Thursday, December 27, 2007

First 7 Steps To Branding Your Business On The Internet

Most small business owners realize the importance to branding their company, but they lack the skill to branding themselves on the internet. Most small business owners are too confused with all the fancy tools and words, like blogs, podcasts, rss, opt-in and auto responder. Others just don't think the internet is important. To prevent overwhelm, I have included a complete list of steps to take your brand online.

1. Know your brand and create a brand statement. I find that most of my clients know their niche, but they don't know their brand. Here are a couple of questions that will help you get clear on your brand. Why is your company in business? What set you apart from the competition? If you are the company owner, look inside yourself and state your clearest vision for your company. Now write your brand statement down in one sentence.

2. Create a hook impression. Find words that can easily explain what your company does. Don't go into your "story". Just state enough information to get your buyer's mouth watering and take the bait.

3. Generate "schools of fish" with website involvement. Build a subscriber base or "schools of fish caught by your hook". Get your fish or subscribers involved in your business by creating online questionnaires, polls and forums.

4. Build your keywords. Go back to your brand statement and decide on fifteen keywords that are directly associated with your brand. Use these keywords in your web copy, in you're ad campaigns and in your literature when available.
Tip! Scott White is President of Brand Identity Guru a leading Corporate Internet Branding and Branding Research firm in Boston, MA.

5. Write copy that identifies your brand. When you write copy for your website, include your brand's warm friendly elements. The internet is a very cold and impersonal place, write copy as if you are writing to one of your friends. Everyone has their own voice, so why not let your brand have its own voice.
Tip! “11 immutable laws of Internet branding” by Laura Ries.

6. Create a tagline and marketing statement. Now you are ready to create a complete user experience. Here are a few questions to help you along with this process. How is my brand being represented in my all my client interactions? If you have print literature, are you representing your business the same as you are online? Does your copy talk to the same target audience in all areas of your business?

7. Be available for your fish. Let your subscribers be able to reach you and swim with you. But most importantly when they do, be sure, you are representing your brand as clearly as possible.

Remember Rome wasn't built overnight. These steps will take time. Continue to ask yourself, "Will this ________ represent my brand?" If you stay in tune with what you are trying to accomplish you can't go wrong.

-- Good luck and happy branding!

Previous SEO and Dell insider, Jeneth Blackert, teaches small business how to gain customer loyalty by building an online brand.

Make you own brand with free advice from Jeneth at:

Is Branding a Legitimate Internet Marketing Strategy

Internet marketing is all about hard results, not generic concepts of branding. Still, there are ways to go about branding your product or service on the net without spending a fortune.

Branding refers to the vague notion of creating an identity for a product, service or name with consumers. The classic example, of course, is Coca Cola. Being first on the scene, the company has been able to create such a strong name brand that most people use the word "coke" instead of soda when ordering. This is true even when they prefer Pepsi. In the world of marketing, we all bow before the marketing team that accomplished this branding. The Internet, however, is a different beast. That same marketing team would be crushed if they went after a similar strategy on the net.

The Internet is so large that branding is an expensive and difficult goal unless you are the first major presence in a niche. Sites like EBay and Amazon were the first major money players in their fields, giving them a huge advantage over subsequent competitors. Unless you are coming to a field with a lot of money and no current dominant site, your branding efforts are going to meet with failure or limited success at best. If you want to stick with it, the only cost effective and ultimately successful strategy is to pursue a width search engine optimization campaign.

Search engine optimization is simply an effort to get pages on your site ranked high in search results on the three big search engines - Google, Yahoo and MSN. To establish your brand, the best Internet marketing strategy is to identify every single phrase your prospects use to find services or products in your business area. You then build optimized pages for every single phrase and get them ranked.
Tip! Instead, Internet branding strategies, particularly those that deliver targeted visitors to your Web site, ensure your establish credibility and relevance. Remember that Web visitors are in an intense state of consciousness.

This strategy has two benefits. First, it will produce free traffic to your site. If you build 200 pages and each gets 50 visitors a day, your site will receive 10,000 visitors a day. The second benefit is your brand becomes established. Regardless of what the prospect searches for, they keep seeing your site. This creates both recognition and credibility with the prospect as they tend to equate high rankings with quality. As they visit your site over and over, they will also become readily familiar with your unique selling position as presented on the site.
Tip! Branding provides detailed information on Branding, Health Care Branding, Corporate Branding, Internet Branding and more. Branding is affiliated with Trade Show Promotional Items.

If you want to establish a brand, avoid wasting your money on banners and such unless you are in a niche that isn't dominated by any single site. Instead, use the width search engine optimization tactic to establish your site and pick up free traffic.

Halstatt Pires is with - Internet marketing firm in San Diego. Visit us to read more about a Internet marketing articles and a branding goal - Internet marketing strategy.