8 Key Components to Building a Successful Business Online
Building a successful brand and business online requires a clear picture of the brand identity you want to present to the world. You need to know how you will reach your audience and the tools you will use to do it. This includes not just the systems you build the site with but also the communication, marketing, and analytics tools needed to enable excellent service and build a loyal customer base.
Creating a consistent and streamlined experience across all platforms, especially mobile, should also be a focus for each of these eight must-have components of building a successful brand online.
#1 Know your audience
You can’t build your brand without knowing who it is targeting. Besides necessary demographic information such as age, income, and location, you need to know about what your ideal customers do with their spare time, what they want from your industry, what they do online, and which platforms they use. This will tell you not just where to find your customers but also how to create content they will find natural and how to appeal to them once they find you.
#2 Clear visual identity
Color scheme, font, and logo are vital to making a business recognizable and appealing as well as building a successful brand online.
Your choices need to look great in any format. Logos must be easy to identify, even at thumbnail size. This means you should create logos and other branding in every size and format you might need.
Visual identity is more than just a logo. That’s a good place to start, but make sure the same colors, shapes, and themes remain consistent across all aspects of the website and their social media. The layout, images, buttons, and menus should all feel like parts of a coherent package that affirms the image you want to present.
The About page on your website and social media should showcase your passion, professionalism, and uniqueness from the competition. Grab the reader’s attention with an engaging story of the business’ creation. This sounds more daunting than it really is. Just focus on what inspired you to build your business and the problems you want to solve. Use this chance to share your values and goals in a way that makes your brand more memorable and relatable.
Use blogs, social media and videos to talk about your business, values, and goals. This helps create a more personal image that customers can relate to and trust. This is a great opportunity to you’re your expertise and passion for your industry.
#4 The right platform for your site and building a successful brand
An appealing, accessible and fast website is an integral component of any online business. The content management software (CMS) or platform you use to build your site can have a big impact on its responsiveness and ease of use. It is critical you use a platform or CMS that is suitable for the business you are creating a site for. There are too many to cover here, so let’s look at two of the most widely-used:
WordPress is ubiquitous for a reason. It’s free, and it can provide for any need with the right plugins.
Shopify is a platform for building online stores that is simpler and faster to use than WordPress. Everything you need to set up a site ready to sell is built into the platform, so you don’t have to worry about setting up basic functions yourself.
#5 Analytics Tools
You can’t improve your site without knowing your current performance. Accordingly, you will need analytics tools to track user behavior and conversion rates.
Google Analytics can track critical metrics, such as the conversion rate of pages and posts. It does not provide many details on customer behavior: however, so it’s useful to support it with tools for tracking social media or e-commerce.
For social media, tools like Sprout Social let you look at engagement in more detail. E-commerce analytics like kissmetrics help you segment your audience with more details on visitor behavior.
#6 Omnichannel marketing strategy
To build a brand online, you must use all available channels to advertise and sell products and services and maintain a long-term engagement with customers.
Each avenue for reaching their target audience has its own strengths and drawbacks, so establish and update guidelines to make sure each channel is being used effectively:
- Social media
Social media gives businesses the opportunity to connect more directly and personally. Post not just about products and services but also the lifestyle, values, and goals your business supports. As a result, you can attract new leads from your target audience and keep more existing customers.
While email marketing often suffers from low open rates, the cheap cost means this can still be a good investment. Personalized messages and promotions get better results, as you can customize offers to add appeal for each recipient.
SMS marketing has impressive response rates and is faster than other marketing. This lets you use timed deals and promotions to incentivize conversions.
- Content Marketing
Content marketing involves creating videos, blogs and tutorials that educate rather than sell. Potential customers will be more ready to buy when they are better informed. Furthermore, they will trust the business that gave honest advice, which will help you in building a successful brand online.Content marketing videos and blogs also help your ranking on search pages. Quality and relevance still matter though, or those extra clicks won’t turn into paying customers.
- Native Marketing
Native marketing bears a lot of similarities to content marketing, with the main difference being that you are creating content to be hosted by other websites and businesses, allowing you better access to their existing audience.
Remarketing involves serving ads to potential customers after they have left your site.
This means you can use more specific ads for leads who you know are already familiar with your business. You can also serve ads based on actions such as downloading your ebook or signing up for your newsletter. This can be an effective way for new brands to ensure visitors remember your business after they leave. It also helps to establish you as a known entity within your industry.
#8 Customer service
A reputation for poor customer service is easy to gain and hard to shake. This can seriously hinder the growth of your business. Conversely offering great support will earn client loyalty, recommendations, and good publicity.
Thankfully, there is no great mystery to good customer service. Provide your team with the tools and guidance to do these three things:
- Make the business easy to contact.
Customers want to get in touch on their own terms. Aside from the obvious need to be available by phone and email, offer ways to get in touch that people use in their daily lives. This includes social media, instant messaging and SMS. Being able to message or text an organization directly feels more personal and accessible.
- Respond quickly.
Nobody enjoys waiting, especially for an update or issue to be resolved. Wherever contacts come from, a prompt answer shows respect for customer’s time. It will be much harder to keep clients who feel treated as a low priority and will harm you in building a successful brand.
- Collect feedback and address complaints.
Your marketing tools can also ask for reviews and feedback from customers.
Providing a wide range of methods to do this is important to boost response rates, so use the right medium for the information you want. For example, email and phone surveys can offer detailed insights. For multiple-choice questions and ratings, text could be more suitable.
Building a successful business online involves creating a strong brand identity, and backing it up with great customer service and a smooth customer experience. The key to these is knowing your audience and the best way to communicate with them.
Picking the right tools to craft your website and marketing is equally important as having a clear strategy for reaching your audience, so research the best tools and tactics for attracting and keeping ideal customers.