It is no secret that in this day and age, having an effective online presence equates to brand awareness and visibility. In many ways, how you present your brand on the internet is the 21st century equivalent of your first meeting with a customer.
In order to build substantial brand visibility online in our increasingly digital culture, you need to account for digital marketing.
Building brand awareness is a key success factor in nearly every successful marketing initiative. After all, nobody is going to buy your product or service if they have no idea you exist. Brand visibility is the essential first step for any marketing strategy.
If the end goal is to increase sales and conversions through long-term brand loyalty, you must first start by creating that initial awareness and exposure.
Many of the top businesses in Nigeria today have been able to successfully build their brand visibility online. Sites like Jumia, Konga and GTbank PLC?among others have been able to make the top 10 most popular sites in Nigeria because of their efforts at effectively integrating digital marketing into their overall marketing plan.
E-commerce websites like Jumia and Konga for example use sponsored ads to enhance their visibility online. I’m sure many of you have noticed ads like these popping up in the various websites you visit daily, but a little more on that later.
Here’s another example of sponsored ads that companies like MTN and Jumia use all over the internet to boost their brand visibility.
Your online brand is what people think of you when you are not available. In fact, your online brand is as important as any of the traditional forms of branding and becoming more important each day.
Most customers today are technologically savvy and typically rely on a company’s online presence as a validity test of its credibility in the market.
In the competitive-age we live in, in order for your brand to succeed online, it must be highly recognizable, relatable, and authentic; thereby setting itself apart from the competition.
High visibility of your brand increases credibility and customers will be more willing to retain your product/services.
Generating significant exposure and awareness for your brand is often very challenging, and it can become more difficult online where there’s a large amount of things competing for other people’s attention.
However, along with many challenges, there are also a great many opportunities to build brand awareness online.
For people to be exposed to your brand online they must be able to find you, and this means you need to find ways to make yourself more visible and easy to find.
Online search provides one of the best channels to increase brand exposure and subsequent awareness online. People see Google’s search results as authoritative and relevant, and the more often they encounter your business in search the more authoritative they see your brand.
How digital marketing will enhance your brand visibility online
If you’re considering improving your online visibility, particularly for brand awareness, you should start by considering how you can improve your visibility within search engines.
Search engines are the primary means people use for finding websites and pages online and if you want your brand to be more visible online, you need to ensure your brand is visible within search results relevant to your company.
There are two main sources of search visibility you can pursue: organic search or paid search. Both of these options can provide tremendous value.
Paid search of course deals with display ads and Pay-Per-Click (PPC). Links remain at the very core of Google’s search algorithm, and to improve your visibility within search you need to make links a consideration within your online marketing. Link building is still one of the best ways to improve search visibility.
Link building will improve your organic search presence.
Links aid brand awareness efforts through an improved organic search presence. As mentioned before, links are a primary ranking signal within Google’s algorithm, and building real and worthwhile links will lead to higher rankings in Google’s search results.
Search engines are the primary way people find information online. If you’re not in the top results for searches relevant to your business, your target audience online are going to overlook you. In fact, studies have shown that ~71% of searches resulted in a person clicking on a page one result, with ~67% of those clicks going to the first five results.
By building quality and relevant links you build signals of trust and authority to Google, which will help you move higher in their search results. Even if you’re already ranking in one of those top five spots, you still need to actively pursue real links.
Link building is a long term and ongoing investment into the future, and there are a number of factors that can impact your rankings if you simply rest on your laurels. Some factors include:
- Competition: Just because you’re happy and have stopped building quality links doesn’t mean your competitors have
- Natural link wear: Sites come and go and the web changes rapidly, it is natural to experience some link loss as time goes on
- Negative SEO: Unfortunately there are unsavory SEO practitioners out there who would rather work to diminish your rankings than improve their own, and you need to at the very least be monitoring your backlinks to spot these attacks
The bottom line is building relevant and useful links will help your search rankings, and improved search rankings mean increased brand exposure and awareness in one of the most visible online marketing channels. If you want brand exposure within search, you need to optimize your link profile.
Link building will also increase your brand exposure outside of search.
Although search engines provide the primary means for finding sites and pages online, there are still other ways to navigate the web apart from using search engines.
These navigational tools are called links.
While Google’s search results have changed and evolved over the years, at their most basic these results are lists of links. But outside of Google, links offer a way for users to get from one site to another, and this presents opportunities for exposure.
Links on other websites offer tremendous power in terms of brand exposure because they help your website gain domain authority and a piece of the audience from the linking site.
