It’s one of the sexiest words in marketing: internet branding. But what is the definition of internet branding, or branding for that matter, exactly? Having internet branding strategies is essential to the growth of businesses. It adds value to your products or services on a both financial and psychological basis. Let’s dive into the subject and after reading this article you will know:
What is the difference between a brand and branding?
Often people talk about a brand and branding like it is identical. It’s important to know the difference because it changes your perspective on how to create your brand.
What is a brand?
First of all, let’s start with the definition of a brand. There is a clear distinction between a brand and branding. For the definition of a brand, we will use what The American Marketing Association states.
The American Marketing Association (AMA) gives the following definition of a brand: “ A brand is a name, term, design, symbol or any other feature that identifies one seller’s good or service as distinct from those of other sellers.”
A brand is the image and feeling a customer gets when they think about a specific product or service of a company.
Mercedes... You are probably thinking: it's a German car which means the quality is high. It's also a premium brand meaning the owner must have some sort of success. Do you see what kind of psychological edge Mercedes has on other car manufacturers because of their brand?
A brand is not: a website, a logo, or a business name. It's the feeling (the image) behind those objects.
Branding definition by Philip Kotler
For the definition of branding, we look at what Philip Kotler has to say. Philip Kotler is seen as the father of modern marketing and is recognized as such by the AMA. Quite the resume I would say. Philip Kotler describes branding as follows: " Branding is a seller's promise to deliver a specific set of features, benefits, and services consistent to the buyers.”
Branding is the activity of giving a specific product, services, or company an image and feeling which you want your customer to have. It’s meant to give customers a fast answer to the question: what is this company good at? A strong brand name will result in customers automatically thinking about your product instead of your competitor's. It gives you a huge psychological advantage.
What to do and not to do in branding
Basically, branding means: what is your message towards your customer? And how does this make you different from other companies in your niche? Now make sure to be as precise as possible when you choose what message you want to send into the world.
For example, you have a painting company in Texas:
- We are the best painting company in all of Texas!
- Our painting contains heat protection elements to keep you and your loved ones cool by day
These are two kinds of branding messages with one clear winner, and that’s number 2. A common mistake within branding is being not specific enough to be recognized. In example number 1 you state yourself as ‘ the best’, but what defines the best? The best can mean a lot of things for different people.
In example number 2 you choose to be specialized in heat protection. Now your potential customer knows exactly what it is you are good at. This makes you an expert. Customers nowadays are looking for businesses who can fix their specific problems. When you are good at everything you aren't great at anything.
Create a simple logo with Fiverr
If you don’t have a logo yet and you don’t want to spend a lot of money on it, this is what you can do:
- Make a logo yourself with the help of Canva. A free design tool with many templates you can use and alter as you like
- Let a freelancer make you a logo. In this case, I would suggest you would look for a designer on Fiverr
Tip for Fiverr: when you do want to use a freelancer don’t go for the cheapest one. There is a reason they are cheap. When you search for a designer make sure they did multiple projects before yours. Furthermore, take a look at their ratings. Every freelancer receives a rating on Fiverr which is given to them by their customers. To conclude: don't go cheap. Many projects are done before yours. Solid rating of 4 stars minimum.
What are branding strategies?
Alright, so we know what a brand and branding are. Next up: what are branding strategies? A branding strategy is a plan behind your brand and branding activities. You want to actively create an image for your customer when they think about your brand. A branding strategy is a battle plan for achieving exactly this.
Why are branding strategies important?
Creating the brand image you desire is extremely difficult when you don't have a proper branding strategy. Doing a bit of social media here and a few flyers there won't make it happen. I can promise you that. It's so crucial to build a strategy on which you can build and hang on for the coming years. Ideally, branding strategies last for 5-10 years. It takes time to build a brand. Warren Buffet has a great quote about reputation and it counts just as much for branding. The quote goes as follows:
“ It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you’ll do things differently.” – Warren Buffet
It's a delicate process between long-term and short-term decision-making. It's important to keep in mind that every business decision can alter the image of how the customer sees you.
We talked about the importance of having branding strategies and how your decision-making directly affects the image of your brand. However, it's not only your decision-making that can alter the feeling people have with your company. Your employees have possibly an even bigger effect on your brand image than you do.
