Branding has been an important part of every digital strategy since the Internet’s invention. But there is a difference between brand marketing for regular businesses and those that specialize in eCommerce.
By AARON SWAIN
Here is how to optimize brand marketing for eCommerce.
#1 Consider Creating a Brand Logo
First and foremost, you need to consider creating a brand logo. Some eCommerce business owners don’t think of this seriously because they use dropshipping as the foundation of their online store. In other words, they sell products from other brands which is why they don’t consider it a necessity to brand their own store.
But this is not the best approach because simply naming your online store “Best Swimwear” will not be as effective as naming it “Beach Bodies” or “Seashell Swimwear”. You should always have a brand name and a brand logo to represent your eCommerce store. If you have a recognizable brand logos are much easier to market and promote.
In addition to that, don’t forget that having a brand name and logo is an essential part of branding. You just can’t have a brand marketing plan without having a brand name and logo to promote.
#2 Have a Brand Slogan or Motto
Speaking of the elements that define your brand, the brand slogan or motto you choose will largely influence how likable your brand becomes. Just think about it: if McDonald’s didn’t have their “I’m lovin’ it,” people from all over the world wouldn’t be remembering this catchphrase every time they see the “M” (besides, repeating this phrase over and over again can program you to like McDonald’s).
To create a brand slogan, you will need to get to the core of your business. What sets your eCommerce store apart from everyone else? What is so special about it? But at the same time, you need to consider more general traits about your business. What industry do you operate in? What products do you sell? How does your online store look (or rather, what emotions does the design bring up in your audience)?
#3 Determine Your Target Audience
For branding and for digital marketing as a whole, you will need to know who your target audience is. If you don’t know who your potential customers and existing clients are, then you can’t possibly create a strong brand marketing strategy that will form your brand image. Here are some questions to ask if you want to determine your target audience:
What are the age, gender, and location of my target audience?
What is the education, occupation, and income level of my audience?
What is the usual purchase behaviour of my target audience?
What are the hobbies and interests of my target audience?
What are the fears and pain points of my target audience?
What are any other distinctive details of my target audience?
#4 Prepare Your Brand Highlights
Your brand highlights are pretty much all the advantages and benefits of your brand that you can think of. Brand highlights are meant to help you present your brand in a positive light and make the marketing process easier for you. Here are the steps to help you identify and prepare your brand highlights:
Niche: First, think about your niche. Your industry is a broad concept, but your niche is a much narrower one. For example, your industry could be defined as “clothes, shoes, and accessories,” but your niche will be “summer dresses and swimwear.”
Positives: Second, think about your brand’s positive sides. For example, you can have an incredibly user-friendly website design and multiple payment and delivery options.
Negatives: Third, think about your brand’s negative sides. You shouldn’t ignore them – instead, you need to use them in a way that will make them seem like they are positives. For example, the fact that you only sell swimwear can be worded as “the best swimsuits” instead of “only swimsuits”.
Uniqueness: Lastly, your brand should have a unique factor that will define your business. Is it the surprise gifts you add to every order over $100? Or is it the special offers and exclusive discount codes you love giving out from time to time?
#5 Always Use Content Marketing
Content marketing is by far the most common tactic currently used as a part of digital marketing. It is fairly cheap to integrate once you figure out the basics. In fact, you don’t even need to write your articles yourself because you can hire a writer from a writing service like Best Writers Online who will do the job for you. As for visual content, freelance platforms have many graphic designers, animators, and editors.
But how is content marketing related to branding? The tone and voice used in your articles, blog posts, social media posts, and emails will define and form your brand personality. At the same time, the style, design, and colors of your visual content will also significantly contribute to your brand personality. This is exactly why you need to think about your content marketing strategy and plan it carefully.
#6 Start Using Social Media Marketing
That being said, you shouldn’t solely rely on content marketing. Social media marketing will also contribute to your branding strategy a lot if you do it right. As mentioned above, the content you post on social media will help you form your brand personality which is why social media marketing is basically an extension of content marketing. Some things you need to think about include:
What social media platforms will you use? Your target audience can be on Instagram and Pinterest but not on Facebook depending on their age, for instance. This is why you should decide which platforms are the most logical choice for you.
What theme do you want to have? If you check brand accounts and influencer accounts on Instagram, you will notice that many of them have a particular palette or filter applied to the photos to make the feed look prettier.
What content will you be posting? You could focus on short articles or you could focus on real-life photography or on something completely different. It all depends on your brand and the kind of brand image you want to create.
#7 Improve Your Email Marketing
Much like content marketing and social media marketing, email marketing is quite effective and efficient. If you improve your email marketing, you will be able to achieve outstanding results with your branding. Here’s how you can use emails to form your brand:
Integration: Always add your social media links into your emails. This is called cross-promotion – you promote one of your channels through another channel you use. You can promote your website on your social media too.
Content: Everything you send through your emails needs to be a part of your content marketing strategy, so your email content will need to have the same tone and voice as your social media content and your blog content.
Exclusivity: Emails are a great channel to provide your audience with special offers and exclusive deals which will further show everyone that you are willing to be generous and you value your customers.
#8 Work on Your Customer Support
Customer support is more than just a way to help your potential customers and existing clients. Good customer support shows your audience that you care about them and want to ensure that they get a positive experience when dealing with your brand. A negative experience, on the other hand, can lead to angry reviews your customers could post online.
In addition to that, you shouldn’t forget about the importance of your brand’s reputation. It’s not just about showing your audience that you are a serious business – it’s also about proving this to your competitors. Consequently, your customer service which impacts your reputation is extremely important for your brand image.
#9 Analyze Your Past Mistakes
When trying to determine your brand image and the tactics you want to use to form this image, you will often make mistakes. But that doesn’t mean that you should instantly consider your job a failure – on the contrary, these mistakes will help you understand what you need to do in the future to be more successful.
Analyze your past mistakes and find correlations if there are any. Maybe you are making the same mistake over and over again! Whatever it is, make sure that you act on what you have discovered.
#10 Constantly Improve Your Branding
That is, you need to constantly be improving your branding. If you got a bad review, you need to do something to smooth out the fact that there was an angry customer. Moreover, you need to be improving the marketing techniques that help you shape your brand image. It’s a continuous process which is why it is so important to pay attention to it.
All in all, brand marketing should never be underestimated or ignored. It’s not as difficult as you might think, so make sure to use the tips in this article to integrate eCommerce branding into your digital strategy.