So, you have a product, set-up a business with a website or app, and your company is on the first page of Google. Does it mean a buyer will definitely buy from you? Do you know how to build a strong brand? Users have a number of options on the internet to compare products and prices.
Gone are the days when sellers had the full power to sell and buyers had limited options to compare.
This is the Modern Internet Era and information is available with a few clicks. So………
What can a business owner do to turn visitors into customers
The answer is simple! Put yourself in the buyer’s position and think again. Why should I buy this product from you instead of others and what’s the credibility of the seller’s brand?
For example, let’s examine a buyer who requires a smartphone.
Step 1: The buyer checks the phone and pricing on multiple platforms.
Step 2: A man compares similar types of phones by different brands.
Step 3: He checks customer reviews and watches videos.
Step 4: He looks for discounts and offers.
Step 5: The consumer buys the phone.
The Buyer’s Journey varies with the industry, product price, and type. There are three distinct steps every buyer goes through before purchasing a product.
Do you know?
“Sixty-seven percent (67%) of the buyer’s ‘decision’ is complete before a buyer even reaches out to sales.” (SiriusDecisions)
Knowing the core stages of a buyer’s journey, how can you leverage it to build a strong brand that helps the buyer purchase from you?
Stages to know before Building a Strong Brand Online
Let’s look at the three stages – Awareness, Consideration, and Decision.
I found my friend recording his bike journey with a helmet camera and decided to buy a helmet camera too. I went to Google (or any other search engine) and typed, helmet camera.
I found many results and used links and read pages, but then I got little confused by the hundreds of options on Google. I decided to check customers reviews for better clarity and started my James Bond investigation with SJCAM SJ4000 on Google.
I found many links for the brand’s website. Amazon had a product link with ratings which attracted my attention and left a positive mark in my mind. I did the same investigation with many other brands of helmet cameras and decided to go with SJCAM.
I didn’t buy it yet. I needed a few product reviews as well.
Stage 2 – Consideration Stage
I made up my mind to go with the SJCAM but wanted more confirmation before buying. I went to Google and typed, SJCAM reviews.
I found some YouTube videos, blogs, and review sites. I went through all the pages and videos and still decided to go with SJCAM. Next, I decide I want offers or discounts. I went to SJCAM’s social media profiles on Instagram and Twitter to look for sales or coupon codes. Once I found a coupon code, I finally added the product in my cart.
Stage 3: Decision Stage
Since the product was in my cart, I checked the warranty issues and support care of SJCAM. I was happy with what I read so I finally paid the money and ordered it.
*Note: There may be many other steps that a buyer goes through. I am minimizing the steps to make it easy to understand the Buyer’s Journey.
What did we learn about the Buyer’s Journey?
A brand needs to be available on as many platforms as possible. The buyer wants full power to explore. If you hack all the platforms available online then buyers will be forced to purchase your product.
10 Steps to Build a Strong Brand
#1. Get on the first page of search engines
The first step to do while launching a business or product is get on the first page of major search engines. There are many platforms to help you. Leverage as many paid or free platforms as possible.
Google Maps, business listings, and social media platforms are also great to utilize. Register your brand name everywhere you can online. There is a tool to check the brand name here and create free accounts on major platforms.
#2. Leverage paid search engine marketing (SEM)
Paid search engine marketing is unavoidable today. The first three business results on Google are paid and get 50 percent more website traffic than others. Google is an excellent tool to reach your target audience searching for your product or service. It means they are at the awareness stage, the first stage, of the buyer’s journey.
To make an internet searcher become your prospect, SEM is a very important part of your marketing campaign.
If your target audience is in the U.S. and the U.K.. Don’t forget about the search engine Bing that a lot of people usually forget. According to Bing Ads statistics, the Bing network has a 21 percent market share in the UK, 34.7 percent market share in the U.S., and a 20.8 percent market share in Canada.
Social media digital marketing works, but you need to be cautious when selecting your audience. Google and Facebook ads are good ROIs.
#3. Use all free platforms to leverage your brand identity
There are multiple free online platforms to help you to build a strong brand name. You don’t need to pay for all the available services. Here are some leading platforms that you can use for free:
A. Free Business Listings
The internet is filled with business and product listing services. More than 50 percent of them are free. Leverage all of them to showcase your brand name, products, or services. Some major listing services are Google My Business, Yelp, CitySearch, and more.
B. Social Media Platforms
The ultimate free tool to reach your target audience are social media channels. Businesses need to be available on as many social media platforms as possible. In time, social media handling can be narrowed down according to business needs.
