If you want your business to succeed you will need to master the five key elements of success: quality, pricing, customer service, product innovation and branding all of which are essential in differentiating you from competitors and driving your business forward. All of these elements are important when starting up a new business or launching a new idea, but consistent and effective branding is essential in bringing your products and services to the attention of your market. Effective brand management starts with developing a strong brand identity, taking into account your target audience, their motivations and needs and the positive solutions and experience you can provide. As the internet continues to evolve, prompting digitalization of businesses and ever increasing amounts of time are spent searching the web and using social media sites, it has never been more crucial to ensure your online presence is up to speed.

1) Whether your target market is local, nationwide or international make sure you have well designed, user-friendly website. It sounds obvious, but many businesses let themselves down with poorly functioning and amateur looking websites. Be objective. Does your current site convey your brand image effectively? Does it offer a positive experience for users? Is it easy to navigate? There are many user-friendly platforms to build your site on, but if design isn’t your strength it’s definitely worth getting a professional to do it for you.

2) Make sure you refer to your website in all off-line promotions. Always have your web address on business cards and all company related materials. Regardless of how you choose to promote your company always make sure people know where to go if they want to find out more information.

3) Get clued up on SEO. You could have a beautifully presented website, but with an estimated 2.5 billion web pages on the internet, you need to make sure it is optimised effectively if you want any new traffic.  The whole aim is to get your website featuring high in search engine rankings, making your site more visible to users. This is achieved by using a number of on-page and off-page techniques, which although are not generally instantaneous are likely to improve your positioning. There are many good sites offering tips on SEO, but it is always worth considering outsourcing to an expert company.

4) Make sure you have a good PR strategy in place. Contact publications in your field and let them know about your site, products and services. Offer free products for relevant influential bloggers and online magazines publications to review or ask them to host a competition for their readers to participate in.

5) Use social media to your full advantage. Social media sites are free and one of the best ways to spread the word about your company and products. If you manage your Facebook and twitter account effectively it can build trust and loyalty around your brand, something which is particularly essential in an economic downturn. In order to maximise your gain from social media you need to post comments or tweet regularly with interesting and engaging material. Always provide a link to your official web page and vice versa, you can even include a company blog on your website with new product information, recent promotions or press releases. Social media is a great way of interacting with your existing and potential customers and promoting a positive brand experience.

By Tobias

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