It All Ends with Branding

We were perturbed with the recent Penguin 2.0; on the other hand, people are getting gaga over guest blogging and hosting their own guest blog where all categories are welcome. This cycle continues as internet marketers focus on SEO and Content Marketing to improve their clients’ standings in the search engine.

Because of the buzz around changes in algorithm and refreshes, there is something online marketing agencies tend to neglect—that is, branding.

Why Internet Marketing Sucks

I know I’ll be getting a lot of unfavorable attention, but let me justify my case. If you’re an Internet Marketing company, probably you’re handling Search Engine marketing and Social Media management. You might be doing guest posts with dofollow backlinks, blog commenting, forum posting, Twitter mentions, Facebook fan page optimization, and a lot of things concerning off site optimization.

The thing is, because people are so preoccupied with metrics, they forget the real essence of marketing. Gaining people’s trust, establishing the brand’s authority, promoting the band’s image—all of these overlooked because of the race to the top.

Brand Heaven and Hell

Think about how you can really help your client, instead of bringing them short term results. You want to make an impression; you definitely want to become part of the brand’s success. While the technicalities like SEO and SMM is imperative, interaction and brand stabilization are the key factors to make a business work.

Using Brands As Leverage

As you go over your campaign, consider some factors in formulating your game plan. Study the client’s profile, aim to incorporate their vision and mission to your goals and objectives to achieve in the long run. Regrettably, there will be occasions that clients will rack your brains for solid, quantitative data. They’re concerned with the number of links you have gathered, the number of blog comments you’ve earned for them, and even the number of fans and retweets are more important than that of engagement and brand popularity.

As online marketers, we should think outside the box while keeping that box in check; to simply put it, we should be more creative within the limited bounds where we’re moving. Instead of buying Likes and Twitter followers, we should engage the brand and use the brand’s identity as our stepping stone in reaching out to our targeted audience.

If you’re working for a startup company, you might want to focus first on what they can offer; but be sure that you’re pitching in real content. Otherwise, you’ll lose the game because of fraudulent information. Because of the power of word-of-mouth marketing, your brand can make it through or break in the middle of the process. Being transparent gives an impression of professionalism—that you’re serious in giving solutions to your potential consumers’ problems via your products or services.

Brand Engagement

Before everything else, make sure that you discuss your plans with your clients. You must set their expectations to what is realistic, feasible, and attainable. If you set it that way they will know what could happen and they wouldn’t push through with impossible demands. Emphasize the duration of the plan; mostly it’ll be conducted over a span of months to years, but expect results with a long term effect.

Afterwards, proceed with your brand engagement. Here are some tips you should keep in mind when engaging your brand:

  • Keep it real. Never hoodwink your audience. Remember, they will be your followers. They will help you push the brand into further heights. A wrong move could tarnish the reputation of the brand, or worse, sink the brand into an abyss.
  • If you think social media is the way to go, think before you click. Establish protocols to execute in case there may be problems with your visitors. Others will certainly bombard your Wall or Inbox with questions or complaints; re route them to the proper authorities who will handle the case.
  • Think outside the box. People like to read, but they also love images and videos. Hold podcasts, video segments, and even make efforts to do infographics; you’ll never run out of things to attract your followers.
  • Last but not the least— expect that this would surely take some time before your efforts will render results. Think of your engagement comparable to building trust and rapport. Once they trust your brand, others will follow suite.

Establishing your client’s brand can help boost his online presence along with on-site and off-site optimization techniques. We shouldn’t focus on the quantity of links we can gather but rather the quality it can bring to the business. It all comes down to how you brand the business well through your marketing efforts.

Are you harnessing the power of your brand well? Share your experience with us in the Comments Section!

4 Marketing Tips You Can Learn From Budweiser

Budweiser, known as the king of beers, has always had a very strong Marketing background and has thrived since 1876. They have been a success in almost every marketing strategy out there and continue to come out with new and innovative ways to grab new buyers and keep them drinking their beer. While the majority of us don’t have the financial means to market anywhere near as big as Budweiser does, there are lots of different things we can all take away from looking at how they advertise and connect with their customers. Let’s start by having you watch the commercial they had playing at the Superbowl where almost everyone in America was watching.

