Brand reputation is critical to a company’s success. These days branding encompasses more than a unique logo, sales pitch, and website. Businesses and corporate leaders need to create a visible online presence. Many marketers tackle the online marketing strategy by crafting and sharing unique content on social media and blogs.
Here’s a little secret: online branding goes beyond these valuable tools. The great thing about creating an online presence is nearly everybody accesses the internet. The bad thing about creating an online presence is nearly everybody accesses the internet! Yes, it’s true- that holds both valuable and negative repercussions.
Why is it bad?
Before you even create an online presence – anybody can post reviews, comments, and experience information about your business. Once you create a social media profile page, Yelp account, or blog – you give them another method to share their honest thoughts and real experiences with the world.
Brand reputation starts and ends with your overall customer experience. Creating a valuable experience from start to finish EVERYTIME is the key to building a strong online presence and positive brand reputation.
Path & Plan
Create a valuable customer experience by implementing these 6 steps.
- Define Your Audience. Who is your ideal customer? If you don’t know – you have some work to do. Look at your current customers and identify the top 20%. Typically businesses make 80% of their income from 20% of their customers. Take the 20% and compare profiles, data, and purchase history. What is the common makeup of these customers? Write a customer vision using the common traits. Now you have a defined target audience. Tailor the remaining steps around this customer – don’t stray from your vision. It’s easy for businesses to not want to pass on opportunities – straying from your ideal customer only costs you money in the long run.
- Make the Customer a Priority. Create a team culture centered around customers. They are your priority and the reason you are in business. Obsess over their every move and learn as much as you can about their personality, online “hangouts”, troubles, and successes. Creating a culture focused on customers makes your brand experience stronger. Customers will feel valued, cared for and as a result will WANT to tell others about it.
- Be Consistent. Brand consistency is often overlooked. Match your offline brand with your online brand (logo, color scheme). This makes it easy for customers pick you out on the overcrowded internet. Consistency is also important in your message. Whether it’s saving money (and I hope it’s not) or giving them a chance for a better future. Choose a message and create your online content around it. The last important factor of consistency is to simply show up. Be present online be creating and sharing content when you say you will.
- Be Honest. Use original work and give credit to others when you share their ideas and concepts. Tell your customers the truth and deliver.
- Say Something That Matters. One of the key factors to creating a solid online presence is to provide content that matters. Figure out their biggest problems, needs, and pain points and solve them. This may not be directly related to your services or product but providing valuable content consistently builds customer trust in your company. Eventually, you will be who they think of when they need something. That’s what you want- to be their first thought.
- Be Intentional. Make each piece of content and marketing strategy you deliver count. Be open with your customers – when you need something – ask. If you blog, look at it as a way to introduce customers to your brand and ignore the popular concept “content is king”. If you utilize e-mail marketing look at it as a way to build relationships instead of flooding inboxes with company information.
Creating a valuable customer experience generates buzz. Today that buzz is often shared on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Yelp, Google, and chat rooms across the internet. A reputable online brand reputation will take your online presence to new heights.