C. Content Submission on Article Publishing platforms
Article publishing platforms are a perfect tool to brand your product and company. Your brand needs more citations (aka brand name mention) on different platforms to fill the internet and Google’s first page about your brand.
When a new user searches for your brand, he should get a number of results about your brand on different platforms. Your website won’t have credibility when it is new.
Tip: Publish as many articles as you can on different platforms such as Medium, LinkedIn Pulse, MyStory etc., and compare your product with your competitors to get more user credibility.
D. YouTube Videos
After looking at your website, buyers like to watch a video about your product or services. Develop a few quality videos and publish them on YouTube, which is free.
The good thing about YouTube is that it ranks on Google. While considering your brand, buyers will see your video and will be able to make a decision more easily.
Tip: If you can create a few videos with product comparisons and ask a few YouTubers to create a video about your product, it will create more customer engagement.
E. Quora Answers and Topic
Quora is a top ranked domain on Google. It ranks for almost every question within the top 100 ranked websites on the internet. It’s free and you can use it to help people find your product. Type the problems your product or service solves in the Quora search box and you will get questions that people are asking about what you provide.
Always write a good answer by mentioning your brand’s name, not the website link or company number. Quora is already filled with a lot of spam answers so you need to create credibility for your brand.
Tip: Create a topic about your brand and tell your friends to ask relevant questions. You can answer those questions with beautifully crafted text to lure people to your website.
#4. Build a website that earns trust in your brand
Business owners need to understand that having a website doesn’t generate sales. They need a well optimized website with optimized pages that lure the visitors to become prospects and buyers.
This is as simple as why we never eat in a dirty restaurant. Why would a visitor have interest in your product if he doesn’t feel good about your website?
“Only 52% of companies and agencies that use product landing pages also test them to find ways to improve conversions.”
#5. Work on your brand name and product SEO
SEO is a word that every business owner and entrepreneur knows but isn’t leveraging the benefits of it. Search engine optimization helps generate sales, business, and revenue through online properties.
SEO doesn’t revolve only around your website. You need better optimization for your YouTube channel, business listings, media PR, social media profiles, etc..
Your product pages also need SEO which attracts organic traffic and sales. SEO is still the best marketing strategy and always will be.
Tip: Have a business blog on your website because it helps SEO and social media shares. People share information but not a product description on social media, unless there is a huge discount.
#6. Publish videos on other platforms
Videos are already the top consumed content on the internet. People like to watch videos and they do try a few video reviews before buying any product.
You also need to work on video content and publish them on all platforms in addition to YouTube. Vimeo, Dailymotion, Native Videos on LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram etc.
If you are not able to develop high-quality videos, then just record informational videos. If you are seriously solving any buyer problem, the buyer will definitely watch your videos.
#7. Get featured in others’ blogs and videos
An excellent and convertible marketing tactic is to get featured on others’ blogs and videos. Free interviews are not difficult to get. Even spending a few bucks to attract loyal customers is not a bad deal.
Search and reach relevant bloggers, influencers, and YouTubers to convince them to create content about your product for a trade of your product or service. Influencer marketing is flourishing and if you aren’t using it right now, you are missing out.
#8. Become active on all social media channels
My favorite advice to all business owners and entrepreneurs is to get used to social media and keep updating your profiles and business pages.
You might not get any sales from it, but buyers are more interested in checking your social media profile before buying your product. If you aren’t updating your social media channels regularly, you are losing more than 50 percent of your customers.
#9. Leverage the discounts and coupons to increase your sale
Buyers have become accustomed to using coupon codes and discounts to buy anything online. The biggest elephants of e-commerce like Amazon and Flipkart are using this tactic to force the buyer to purchase. It’s simple human psychology that you don’t want to buy a watch for $100 tomorrow if you are getting the same watch for $75 today.
#10. Use Twitter for support and care
You might not be interested in using Twitter, but it has become a tool to provide live support to customers. Many national governments are also using it to directly help citizens.
Since @AppleSupport started, it has gained more than half a million followers, generated more than 150,000 likes and retweets, and won the first-ever Twitter Award for Outstanding Customer Service.
Offering good customer service via Twitter is an opportunity to showcase to the world how responsive your company is. When done poorly, however, it’s an open invitation to have your faults exposed and your reputation shredded.
Brand development is all about building trust. In this Internet Age, trust is important to sell. You have to leverage trust into your brand.
Being a leading digital agency in Philly, Dignitas Digital can help you build your online brand that attracts your perfect clients.
Interested in partnering with us? Send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
What are you doing for brand building? Leave a reply or question in the comment section and we will respond.