There is no need to argue that everyone wants to succeed in their business. However success is defined not by common patterns, but by customized details. Traditional businesses are history and so are web brand presences based on website page only. To add more, according to an article in Wall Street Journal, personal branding is a must-have in 2013. This means business owners should not limit themselves to online brand presence only, but also to strong personal branding. Altogether, these actions and strategies help in building a strong online overall brand presence. Should you wonder what online strategies to use, here are 3 suggestions.
#1. Building an Image with Digital PR
Nothing compares to the power of the Internet: your business can go viral in a few moments and reach top visibility or it can go below sea level and never return from Google’s cemetery. That’s why your online presence and online image both matter and building them just isn’t enough. They also need constant maintenance. Here is what digital PR companies can do their magic with:
- creative young teams
- fresh approaches
- innovating management systems
PR should help your business in:
- monitoring user behavior
- shaping conversations
- and reach digital creativity.
#2. Building an Image with Link Building
Link Building campaigns are one of the best online strategies for any business that values the customer – brand relationship. Link building does not only bring your business in the high visibility field of SERPs, but it also connects with readers, potential customers and with bloggers in a more personal perspective. Whenever a blogger or guest blogger decides to write about your business and services, the message also goes to the author’s social media connections, to the blog’s community and social media circles, to unique and regular blog visitors and readers. Basically, it spreads across a “spider web” of online connections. That is why link building must be done in a SMARTER way, naturally, legally and purely White HAT. You can hire a search marketing company or you apply the DIY method (do it yourself). Either way, there are 7 online principles any link building campaign must follow:
- Have in mind a specific performance. For example, to appear from Google position of #100 to #30.
- The performance must be measurable. You must be able to use online performance measuring tools.
- The action of link building must be attainable. It isn’t highly effective to want unnatural and impossible outcomes.
- The process of image building must be result focused. You have to think of an objective, a goal and how a campaign managed to achieve that goal.
- Everything must be done in a timely manner. Time is crucial. Empires were not built overnight, so keep in mind that results depend on a specific time frame.
- Every action should be focused on encompassing. Actions are effective if applied in a circle of events. Repeatable processes ensure that no mistakes will repeat themselves and that after gaining experience, the business itself grows. Constantly.
- All actions should be reviewed frequently. It is crucial to review and analyze processes in order to stabilize the growth and development of any business.
#3. Building an Image with Social Media
Social media is a powerful tool in defining the relationship between business and customers. You can’t have one without the other. However, social media is not a strategy itself, but rather a stimulator, an accelerator of an already in motion circle of events and actions. The dark side of social media brings us a sad picture: businesses that do not maintain or manage their online relationship with customers, businesses that rely on paid consumer-company interactions, businesses that practice “black social media”, if we could say that. We like to call “black social media” the campaigns that:
- View social media as a strategy itself;
- Rely on paid methods only;
- Do not add content quality;
- Focus on quantity only;
- Do not value nor offer vendor reliability;
- Most of the time are absent in real time interaction (extremely delayed responses to events, competitions, user questions, user complaints, user negative reactions, user positive reactions etc.)
- Grow only by providing a negative image of competitors;
- Do not study or do competitor analysis to see what the business might be missing/lacking;
- Do not provide new, fresh approaches that might help differentiate the business from its core competitors;
- Rely only on 1-2 social media networks/platforms, instead of benefiting from what each network has to offer;
- Do not focus on customer details such as age, gender, social groups, religion, community, location, national/international cultural views, income, political views, health, sensitivities and even sexual orientation. In that way, a campaign must not offend any type of customer or potential customer;
- Do not value brand sentiment;
- Do not provide enough visuals, imagery and audio, so that the message is easy to understand by everyone.
- No new-era business can survive without online brand presence;
- Digital PR is vital for online branding;
- Link Building must be done naturally, in a form of pure white hat, legally and smarter than any type of campaign/strategy;
- If you can’t DIY, then invest some money and seek help from professionals;
- Your business grows every year, so have patience and don’t expect results to show right way;
- Long-term is healthier than short-term for online businesses;
- Do responsible social media actions;
- Stay away from the dark side of social media, it can kill your baby business;
- A circle of events and actions that are repeatable can actually help in avoiding unwanted mistakes from happening over and over;
- Personal branding is to business brand presence like the cover is for the book;
- There is always room for more;
- Last but not least, confide in young people: they are creative, eager to work and show you they can do it, dedicated and results-driven.
Roxana is a freelance SEO consultant and an Elance StartUp Consul in her home country. In the past 5 years, she had at least 100 active clients, at least half of them start-ups and middle-level businesses. You can stay in touch with Roxana on her about.me page (http://about.me/roxanasoi).