Online Branding Secrets: Build a Truly Recognizable Presence on the Web
What is the importance of Online Branding?
Millions of prospects mean nothing if your website doesn’t deliver content that holds the attention span of modern consumers. You’ll have more back-clicks than you know what to do with. They won’t stay around long. you’re losing a lot in your total sales. This doesn’t just apply to what a retailers misses out with own an online store, participate in an affiliate programs, or seek to provide goods or services on the web. It’s amazing how many businesses stumble into e-commerce and expect to turn quick traffic and profit. As a retailer, it takes very little to set up a fully-functional e-commerce website, upload your products, and provide a checkout function. Every month, thousands of face-to-face businesses are doing it.
How can an e-commerce-centered business truly stand out? By appealing to one audience, in multiple mediums. Today’s topic is online branding.
What sets businesses apart is their online branding. Branding is a combination of ideas, beliefs, and loyalty that people share about a product or company. You can always elevate your brand by reaching your audience more effectively. Let’s take a look at what a modern website can do to stand apart from the competition. Online branding can be simple if you look at it through a scientific perspective. The fact is that consumers learn (even about brands) through different styles. By appealing to your user’s different learning styles, you can create a website that stimulates the senses, creates an emotional response, and startles them in the clarity of its message.
Building an online brand: Online branding through learning styles.
A website is not just about the text. It’s an experience – albeit, sometimes a relatively short one. You simply cannot have a website that relies solely on catalog descriptions and small images. Here’s how to get any kind of learning style to pay attention.
1. Visual learners – the TV Infomercial Watchers. (And other demographics.) Visual learners have trouble when a website is cluttered or has too many graphics jumping around, however, they have to “see to believe”. A simple approach to this is limit the number of products on your pages – but if you want to embed a video highlight for a specific product you’re trying to sell – that product will stand out. YouTube offers free hosting of your videos, or you could opt for a photo slide show like RockYou.com if you don’t have any footage. If you are selling services, a slide show tutorial, with graphs and explanations, makes all the difference in the world to visual learners. It’s how they connect with your product. Good copy, along with text, will also increase response a response to your online branding. (Product descriptions should include words like “see”, “picture”, and “imagine” It’s how these learners interpret, and connect with the visuals.) *An example: “Imagine yourself on an exotic desert island, with only the finest bottle of Bordeaux wine available on the planet. Would life really be that bad?” Engage the senses of your visual learners, and they’ll develop an emotional connection with your products – and help you with your online branding.
2. Auditory learners – the Talk Radio Fans. (And other demographics). Auditory learners need to hear to believe and understand. However, cluttered noises annoy and distract them – so adding sound effects all over your website will send them running. Auditory learners enjoy asking people about their own preferences, and prefer to observe other interact and ask questions, as well. To increase the response to your online branding, you’ll want to speak to them. Instead of forcing sound on your visitors, create audio options on specific part of your website. (Testimonials, product descriptions, or weekly news.) You can use Podcasts and other sound files to increase your online branding, but it’s also important to have a decent customer service department they can talk to, or a salesperson that doesn’t mind answering a few questions every now and then. Because auditory learners are communicators in general, setting up a bulletin board (although visual) is still effective if you want a larger forum to share your answers with. as far as copy writing – these learners relate to words such as “hear”, “think” and “tune”. *An example: “When you’re thinking comfort, think wool.” or “When you hear the sound of bathwater running, think Silk Clear Body Wash. Our luxurious peach rinse engages all the sense.” Tell your visitors the words and sounds associated with your online branding, and they’ll want to hear more.
3. Kinesthetic learners – the Do It Yourselfers. Kinesthetic learners associate learning with their own experiences. They like to customize and play around to learn more about their world and environment. Kinesthetic learners need interactivity – so once you’ve added interactivity, reaching them is easy. You just have to ask them to play along. Boost interactive elements of your website – by holding question and answer sessions, hosting an online forum, or adding creative elements – such as tools to help them build their shopping list and suggestions for matching items. They tend to talk while engaging in an activity – so if they call you on the phone, be sure to direct them visually if they are on the computer. They prefer to jump in and try new things – so why not offer online simulations? When creating product descriptions, these learners prefer words such as “feel” “touch” and “hold”. *An example: “When you feel the softness of our new sweater line, you’ll want to hold it against your cheek forever. Remember when everything felt this soft and new?” Appeal to the tactile experience of your products, and the interactivity they’ve experienced, and they’ll want to strengthen their relationship with your online brand, even if it’s really subconsciously.
All websites should appeal to the three learning types – because each of your customers expect it. Rich media usage has exploded because consumers want more – more sight, more sound, and more feelings. When the average internet user visits a website, they want a rich user experience. By combining your online branding efforts to increase a response among all of your visitors, your website will enjoy a large increase of return traffic. People will notice you and pass on your link through word-of-mouth marketing. If you engage more senses, you will teach more prospects about your products and brand. Correct online branding builds an experience that they will remember and associate with your products – every time they come back.
Melissa Brewer is Creative Director at Capital Creative, Inc, an online marketing firm that specializes in building online branding through the use of rich media, seo, copy writing, and marketing savvy. You can add her to your social or business network usingyourfreelanceneeds @ gmail.com
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