For example, you have an ICT company mainly focused on hosting. You want your customer to have the image of a company that goes the extra mile. On support works Monica, she is lately not in a great mood and doesn't want to be at the office. So when a customer asks a question she will answer as short as possible. She does her job but is not going the extra mile. She talks to 20 customers per day. How does that look on your brand? Exactly. 20 contact moments per day are sending the message: I will help but don’t expect too much from me. It looks bad!
So how do we avoid ‘Monica’ as much as possible? It starts with creating shared values. Go sit together with your employees and write down what the essence of your brand is. What do we want our customers to feel when they think about us?! I know what you think... This will take a lot of time and that costs money! True and yet false. True, you take away your employees from their job. But what it will achieve is a brand culture that will earn you a lot of money. So bear with me. The idea of talking about shared values and what the brand is about will activate something amazing. In marketing, we call this: co-creation.
Co-creation is the development of new values (company values, but also products, concepts, services) together with a group of stakeholders. The stakeholders (employees, customers, shareholders) in this example are the employees.
The power of co-creation lays within the concept of making something together. The employees put time and effort into the creation of the company values. Thereby they feel a sense of responsibility for the result because they created it themselves. That's far more powerful than a document made by the owner and in which they had nothing to say.
Do what you say
Now the power of words is great but it's not everything. Do you know the saying: lead by example? This also counts for your brand. When you say that you are a learning company that is always improving. Show it! Organize workshops, masterclasses, webinars. When you are a social company organize: network events, casual Friday, an after-hours drink, etc.
“ talk the talk, walk the walk”
How branding strategies affect the brand: what are the results?!
So can we expect after we have created a branding strategy, executed it, and have been consistent?
Authority: the number one most important aspect of branding is the creation of the authority. Because your name has value to the public, they will think of your company whenever they talk about a product in your niche. They will even think about your brand when they talk about your competitor. There is a reason why everyone thinks about Coca-Cola instead of Pepsi. It's brand authority.
Added value: the products and/or services of your business become more valuable. A good brand is worth money. Just think about the fashion brands like Prada or Armani. No doubt they produce quality but it is also the name you pay for. You are not wearing a good suit. No, you are wearing Armani.
Free publicity: with authority comes free publicity. Not only customers but also the media will think about you when you have a strong brand. Think about papers, news sites, social media accounts, and blogs. The more exposure you get, the bigger the brand becomes.
The attraction of belonging to a brand
One of the coolest aspects of branding is the ability to turn your brand into a lifestyle rather than just a product or service. People long to be part of something. Its part of our psychological needs as Professor Maslow would say.
For example, take the brand Rolex. They make beautiful watches and the quality is good but is it the best watchmaker on planet earth? Arguably not, but that doesn't matter one bit. Rolex is more than a watch. With a Rolex, you are part of a lifestyle of wealth and success. When you wear a Rolex that means you have the money to afford the luxury which is not necessary. And thus it sets you apart from the rest.
People buy a Rolex because they want to show the world that they are part of an elite group of humans who achieved high levels of wealth and success. So you don’t buy a watch but you buy the lifestyle that comes with the watch. You set yourself apart from the rest and you are part of all the successful people that wear expensive watches.
Brand equity: how much is your brand worth?
Do you want to know how to value your brand? Before we show you how to value and increase your brand equity, it is important to know what brand equity is.
Brand equity is the increase of value your business gains for name recognition. This means your customer is willing to pay more money for your product because it has a certain status. For instance high quality or biobased.
There are two types of brand equity:
- Positive brand equity
- Negative brand equity
You receive positive brand equity by branding your product or services by adding value for your customer. Excellent support, high quality, fair prices, etc. But make sure you also promote your positive features through branding. Show them on your website and other media.
Negative brand equity is the result of providing not enough value for your customer. Poor customer service, broken packages, etc. Now there is also a chance you receive negative brand equity from external forces. For instance, the entire banking sector looked horrible after the financial crisis of 2008. Even the banks who didn’t participate in the mortgage mess-up.
For a full article that explains all the ins and outs of brand equity with examples, follow the link below:
Measure your branding strategies with the SMART formula
Before we dive deeper into examples of branding strategies, how do you measure the success of your branding strategy? One of the biggest failings within the creation of a brand strategy is the lack of being able to measure. When you want to create an image that isn't easily visible, you won't be able to know if your strategy is working. Therefore for every step of the branding strategy, we will use the SMART formula of George T. Doran. With this formula, we can measure the performance of our strategy and adjust it if needed.
