The American Marketing Association (AMA) defines a brand as a “name, term, sign, symbol or design, or a combination of them intended to identify the goods and services of one seller or group of sellers and to differentiate them from those of other sellers.”
Over the Internet branding acquires a unique importance because often your presence, product and services are existing in a virtual world – people, your prospective customers, can view the images of your products or services, or even attain some digital samples if possible, but they cannot do more than that. They cannot touch or feel your offerings. If they want to purchase a pair of trousers from you, they cannot try it before buying it.
So to inspire confidence among your consumers branding becomes more important. Branding convinces them that yes, whatever they buy from you is going to be up to the mark, and buying from you doesn’t involve more risk than, say, buying from a brick-and-mortar store.
How do you establish such a brand presence on the Internet? Testimonials, recommendations and affirmations from existing customers and clients surely help. But what also helps is the way you communicate, the content on your website, your blog, and your social profile.
We operate in a conversation economy these days: what you say, and how you say it, can have immediate repercussions. Your latest blog post or article can reach the farthest corners of the planet within a few seconds with a couple of tweets or a few hundred diggs. Your content can go a long way to help you establish your brand on the Internet.
Useful, relevant and well-meaning content helps you generate a community around your presence. There are many entrepreneurs who did nothing but nurture a community around their blogs or websites. They spent more than a year generating awesome content and establishing their loyalty, and consequently, their brands. Eventually there came a time when their visitors themselves started saying that they would buy or subscribe to anything recommended or promoted by those blog or website publishers. So when these content publishers started selling on their blogs and websites, they had a ready-made market that was eagerly waiting to do business with them.
Customized content means generating content your audience can relate to. A person who publishes a blog on SEO and whose advise benefits his or her audience has a greater chance of succeeding when he or she decides to provide professional SEO services. Many among his or her current readers will eagerly become his or her clients because they are aware of the fact that he or she can really help improve their search engine rankings. Similarly, a person who writes authoritative material on management consulting has a greater chance of converting his or her visitors into his or her clients.
You can apply this branded content technique to any business.