January 8, 2013
Although the Internet has made it easier for businesses to tap into different markets, the increasing amount of competition has made it more difficult for start-up businesses to create a name for themselves. It is difficult but not impossible to be a success by employing different marketing techniques, competitive pricing and providing good customer service.
Steps to Develop an E-Commerce Brand
1. Create a unique identity
The company’s identity is what distinguishes it from the rest of the competition. With online companies, a website becomes important because this is where the company can first establish its character and personality to potential customers.
2. Establish loyalty
Companies should aim to form long-term relationships with customers. This means providing quality service to each customer that goes through the website. Design the website with the customer in mind by allowing them to find what they need quickly with minimal effort. Providing a smooth experience will increase the chances the individual will come back to the site or promote the business through word-of-mouth.
3. Optimize the website
More often than not, people find a company’s website through a quick search online. Search engines rank websites according to their relevancy to a given set of terms. This is where SEO techniques become handy. Optimizing a site will help boost its rankings on search engine results for a set of keywords. There are many ways to optimize a website. This includes specifying a set of keywords to target and use in article headlines, meta tags, headings and subheadings as well as within the content itself.
4. Be consistent
Maintaining consistency can be difficult especially for newer companies. Companies must send out a clear message about their identity and goals.
Be aware of what people are saying about the brand and respond appropriately. How the company handles positive and negative situations will help people decide if they wish to do business with the company.
5. Take advantage of social media
The power of social media networks cannot be emphasized enough when it comes to building a brand name. These websites make it easier to reach networks that were previously not possible with using traditional forms of marketing. In most cases, opening an account is free, allowing companies and private individuals to open multiple accounts and upload almost any type of content online. However, companies must also be aware of how to properly use these websites in order to maximize the benefits.
Social Media Branding Tips
1. Use different platforms
Some of the biggest social media companies include Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and YouTube among others. Understand the advantages of using each type of platform. If you do not have the time to open and maintain multiple accounts then pick two where you can devote your energies. Facebook and Twitter are good places to start.
2. Communicate with people
The purpose of these platforms is to allow people and brands to communicate with one another. Although company accounts on these websites are meant to build the brand, companies are discouraged from simply featuring their own content. People get bored easily when they are being barraged with offers and sales pitches. Instead of flooding the account with company updates or items for sale, consider uploading content from other sources that people will find useful or helpful. In some cases, you may find yourself directing the person to a competing website. This may not sound logical business-wise but offering unbiased advice will help build your brand and may even help establish the company as an authority within a niche.
3. Upload different types of content
Content does not always have to be in the form of articles. Brands can broaden their horizons by including infographics and videos. The variety of content available on your website and social media platforms will keep fans entertained and interested in knowing more about your company.
4. Use sharing buttons
It is important to integrate sharing buttons on your website to make it easier for readers to distribute your content to their networks. It does not have to be limited on the individual posts themselves. You can also integrate sharing options in other areas such as after submitting a review for the company. This way, your fans can get a chance to promote their own reviews to people outside the community.
5. Know what people like
Keep track of what people have been clicking on in your social media posts. URL shorteners such as bit.ly incorporate tools that help measure how many people have clicked a particular link. Using this data will allow companies to customize their messages to suit the interests of their fans.
Bethany Wesch writes about blogging, branding and online marketing. She writes for Quantumlinx.com.au, an online marketing agency that specializes in providing SEO Services in Sydney to local businesses and sales people.