Crafting a brand strategy (that works) in 2020 is a tricky business. The pandemic, the economic fallout, and the overall climate continue to shift, along with consumer needs.
Thus, business owners and digital marketing professionals must find new ways to engage with their target audience. Pivoting and staying consistent simultaneously is necessary for companies that want to grow and expand their reach. And the brand is front and center.
In fact, the digital footprint of the company is the natural extension of the brand!
E-commerce and third-party services are the most prominent example of the power of online branding. It’s almost impossible for a business in 2020 to plan a marketing strategy without considering or focusing on digital.
Hence, here are some of the main fields to invest in for the purpose of online growth:
1) Getting Google’s Love
Discussing SEO in a brand article was prudent before the significant changes this year. However, during a pandemic, it became quite necessary.
And that’s because the only way towards online visibility starts with Google!
On-site optimizations, keyword research, and producing relevant, high-quality content are no longer only SEO benchmarks. On the contrary, these matters are essential for promoting any brand online.
To put it simply, the company’s name is a branded keyword in itself, and it should be treated as such.
Moz published an excellent article on how SEO can help businesses build a more recognizable brand. And the main point was quite simple, SEO methods like optimizing for semantic search and knowledge graphs or link building are perfect for online branding.
The truth is, without Google rankings, expanding and growing a brand is not feasible. Hence, taking SEO parameters into consideration before drafting an online brand strategy is crucial.
2) Creating Trust
According to Edelman’s latest research on brand trust, consumers need to believe in a brand before making a purchase. For 67 percent of customers, that’s a deciding factor. For 8 in 10 consumers, trusting a brand drives customer loyalty.
These numbers are too high for any company to ignore.
Moreover, some of the more prominent brand trust indicators are positive reviews, reputation, and social impact. And when brands create online groups and communities with high engagement, they’re getting points on the brand trust meter.
Thus, companies that strive towards brand loyalty should focus on crafting a trustworthy image. By devising a negative review strategy, publishing expert content, and providing customers with a space to share their stories, a company can build a brand online.
3) Social Media
If SEO is essential for Google visibility, social media is vital for boosting engagement and customer interaction. They are two sides of the same coin, and both are direct extensions of the company’s brand.
Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, Facebook, and Pinterest are giants in their own right, and as social media platforms, they are the perfect place for creating consumer relationships. During 2020, social media consumption went up by more than 9 percent, which brings the number up to 3.80 billion social media users worldwide.
Hence, it becomes clear why social media is a massive part of any online branding strategy.
Furthermore, social media platforms are the places where consumers share their opinions about brands – product quality, customer service, and overall experiences.
No brand worth one’s salt would pass up an opportunity to promote and engage on social media.
A Final Note
There are a number of ways for brands to increase their online visibility and gain trust and loyalty, but SEO and social media are the cornerstones to build upon.
Every action taken online, from responding to a negative review to posting a picture on Instagram is a part of a company’s brand. Getting in that mindset and devising a strategy around it is how companies can stay close to their customers in 2020.