how many products you see advertised every day and how their logo or branding images affect the way you remember them. For example, when you think of the iPhone, do you see the apple? When you picture Nike, do you see the swoop?

Yes, these companies have spent a lot of money on their brand images and it’s taken some time for people to associate specific products with them. But you don’t need to sponsor a sports stadium to create images and logos that tie in with your product and create a mental link.

Drive customers to your website with a well thought out logo and print fonts that say something about your brand’s personality. Then, stick with these images to create consistent online branding that will stick in your target audience’s mind!

10. Spend Money to Make Money

Hiring professionals to create and implement the various aspects that contribute to your online branding is simply part of the cost of doing business in today’s world. Great content, expert marketing, and interacting with consumers will get your online branding off to a great start.

While you’re at it, check out Rebrandly to help your company increase its brand awareness on social media by creating and sharing on-brand short links.

Brand smart and you’ll sell smart!

Further Reading:

This Article is About:

  • Online branding
  • Online branding best practices.
  • Online branding tools
  • Online branding techniques

Originally Posted: June 1st, 2017.
Post Updated: May 24th, 2018.

Maurizio Tiberi
COO at Rebrandly. Directing, administering, and coordinating internal operational activities of the organization in accordance with policies, goals, and objectives established by the CEO.