Keys to optimising your online brand presenceBY ARA Retail Institute
Marketing creates awareness and demand. Brand strategy and brand management are not about creating awareness; they are about guiding the quality and relevance of organisational behaviour in serving a specific group of customers.
It’s a process of defining who, what, and why of an organisation, product or service beyond money making. Brand strategy and brand management are about the intangible, the unseen, the meaning.
Brands make promises to people. Break the sacred promise and no amount of clever marketing will rebuild lost trust. The value of brands lies in the perception customers have in their minds about what makes a brand matter to them.
To matter nowadays, requires brands build deeply rooted emotional connections and never fail to deliver on the promise.This intention needs to be reflected when optimising brand presence and below are some key tips to practically achieve this goal.
#1 - Web presence optimisation
Web presence optimisation (WPO) is the process of making a business visible where their target customers are active online. WPO includes visibility on websites, search engines, blogs, review sites, local listings, and social networking sites such as Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and Pinterest.
For most retailers the key starting point for WPO is the brand website.
It is essential that online retailers establish a domain name that reflects their core brand values and business intent. The domain name is a critical component of any marketing, advertising or promotion strategy and must reinforce the brand strategy and be easy for the customer to recall.
Possession of the domain name also allows the brand to be reinforced through every email and web address used by the company. The retailer is identified, differentiated from its competitors, and experienced as accessible.
Some factors to consider when selecting domain and online brand names include:
- Make sure the name is different from others in a category or market, and not too generic.
- Make the name short and easy to remember, don’t use long names
- Avoid association with another brand. For example, if the website is linked to an ISP domain, the customers may be confused about the brand
- Don’t add unnecessary punctuation or clutter
- Check that incorrect reading or typing errors by the customer can’t lead to a competing site
- Only use a country address (.au) if the brand needs to be promoted as Australian made.
#2 – Search engine optimisation
Whilst there are many similarities between Search Engine Optimisation and Web Presence Optimisation, it is helpful to define the differences in order to better understand the importance of each. As opposed to WPO, SEO helps the business website get discovered by consumers on search engines like Google and Bing. Paid advertising Advertising your business online can help you quickly make your brand more visible and is one component of online web presence. Search and display advertising are two popular forms of paid online advertising that give you brand visibility where consumers are searching and surfing online.
Optimising brand web presence involves a variety of concepts, explored below. Each of the following components offers standalone benefits, but when simultaneously integrated to optimise business web presence powerful benefits can result;
- Claimed and optimised local listings
- Active social media profiles
- Fresh, dynamic content
- Social and search optimised content
- Leveraging content marketing
- Reputation management
#3 – Leveraging content marketing
Content marketing is a form of brand communication that is gaining traction as a key brand differentiator in the minds of customers.
Content marketing is any marketing format that involves the creation and sharing of media and publishing content in order to acquire customer. In an online retail context those businesses that use content marketing as a customer attraction and retention tool may provide additional information about the use of their products and services, information about the industry in general, share stories of customers and brand heritage.
The options are limited only by the creativity of the marketing team. One of the key aims of any content marketing initiative is to build credibility and trust so that existing and prospective customers will feel confidence to begin and continue a relationship with a given online retailer.
To the customer great content marketing does not look like marketing at all. When done well, it can be extremely effective as a relationship development tool.
Looking to gain an edge in online retail? The ARA Retail Institute provides leading accredited training options including the Diploma for Retail Management (Multichannel).
Find more information about the services provided by The ARA Retail Institute here.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
ARA Retail Institute
ARA Retail Institute is Australia’s leading retail training provider for both accredited and non-accredited learning programs. The ARA Retail Institute is a Government Registered Training Organisation (RTO) making it fully qualified to offer retail education programs to ARA members and broader retail industry.