Creative Online Branding Tutorial

Today, almost every business has an online presence, and online branding has become a critical part of any marketing strategy. Even if you understand traditional branding, you still need to adapt to the changes brought about by the evolution of the Web.

Content Is Critical
Your online branding strategy should include more than just your logo, your business name and your slogan. Content matters just as much as appearance.

People will come back to your Web site over and over again if your site includes content that is of interest to them. The purpose of your content should be to make you appear to be an expert in your industry. Depending on your product, you might include articles from technical whitepapers to "how to's." Periodically posting new information will entice more visitors and bring old customers back. It is important to understand that you should not use this type of content to sell your product directly.

Build Your Own Blog
Another effective branding strategy might be to have your own blog. Blogs don't necessarily have to be long, but they can and should have a personal voice, unlike white papers. Finish your blog with a question for your readers to consider, and then respond to each comment that is made.

Visit blogs that are related to your business, and leave comments with a link to your Web site. This is another way to get your brand out to possible new clients because the comment section can be rather lively. However, be selective in the number of blogs that you visit. Otherwise, this can end up being a time waster.

Social Networking
Social networking has gone beyond simply "making new friends." Find a business-related social network, and establish your professional identity. You will be able to participate in online discussions with others in your field and find contacts to help you business grow. In general, social networking is free, although you may choose to upgrade at a cost.

Another branding option is offering a free newsletter. Like your Web site, you would include your logo and slogans in your newsletter. Like Web site content, a newsletter is a subtle sell. Information should not be totally geared toward buying your product. However, you can include special offers for those who subscribe to your newsletter to entice them to buy.

As a small business, you may not be able to rush into all of these online brand marketing strategies at once. You can pick and choose according to your strengths and continue to add online branding strategies as your business grows.

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