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11 ways to build your online brand

Jennifer Lonoff Schiff | July 27, 2016
Branding, marketing and small business experts share their tips on how to turn your startup into a recognizable brand.

4. Make sure your web or ecommerce site is attractive and easy to navigate. Even if your web or ecommerce site is just a few pages, make sure it is easy for visitors to read, navigate and make purchases.

5. Be consistent in your messaging, regardless of the channel. “You want to have a visually identifiable logo and clear message across all of your platforms,” says Katie Hornor, CEO, Como Blog. “Regardless of whether someone sees you in a print ad, online or on social media, they should be able to immediately know it is you and what your message is.”

Similarly, “your website, Facebook, Twitter, business cards, advertising, etc., should all have the same name the same way [if at all possible],” says Cheryl Rios Poldrugach, a marketing and PR specialist. For example, if your Twitter handle is @BrandBig, use @BrandBig on Instagram, not @theBrandBigTX, she says. Consistency is crucial as it helps customers readily identify who you are.

6. Establish yourself as an expert online. “Share your knowledge,” says Derrick Lawless, marketing director, D. Lawless Hardware. “If you want to become a trusted brand when no one knows who you are, then you need to contribute to your community without trying to sell. No one trusts someone selling something right off the start. Your reputation will be built over time by really contributing in your niche [or industry].”

“Turn the CEO/founder [or another member of your team] into a thought leader,” says Jeremy Almond, CEO, PayStand, a B2B payments platform. “Have them post regularly on Twitter, share on LinkedIn… and guest post on blogs. I talk about payments everywhere, I can't help it. I love it.” Just remember to “focus on being helpful [and] sharing knowledge.”

And “provide content that relates to your audience,” says Dan Kogan, founder & CEO, 1Digital Agency. “Use the 70:20:10 rule: 70 percent of content should be adding value and brand building, 20 percent sharing others’ posts and ideas and 10 percent promoting yourself or your business.”

If you give good advice, as opposed to trying to sell people something, people will listen to you and you will build credibility for your brand.

7. Blog. “Blogging is a great way to build your brand,” says Rasheen Carbin, cofounder & CMO, nspHire, a job search app. “It allows you to demonstrate your expertise while completely controlling the message.” And your blog posts can lead to more traffic on your website.

8. Use social media. Set up company pages on the social media sites – Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram – that your target audience is most likely to visit, and include a link to your website on each page. Then assign someone, who can respond quickly (and appropriately) to any questions, to monitor your social media accounts.


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