So, it might just be me, but that commercial brings tears to my eyes, and although not everyone might get emotional about it as I did, most consumers can personally connect with the commercial. If you scroll down, you will see the comments from thousands of people expressing their love for this commercial, and this particular video only has a little over 2.6 million hits. Now imagine everyone in America seeing this, Budweiser is loved.

budweiser marketing tips

1. Connect with your Consumers on a Personal Level

Every industry is going to have multiple companies that offer similar services, so why would everyone stay with just one company? Budweiser has shown us time and time again, that not only do they promote their beer, but they also try to connect with people and personally keep them attached to their company. While there are so many different ways to do this, each target demographic will prove to have their difficulties. Budweiser has so many campaigns that each target different demographics, and while you will most likely not have the means to do this, you can check and see what they do for your specific target.

2. Branding is Key

It is quite obvious that the Clydesdale commercial you previously watched didn’t have anything to do with beer, but grabbed the attention and love from the people who watched it. Although most people know that Budweiser offers beer, let’s just try and imagine someone who has never heard of Budweiser before and what they thought after that commercial. The title is called brotherhood, which just gives the general impression of love, care, and experiences between the trainer and the horse, then a Budweiser truck comes and picks the horse up, then three years later, the trainer and the horse are reunited, giving the commercial a highly emotional moment. So when the random person who’s never heard of Budweiser magically sees their beer for the first time, they will more than likely pick it over the other available options just because their thought of Budweiser is a good one.

This same principal can be used for almost any business. If you decide to promote your company instead of just the actual products or services you provide, people will be able to get a better first impression and are more likely to buy once they run into whatever it is you are providing. There are many ways to increase your companies brand without spending much money. With all of the social networking sites, video sharing sites, and other highly used websites, you can set up a campaign that will have people interested and buying your services in no time.

3. Target Specific Audiences within your Target Demographic

Although you might be targeting a specific gender, age group, or ethnic group, you can’t assume that they are all the same and will all enjoy the same content. Budweiser throws a massive amount of different content at different audiences because they know each audience will react differently. Use this same principal by trying to engage consumers about their own interests. While it might seem easier to throw just one video on YouTube and hope that everyone likes it, it is much more logical to make different content for different types of people within your target demographic.

4. Packaging Design Should be Well Thought Out

The way your potential customers see your products or services can be a major factor in whether or not they end up buying. If you look at the different ways Budweiser has wrapped their cans or bottles, you can notice massive differences as time goes on. While they continue to produce the classic look, they also have plenty of others that appeal to their consumers. For example, in 2011 they came out with a design that was red, white, and blue and had pictures of eagles with a classic cursive font. This was very successful for them just because when people looked at the beer, they got an image of a true American beer that has a vast history. They continue to come out with new and modern ways to present their beer, giving people other thoughts and ideas about why they should pick Budweiser over its competitors.

Although it might seem like a packaging design can only be used to actual physical products, you can also apply this to any electronic product or service as well. When people are on the internet, they are attracted to things with good designs, so even if they won’t receive a physical product, the design and the way you present your services will make all the difference. Having a bland looking design won’t grab the attention of your potential buyers and they might just end up using your competitor instead. Try new designs, see which ones work best and keep trying to appeal more to your market.

Budweiser has so many other lessons that can be learned from their marketing strategies, but hopefully these few will get you headed on the right path. It is almost impossible to be able to create the same effects as they do when your a small business owner, but implementing what they do into your own business can really help increase your businesses revenue, brand, and overall success. If you are looking for more marketing information that learned from Budweiser.

3 Ways To Brand Your Business With Low Investment

low investment brandingDo you have a Business? Online or Offline. Thinking to turn it into a brand? Yes, it’s everyone’s dream to have branded business. Most business people believe that to have a branded business you need to spend more. Sorry to say but they’re wrong. Yes it’s not always necessary to spend more for marketing.

