Your Brand Identity- Awareness: Step 1 of the Customer Journey – Part 2

After our brief discussion about awareness last time, we looked at two ways awareness could be cultivated. The first was through Physical Presence and the second was through Print Media. Today we will turn to the internet to see how awareness should be developed.  After our brief discussion about awareness last time, we looked at two ways awareness could be cultivated. The first was through Physical Presence and the second was through Print Media. Today we will turn to the internet to see how awareness should be developed.

Your Website

 

Your website is the first place you make your brand. You need to work at getting yourself well placed on search engines within your market niche.

 

The first pillar of an effective SEO strategy is your onsite content and structure. From the way you organize your site to how you optimize your content; there are five key aspects that will ensure that your content is doing its job. A strong on-site SEO plan includes keyword research, content optimization, user experience, site design, and the presence of a blog with great content that’s frequently updated. Inbound links are the second key element to elevate your rankings, and there are a whole range of methods for building credible links.

 

Read this article in Forbes magazine at forbes.com/sites/jaysondemers/2013/05/23/the-3-pillars-of-seo-in-2013-content-links-and-social-media/

 

● Some links for specific tools to improve your rankings also include:

 

● General SEO tools: moz.com/tools

 

● Keyword Research: keywordcanine.com

 

● Google Adwords keyword tool from: google.com/adwords/

 

● Back Links: backlinkbooster.com

 

● Content development: contentmarketinginstitute.com/

 

Portal Websites

 

Special interest portals can be very useful when your own website isn’t ranking high enough. I have also used balispirit.com quite successfully for advertising real estate in my area. I received four times the responses of the traditional real estate sites I tried. These portals can be really useful for getting useful links back to your own website.

 

Social Media in General

 

Reliable studies now show how social media can help improve sales if it is used correctly. A wine shop case study showed that customers who engage with a company’s social media efforts spend more on its products in-store. Clever use can also boost the lifetime value of your customers because they strengthen the bond between consumers and firms—and ultimately help boost your bottom line.Check out strategy business.com/article/re00236 for more details.

 

Some Do’s and Don’ts include:

 

● Don’t spam. If an update is not adding value to the conversation, don’t send it.

 

● Do provide useful information.

 

● Do handle different customer needs separately.

 

● Do deal with customers one-on-one as often as possible.

 

● Do run special promotions for those who are looking for deals.

 

● Do integrate your knowledge of customers from both in-store transactions and your social media.

 

TripAdvisor

 

Getting a top ranking in TripAdvisor is worth a lot of money in a tourist town. This site depends on the rankings provided to you by actual users, so it’s more about your brand delivery than your brand promise. Check out their advice page for business owners at tripadvisor.com/Owners

 

Google+

 

If you want a good SEO ranking you need to include Google+ in your social media mix. Google seems to give additional weight to links and followers on this platform. Learn about Google+ business pages here: google.com/+/business/.

 

Facebook

 

Approximately 59% of businesses don’t have a Facebook page yet. I think the reason for this is that people don’t yet know how to make optimum use of Facebook and are therefore not yet prepared to put in the time to make it work for them.  But 75% of consumers use social media; so it is worth taking the effort to get on board.

 

You need to know that Business Pages on Facebook are quite different to the personal and group profiles we are more used to interacting with. See a sample at facebook.com/vizio

 

Business pages have a lot of advantages:

 

● They can look more professional and therefore make a greater impression on your prospects.

 

● You can have a great branding billboard photo across the top of the page.

 

● You can run contests and offers at no cost which can help drive customers to your shop or restaurant.

 

● You can run Promoted Posts.

 

● Profiles are limited to 5,000 friends and you want to hope your business can do better than that.

 

● You can use the Timeline to build your brand story in a sensible way.

 

● Your beautiful photos are displayed more prominently.

 

● You can create ads targeted towards specific customers.

 

● You can pin your most important posts at the top of your timeline so that they never get buried.

 

● You can receive messages from your customers directly from the page. This means that you can handle complaints quietly and directly, or offer specific deals to specific customers.

 

Check out championsway.com/Home/free-ebook-facebook-marketing-part-1

 

Pinterest and Instagram

 

● Pinterest (pinterest.com/ and basics) and Instagram (instagram.com/ ) are becoming increasingly popular because pictures are much more effective at garnering attention than text.

 

Spend some time working out a media strategy that focuses on helping you meet a customer need and use it across all channels.

 

Graeme Stevens
CEO and Co-Founder
neXtep easy
www.nextepeasy.com

 

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