ePost chief executive officer (CEO) Christopher James, and head of the Computer Systems Design and Related Services company, notes how digital marketing is now being used alongside or as an alternative to traditional advertising and marketing by companies seeking to increase sales and revenue flow.
Last week he discussed how to identify and target market segments. This week's topic is developing brand image and search engine optimisation as part of the digital marketing plan.
Once your strategy has been planned, he says, you need to be aware that your brand needs to have a consistent look and feel and that your image is more than colours and a logo, it defines the brand's persona and should reflect the attributes you wish to communicate to your target audience.
James states, “A strong brand image creates a memorable impression on customers and prospects that helps to separate you from your competition. It is also an opportunity to represent who you are as a company before customers engage with your business.”
Some questions to answer include: Does your brand use proper English or creole [it could be either]?; and, what is the tone of my communications? Is it corporate, casual or a combination of both?
When you have identified your audience, pinpointed their pain points, put together your strategy and cultivated your brand image, the route to market for digital outreach. Where are your customers and how can they be reached?
One route is search engine optimisation (SEO) which involves identifying the keywords and terms that people interested in your goods and services search for.
James notes that, similar to creating and defining brand image, there's more to building a strong SEO strategy than meets the eye. Your SEO strategy should consider the following:
- The right keywords: These are the keywords you want to be associated with your brand and are also the keywords that your target audience is using to find brands like you. Focus on those that have a search volume and for which you have realistic chances of ranking.
- Quality content: Search engines favour high-quality, relevant, content that is well-researched. Include multimedia and visually rich elements such as videos and GIFs to hold users' attention and increase engagement.
In addition to the content of your website, the structure of your website also plays a factor in your SEO ranking. To get the highest impact your website should be mobile friendly, use friendly names for images and have short and clear URLs which speak to the content of the page.
Mobile-friendliness speaks to the fact that mobile has taken over the majority of internet traffic from desktop. Whether your website is optimised for mobile is a strong SEO signal.
Image name optimisation involves focusing on the details such as neatly naming your image files, preferably to contain one of your keywords, as well as defining the alt tags.
Use short and clear URLs that contain a primary keyword and describe the topic of the page. By getting your keywords right you can increase organic traffic; and the number of qualified leads; insight into audience preferences and challenges.
Put yourself in the position of your target audience and think about what they would search on the web and how this relates to your business.
After nailing targeting and SEO, you should be on your way to seeing improvement in the visibility of your brand's digital presence and start to grow a captive audience.