For example, by 2025 Mark’d Agency will be the expert (image) of online branding. This means we want to rank #1 in 5 year times for which we need to add 2000 articles of content. We can monitor this by checking our ranking as the leading website on branding through SEMrush.
Important note: the SMART formulation is solely for business purposes! It’s not meant as a branding message to your customer. For your customer you create the following image: Mark’d is the most complete source of branding information. The articles are bigger and more complete than any other. We are experts.
3 successful branding strategies – [examples]
What does a successful brand look like? We are going to examine 3 of the most successful brands. The chance is that you are wearing, drinking, or using one of these brands as we speak. We will look at Nike, Coca-Cola, and Apple. They will all have a branding strategy in which they want to form our opinion about them. Let’s watch them together and break down their strategy.
Nike: we all know Nike from their footwear and apparel. Nike embedded its brand into the sports culture by partnering with the greatest sportsmen and women. To name a few: Cristiano Ronaldo, Lebron James, and Rafael Nadal.
Nike is changing their approach a little bit. They still partner with the great athletes in the hope their fanbase wants to buy apparel with their hero on it. However, they also started to talk directly to the customer instead of through the ambassadors. When you watch the commercial you can see how they are doing this. Nike is using a bit of a paradox to reach their goal. It’s quite clever. They are basically saying: we are all different and therefore we are never alone. Their branding goal is to unite people and create a community. Nike is for everyone who chooses to be different (brand image).Nike’s branding strategy is to create a community. They want us to feel at home. Why? Because this will make us loyal and returning customers. Community building is a strong way to create loyalty. This can even lead to (free) ambassadors who will promote your company.
Coca Cola: did you know Warren Buffet and I have something in common... I wish I was going to say our bank accounts are the same, but no that's not it. Warren Buffet is a huge Coca Cola fan! Not only because he owns a large sum of shares. He actually loves the product ever since he was young.
Coca-Cola is in my opinion the king of branding. They give us the one thing everyone is looking for: happiness. They combine their products with a great feeling of love, friendship, all the good kind of emotions. Buying a coke is like buying a bottle of happiness. It would be very wise to take a lesson from Coca-Cola and use triggering emotions for your brand strategy. People are not interested in the technical details of why your product is a little bit different than the other. No, people are interested in: what's in it for me?
When you talk directly to the emotions of people they will feel a need to do something with it. You can use emotions like missing out, survival, or happiness. This is mainly because feelings and emotions trigger a part of our brain where we don't have much control. Now there is always the ethical question of how far you can take this. I believe it's acceptable when you truly believe your product will make the lives of your customers better. And I meant THEIR lives... Not your wallet!
Apple: last but not least... Apple. Probably the most controversial one of the three. Apple has a lot of fans but also a lot of critics. This is mainly because of the war between iOS phones and Android phones. I am not even going to try to mix me into that battle.
So what does Apple wants us to think when we watch their commercials? What is their branding message? Apple is doing a whole different thing if you compare it to Nike or Coca Cola. Apple is not talking to emotions or create a feeling that we are united. No, Apple chooses to differentiate its users from others. When you use Apple you use premium gear. Our technology is the most advanced and futuristic. We are the top dog in this industry. Furthermore, Apple has created a premium lifestyle with its brand. You don't buy a laptop. No, you buy a MacBook. You don't buy a tv. No, you buy an Apple TV.
Apple differentiates by putting their high tech products as the branding message. When you want the best, you buy Apple. Buying Apple makes you part of the tech-savvy community of people who thrive.
Internet branding - Where to get started?
Ok, so you now have a base of knowledge about branding. Time to go a bit deeper and look into the world of internet branding. But where do you start? Is it with your logo? Website?
No, defintely not. Before you are going to physically build your internet brand, you will need to start with understanding the essence of your business. It’s a process not to be rushed. I would suggest you take the time for what’s about to come. It will be so valuable for both you and your business when you define this to perfection. Now you are wondering: what is define ‘this’?
#1. Internet Branding: The Golden Circle of Simon Sinek
I am talking about the Golden Circle of Simon Sinek. The Golden Circle is a marketing model specifically made to visibly differentiate businesses from their competitors by calling these differences by name. It’s all structured in a deep and serving way, therefore it is received better than the old school: mission, vision, strategy concept.
