Module 4: Online Brand Management
It takes a great deal of effort to maintain an online presence but the branding benefits are well worth it.
You need to know what’s going on with your brand and use the internet to leverage the exposure it offers.
Search engine optimization is important for online branding. You need to make sure that your website and social media profiles come up in searches related to your brand.
When people encounter your brand, even in print or in person, they’re going to head straight to Google and see what else they can find out about you.
Put a proactive SEO strategy into place and make sure you’re ranking for relevant keywords.
Although there are now many ways to communicate online, email is still the main mode of communication. It’s good to build an email list and market directly to your list members’ inboxes.
This is a good way to enhance your branding and the personal nature of email makes it excellent for creating an emotional bond.
We covered social media in the last chapter, but don’t forget that social media is much more than just Facebook and Twitter. It includes video sharing sites like YouTube, blogs, industry specific social networking sites, online forums and more.
It’s especially important to leverage the power of review sites like Yelp. Join as many of these sites as possible and manage them well.
Encourage your customers to leave good reviews and watch for bad reviews so that you can respond to them in a timely manner
Many businesses find content marketing a good way to build their brand. Content marketing is a strategy in which you regularly publish articles, blog posts, videos or other content that helps your target market.
It’s a great way to gain exposure and communicate your brand message.
It’s possible that someone is going to say something bad about your company online and it’s inevitable that many others will see it.
This is why you need reputation management protocols in place. When a complaint or negative comment is posted about your brand, you need to swing into action and handle it with the best customer service possible.
A proactive method of protecting your reputation online is to encourage good reviews and positive comments. When you have a great number of good reviews on a site like Yelp, a few bad ones aren’t so damaging.
Whenever responding to negative comments, remember to stay ‘on-brand’. Never get angry. Your handling of the situation should give others who see the interaction the right brand message.
How you respond to these situations is as much a part of your brand marketing as any other activities you engage in.
Seek to get reviewed everywhere possible. Form relationships with reviewers and review websites and encourage your customers to leave reviews.
Word of mouth is the best possible branding you could hope for.
Brainstorm keywords and keyword phrases that you can use for your website, social media profiles, and content marketing in general. Use keyword tools like Google’s AdWord tool to get suggestions.