Branding Basics – Tweak Your Online Presence
Let’s face it, in this era of internet competitiveness, it is not enough to have a good product. As with any business, promotion is key to your success, especially when you are still a sheep amongst the wolves.
It is interesting to think that in the midst of all the information found online about SEO and online advertising, we are often hard pressed to come across an article on how to brand ourselves. In a sense, this is not surprising. After all, how many blogs do you come across nowadays that actually have a branded logo, at even a photo of the blog’s author.
Beginner bloggers are tempted to first try to focus on creating as much content as possible, and even participate in social media. But how can their social media campaigns be effective without first thinking about how they are presenting themselves?
The following is a list of basic branding techniques that are essential to anyone who has an online presence:
1. Pick a color scheme and use it across all your promotions
Believe it or not, you are remembered by the color scheme of your website. Think about a website that you enjoy frequenting on a regular basis. What is the first image that comes to mind? I, myself, see a faint image of the colors in their respective proportions on the site. But every color, and color combination will evoke a certain emotion. An entire book could be written on how to pick a color scheme, but for simplicity’s sake, I will only mention the primaries:
Blue: soothing, traditional, stability, confidence
Yellow: cheerfulness, stimulates mental alertness, intellect, joy
Red: passion, love, willpower, excitement (‘Buy Now’ buttons), denotes masculine qualities
Orange: creativity, concentration, organization, thirst for action
Purple: spiritual healing, royalty, luxury, high fashion
Green: monetary success, abundance, fertility, nature, tranquility
Emotion is obviously not the only consideration. A color scheme involves careful color coordination. To come up with a color scheme, try a free online color schemer. Pick a color you know you want to include on your website, and it will give you a complementary color combination.
You should include the colors and fonts of your website on your blog posts, letterhead, and social media pages. This way, visitors will recognize a pattern when going from one of your sites to the next. Do the same with your profile pictures. They should be the same across all of your social media pages.
2. Keep your username consistent
You will partly be known for your username. You can use your real name or a pen name. As with your color scheme and images, keep it the same across the board. But make sure that your real name is not already taken at all of your promotional avenues. If your name is fairly rare, you may be in luck. In some cases, a pen name is best if your real name cannot be remembered easily, or if it isn’t catchy enough. Keep in mind that you can also use the name of your website as your pen name.
3. Who You Are and What You Have to Say
What is your angle? Do you have a clear understanding of what niche your website is about? Website owners will often try to give their website a broad scope so that they feel they can expand if it begins to have some success. But this should be done with caution…
In the eyes of Google, the more specific your niche is, the higher it will rank for search terms related to that niche. But if the niche is too broad, it will rank lower for a broader spectrum of keywords. If you plan on adding a lot of content, and if it is original enough, then a broader niche can be effective. Something else to consider is the fact that your visitors may be searching for something specific, and if your niche is as specific as their inquiry, it will add more interest.
Apart from choosing a niche, you must decide on the tone of your website. Will you be explaining things using from a third party perspective, or will it be about your own experiences? And what is your attitude about the things will write about? How strongly you feel about the subjects you write about will be obvious to the reader. Your visitors will notice if you seem to say something different across your website about the same subject. Decide in advance what your take is on the subjects you write about.
Most importantly, before you write about a certain topic, it is good to be sure that your readers know why they should be taking your advice in the first place. An ‘About’ page can serve this purpose well. If you are not yet experienced in your niche, you will not be able to retain your reader’s interest. Many readers are coming to you to learn more about it themselves, and even if you are only just beginning to learn about your niche, you can offer some good content. It is better to make sure that your readers know your level of experience. Never fake it!
Whether you are an experienced webmaster, or are merely interested in starting an website, remembering to brand your website is of utmost importance. Many website owners often wonder why their conversions are not as high as they would like them to be. While Google likely cannot detect which website owners have incorporated brand into their online activities, visitors can. Branding your website takes effort, but the reward it well worth it.
Please feel free to leave a comment or question in the comment box…