What is it that sets the most successful online brands apart from the lesser-known ones?
Why is it that some businesses can spend huge amounts of time and effort trying to build a website and promote affiliate products, only to get nowhere and eventually give up?
The answer, as it happens, comes down to skill and passion. Sure, there is an element of luck involved. But if you take a look at all of those highly successful brands, you’ll find that skill and passion is the thing that they largely have in common. When you look at these successful online brands, it becomes abundantly clear that a huge amount of time and effort has been put into every aspect of their presentation and that the creator really knew what they were doing.
And if they didn’t? They hired the right people who did!
This is promising news for you. It means that by acquiring the right skills, or by working with the right people, you can potentially do the same and get ahead of the legions of businesses that really don’t invest the time or the skill that they need to.
In this article, we’re going to briefly run down what those skills and areas are and we’re going to see where you should begin investing that time and effort in order to really see differences in your growth and your profits.
Branding and Design
You might at this point still be wondering precisely what I’m talking about. Don’t worry, hopefully, this first example will enlighten you a little by looking at the huge difference that just investing more time into your branding can make – and by taking the time to learn how to make creative ways to market your small business.
Unfortunately, a huge proportion of businesses will set out with entirely the wrong objective. Specifically, they set out with the hopes of making money quickly online simply by promoting things that others have made. They see this as a ‘get rich quick solution and as a way that they can make money from home with no risk.
And they don’t really care as to whether they are providing a good experience for the customer. Nor do they care about their brand’s quality for that reason – or about how they could ensure they were presenting themselves in the best way possible.
Take the logo for example. Logo design and design in general are skills that countless businesses and individuals just have no interest in pursuing. And nor do they want to invest the money necessary to get a good logo.
So, they end up a) creating a logo themselves using rudimentary tools (we’re talking MSPaint or Photoshop here, rather than the required Illustrator) or b) not having a log at all.
They combine this with a website name that is nothing more than a keyword. We’ve all seen sites like ‘HowToGetAbs.com’ or ‘EasyWayToMakeMoney.com’. These are highly uninspired names and things that communicate to the visitor that you are interested in making a quick buck from them and nothing more.
Not only does this mean that it’s highly unlikely that people will remember your brand and want to follow it. Not only does it mean that you’re unlikely to ever get any ‘true’ fans or loyal subscribers – but it can even hurt your Google ranking. Google has come right out and said that it prioritizes and promotes sites that have a strong brand rather than a keyword for their name.
A logo should exist to adorn your site and make it look instantly more attractive and interesting. It should decorate your page so that the entire site looks more professional and thereby is able to inspire more trust and confidence.
But more than that, it should also be used to communicate to your audience precisely what your business is all about and why they should consider subscribing.
A great logo shows what your site is about, what your principles and values are, and who you are aiming at. It doesn’t try to appeal to everyone but it makes a big impact on the right kind of visitor.
Now, when someone visits your site, they right away think ‘wow, this looks like my kind of site!’ and hopefully as a result, they consider subscribing. And hopefully, they recognize your logo on all the digital products you sell and on all your social media and they see that as a stamp of quality and a mark of something they want to follow or look into.
To do this, you need a great quality logo. And the only way to get that is to hire someone or to have the skill to make it yourself.
Content Development For Small Businesses
Next comes content development and this can broadly be split into two categories: articles and images.
Your site should be filled with interesting, unique, and well-written articles and blog posts. These serve numerous important functions. Firstly, the content on your website is going to be indexed by Google. This is what Google’s ‘spiders’ will look at and what Google uses in order to identify the topic of a website and to decide when to bring it up in search. Moreover, interesting and engaging content is going to be what keeps bringing your visitors back and it is what they will have the option to share on social media, thereby bringing in even more patrons.
There is a right way and a wrong way to go about content and creative ways to market your business, especially online. Firstly, you need to learn the basics of SEO.
A Primer on SEO
· SEO is Search Engine Optimization and it means creating content in a specific way, designing your site in a specific way, and getting links from other sites in a specific way – all with the objective of bringing more traffic to your website via Google searches.
· Google looks for keywords in the content. These keywords are the words that people search for on Google. So, if you have a website that sells hats, you might want to incorporate keywords like ‘buy hats online. If Google notices this phrase coming up in your content, it will then know that your content is relevant to that search and you should start appearing in the SERPs.
· But if you overdo this, it becomes unreadable. Google sees this as you trying to ‘game’ the system and it will respond by penalizing your site. That’s why it’s important to aim for no more than 2% density. Ideally 0.5-1%. That means for every 100 words, there is one keyword or fewer!
· Quality is as important as quantity. Think about where the keywords go. Certain positions will help to give them more influence over your ranking:
o In the headers
o In the title
o In the first paragraph
o In the last paragraph
· Use LSI – latent semantic indexing. This means you are using other relevant terms and phrases and synonyms for your keywords.
· Build links on other sites as much as possible. Search for high-quality sites that Google trusts and sites that have topics relevant to yours. Get them to link to your website from relevant articles. Try offering to write a guest post.
· Write content that is so engaging and so comprehensive that others link to it to teach others, back up their points, or start conversations. This is called ‘link bait’.
Quality Content For Your Business
At the same time though, your content also needs to be engaging and well-written. That means it should be written in a way that makes people want to read it and makes them want to keep coming back to your website. Furthermore, having a data analytics small business, such as Google Analytics will help understand what your audience does.
How to Write Engagingly
· The objective of all writing is to communicate a point, thus good writing should do this efficiently and quickly.
· That means avoiding longer or more complex sentences and it means avoiding jargon or fancy language where it doesn’t add to the quality of the writing.
· Your content needs to deliver value – your readers’ lives should be better for having read your writing!
· That means you need to provide information or entertainment. And that means you need a USP. You need to make your articles and your content in some way different so that they offer something that people can’t get anywhere else. Avoid derivative or done-to-death content. Find angles and find concepts that make your content different and more engaging.
· The ideal length for your content is around 1,800 words. Include a range of lengths though and make sure that the length serves the purpose of the article.
Videography In Today's Business World
This report has been all about how you can elevate the quality of your brand and your internet marketing by learning key skills or at least acknowledging the importance of those skills and outsourcing to the right people to do your video editing and overall marketing for your business.
We know how important video is and how it can reach millions of people with just some quality content, the right timing, and a few hashtags.
How to Create High-Quality Video
· Again, it is worth investing in a good camera. Ideally, one that can record at 4K at 24fps to get the most "filmic" look.
· Invest in lighting (soft boxes), create a backdrop, and consider your own appearance and presentation style.
· High-quality sound is critical. This means getting a lapel mic, or better yet, a shotgun mic.
· Keep your videos short-ish and create a storyboard to get your point across quickly.
· Add movement and interest with B-roll, stock footage, and other cutaways.
· Learn advanced editing techniques like cutting on action, L-cuts, and more.
· Invest in some backing music, add your logo, get a good video opener, and consider an outro/bottom thirds.
If you can do all this, then you can add an incredibly impactful additional element to your marketing and your brand.
Of course, there are many more skills worth learning to supplement these. They include everything from programming, to music creation, to After Effects, to persuasive writing. Be sure to utilize all these skills to elevate your business.