How to build a brand to conquer the internet » SMEInsider

How to build a brand to conquer the internet

Like it or loathe it, for the vast majority of companies, if you don’t have an online footprint you might as well not exist. This means that success increasingly relies on how you present your brand.

Part of this involves knowing where to place yourself. The phenomenal rise of social media sites such as Instagram means that many companies are jumping on the bandwagon, despite the fact that less sexy but infinitely more focussed sites such as LinkedIn actually see far better results for those that sell B2B.

Companies are generally expected to have a website, Twitter and Facebook page as standard, but many struggle to use these sites in a way that projects a coherent identity and sense of narrative. As marketing expert Kate Hardcastle explains, communicating with you customers (and potential customers) means working out what your story is, telling it in the most engaging way and making sure that everything you say and do fits with this story.

Companies that don’t do this often find that they are just firing out tweets or posts because it’s “the done thing”, without giving serious thought to what this says about them or what they are really trying to achieve. Everything that you write on your blog or send out into the webosphere needs to be an extension of and reflection of your brand, otherwise it’s just noise.

Establishing what you want your audience to think of you will help you work out what to say, how to say it and where to post it. While that might sound obvious, few companies take this step as seriously as they should – and with many sales functions shifting onto our social media sites or becoming an extension of what we view online, companies that fail to create a consistent thread between their online brand and their ordering system will find themselves struggling to survive.

This week, we’ll be looking at all things branding, from storytelling and reputation management through to great design and presentation. We’ll hear from industry figures and companies that have used clever branding to huge success, and we’ll explore some of the key trends that are shaping the marketing landscape in the months and years to come.

We’d love to hear your thoughts, perspectives and stories about what makes for a powerful brand and a successful marketing strategy. To join the conversation, tweet us @SMEInsider with the hashtag #BrandStories.