One of the biggest opportunities for businesses when it comes to leveraging the reach of the online conversation happening on the social Web is related to brand building.Â By participating in online discussions, you can create brand awareness, recognition, recall, loyalty and advocacy that lead to an extremely powerful brand overall.
First, what is a brand?
A brand is a promise to consumers that creates customer expectations for every experience they have with that brand.Â As you continually meet those customer expectations for your brand, consumers develop loyalty to it, seeking it out over other brands, and advocating it (or defending it) to other consumers.
Next, how do you build a brand?
There are three main steps to building a brand that apply regardless of the industry your business is in or the tools you use to communicate your brand messages and develop your brand image.Â Those three steps are:
- Consistency: Your brand messages must be consistent across all marketing touch points.Â Inconsistency leads to consumer confusion and causes people to turn away from your brand in search of another that continually meets their expectations.
- Persistence: Brand building takes patience.Â You must continually communicate your brand messages again and again without giving up.Â Brands are powerful assets, but brands are also part of a long-term marketing strategy that requires persistence.
- Restraint: While it can be tempting to over-extend a successful brand in an effort to reach new audiences and boost your bottom-line, you must exercise restraint and choose brand extensions and other branded opportunities with caution ensuring that the opportunities you pursue consistently support your brand promise.
Finally, how can business blogging help companies build brands?
Blogging is an incredible tool to spread your branded messages, build relationships with consumers who can become your vocal brand advocates online and offline, and support a sustainable, long-term marketing strategy.Â Your blogging efforts live for a long time and have the ability to spread across the Internet for years to come.Â Not only do your blog posts remain accessible through your blog’s archives until you delete them, but links to them from other blogs and Web sites also stay active.
Unlike a television commercial that lives for 30-seconds and reaches the specific audience who is watching a specific television channel at a specific moment in time, business blog content lives and spreads for years to come.
From a brand building perspective, business blogs are a marketer’s dream come true!