In the world, where an average consumer turns to the power of the Internet in almost any purchase decision they make, the necessity for online branding cannot be underestimated. Moreover, with the growing competition, one of the most effective ways for your business to stand out is a strong online presence.
Let’s take a closer look at the importance of online branding from a rational point of view. Here’s what consumers and investors think about the importance of investing in online branding:
- 60% of consumers expect a consistent brand across all channels
- 82% of investors say that a strong online presence and brand image are important prerequisites for investment
- 52% of consumers said they made a decision not to buy from a brand because of bad brand aesthetics
- In terms of design, 80% of consumers think that color is a big part of brand recognition
- Consumers also want brands to produce custom branded content, with 78% of respondents supporting this claim
- 64% of consumers purchase a product after watching a branded video
Evidently, consumers want to see the brands that they follow to have a strong online presence, which comes at a cost. Some brands report that investments in building an online brand can reach several million dollars. For instance, Flatfy, an international real estate brand, claims that the company’s expenses on online branding increased from $10,000, when they were a startup, up to a million dollars, when they reached the international market.
No matter, whether your company is big or small, online branding is crucial if you want to be recognized in this highly competitive market.
When we are talking about online branding, there are always three main components of online branding: design (logos, marketing materials), website, and content.
Let’s take a closer look at these components and how you can level them up to build a strong online presence.
1. Creating a Responsive Website
Let’s take a look at GitHub’s website.
The desktop version of their website is created with a flexible layout, flexible images and cascading style sheet media queries. You get the most important information right away, with fast-loading images and most-relevant links placed conveniently at the top of the home page.
However, website responsiveness is not entirely about getting immediate and uninterrupted access to all the features on the website. Responsive web design is about creating a website that users can easily access from any device.
GitHub took it into consideration when creating a mobile version of their version. They deleted some of the desktop version features, like a sign-up form (on the image above) and a search bar. Instead, they replaced a sign-up form with a CTA and a search bar with a hamburger icon to access the menu:
Website responsiveness is essentially the ability to access a website from different platforms with no extra effort. In other words, users should easily be able to access your website from their computers, smartphones or tablets.
Responsive website design contributes to:
- Improved usability and accessibility. These two attributes are essential for a consistent online presence, ensuring that consumers can reach your brand regardless of what device they are using.
- Better SEO results. Google recommends responsive websites more due to balanced website planning. Besides, responsive websites (both desktop and mobile versions) use the same URL and HTML, which helps Google crawl and index this website faster.
- Improved UX. Better user experience is the goal of responsive website design. Users want easy access to a brand’s website, and negative experience with a website contributes to a lower engagement rate.
Thus, when building your online brand, don’t give preference to a desktop version or a mobile version only. For a better online image, responsive web design is the only optimal option.
2. Making Your Brand Recognizable
The second component is to get your brand recognized. Maintaining consistency in branding is important for brand recognition, as users usually associate a certain logo and color palette with a certain brand.
Apart from having a great responsive website, GitHub is also a good example of keeping their images and other visuals consistent on all the platforms they are present on, including Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter:
Having a brand logo is an important part of online branding. Reportedly, a signature color or logo can boost your brand’s recognition by a whopping 80%, and consistent branding can increase revenues by up to 23%.
Visual content is your representation online and also the most distinctive feature that differentiates you from your competitors. While you may experiment with your visuals, like GitHub changed the background of their logo to a rainbow during the Pride Month, consistency in using the same logo and the same color palette for all your marketing materials should prevail.
3. Attracting Attention with Interactive Content
Apart from creating a responsive website and a branded logo for your online platforms and marketing materials, you will also have to invest in creating high-quality content.
As we mentioned in the intro to this article, 78% of consumers want to see high-quality, engaging and custom-made content from brands. The pressure on the brands increases, as the average Internet user also gets more demanding, meaning that traditional content, like blog posts and Instagram images, is not enough.
If you want to level up your content game and build a strong online presence, try investing in interactive content.
The rule of high-quality interactive content is not only making it highly engaging but also creating something that will bring value. That’s what GitHub did when they created resources to learn Git, especially their Visualizing Git tool, which helps programmers see how Git commands affect the structure of a repository within a web browser:
You can experiment with interactive content, creating calculators, generators, quizzes, eBooks, and interactive videos. The main principle is that it should represent your brand’s values and core message you want to deliver to the consumers.
Create an Outstanding Online Brand
We’re not going to lie – online branding requires substantial funds. However, without having a responsive website, branded visuals and high-quality content, you won’t be able to maintain a consistent online presence.
Hopefully, our tips and the example of GitHub inspired you to invest in online branding and create a strong online presence.
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