The Golden Circle model consists out of three layers:
- The Why
- The How
- The What
The why: is the deepest and most important aspect of any business. Why do we do what we do? What is our purpose as a business? Only a few businesses can answer the question of why. Many people think they know the answer to this question straight away. Oh, we sell bikes because people need them. But that's not a purpose or deeper motivation. You are just telling is 'What' you do. A why could be: biking should be possible for everyone and not only the fit and healthy. It is our purpose to
The how: how do you make the why possible? What is it that makes us special and different from the competition? We make e-bikes affordable by buying them in bulk. This will lower the price we have to pay and therefore we can charge less for our customers.
The what: what is the actual product or service a business fulfills within society? What do we do? We sell e-bikes.
If you identify the deepest purpose of the business, you can translate this into a powerful brand message. It’s nowadays more important than ever to tell about the people behind a business. A simple about me page is not sufficient enough. The customer wants to identify themselves in the business. Does this mean they want to know what is the purpose of the business? Are they just aiming for my wallet or is there more to it?
Your ‘why’ should be visible in every layer of your business. From website to customer service, be who you say you are.
#2. Internet Branding – Invest in branding knowledge [Resources]
Building a brand is difficult but very rewarding. The amount of money that a strong brand can earn for its business is unlimited. This article gives you a strong basis from which you can start building your brand. However, if you want a guideline that you can follow to build your brand from scratch, I suggest you buy the book: The Brand Gap. It’s the best book about how to do branding.
Most books about branding either talk about the physical display of a brand or the psychology behind it. They state it in such a matter that it seems they are opposites. This is very wrong. A strong brand needs both to reach its full potential.
The Brand Gap is written by Marty Neumeier. It’s the world’s most read-book about the branding of all time. It is a gem. Neumeier brings the two worlds of physical and psychological branding together to create the so-called: " charismatic brand." A brand that is essential to the lives of people.
Read this book and start implementing the different aspects which Neumeier introduces to you. It's an easy-to-follow guide from which you can benefit greatly if you follow the steps and do the work.
#3. Internet Branding: Build with the right tools [Tool recommendations]
Nowadays, the best place to start branding is online. You can reach your existing audience along with potential customers. The amount of internet users (potential customers) is growing substantially every year mainly because of the utilization of smartphones. This makes internet branding highly valuable to your business.
In step 3 I will show you which steps to take to build your brand online. We will walk thoroughly through the following essential pillars of building your brand online:
- Building a brand focused website
- How to use your ‘about me’ to convert people to customers or even fans
- The best tool to send brand messages
- and how to beat your competitor’s strategy
As a Digital Marketing Agency, we know that your website is the most important place for you to display your brand. As we talked about before, the reach of the internet is unmatchable. The opportunities are only getting bigger for the people who take action.
3 reasons why your website is key:
- Online usage has never been higher. The COVID -19 pandemic changed the way we use the internet. We are using it more than ever before because we had to. This change in psychology will stay even after COVID -19. The opportunity is there
- You own your website in contrast to social media. For instance, you have 800 followers on your Instagram business page. Those followers are actually not ‘your’ followers. They are Instagram’s followers which you borrow. If Instagram changes regulations you could potentially lose your entire branding strategy on their platform. Never depend on borrowed followers or customers
- Your website has the power to convert people to customers and even fans/ambassadors. The about me page is used very poorly. Only recently businesses are starting to use it to create ambassadors. And it’s actually quite logical if you think about it. The about me page is the most personal page of your website. Here lies the opportunity to touch the emotions of your audience
Bluehost – the place to host your internet branding
If you don't have a website or are not satisfied with your current one, don't worry. It's very easy to get started and you don't have to be all techy whatsoever. At Mark'd Agency we use WordPress for creating the websites of our clients. Our website is also a WordPress website. Why do we prefer WordPress? It’s not only free but also open source. Meaning that WordPress doesn’t have an owner. software developers are allowed to make plugins and themes (in the next subject you will get to know our secret sauce) to use through WordPress. This makes it highly customizable and the possibilities unlimited.
The number 1 recommended WordPress hosting provider
Bluehost is the most recommended WordPress hosting Provider since 2005. With Bluehost, you can install WordPress automatically and within a few minutes, your website is ready to be used. No heavy tech lifting is involved. Just click and install.
