Show Your Brand Some Online Love

Building your brand’s presence in the digital space risks the danger of a major pitfall: in an attempt to humanize your company, you end up looking inauthentic, awkward, or worst of all, callous. You try to form a lasting connection with your audience, but instead of Barry White, you channel Walter White.

Asking the right questions of yourself and your consumer base, however, can prevent that pitfall. With an awareness of your audience’s wants and needs combined with some healthy self-awareness, you’ll have better odds of sculpting an engaging, authentic-looking brand image in both your own web page and social media.

Russell Herder’s digital marketing experts Robin Melville, Katelyn Conroy and Kelsey Christiansen know all about what it takes for companies to forge ahead.

“It’s really about defining what piece of their online presence is for brand awareness …  and what part of it is for their ultimate objective, whether that’s sales goals or otherwise,” Conroy says.

Don’t rely on conversion numbers alone to gauge the success of a digital campaign, as the boost to brand awareness might not be immediately apparent, she says. Conversely, a digital strategy that turbocharges sales for a particular company might actually be inimical to their image long-term.

Users should find a consistent experience across all platforms where you have a presence, Melville says. It should also be easy for consumers to understand and navigate.

“Look at your social media profiles, your website, as though you don’t know anything about the company,” Melville says.

A/B testing provides an affordable means of establishing which messages work the best for your current audience or possibly an expansion to other demographics. It’s okay to occasionally jump on messaging trends such as creating content based on memes or holidays, but make sure it clearly connects to the themes of your brand identity.

Companies must also iron out the question of how their own website relates to their social media presence. The company-owned domain is the safer environment since you exercise a greater degree of control than a social media platform, but it’s not where you’ll find the most growth. The website is where you establish a brand identity, but the social media page is where that identity communicates with its consumer base.

“I really enjoy pages that remind me of an old friend, pages that bring that tone of voice to the conversation,” Christiansen says.

To that end, treat your marketing relationship with your audience the same as a personal relationship with a single human being; there must be give and take, not just take. Don’t unsparingly use calls to action in your posts, such as telling them to follow the link to your website. Those calls to action must be balanced with value that you give to your audience: information that will either help them in a practical sense, or entertain them.

An example of the latter can be behind-the-scenes photos of your activities that customers otherwise wouldn’t see. These brand BTS photos convey a sense of intimacy with your social media followers.

“It’s that natural attraction,” Conroy says. “It’s that natural connection that people feel with your brand, when you’re doing your job correctly.”

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