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What Makes a Good Online Brand?

With the UK’s ecommerce reaching an impressive £137.38 billion in 2018 (statistics from ONS data), the importance of online branding is becoming an increasingly important component of all types of businesses.

In this day and age, almost everything can be, and typically is, done online. It is the way that many people both find and purchase products and services, and has therefore led to a great importance being held over the online branding of a company.

With this increasing immersion into the online world, the way in which companies now build up their online presence can be vital for both visibility and perception. Online branding is not only crucial to businesses based solely online, but can also be used as a major marketing strategy for the more bricks-and-mortar companies wanting to boost their customer base.

An online brand is determined by many different factors, some of the major ones including what the business does, how well it does this, and how this is put out into the online world. An online brand can be made great by implementing effective digital marketing tools into a company's advertising and marketing strategy.

Understand the Brand

A major component to any business, whether online or bricks-and-mortar, is to have a clear understanding of the brand (source: Brandnation). An effective way to ensure a business's understanding of a brand lines up with the more external perspective is for those in the business to come up with three words that they believe define the business, and compare these to the three words someone outside of the business would define it as.

If these definitions do not match up, the company may have an issue with how they express who they are, and will need to focus time on creating a clearer expression of what they do and how they do it to the public.

This can improve the trustworthy and reputable perception of a brand, leading to more customers exploring their services on their website, and potentially increasing sales. Customers, especially with online brands, are more likely to do business with brands that project a trustworthy and confident attitude. Understanding the brand is a key component in attaining this attitude.

Understand the Customer

To understanding the brand, another key component to making a good online brand is to understand the customers of the business. By understanding the type of people who will involve themselves with a company's goods and services, a business can then use this information to tailor their marketing strategy and further target the right consumers via ad and marketing campaigns. This can lead to improved sales by developing advertisements and marketing strategies that hit the right people – those who are most likely to be interested in the product.

Brands Built Effectively

There are a range of different digital marketing strategies businesses can use to build up a good online brand. One of the main ways in which businesses can help to build up a good online brand is to develop a website that is easy to use, facilitating a good user experience. Much like businesses with premises need to focus on their premises' design and the customer experience within their shop (source: Bobblehat), so too should website owners; your website is ultimately your online shop and showcase.

Users and prospective customers typically get frustrated with websites that aren't easy to use/navigate, and will usually leave the website shortly after experiencing difficulty with it.

Having a website that does not have a good user experience can make it seem untrustworthy, and can further damage the reputation of the brand, leading to a reduction in visitors to the site, and subsequently a reduction in customers.

A good online brand will also invest time in their SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) and content marketing. By increasing the number of high-quality backlinks, a company's website has, this can help to boost its trustworthy reputation to Google, and furthermore to potential visitors of the site/customers.

Having various different online articles from high authority sites mentioning a company in a positive light can help to boost the reputation of the online brand.

Social media can also be used to help create a good online brand. Much the same as articles on high-quality sites, having different bloggers and influencers with a high following promote a business can help to further enhance the trustworthy, reputable nature of a brand online.

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