You may have heard the term “personal branding” in the past but weren’t sure what it entailed. If you’re a businessperson looking to set your ideas, product offerings, and services apart from others, you’ll need to know a thing or two about building a sustainable brand.
After all, it only takes one big blunder to dethrone the most successful businesspeople. Even if you were to outlast the upset, avoiding controversy is among the best ways to stay in business for the long haul.
Personal Branding 101
More than a logo or trademark, personal branding refers to the way you present yourself in person and online to potential customers. It includes all aspects of your business from the website that you build to sell products and services to the headshot you use for your business cards. Any form of communication (written, spoken, printed or implied) that you share with others is subject to scrutiny because it serves as part of your personal branding.
It’s very important for you to define your brand early on, so you can appeal to the right audience and start to build a reputation for yourself. In a sea of competitors, it can be very difficult to stand out. This is especially true if you’re a start-up and don’t have a lot of capital to work with initially.
Owning a business can be very expensive. Finding ways to keep costs low while launching a brand is ideal. That’s why it’s very important to create a brand that people instantly recognize upon sight, formulate favorable opinions about, and want to share with others.
The way that you do that is through online marketing. If you’re unfamiliar with how the concept works, read further for a more thorough explanation. By the time you’re done reading the passage, you’ll know how personal branding and online marketing relate to one another.
What is Online Marketing?
Online marketing is a strategic and implemented plan that allows businesses of all sizes to promote, advertise, and sell products and services via digital platforms. It is not limited to websites or e-commerce sites, either, as most social networking sites offer business accounts with seller tools and features. Think Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram for Businesses.
Each platform has something different to offer business owners. If you want to make the most out of all the marketing tools available on social networking sites, having an account on each is ideal. You’re able to appeal to a wider audience that way.
The key to doing that success comes down to consistent branding. You’ll want the overall message that you deliver to your audience to remain the same whether it is on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest or Instagram. Authenticity is the key to successful online marketing because it allows customers to trust you and form a relationship with your company through the use of your products and services or the sharing of your brand.
Online marketing is influenced by the personal brand you’ve developed. It’s the image you put forth to your customers. It determines how well the message you’re trying to deliver is received by the target demographic.
Search Engine Optimization and Why It Matters
Search engine optimization or SEO is something that is heavily touted in the world of online marketing. It essentially determines your position in the search engines which influences which websites people visit and make purchases from. The closer you are to the top of the first page following a keyword search, the better your chances of making sales to customers.
Knowing which keywords and phrases that are being used to describe your business or help others locate the products and services being sold by you help you plan the content you choose to share with your customers more carefully. Metrics tools exist to help businesses understand which search engine inquiries deliver the most traffic to their websites. Learning how to leverage the resources available that focus on SEO helps you plan your online marketing campaigns accordingly.
Moz explains that the search engines serve as navigational systems for your website. Without SEO, you won’t get the recognition your business deserves because you’ll be indexed on some of the last pages present for specific keywords and phrases. That means that your competition sees the web traffic that you’re not getting on your site.
Hiring an SEO specialist to help with your business is a decision that requires careful deliberation. On one hand, it’s yet another expense to consider. On the other hand, it can help drive business to your website in droves which increases the number of sales that you see in a select amount of time.
To create an online marketing campaign that drives business to a website takes advanced planning. It requires knowledge of your audience and the different places they visit online. Knowing how to reach customers in a way that doesn’t feel invasive is key as many businesses focus solely on selling and forget about connecting with the men and women they sell to.
Although the overall objective is to make money, building relationships with people is more important. That is how loyalty is established. When customers feel that a business is giving them valuable content, they’ll share their experiences with others in person and online which helps your brand gain new followers and consumers.
Here are some of the things that a successful online marketing campaign has according to Constant Contact, a leading email marketing service provider:
- A method of delivery. Whether it’s an email, website banner or paid ad on Facebook, a campaign must be delivered to a customer in some way. That way, they see it and respond to it accordingly.
- A call-to-action. It should serve as clear instructions as to what you want your customers to do. For example, click this link to learn more about promotions and product discounts.
- A start and end date. Having a calendar to serve as a blueprint of when to do specific tasks pertaining to the campaign is imperative. It allows you to get everything you need to get done marketing-wise in a predetermined amount of time.
No matter what the campaign may entail, the three things listed above are imperative because they ensure that the right people see what you are choosing to market. Knowing where to address your customers is essential as it helps increase your exposure online. If a majority of your web traffic comes from Instagram, you know to allot more of your marketing budget to an ad campaign on the social networking site.
Increase the Success of Your Online Marketing Campaigns
Now that you know what personal branding is and how it relates to online marketing, you’re able to create stronger, more successful campaigns which drive sales and develop loyal relationships between you and your clients. You’re able to take an obscure business and help it gain momentum in an authentic and sustainable way. Rather than cave under pressure like so many start-ups do, you’re able to make the changes necessary to keep your business relevant and successful no matter what challenges come your way.