If you have online business or offline business this is going to increase your clients. Promotional items are one among the cheapest for marketing. As these promotional items carry your business or blog logo on it this helps many people to know about your business.
You can distribute it for free or you can try any other ways. Here am going to discuss few important ways to brand your business. Ok, now let’s start.

1. Contest Or Give Aways

All over the Internet now I see many blogs are conducting contest to attract more readers. Many discuss about the contest on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ indirectly it is increasing your business presence.

So why do any one promote or participate in your contest? Because you will give some interesting prizes or gifts. Give them a promotional item which is imprinted with your business or blog address on it.

2. Events

Events are place where all people of your business niche gather together. So take this as advantage and plan for such event it can offline or if you don`t want to spend more plan it online on Google+ hangouts, webinars, etc. Check out some websites to create Events online.

And there give them a free promotional gift it can be a bottle opener or a promotional pen which again carries your business logo.

Don’t take these Promotional Items easy they are worthy, when a person sees any business or blog logo all the time he/she start loving it.

Ok let’s take an example: Google! Yes we all love Google right? Main reason is good service another reason is our home page is Google.com

All the time we all see, use and try Google services. So this made Google a bit different from others. Plan for something like that, think different ways how can your promotional gift attract and be with people every time.

Promotional T-shirts and bags are best example for that. All who’re with the person will see your business logo and this increases potential customers.

3. Gift them On Occasions

Gifts and free words will bring more readers right? In the same way free items can bring more customers for your business. It can be an occasion or any success party. Give your customers and workers free promotional gifts.

Do you know all big companies try this method by gifting them promotional bags with their business logo. Ever heard about Duckduckgo a search engine which don’t track you they’re giving away free Duckduckgo stickers to all bloggers to place it on their blog. This helps them to gain more traffic.

Promotional items are for all business people who have online or offline. Brand your Online Business with low budget marketing tool.

This article is written by Jimmy Lings. He works for Papachina.com a promotional products manufacturing company. If you wish to write for HBB, kindly check this.

I Blogged My Cousin A Bride – Bride & Brand

Blogged A BrideThis is so weird, even I have trouble believing it actually happened. But it did. Here’s what I mean. Like any traditional Indian family, we were looking to get my cousin married off – and were going through the conventional channels. Registering with matrimony directories. Mentioning it to friends and family. Even running the mandatory classified ad or two.

And then, I got this idea… to post a blog about it. Even if I say so myself, that was a compelling and brilliant branding post that I drafted for him – and to cut a long story short, it snagged him a bride!

My point?

A blog can be incredibly effective in building a brand, making an impression, or creating a persona.  And it works just as well for a business as for an individual.

What exactly is a brand, in today’s social media driven world?

Not a logo with a slogan and a jingle. Not even a mission statement or a values document. Not a series of ads with a consistent message. A brand is all that – and more. Above all, it is the sum total of the conversations about you and your business that take place around the Web.

Yes. Your brand is driven by conversations ABOUT you. And the reason you should blog is to help stimulate, guide and direct that conversation.

Long gone are the days when a business or entity could ‘control’ the brand. Social media has taken over. Rarely do we have the ability or the reach to even monitor – let alone control – what is being said about us and our brand online. And a reactive approach of damage control after your reputation takes a hit can be a costly mistake.

What can blogging do to help you with branding?

Well, for one, it can present a perspective and image about you and your business in a way very few other media channels can do effectively – and do so continuously, inexpensively, and in a way that is under your control.

As a blogger, you get to decide what goes on your blog.  Be it an article or interview, a video recording or audio presentation, a slideshow or PDF, you can choose what to say and share.  And even though you may not have much say over what goes into the comments on your blog, you still get that rare and special opportunity to respond to any discussion that’s sparked off by commentators – and hopefully sway public opinion about the issues being covered.

