Some may say that online branding is the way you get exposure for your brand on different levels of online marketing. Even if we talk about social media, search, content marketing, influencer marketing or paid advertising.
I like to say that online branding is everything you do today in the online medium, even if it’s something public or private.
With every piece of content you put out there you build your brand. With every reply, like and favorite you put a brick into your brand’s house.
It doesn’t matter that you want to build your personal brand or your company’s brand, you have to work every day, to be present in your clients’ feed, inbox or whatever place they are spending time.
Long time ago (when there was no internet) it was very hard to build a brand. You had to pay for a space in your local newspaper, to pay for an ad to broadcast on radio or TV or to pay for an ad space in a magazine. If you wanted people to know you, you had to pay more and more, and rent billboards and do more advertising. You had to do it over and over again. And let’s not forget about the most important part, that you also had to have a good product, to sell it to your clients and meet their expectations.
If you wanted to build your brand, you had to pay for advertising.
But today, these things are different. With the help of the online medium you can create your own radio station, launch your own movie or have your own local newspaper. But today we call all these podcast, YouTube or blogs.
Every time I open up my Instagram and scroll through my feed I’m looking for the users who are building their brands. There are the local brands who use Instagram Stories to keep in touch with their fans. There are the influencers occasionally do live sessions on Instagram with their community. Then I move on Twitter and see personal accounts that are curating content for their community from their niche industry.
And there are the ones who are creating content, writing Facebook statuses, posting Tweets and publishing Instagram photos just because they like it, without even thinking about creating a brand.
Everybody has a brand. But not everybody is aware of this.
Call it however you want: personal brand, company brand or just brand. It’s something that Jeff Bezos put so well into a quote “Your brand is what other people say about you when you’re not in the room”.
So online branding could change the power of advertising. If you want to build a powerful brand, you have to be consistent with your presence.
Content is a major player in building your brand.
Because we are all in this environment where we feed the internet with our content. The difference between one brand and another is that:
They are aware that are building a brand
They are aware that they are building a brand with content
If you are a marketer you must have heard about Seth Godin. He is building a personal brand by daily publishing an article on his blog. He has build a brand publishing several books. He has build a brand speaking at conferences. He has build a brand doing interviews. He was aware that he needed to build a brand if he wanted to do something that will count in others’ life. He is using his art to help others. That’s why today you can sing up to his AltMBA, The Marketing Seminar or buy his books. That’s why today his blog is one of the best marketing blogs on the internet. That’s why when you type “seth” on Google his blog is in top results.
Because he worked everyday to build a blog. He was aware that everything he published was helping his brand.
That’s why you won’t see an ad with Seth Godin in a newspaper in which he invites you to read his blog. That’s why you won’t hear an ad on a radio station to go on iTunes and listen to his podcast. Because he has built a brand.
I strongly believe that online branding is the new free advertising.
If you want to build a strong brand today and also advertise to your targeted audience, then start creating content. It can be a podcast project in which you talk about your struggles or you can launch a YouTube channel with interviews, or it can even be a blog if you’re into writing.
The internet is giving us opportunities every day to create our brand.