Professional online branding: Do you really need it?

What do people see when they search for your business or brand online? In a world where people find businesses on social media and shop on the go, it is more important than ever to have a professional presence online.
Online Branding

The internet is filled with businesses that do exactly what you do and if you don’t want to disappear, you need to find ways to show your business off. Enter professional online branding. 

In simple terms, online branding is everything about your business that is visible to browsers online. This can include a website, a logo, graphics, copy and social media. Websites have replaced traditional business cards a long time ago, and people are no longer going to the mall, they shop on Instagram and Facebook. So, while brick-and-mortar branding is still valuable, good online branding is essential. Even if your business does not sell online, potential customers will Google you first before they opt into what you are selling. If you’re not convinced yet, see what the different types of online branding can do for you. 

What the different types of online branding can do for you

Most importantly, a website

While businesses cards have long become irrelevant and telephone books got stuck in the 1990s, websites have become the most important way for people to find the contact details for your business. More importantly, a website offers a platform for you to show off what your business does and where it operates. While some businesses may opt to design their own sites, others go for professional website design. Investing in professional web design allows you to take advantage of leading style trends and innovative design strategies, which increases your chances of standing out among competitors. 

Other benefits of website design include: 

  • Mobile-friendly designs 
  • Faster loading speeds 
  • A more professional overall look 

Tip: To have a website, you require domain registration. Your domain, or website’s address, should ideally be short and memorable, and either reflect your business’ name or what your business does. 

Logos and visuals

It’s 2020 and people no longer want to read long paragraphs of dragging copy. Visuals have taken over. But not any visuals, relevant, high-quality visuals. Your website and social media channels are the perfect platforms to share images and videos that tell your business’ story and entice people to buy your products or services. 

Using a logo on your website and social media platforms is also important, as this ensures browsers that they are dealing with the right company. It also brings your brand together online and boosts credibility. 

Copy is key  

While we live in a highly visual world, copy is still incredibly important. Copy includes all the words on your website and your social media channels. With well-written optimised copy, you can take your business’ website from the fifth page of Google to the first page. Copy should always be short, but powerful, following the guidelines of Search Engine Optimisation (SEO). SEO refers to writing useful and compelling content that uses specific keywords. This helps your businesses to rank higher when people search for these keywords. 

Incorporate social media 

Social media has come a long way since the first platform, Sixdegrees, was launched in 1997, and it’s not slowing down. Today, it’s a powerful tool that can be used to effectively boost your brand online. There are many trends and strategies to keep in mind, but starting with a page for your business is a great first step.  

Match your email

You use email as the main method of communication online. Therefore, it is important to have a professional email address that matches your website’s domain. A gmail.com may be convenient, but it will harm your credibility. Go for a personalised email address that complements your professional brand.

Other tips: 

  • Professional branding is all about how your brand appears online, so keep it consistent throughout platforms and channels. You want to use a specific voice and tone that establishes consistent professional brand identity. 
  • Always tell a story through your online branding. People are naturally drawn to a good narrative, so ensure your website, visuals and social media channels tell your brand’s story well. 

Give your brand a voice online

If you’re still wondering whether you should invest in professional online branding, the answer is YES! With online branding, you can decide how you want to be perceived and how you want to communicate what you offer. The important part is to be relevant, consistent and authentic. This will entice people to click on your website, to browse to your Facebook page and to buy that product. Professional branding is invaluable and is the only way to ensure your business will float in an ocean of competitors.

*Photo by Patrik Michalicka on Unsplash

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