Another benefit of ‘blogging for branding’ is that you provide ‘conversation starters’. Exciting news items, interesting developments, special moments in your (or your corporate’s) life, milestones and accomplishments – all become focus points which your audience may amplify and disseminate across their social networks.

When you actively blog on your areas of expertise and interest, you gradually establish a position and posture of authority and expertise which helps consolidate your brand in the eyes of your ideal prospects.  Consistently delivering valuable information, insight and opinion about your industry or specialty will translate over time into you being accepted as a thought leader or expert.

And don’t discount the SEO advantages of blogging. Your blog can naturally acquire high rankings on search engine results for keywords and phrases that your prospects are searching for, bringing you into their frame of reference and giving you a chance at capturing their attention – and eventually their business.

All that it takes on your part is a commitment to blogging, and the discipline to do it regularly. As you blog, keep a close watch on your audience’s response. It will show you just how well you are nurturing and strengthening your brand through blogging.

Oh, and one final word about branding.

Branding matters just as much to you as an individual as it does to a corporate entity – indeed, even more so. What Hugh ‘Gaping Void’ McLeod so elegantly refers to as your “personal micro-brand” can be established, developed and extended in remarkable ways through blogging.

So spare a moment to think about your brand – and weave it into your blog, starting today!

This article is written by Dr.Mani Sivasubramanian. He is a heart surgeon and Internet infopreneur who leverages his blogging and writing to fuel a passionate desire to fund lifesaving treatment for under-privileged children. .

Social Media And Its Impact On Branding

In this ever-growing virtual world, it’s no wonder more people are turning to social media to promote their company’s brand. Social media websites have redefined the ways of branding by offering services to promote a company brand.

What is Branding and Why is it so Important?

Logos, symbols and taglines are just some aspects of a brand. Overall, a brand is your company’s vision. This helps potential clients see what you have to offer and why you stand out from the rest of the businesses similar to yours.

Branding is important because it allows companies to stand out from the rest of their competition. Branding develops an identity for you and your company that eventually will become quickly recognizable by your clients. The stronger the brand your company has, the more trust your clients will have.

If you are able to establish a strong brand it means you will spend little to no time explaining to clients what you offer. Your brand will say it all!

Social Media and Branding

Branding Types: Professional vs. Personal

There are two types of branding: professional and personal. The branding you choose depends on the type of business you have. A personal brand is suitable if the individual name is most recognizable. A professional brand is most suited for a company that can be represented by more than one person.

People often have difficulties choosing the right brand to use. Both types of brands have their pros and cons. Choosing a personal brand means that your name represents your business. Any tarnish on your name may harm your company.

A professional brand means more than one person is the face of your brand. This also has its downfall since that means there is no direct point of contact. If it is a large business, that means each individual reflects the business.

How to use Social Media to Launch Your Brand

Social media is becoming a popular way for budding companies to create and establish a brand. The leaders of the social media world: Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn provide a number of services for companies to use for free.

Facebook allows you to create groups, pages and edit your own profile that you can use to connect to clients everywhere around the world. Twitter time reaction mimics real-time talk. Create a Twitter profile and start tweeting. If you want a more professional image, LinkedIn may be what you are looking for. The website allows companies to make profiles and connect with clients. Take advantages of these websites to gain more exposure.

I Have an Online Profile, What’s Next?

Once you have created a profile, it is important that you quickly update it with the proper information and images that are vital to your company. A key reminder; if you have more than one profile, make sure that the information on each profile is consistent with each other.

First, update your profile picture. The best option for a personal brand is a picture of you. If you have a professional brand then you may want to choose the company logo. Once again, if you have multiple profiles, you want to make sure that you have the same profile picture for your name. This will avoid the possibility of your company looking inconsistent.

When creating your profile page, update all the necessary information, and links to your company’s website.
Lastly, you should also provide your company’s tagline. In one to two sentences, your tagline should be able to tell clients what your business is and how it relates to them.

