Many business owners focus on building their company instead of building their brand. Unfortunately, two-thirds of small businesses will fail within 10 years. Developing solutions will soon outperform today’s products and services because the world is rapidly changing. Creating a solid online brand gives your business the ultimate competitive advantage. It will determine your future success and allow you to prosper long term. 

In this post, we’ll discuss three ways to grow your online brand and cultivate returning visitors. 

Create a Brand Persona

The ability to connect with customers starts when your brand can evoke a positive emotional response. When someone clicks on your site for the first time, that initial introduction can determine whether they return. Leaving a lasting impact that resonates offline is essential in building relationships with your customers. 

A brand persona is a collection of personality traits, attitudes, and values associated with your brand. It is the heart and soul of your business. Developing these human-like characteristics allows customers to identify with and relate to your brand. According to Forbes, 64% of customers say that shared values create a trusted relationship with a brand. People connect with brands the same way they connect with other people. Familiar behavior and traits attract like-minded individuals. Familiarity represents safety which ultimately leads to trust. Creating a unique persona and effectively communicating those traits gives your company a competitive advantage and targets relevant audiences. 

Visual aspects like website designs, logos, and colors are essential in presenting brand personality. Thirty-eight percent of users will stop interacting with a website if the layout is unattractive. However, the true purpose of aesthetic elements is to enhance your brand’s overarching message. It is the core of why you do what you do. When establishing these values, your customers should lead your intentions. What are their needs? How are they evolving? What solutions would excite them? Can my business provide the answers? Every other feature of your company, including marketing, sales, and long-term success, hinges on this narrative. 

Today, Apple is one of the most recognizable brands. But in 1997, the company was on the verge of bankruptcy. Steve Jobs returned as CEO and injected a new narrative that would revitalize the business: “Apple is not about making boxes for people to get their jobs done, although we do that well. Its core value is that we believe people with passion can change the world for the better.” The goal of connecting people with their passions opened up new possibilities for his team to imagine. It allowed Apple to transcend computer making and design iPhones, iPads, and other innovative devices that grow with its world. When Apple launches a new product — regardless of what it is — people will stand outside the store for hours and hours because a defined narrative sparks emotion with the brand. 

Produce Valuable and Consistent Content 

In the age of social media, content is king. That phrase is originally from an essay Bill Gates wrote in 1996, published on the Microsoft website. Gates envisioned the internet as a marketplace for information, resources, and entertainment. “No company is too little to participate.”

Developing a library of content is a great way to generate traffic to your site and get eyes on your products and services. Consistently populating blogs, posting on social media, or uploading long- or short-form videos engages customers, builds loyalty, and generates brand awareness. By creating and sharing, you become an authority in your field. People trust experts and end up doing business with those they trust. 

If you’re starting on social media, channel your energy into two platforms: pick one platform that adds high value and cultivates engagement. Facebook and LinkedIn are perfect sites for articles that are 1,500 words or longer. Videos may be the most compelling form of content. By 2022, online videos will make up more than 82% of all consumer internet traffic, according to Cisco’s Annual Internet Report (2018-2023). Youtube is perhaps the best platform for videos, but videos also perform well on Facebook. Instagram is also an excellent option for shorter videos. Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok are valuable sites for showcasing snippets of your longer-form content, engaging your audience, and building online communities. 

Providing quality content is central to a website’s success. Whether your focus is on written posts, videos, or images, it should meet the demands of your targeted users. But producing persuasive, high-performing content presents many challenges. Even Gates cautioned, “societies will discover intense competition — and sufficient failure in addition to success — in all categories of popular content.” That’s where content marketing strategies come in. It centers around the user’s interests with quality content instead of advertising. A content strategy can be divided into the following steps: defining your goals, researching your audience, content auditing, choosing a content management system, brainstorming ideas, and publishing. 

Improve SEO Ranking

Due to the vast volume of existing online content, your well-thought-out website or post may be immediately buried. 68% of online experiences begin with a search engine, and Google currently makes up 92% of the total search engine market share. Effectively navigating search engine optimization (SEO) ensures your brand will rank higher in Google. 

Various factors influence ranking in search engines, including page loading speed, quality content, image formatting, and inclusion of keywords. Utilizing SEO may seem complicated, but It often means making small modifications to your website. Multiple optimizations add up and lead to noticeable differences in SEO performance and help users discover your site. Google’s beginners guide to SEO gives a rundown of the basics. 

Creating compelling, up-to-date, and relevant content is a main determining factor in optimization. Start with brainstorming keywords and phrases that a user might search for to find your content. Writing click-worthy and catchy titles and descriptions helps prioritize your page over others. In addition, well-organized topics with paragraphs, subheadings, and layout separation offer a clean look and easy-to-read information. Finally, generating fresh and unique content provides a new avenue your brand can capitalize on and bring in more visitors. 

Your page loading time and image formatting also influence your ranking. Google recognizes slow websites and lowers SEO. Visitors are also less likely to engage with slow sites. For example, 40% of users will abandon a webpage if it takes more than three seconds to load. Pictures and other complementary graphics engage your audience by adding visuals to break up blocks of text. These images need to be appropriately optimized to improve SEO ranking. File format and size affect ranking, and large images may slow down a site’s loading time. Resizing and compressing images improve your SEO and give users a better overall experience. 

Breaking into the online scene may seem intimidating at first, but learning these steps and strategies is half the battle. Technology is constantly evolving, so it is increasingly important to keep up with the latest network tactics. Always keep your target audience in mind, and seek to add value when producing content. The more knowledgeable you become on SEO ranking, the quicker you’ll find your site at the top of Google’s search engine and on the screens of hundreds of users. 

Now that you know how to tackle a strong brand online, discover how to create an effective content marketing strategy.