Nowadays, most businesses are aware of the importance of branding. There are some incredible statistics that show how big of an impact the right branding strategy can have. For example, using the same color when advertising the brand through different media has shown to improve brand recognition by up to a stunning 80%.
It takes as few as five to seven brand encounters for a person to make a strong impression and remember the brand. It’s also crucial for business owners to note that negative impressions are harder to deal with once they are formed.
In the age of the internet, an online presence is a crucial aspect of branding. Online branding today is essential for developing businesses. Around half of the world is constantly online, so not presenting your brand to this vast audience is a poor business decision. That is why we will present you with seven online branding mistakes to avoid when aiming to improve your brand’s online presence.
1. Not following up on competitors
The business world is a crowded place, and there is room in it for everyone in the era of consumerism. Although it might be easier to build a new business from scratch than it ever was before, that also means the competition is rising in each field. Not keeping an eye on your competitors is unwise, especially if you operate in sales.
However, instead of trying to sabotage your opposition, try learning from it. If your competition has any form of online marketing (and they most probably do), the task of gathering intel on them and analyzing this data is going to be fairly easy. You can study their marketing strategies and try to be a step ahead of them.
But keep in mind that they are probably doing the same, so make sure to remain up to date on the newest branding strategies to not fall behind.
2. Cutting the budget on branding
When it comes to budget cuts, it’s quite often that the marketing sector draws the shortest straw. Business owners tend to focus on other aspects of the brand that they find more important. That is a textbook mistake because no other company assets can survive without proper marketing.
Move branding to the top of the budget list
The next time you need to make budget cuts, try experimenting with your priority list a bit. If the branding budget is somewhere at its bottom, that might be a sign you are doing something wrong. Try completely turning the list around and analyze where it can take you. Maybe investing in something you deemed irrelevant might lead you to more success than you thought.
3. Underestimating the power of social media
If you’re over 50, there’s a chance that you haven’t even heard of Instagram, let alone use it for branding purposes. But if you’re a business owner as well, you should pay special attention to this paragraph. Branding through social media is a crucial way to improve brand recognition and your company’s reputation.
Although the vast majority of consumers today are Millennials who were introduced to social media at an early age, there are still some companies that refuse to use this channel to promote their brand. By doing so, they miss out on a vast number of potential customers. After all, those same Millennials make up about 32% of the world’s population. These numbers alone should make one thing clear — you can’t survive on the market without using social media.
4. Neglecting user experience
How many times have you visited a website, waited for more than 30 seconds for the page to load, and just gave up and left? The time of dial-up internet connections is way behind us, and the new generations are becoming only more impatient. Thus, providing users with an acceptable website load speed and user-friendly online environment is essential.
The best way to make sure your site is in good hands is to find a reliable hosting provider. We would advise you to look for a premium offshore hosting service since that is always a sound choice. Some providers nowadays use SSD hosting, which is what you should aim for. The reason is it is much faster than standard web hosting. If you have ever switched from a standard hard disc to an SSD, then you know what a massive difference in speed this shift can make.
5. Not keeping track of your online reputation
The internet is a place of free speech and freedom of opinion, which is why you surely won’t always find your brand mentioned in a positive context. Although negative comments are inevitable at some point, that doesn’t mean you should reply to each of them.
Learn from negative feedback
Before opening fire, try to understand what you can learn from negative comments. Constructive criticism can be used to your advantage. However, it might be hard to track a brand everywhere online, so special tools like Mention have been developed for such purposes.
6. Ignoring customer and user reviews
Most companies that wish to build a trustworthy reputation enable users to review their products and services. While recommendations used to work on a mouth-to-mouth basis before the internet, nowadays, online reviews serve this purpose. And we know how important recommendations can be.
In case you get a bad review, it’s important not to panic. That might be a good thing since users are smart enough to realize that not one brand has a perfect 5.0-star reputation. Don’t delete negative comments and always try to answer questions and solve dilemmas that users might have.
7. Not having a consistent plan
What most sources point out is that consistency is the key to maintaining an excellent online reputation. It’s not so rare that brands send out contradictory information via different channels. Thus, it’s essential to have clear guidelines on what values the brand is built on. When thinking about these guidelines, you should keep in mind a couple of things:
- The tone in which you address your audience
- The visual identity of the brand (icons, fonts, colors, images, etc.)
- The way your logo looks on different channels (it shouldn’t differ too much)
- Tags and phrases
- Sending out news through different channels at the same time (timing is crucial)
All of the above should be synced if you wish to create a uniform guideline to follow. The possible consequences that you might face by sharing unclear or contradictory information are the ultimate loss of trust in the brand. And needless to say, it’s tough to regain users’ trust once it is lost.
So before spreading all your branding resources to every possible channel known to man, make sure to establish a definite guideline that all employees must follow.
By this part, it should be quite clear that online presence is crucial for making a successful branding strategy nowadays. However, online branding can have both a highly positive and negative impact on the brand itself, depending on how you perform it.
Keep in mind that social media channels are the best way to reach and target your users. The competition is never far behind, so make sure you keep track of what the others in the same industry are doing.
If you start branding by making a set of guidelines and setting aside enough resources, you are on the right track. By following the brand’s online reputation, you can easily spot if you’ve been neglecting your users. And finally, user feedback is essential for a company that wishes to grow. That is why you should make sure to take note of it so that you could continue bettering your brand’s name.