Building a brand online can be challenging, especially if you’re a new entrepreneur. That’s why we’ve put together some helpful tips to get you started.

What’s a brand, anyway?

Every business has a name, product and/or service that they offer, but the way people are made to perceive or feel about this offering is your brand. Your brand is how your business comes across whenever people interact with it on and offline and although it may look easy to just post a couple of pictures on social, building a brand is way more deliberate. It takes a lot of research, practice and tireless execution.

Know your target audience

It’s really important to have a real understanding of your target audience. That way, you’ll be able to communicate with them effectively, in a way that they understand, using the right platforms. Knowing who your audience are in terms of demographics (gender, age, location) as well as how they behave (sports fanatics, music lovers etc.) and their shopping habits will help you find the best way to approach them and make them aware of your product or service.

You can Facebook Audience Insights to help you learn more about your audience and Survey Monkey to help you create research questionnaires. Tools like Google Trends are also helpful if you’d like define your audience a bit more to create personas. It may also be worth your while to check out some free digital marketing courses to help you leverage different digital platforms when building your brand.

Have clear objectives

It’s really important to understand why your business exists. Define your business and brand objectives and then look at how you’d like these to translate and be met online. For example, if one of your objectives is to increase sales, then that’ll have to come across through strong calls-to-action on social media or Google search that encourage people to take interest in and eventually purchase your product.

What’s your purpose?

The purpose of any business is to make a profit. However, your business needs to have another purpose – this could be to provide an experience, or a certain level of quality. Define this purpose and how you’ll make it clear on social media through a tagline, imagery or customer service. The more your clients understand what they’re buying into, the easier it’ll be for them to decide if they want to use your product or service.

Maintain uniqueness

Although there may be other businesses providing the same service or product as yours, it’s important to find something that makes you unique and use it to your advantage. It doesn’t have to be something big, in fact it can be as simple as offering the best customer service. Customers who enjoy that experience will make sure they purchase from you.

Get the visuals right

Now that you’ve got the research and conceptual bit sorted, you’ll need to think about how you want to appear online. This means creating a very brief summary or mood board of how you’d like your brand to appear on the social media channels you’ve chosen as well as the website. Your brand needs to recognisable on every platform – you don’t want it to look as though it’s got split personalities. Your visuals and imagery also include getting a logo, which you can get from a graphic designer or from freelance services like Fiverr.

Your online presence

Your research will show you where your target audience spends the most time on social media and how you can use each channel to get your audience’s attention. You want this to be authentic and effortless, but it’s going to take quite a bit of work. You need to be consistent and interactive – respond to people’s questions, comment on pages that are related to yours (because that’s most likely where your audience is looking) and be open to trying new things. Eventually, you’ll find your rhythm. For tips on how to use social media to promote your business, check out this article.

Building your brand online takes consistency, research and being openminded. You’re going to need to spend a lot of time looking at your audience’s social media habits and finding ways to connect with them. Don’t be disheartened if this doesn’t work right away, it’s going to take patience and work. If you’d like to chat to us about building your business and brand, get in touch on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter. Good luck!

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