Oct 15 2018
8 minute read

10 Steps to Effective Brand Building Online

Building your business just on performance-based advertising is almost as foolish as chasing after money and career without taking care of your physical and mental health. Though it might work for a while, the "repair costs" in the future will be enormously higher. Big e-commerce players understand this and are guarding their brands with their life. Small e-commerce businesses often disregard brand building though, justifying it with time/money restraints and low return on investment in the short term. Together with our sister agency Business Factory, we’ve put together a list of important steps to take!

If you want to build a powerful brand, you need to use different marketing channels. One of the basic principles is, of course, online marketing and specifically social media marketing. With our sister agency, Business Factory, we've been building brands for the past 10 years. Here are our 10 simple steps!

1. Analyse the competition
A closer look at the communication strategy of your competitors will not only help you find your style, but you can also learn from their mistakes and communication fails.

2. Establish your own, recognizable, style
Who wouldn’t recognize the funny black-and-white cartoon mouse, or blue thumbs up? Whether you like those brands' communication strategies or not, you will recognize them, and that’s what matters! Choose a unifying element – color, font, a character or a specific communication language – thanks to which your potential customers will identify and remember you. Subliminal advertising plays a special role in the buyer’s decision-making process.

3. Don't try to be desperately original
There is a reason why people say, that most good things have already been created. Feel free to use proven, existing campaigns and ideas. Piggyback on global trends. The important part though is that you have to move the discussion forward. You have to add value, not just copy!

4. Work with humor
Humor can spice up every marketing communication. However, just as with all the spices, you need to be very cautious with its use. Communication must always correspond with the type of your product/service, and it should always be appropriate for the target audience.

5. Understand your customers and speak to them
A common mistake of many marketers is trying to sell a joke so hard that they entirely take it apart and present it in a way that makes the audience feel stupid. Beware of this, your fans want to figure the point out by themselves and aren't interested in an oversimplified explanation. Furthermore, they don’t want to be sold all the time. First, try to entertain them and then casually offer them the product.

6. Don't set up social media accounts, to keep them dormant
Someone told you that online and social media marketing is the way to go, so next to Facebook and Instagram account you also set up Youtube, Twitter and Snapchat accounts. You don’t know why you have all these channels and have no idea what to do with them. There is straightforward advice; don’t set up those accounts. Figure out who your target audience is, where you can reach it and be active on that platform. Expecting to make a breakthrough on Twitter with paint colors is as naïve as looking for your future significant other in a bar when you are a strict non-drinker and non-smoker. Concentrate just on those channels which make sense and use them to the fullest

Be creative and test all the different formats which the platform offers. Try new things and assess what your fans react to the best. Do not rest on your laurels though – the fact that your fans clicked like crazy when the emoji voting was on a roll, does not mean that you can replicate that forever. With time even the best idea becomes dull.

7. Post regularly and steadily, boost your posts
Regular communication is essential. It keeps your page and fans active, but also increases your engagement rate and - if your content is compelling enough - get you shared with a broader audience. In the time of decreasing organic reach, boosting posts is an essential part of every social media strategy.

From our experience, we’ve drawn up a few rules: boost those posts which have organic potential, start boosting only when you reach the organic peak (that’s usually after 24 hours), try different kinds of optimization and don’t boost only to increase your reach. Even though the reach rate looks excellent in reports – because it’s the highest – it does not tell you anything. The fact that the post appeared in someone’s feed does not necessarily mean that the person saw it. The more important figure is the engagement rate.

8. Pamper your fans with first-grade customer care
Quality customer care is a decisive factor nowadays in picking a service, product or a brand. Communicate with your fans, like their comments/pictures, regularly answer their questions and use messenger or Instagram messages for communication. Learn the basics of crisis communication – you can't hide or delete negative comments forever. Patiently answer questions and in case of haters, don't be afraid of being appropriately assertive. If you have a distinctive language, you can also use that here. Ideally, your fans will start to use that language as well.

9. Be honest with your fans
No one is perfect, including you, so if you make any mistake or a misstep, acknowledge it. Your customers will appreciate it, and you will earn bonus points for being straight with them.

10. Build a community
Establish a relationship with your fans, show them they aren't just an avatar on the screen to you, and you will recruit them as your advocates and eager ambassadors. One of the ways to do that is by creating a group for your fans, connected to your fan page. Presently, Facebook even supports creating such communities by launching the Community Leadership Circles to support such communities across the globe. To learn more about one such programme we run together with Facebook in Czech Republic, click here.

Love brand, that’s all it's about!

Having a love brand is undoubtedly the most significant unfair advantage you can get – not only can you have higher prices than your competitors for an extended period, but your brand can also, with a great deal of luck, become a synonym for a particular product. Everyone prefers to have a can of Coke to the dark soda with a coke flavor, don’t they?

Brand and performance aren’t two separate things. Every performance campaign must be in sync with the brand; it should be a part of the brand-building and, at the same time, the brand-building should be beneficial for sales, just from the long-term perspective. If we simplified it, one could say strong brand = long-term performance.

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