Building Your Brand Online: What, Why & How
Take advantage of the benefits that the Internet offers to promote not only our products and services but also ourselves as a brand.
In the last article, we discussed the prominence of the Internet, ICT and social media in our daily life and how they are changing the way we approach education in order to participate effectively in a skills-based economy.
Regardless of whether we are self-employed, business owners or working for others, it has become necessary for us to take advantage of the benefits that the Internet offers to promote not only our products and services but also ourselves as a brand. With lightning speed, wide reach and 24/7
visibility, it will no longer require a lot of time to connect with a large audience. We have at our disposal a multitude of tools & resources available to ensure that our messages are targeted, on-time & visually attractive to capture our intended audience’s attention regardless of where they are geographically.
So, how do we effectively build our brand online?
Let us first explore what brand and branding are.
According to Seth Godin, a notable America author and entrepreneur, “A brand is the set of expectations, memories, stories and relationships that, taken together, account for a consumer’s decision to choose one product or service over another. If the consumer (whether it’s a business, a buyer, a voter or a donor) doesn’t pay a premium, make a selection or spread the word, then no brand value exists for that customer”.
Thus, branding is the conscious act of creating a unique identity (be it for a product, service or even, ourselves) that differentiates; giving consumers the reason to pick us over our competitors in a crowded marketplace.
Read here for more definitions of brand and branding according to experts.
Meanwhile, below is a list of 7 branding tips that you may find useful as you embark on your branding journey.
- Be clear about who you are, what you do, what your brand stands for and how you want your consumers to perceive you.
- Equip yourself with the relevant knowledge & skills required to have a strong online presence in the shortest time possible.
- Develop a workable Strategic Action Plan to achieve your online branding goals.
- Be consistent in all your branding elements including the delivery to, and engagement with, your audience.
- Create relevant online content that is
a. in alignment with your brand’s story and/or message
b. useful to your target audience
- Keep abreast of the latest developments in the digital marketing and social media arenas.
- Follow experts on social media for applicable tips, helpful advice and useful resources.
In conclusion, it is no longer about whether we should or should not use ICT to strengthen our brand in order to support offline marketing efforts. The question now is HOW we can make better use of it.
Have you started building your brand online? How did branding contribute to your overall marketing success? What was your experience when you first started?
Do share with us in the comments section below.
References & Resources