Be Seen: Seven Tips for Building Brand Awareness Through Increased Online Exposure
Sometimes you just have to put yourself out there. When it comes to building your brand, that advice—more and more—means increasing online exposure to get noticed not just by a wider audience but by your target audience. That equates to being in the right place at the right time and, more often than not, that place resides online, whether it’s an appealing, easy-to-navigate website, engaging social media platforms, catchy video channels or even your customers’ inbox. The “right” place is the one that will win over customers.
Here are seven key tips to building a strong, targeted web presence that gains online exposure.
1. Build a customer-friendly, high-impact website.
The first place customers (and potential customers) will go is to your company website, so it needs to draw them in right from the first click. Before you can even think about design and messaging, make sure your audience can access the site quickly and easily. Studies show that users expect a page to load properly within three seconds before they abandon the site, so make certain the technology behind your website is the best it can be. As Hubspot explains, “The faster your website’s load time is, the happier your visitors will be. In other words—when you optimize your web page’s load time, you can expect to see improvements in user experience (US), conversion rate and, ultimately, sales revenue.”
Once you’ve accomplished this main hurdle, you’ll also want to ensure that your site is user friendly throughout all pages, is visually attractive, easy to navigate, and has multiple calls to action in order to fully engage the user.
2. Implement robust and effective lead generation.
Online lead generation, defined as the action or process of identifying and cultivating potential customers for a business’s products or services via the internet, is a critical means by which your company will build interest in your brand. A crucial step in this process is qualifying your lead to ensure you’re reaching an audience that is most likely to convert to sales.
Identifying your target audience, creating a prospect list, and then engaging that audience with consistent communications that are both useful and conversational can all go a long way toward your business’s goals of nurturing and maintaining loyal customer relationships.
3. Make everything measurable.
Analytics will ensure your hard work pays off. Establish the means by which you can measure your successes (and failures!) so you know where to best spend your time, energy and money.
Pay attention to conversion rate optimization (CRO), which is the process of optimizing your website to increase conversions. Additionally, utilizing platforms like Google Analytics and tools such as website surveys can provide direct feedback from customers and website visitors. Your team will need to have mechanisms in place that help measure what’s working, what can be improved and, most importantly, the “why” behind the action a user is taking as they engage with your brand.
4. Have an active social media presence.
Your customers are almost certainly on one or more social media platforms. According to Modern Marketer Magazine's view on digital marketing trends, “To build brand exposure, you need to get visibility with your target audience. ...In addition to a large audience, posting on social media is free. Instead of posting on every platform, find out which platforms your target audience uses the most and focus efforts on those channels.”
Among the abundance of expert advice on how to best utilize social media to your brand’s advantage, heed the following trusted strategies:
- Build a loyal and proactive community.
- Tailor your content to the platform.
- Feature new projects.
- Provide useful, educational content that speaks to your audience.
- Create brand ambassadors—those who will share your content for rewards (discounts, exposure, etc.).
- Offer rewards and incentives.
- Share good news about your company.
5. Use professional and consistent branding elements.
With so much content out there, how can you get your brand to stand out? The look of your branding elements should be consistent and, above all else, reflect professionalism.
Here are some recommended pointers on how you can achieve this relatively simple, yet enormously important strategy:
- Utilize a strong, unique and identifiable logo.
- Use thematic, consistent colors, taglines, etc.
- Ensure visibility and readability within your copy and design elements.
- Incorporate professional photography on your website, posts, etc.
6. Position yourself as a thought leader.
Setting up your brand as a knowledgeable resource is a great way to boost your exposure and elevate your stature in your market. Offer “free advice” and present insightful content that is inherently useful. These strategies can capture the attention of customers looking for YOU, instead of the other way around.
Additional avenues to achieve this positioning is to consider guest blogging in your niche market in order to reach a wider audience. Place “how to” video content and educational articles on platforms where your target audience is likely to be.
7. Ensure your website and digital communications are mobile friendly.
We’ve all experienced it. You go to a website on your phone and the copy is cut off or looks wonky…or it just takes forever to load, so you just X it out and go somewhere else. Or maybe you open up an email on your mobile device and there’s a blank spot where an image should be, or the subject line is cut off, so you just hit delete without even opening it.
To maximize your brand’s exposure, customers must be able to actually access your content and successfully engage with it and, increasingly, that will be from a mobile device. According to HubSpot, mobile usage rates are seeing a consistent uptick, with overall web traffic from mobile devices now representing 52% of web traffic worldwide (per Statista).
Content and web design for mobile are crucial key factors in connecting with customers, and depending on your company’s resources and the complexity of your needs, it may come down to seeking outside help to ensure optimization.
As you can see, increasing online exposure is a key function for any business in order to remain competitive and attract customers. Follow the tips and strategies above to help make the most of your digital marketing efforts and, most importantly, to get noticed by your target audience.