Not only is the link itself a mini advertisement, but a link can also drive referral traffic to your site. And if you’re building links on relevant websites then you will be driving traffic which can lead to increased conversions as well.
Every time a person comes across a link to your site from a site they trust, it’s an indicator of trust and authority. The more often someone encounters your links, the more positive associations they’ll make with your brand. Not only is this great exposure, but it’s also excellent branding.
Link building creates brand authority.
Along with creating exposure and building brand awareness, links can also build brand authority and establish your brand as a thought leader.
Links themselves are votes of confidence. When a webmaster links to you, they are saying they trust and endorse your site, and want to share it with their users.
As you build more and more links on relevant sites around the web, users will increasingly come across your site and brand and begin to associate your brand with authority.
Also, ranking highly in Google is really a signal of authority in and of itself. People trust Google to deliver relevant and quality results, and if you’re ranking in the top spots that trust gets transferred to your brand.
Increasing brand awareness is important, but if you want to build on that progress you can take your branding initiative to the next level by cultivating authority and thought leadership for your brand.
Creating an online brand presence is about capturing the attention of the targeted audience. At present, consumer’s today look to connect directly with business owners and hear their stories before they make a decision on whether to buy their products/services.
With that in mind, let’s examine seven key insights as to how to effectively maximize your online brand presence:
How digital marketing can boost your brand visibility online
1. Be Consistent With Branding: Ask yourself one question:
“What is my business really about and what message do i want to pass to consumers?”
It is very important to display a consistent branding message?across all online channels. This creates brand recognition and helps to reinforce the brand.
It is common for a business to use several channels to reach out to customers. For example, a business may use its website, several social networks, blogs, document sharing sites, and more.
2. Optimize Your Website: As we know, creating and maintaining a website is one of the most important branding tools for any business. Website optimization for optimal performance on search engines is one of the first things companies can do to drive traffic to a website and improve the brand’s visibility.
Mr. Jude Oketta, CEO of Barian Systems, one of the leading website developers in Nigeria was kind enough to share his comments on the importance of having a website.
“Primary role of a website is it gives you access to people you can’t reach it, in other words, it breaks barriers, making your business global. This allows anyone f can look for your service without being there physically.”
Consequently in a conversation between ?Daniel Obaike, CEO of Nativedge and Jude Oketta, Daniel was quick to mention that only a website alone cannot guarantee brand visibility but implementing digital marketing strategies to attract visitors that can be converted to paying customers is the real goal.
3. Social Media: Social Media Marketing is one of the most effective and cost effective ways to promote both small businesses and corporations; and, enhance the visibility of your brand. Social Media Marketing promotes visibility, brand loyalty, recognition, and can also grow your sales.
In addition, social media marketing allows small businesses and established ones to compete with an advantage. It enables businesses to reach worldwide audiences.
4. Press Release Marketing: Press release distribution is a very effective and inexpensive way to enhance brand visibility and recognition. If it is picked up by Google News, your company will receive additional coverage for your brand.
5.Produce and Distribute Great Quality Content: Creating and distributing quality content is the best way to gain visibility online. It is one of the most effective marketing strategies to promote your business and create brand recognition online. Creating quality content has become essential to any successful marketing strategy today.
6. Leverage Video Marketing: Businesses of all sizes and scale can benefit from video marketing i.e., YouTube, Vimeo, Metacafe, etc. Posting branded videos relevant to your niche is a very effective way to promote your business, drive traffic to your website, and get your brand noticed in front of a targeted audience.
7. Start a Blog: Having a blog can enhance brand visibility and improve your chances of success. In fact, blogging is one of the most effective ways to improve the visibility of your brand online. Blogging greatly improves your search engine rank, establishes validity in your brand and increases reach. In addition, blogging helps to cultivate relationships with customers and other influencers.
Building brand awareness is critical to a business’ lifetime success. If you want to increase conversions and sales you need to first increase brand awareness because nobody is going to buy from you unless they first know you exist.
One of the best ways to improve online brand awareness and exposure is through a highly visible marketing channel like search engine. To improve your search visibility, you can:
- Utilize paid search strategies and best practices
- Build relevant and useful links to improve search rankings
- Gain exposure through qualified referral traffic from links on relevant and authoritative websites
You want people to have positive associations when they think of your company and brand. At the very least, you need people know your brand exists. As the digital world continues to become more ingrained in our everyday lives, online marketing has an ever-increasing role in building a brand and company that people respect and are familiar with.
As a final point, when creating an online brand presence, don’t attempt to create your online brand like any other brands in the market. Be authentic. If you can be open and honest with yourself about your brand’s value, you will be able to authenticate this value when creating your online brand presence.