Make sure that the contact information is also consistent on each profile. You also want to make sure that your customers can contact you easily to get the answer of their questions, so also include Skype and other Instant Messaging (IM) accounts details for maximum communication.

It may seem like a lot of work, but the benefits of using social media to promote your brand is most rewarding.

HOW TO: Brand Your Blog With Unique Content

Unique BrandingIf you are either new to blogging or have been doing it for a while, you would have encountered the phrases ‘unique content’ and/or ‘content is king’. Well that’s so true about blogging that content is really the king, and what makes it king is its uniqueness. Providing unique content in your blog is essential to keep things going, and if you are serious about a blogging success, this comes as a rule. If you cannot produce unique content and if you are the one who relies heavily on other blog’s RSS feeds, then blogging is not for you.

Having said that, I know some will disagree with me that producing unique content is not necessary for a blog to make money. That’s quite true — I have seen many blogs on the internet that simply use other site’s feed and place some ads. Since they use content from many sites, those kind of blogs will naturally be rich in keywords and will provide a variety of information. Thus they will rank good in search engines, they are easy to be updated frequently (just needs a copy and paste). And, if they manage to get good traffic, they can earn good money with ads, affiliate links and so on. So if you blog for money this option is just fine; who cares?

But I am not talking about making money, but about branding. You remember popular company names easily and are able to relate company names to their products because they have created a branding for themselves in the field. So your mind easily recognize their name and the service/product they are providing. The same goes with your blog too!

If you want to make people remember your name and associate it with your niche, then you should be unique. I am sure you will agree with me. Those who feed their sites with other site’s content are easily visible in search engines, make good money, that’s fine. But can you ever remember even the layout of such websites? I can’t! I can see a substantial number of such websites when I search for anything, I even hang around a bit and read them, but I don’t care to either visit the site back or to remember it.

But those sites with unique content are rockstars. Your readers are tempted to visit it again, they share unique content with their society (online and offline) and yes, such unique content helps them in every ways. Such a blog gets loyal readers. If you help people out they will remember you. Here are some quick tips to brand yourself (or to provide unique content).


Quick Tips To Brand Yourself & Provide Unique Content

#1 – Resonate with your readers. Write blog articles for your readers and not because you know something. If your readers are coming to your blog because you claim that your blog is about tech stuff, they’ll be annoyed to see that you are simply selling chocolates! So know your readers and write for them.

#2 – Do killer posts at least once in a week.

#3 – Write extensive and in-depth posts as often as you can. These are rich in content and gives your readers a deep and concrete overview.

#4 – Write list posts containing tips and suggestions. For example, you can check this article, 30+ Tips To Reduce Your Site’s Bounce Rate.

#5 – Make sure your post does at least any one of these (a) solves a problem, (b) motivates your readers, (c) educates them (d) makes them think (e) guide them (d) make them take an action. If your post is not doing any of these, then don’t publish it.

#6 – Make sure you embrace both starter and advanced readers. Don’t leave your starters alone while you feed the hunger of your advanced readers.

#7 – Write often from your personal experiences. Uniqueness will just easily flow.

#8 – It is fine to quote other people’s articles or even write articles completely based on them. But make sure you cast your own ideas or reflections in your article. Otherwise, people could just read the other person’s article instead of yours.

#9 – Do not advertise or sell yourself in the articles of the blog by shouting. There are millions of people already doing this on the internet, so you won’t be unique. Provide useful content and people will buy anything you sell, don’t worry about it.

#10 – Research before you write. Your best idea might be already out there.

#11 – Do interviews or get other people’s opinion and get them published in your blog. Your readers will be excited to hear from a different person and will learn in a different style.

Most people blog to create online presence. And, the feeling that you can make thousands of people remember your name, read what you write and buy what you sell is addictive. Don’t miss that!

This guest article is written by Jane Sheeba. She is the one behind Find All Answers. If you wanna get help on self-improvement, relationships and blogging tips, you can visit her blog. She also has a free ebook for you to grab. If you wish to write for HBB, do check this.