Strategies for Online Startup Branding
Marketing provides the toolset to build your startup brand and online marketing is the most cost-effective way to start building. You have to keep in mind that blogging and social media are free tools that are available to everyone. Their abundant use by startups is saturating the internet and reducing their effectiveness. Coming up with original long tail key phrases is not enough. Search algorithms are becoming smarter and look for authoritative sites and useful content. Contributing, social sharing and commenting are your base tool set to built your brand online but everybody is doing it. So what do you have to do to stay on the cutting edge of online brand development?
Define, Believe In, and Live Your Brand’s Identity
It is important to focus your startup branding efforts not only so you can better target your audience but also to be better ranked by search engines. You have to believe in your mission so your customers can believe in it as well. When you build your site and post content on your blog, focus around that mission, use tag lines and key phrases that are centered around your core ideals. That way you will delight both customers and not confuse algorithms that rank your site. Use a logo and imagery that emphasize your brand’s core values and create a culture that follows them. This will create a uniform image of your brand online that is easy to relate to.
Make your brand a thought leader. While it is important to build a library of content online and to publish regularly on your blog to build your brand image, do your research and post intelligent content that is helpful and educational. Focus on quality, well-optimized posts that follow best practices. This will help you to grow into an authoritative respected source of information in the long run. It will help your blog rank higher in searches and draw more visitors. Volumes of low quality content may draw some visitors in the short run but will dilute your brand.
An important part ofstartup branding is defining your core values. You should find other people who have adopted them and turn them into promoters of your mission. These could be happy customers who have written an exceptional review on your website. Send them free samples or subscriptions, they can be your best ambassadors. Reach out to online influencers from your industry and ask them to review your product or services. Building these relationships will make your brand look more authoritative and nurture its growth.
Active Social Engagement
Social media is an integral part of any startup branding strategy and an indispensable tool when starting out. Share your mission and show how your products or services will benefit the community. Research which platforms are best suited to your mission. Engage the online communities that have similar values and promote your mission to them. When you align with like-minded online communities they will be more receptive to your brand and spread the word about it.
Plan for a marketing budget to help distribute your branding efforts a little further than your competitors that may only be using social media and content strategy. Employ paid social media posts and Google Adwords to place your brand in front of the right audience. Place your ads in sites that have similar values, so your visitors can make the right associations. Remember that your audience’s attention span is short, so use imagery and messages that resonates with your niche market and their lifestyle.