Jul 21, 2017

10 Ways to Build Your Online Brand

How you can build an online brand to increase bookings and attract more customers

We all know that branding shapes how people view your business, but did you realise that it also has a massive impact on how much money your business makes?

A powerful business brand is essential for any hospitality business and when you connect with potential customers online, you need to stand out. People have to be willing to trust your venue with their holiday or event – you only have one opportunity to get it right. Branding will help you build that trust and establish you as an authority and industry leader.

Here’s ten ways in which you can build an online brand that will help to grow your business and attract more clients.

1. Know Your Business from All Angles
Branding isn’t just about knowing how you want to present your business. It’s just as important to know how others interpret that presentation. A good way to find out what others think about your brand is to sit down and list three words that you feel encapsulate your brand. Once you’ve done that, ask a trustworthy source who’s familiar with your venue what three words they’d use to describe your brand. If those words aren’t similar, you need to ask why and look further into whether there’s a discrepancy between your brand and reputation.

2. Know Your Customer
Once you’ve analysed your brand perception, you need to turn your attention to your target customer’s needs. Your online message needs to reflect your business goals and appeal to your target market. To ensure you manage that, get to know your customer, where they like to go online and their preferred method(s) of communication.

3. Develop A Brand Personality
For people to relate to your business, you need to develop a personality that suits your brand message and let that personality shine through in all your online communications.

4. Be Responsive
In the internet age, people expect fast communications and fast responses. If someone has an enquiry or a complaint, you only have a certain amount of time to respond before they become impatient and ask whether you truly care about your customers. Part of the secret to success is simply being there, so make sure your brand is available and approachable.

5. Know Your Stereotypes
Stereotypes exist for a reason. They’re not always negative. Making effective use of an appropriate stereotype that relates to your business makes it very easy for your customers to identify and relate to your brand. Chances are high that your customers already have certain assumptions about your business, so use those to your advantage and, if necessary, turn a weakness into a strength.

6. Choose Your Words Carefully
Once it’s on the internet, it’s out there forever. Even if you delete material, people might have taken a screenshot first, so you need to think about what you’re trying to say before you post anything. You need to be able to stand behind everything you say, otherwise it will be hard to build trust with your audience.

7. Be Present
One of the advantages of online marketing is that you can automate and schedule it in advance. However, you should also make sure you take the time to communicate in a timely fashion with customers who contact you. A prompt response will go a long way towards building positive relationships with your brand.

8. Take the Long-Term Approach
Branding is a long-term strategy and long-term relationships are a crucial part of that. Over time, you should be building positive relationships across the board, with suppliers and contractors as well as customers. These supportive relationships will pay dividends in the long-term, as word-of-mouth recommendations bring new business your way and increases exposure.

9. Consistent Branding
Does the way you communicate online complement your branding? If there’s a perceived contradiction here, you need to change the way you do things.

10. Mix Things Up
As you pay attention to how your brand is being perceived, you may find that you should change a few things to keep all your messages on brand. Don’t shy away from changing if you need to. This is the future of your brand and you need to do what it takes to get it the way you want it.

Building a powerful brand online is challenging work and takes time, but with a long-term attitude and these 10 tips, you’ll get to where you want to be.

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