The way that you do business online when it comes to branding is not willy nilly. There are specific rules to follow and there is a code of ethics just as there is with any business.
It isn’t good enough merely to have a beautiful-looking website and a web presence. The rules of business have evolved into a focus on interaction instead of more superficial qualities, such as aesthetics. There are many different rules that need to be followed when it comes to your online branding and if you pay attention to them, they will take you very far toward tremendous success for your business.
Being a part of the conversation
It is important that you don’t merely start the conversation. You need to be an integrated part of it. Social media is only successful if you people interact with each other and then the content evolves. As conversations evolve, the credibility and trustworthiness of your brand will evolve and become stronger along with everything else. The only way that your brand will be successful is if you develop strong and lasting relationships with other people. The same is true for social media. Social media and the evolution of your brand is a match made in heaven. Although the basic principles of rules for branding and traditional marketing have not really changed at all, the approach for online businesses is different. The values are the same but the method is different. It is certainly not enough to merely have social media profiles (even ones that are complete). You still need to work the human side of it and interact with others on a steady and consistent basis. If people are having discussions or asking questions, you need to jump in. If they aren’t doing that, you need to start the discussion or be the first person to ask a question. The best way to improve your brand is by finding out what people want and need and then customizing what you have to suit those needs. Carefully monitoring what people are saying on social media channels is critical for all businesses in this day and age. Because of the speed at which communications happen with online interactions, you are able to discover which issues need to be addressed and fix them very quickly. Sometimes, you are able to do that in a matter of minutes versus hours, days, weeks, etc.
Choose reliable consistency over trendiness
When it comes to your business and your branding, it is more sensible to choose consistency over trendiness, even if you see quicker and more impressive results with trendiness. You need to understand that you probably will not be able to sustain the success of trendiness. If you do choose trendiness, you may very well find yourself in a position of having to rebrand your business altogether and that will be far more complicated, time-consuming, and expensive than if you do it sensibly and more conservatively from the beginning. It is definitely something that you should consider and then decide upon before you actually do anything. If you stick with consistency, you will never go wrong and the success of your branding will be something that you can rely upon.
Be careful about identifying your niche or industry
It is critical that you position yourself and your business as a subject matter expert. However, it is extremely important that you have an edge that makes you stand out from the crowd. There is absolutely no doubt that you will have fierce competition and you need to make your target market clearly understand why they should choose to do business with you over someone else. Whatever your products and/or services happen to be, you need to be clever enough with your marketing strategy to make people think that yours is superior and that they can’t live without what you are selling.
Wow your clients when you talk about your branding
When it comes to your web presence, you need to make sure that your “About Us” is top notch and beyond attractive. There is no doubt that people will pay attention to your web presence and the content that you are sharing. The first place that they will go is to the “About Us” page on your website. Because of that, it really needs to be incredible. Your message should be clear, concise, and extraordinarily compelling. Beyond a doubt, you need to convey that you are there to solve other people’s problems. It isn’t about you. It is about them. Remember to provide them with some way of contacting you (phone, Email, etc). It will be a fatal error for your business if you don’t include that information.
The branding rules are specific but not difficult to follow. Of course, when it comes to online businesses, you must integrate social media into everything that you do and always put your best foot forward when it comes to showing other people what you and your business can do and how much better you can do it than someone else can. There are rules that must be followed in all aspects of your life. If you follow the ones that make sense for your business and branding, you will start to see that increased success is within your reach. When it comes to your branding, remember that people will react emotionally. You need to make sure that your branding is professional looking, conveys exactly what you stand for, is memorable, and touches other people emotionally in some way.
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Michael Cohn is the founder and Chief Technology Officer (CTO) of CompuKol Communications LLC. He has over 25 years of experience in IT and web technologies.
Mr. Cohn founded CompuKol Communications to help small businesses and entrepreneurs increase their exposure and reputation on the Internet. CompuKol consults, creates, and implements communication strategies for small businesses to monopolize their markets with a unique business voice, vision, and visibility.
Prior to that, Mr. Cohn spent a significant amount of time at a major telecommunications company, where his main focus was on initiating and leading synergy efforts across all business units by dramatically improving efficiency, online collaboration, and the company’s Intranet capabilities, which accelerated gains in business productivity. His expertise includes social media marketing strategies; internet marketing; web presence design; business analysis; project management; management of global cross-matrix teams; systems engineering and analysis, architecture, prototyping and integration; technology evaluation and assessment; systems development; performance evaluation; and management of off-shore development.
Mr. Cohn earned a Master’s degree in project management from George Washington University in Washington, DC; and a Master’s degree in computer science and a Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering from Fairleigh Dickinson University in Teaneck, NJ.
Mr. Cohn is a member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE).