In today’s world, people have the least time to judge a product before buying it. They rely on branded products and their brand image all the time.
Before selling a new product or starting any new venture, it is important to understand what is a brand image? Apart from that, you should know how to build a strong brand image in today’s digital world.
The role of social media in brand building is indispensable and it can take your venture to a whole new level of success.
Before providing you a definitive guide to building a powerful online brand image, let us answer a few important questions.
What is a Brand Image?
A brand is simply a name under which you are selling a particular product.
A brand image is the impression or belief that the consumer forms about your brand. For example, there are two brands (names) – SEO-1 and SEO-2.
Through word of mouth or online reviews or advertisements, consumers have formed a belief system that brand SEO-1 provides awesome result-oriented SEO services which can take an online business to the next level.
So, SEO-1 has a very positive brand image. On the other hand, SEO-2 does not care for advertisement of their brand and they never ask their satisfied customers to leave online reviews.
Hence, they have no brand image and even if their services are slightly better than SEO-1, they will end up closing their business sooner than later.
So, brand image is all about gaining consumers’ trust and capitalize on that to grow exponentially.
Why is a Brand Important?
Unless you are selling a product that no one is selling at present, you are most likely to get lost in the crowd of similar products and established brands.
A brand will set you apart from others. It is your identity to the consumers. If you do not have a brand for a product, your product will never build the credibility in the minds of the consumers.
Even if you advertise your product with influencers like celebrities, your product will be forgotten.
On the other hand, with branding, you are going to add more and more value and attributes to your product.
Consumers will remember the attributes permanently and your brand value will increase with advertisements.
What Is Personal Branding?
With the introduction of social media, a person has become more powerful than a product.
Today, people vote for a particular candidate rather than the party he represents.
It is always easy to associate a person with several good attributes.
Consumers think that when the person is endorsing a product or creating his or her brand, it has to have the attributes the person possesses.
For example, Donald Trump is a real-estate giant and he has his personal brand ‘Trump Tower’. Since Donald Trump is a billionaire, people around the world started trusting his brand and he became popular in every country he started his business.
Why Personal Branding Is Important?
Personal branding thrives in this world of digitalization. It is easy to build an online personal brand image rather than a product brand image.
That is exactly where the role of social media in brand building comes into play.
You can represent yourself the way you want to get the maximum benefits from your products.
You can choose your targeted audience easily, you can manipulate them and most importantly, they will drive your growth factor exponentially.
Not only will they trust and use your product, they will spread it out among their friends and followers. Personal recommendation always works.
Furthermore, you can get an influencer (celebrity) to endorse your product to add more value to your personal brand. The possibilities become limitless.
Steps To Build A Powerful Online Brand Image
#1 Branding Strategies
Before anything else, you have to decide your personal branding strategies. You have to be clear how your product will solve problems and whose problem it will be solving. Hence, you will get your targeted audience.
Then you have to identify your competitors and their strategies of being successful. Competitors are of different types such as some are at your level, some are higher and some are established.
You need to copy some of the strategies from the competitors as they are sure-shot bet.
You should form your own strategies as well so that the targeted audiences notice you among the crowded market.
You got to form strategies for:
- Promotion, and
That will set you apart from others. You need to frame short and long terms strategies and backup plans in case some of them fail.
Basically, you need to have a blueprint of the series of events that will follow once you get started.
#2 Designing Your Online Brand
- How To Build A Brand Name – First thing is to decide upon the brand name. If it is a product brand name, it has to be something that will strike a chord in the minds of the consumer.
If it is an online product, its name should relate to the product. If it is an offline product, its name can be anything that is unique and easy to remember.
If it is a personal brand name, it has to be related to your first name or last name or short form and the product as well.
“Personal brand examples are ‘Trump Tower’ which represents Donald Trump’s name as well as his business and ‘HRX’ is a gym clothing brand of popular actor Hrithik Roshan where X stands for Extreme Gyming.”
A name from SEO perspective such that the brand name exactly matches certain search queries does not work anymore. According to Matt Cutts, Google’s Former Web Spam Head, Google prefers brands over exact match domain names.
- Creating A Brand Logo – A brand logo is a brand’s identity. It represents the brand online and offline.
It should definitely be soothing to the eyes and something that is unique and consumers will remember it naturally.
You have to take the help of a professional graphic designer to build a perfect brand logo.
- Creating A Stunning Website – When I say stunning, it does not mean it should have loads of features. It should be simple where visitors get everything they want by intuitive navigation.
The design can be unique but it has to be simple and clean with faster loading time and gentle to the eyes.
Furthermore, it has to have all the necessary pages from SEO perspective. It must have SEO keywords in its content and the website must look professional when it gets listed on search engines.
#3 Creating Your Personal Brand
Creating your personal brand begins when you start to share your experience.
Hence, your website must have a blog where you can share personal stories, customer stories, reviews, success stories, who should use the product, how they can benefit and all such related stuff.
This information on the blog is an indirect source of new customers. Unless you show the visitors the benefits you can offer, they will never turn into customers.
#4 Online Brand Building Strategy
Now, you have already selected a brand name, designed a logo for identity and designed a website with a blog. You have also hired an SEO guy to optimize your website with keywords and a content writer to write articles with keywords to get listed in search engines.
It is now time for online brand image building process. First, you must know what is online branding? It is nothing but making you branding go viral through proper online promotion and marketing.
There are various online branding tools present and the two most effective ones are:
Facebook advertisement and Google AdWords will help you reach to your targeted audience locally and globally in no time and your brand will become a word of mouth.
You can also hire a professional to set up the ad campaigns for your brand to get the best results.
You can also boost your blog articles so that people go through them and understand your product.
According to Wikipedia, online branding strategies should not be restricted to Facebook and Twitter only. LinkedIn, Slack, Pinterest are some of the professional social media channels to gain customers.
The answer to how to build a personal brand online lies in social media.
The stronger presence you have on social media channels among your targeted audience, the better will be your brand image.
Building a brand through social media is not an esoteric concept. You must be available to help your targeted audience and provide some free counseling to show them the value of your product.
- You can also have a forum on your website for such discussions.
- You can form personal group initially to get loyal followers.
- You can announce interesting contests and giveaways to spread your brand name.
The bottom line is you have to be active and engage your targeted audience in the best possible way.
#5 Ways To Improve Brand Image
Building your brand image is one thing and improving your brand image is another. You have to follow the global trend and be creative to improve your brand image.
For example, these days, videos are more popular than static images. Hence, you should make interesting videos more often.
Normal design of static images is no more in fashion, hence, you have to be creative and design memes and colorful cutting–edge images about your product to make them go viral.
Make your social media channels popular by offering prizes through contests. Offer exclusive promo codes, interesting discounts and most importantly, interact with your customers and get reviews from them. Highlight those reviews and get influencers to get reviews from.
Follow what is going on around the world, like different challenges go viral and you have to be creative to associate such challenges with your brand to get more attention.
Keep track of your customers, strategize how to make them come back to you again and again and when you are clueless, check what your competitors are doing.
Sometimes, you can use your competitors’ strategies better than them to drive customers from them to your side.
Here Are The Golden Rules
- Always find a way to spread your brand name to new people organically like through contests etc.
- Always try to interact with customers, if not, make them happy with new offers. Interaction and offers will bring them back and make them loyal.
- Always keep an eye on your competitors and improvise on their strategies to score over them. Provide their loyal audiences an offer that they cannot refuse.
- Always increase the brand value by collaboration, new marketing strategies, and endorsements from influencers. Follow the global trend and be the first one to introduce the same in your niche.
Once you start building a powerful online brand image, the profit figure will increase automatically.
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