Branding. Businesses have been doing it for centuries. But what’s so special about doing it online?
For starters, branding online is not done simply by putting your name in front of people. That’s a part of it, of course, but online branding is as much accomplished by how you approach your market as the image you present when you do so. By ‘how’ I mean the methods you employ.
Let’s spell it out clearly. You can brand yourself with search engine optimization and with social media marketing, or a combination of the two. Search engine marketing, or pay per click marketing, can also be used to brand your business. The branding begins with your keyword research, but it doesn’t end there.
Every time you interact with someone online in the name of your business you have an opportunity to brand yourself. Whether you choose to use your real name or the name of your business is itself a branding decision.
Here’s an example. Let’s say you sign up for a social network. Do you sign up in your personal name or your business name? Some social networks won’t allow you to sign up under a business name so you may not have a choice. But what if you do?
You can always have two accounts – one for your personal name and one for your business name. Whenever possible, you should use your business name as a branding element.
That may seem intuitive. But it’s not really. Online marketers like to hype and harp on the fact that people online prefer a personal touch, and they do. But that doesn’t mean you can’t approach them in the name of your business. You can still employ the personal touch. But you always want to get the brand in front of the eyes when it is prudent to do so. That’s what branding is all about.