There are 2 types of hosting you can choose from:
- Shared Webhosting in which you share the resources of a server with multiple websites. The costs are much lower as a result. For most starters and small companies, this is the best choice. Especially when you mainly focus on spreading information.
- Managed WordPress Hosting: you have the server and its resources for yourself. The website loads faster and it comes with SEO, Email marketing, and social media tools. If you need more firepower (for instance, you have a webshop) this might be better for you.
Tip: you can start with Shared Webhosting and upgrade it to Managed Webhosting when your website needs to increase its capacity.
When choosing between the 3 different plans of Shared Webhosting, we recommend the Plus package. The Plus comes with unmetered SSD storage so you don’t have to worry about your storage. Furthermore, you can build multiple websites on it instead of just one. You should never limit yourself to just one because you can't make use of different domains in that case. The Choice Plus package comes with CodeGuard Basic Backup. Backups are important but there are free plugins you could choose over CodeGuard if you want to keep a bit more money in your pocket.
All packages come with a free domain for 1 year and a free SSL certificate for your website
When you have bought your plan it’s time to install WordPress on your site. To do this:
- Log in to your Bluehost account
- Click on hosting and afterward on website
- Click install
This will take a few minutes before WordPress is downloaded on installed. You will receive a popup when it’s done. Now there is one last step to take:
- Select my installs from the top right
- Look for your domain and click login
- And there you go, your website is born. Congratulations on taking this important step.
ThriveThemes – All-in-one internet branding theme
We will speak about two ways of how you can design your website. Either through the free template from WordPress called: twenty-twenty. Or the fast way which is Thrive Themes. Thrive Architect is the genius page builder tool from Thrive Themes. It makes it very easy to create a beautiful website.
But that's not the most important factor. Most website builders or themes are designed for people with an ICT background without a feeling for marketing. So technically the websites are perfect, however, they can't convert visitors into doing anything. Thrive does this differently. The focus in their software lays in conversion. Meaning: turning visitors into paying customers, clients, or fans.
One of the founders of Thrive Themes is Shane Melaugh, who build multiple 7-figure businesses. This guy knows how marketing and conversion works! He is not some techy guy without any entrepreneurial spirit. Shane has been building multiple businesses for over 10 years now. Why is this important? Because Thrive Themes doesn’t only deliver you software. They have Thrive University. In which Shane teaches you exactly what to do to build a successful online business. And wouldn’t you want to learn from a serial entrepreneur like Shane?
Internet branding with Thrive
Internet branding is made quite simple with Thrive Architect. You can select your brand colors and it will structure it through your entire website. Furthermore, there are multiple features in which you can deliver your brand message to your audience. Whether that is Opt-in, Landing pages, or the About me, Shane and the others of Thrive show you exactly how to build your brand online. With Architect you can easily add on-page videos, audio files, or a combination of the two on your page.
Why the About me is your most important page
The about me page has always been the unpopular kid of the school. Marketers and entrepreneurs used to just fill it in as some sort of gap filling. You talk a bit about your mission, vision, and you're done. Well, that is changing BIG TIME! The Digital Marketing Agencies, including us, are focusing more and more on the about me page. Why? Because it has never been more important to customers to know who they deal with than it's now. Think about it. The pandemic makes us do a lot of business online. We don't have the chance to meet people, so where do we look them up? Exactly, the about me page.
Back in the day, the rule was to keep the about me page as simple as possible. Nowadays the rule is to make it as complete, vulnerable, and personal as possible. The about me page has become the core of your internet branding. It’s the place where you show your audience who you are and who you want to be.
If you want a step-by-step walkthrough on how to do this: Thrive University's About Me Formula; is a great guide. When you take a Thrive membership you get access to all the premium courses.
Verdict on Thrive Themes
Mark’d Agency’s website works on Thrive Themes and we couldn’t be happier with them. The software is focused on conversion which is the best way to build your brand online The value in Thrive Themes lays within its complete toolbox. You get a Theme builder, page builder, Lead tool, A/B testing, and a lot more. Furthermore, there is a lot of value given away in the form of courses. As a Thrive member, you have access to all these courses. Lastly, we wanted to customize a few things on our website. We asked the Thrive support for help and they always responded fast and very professional.
To conclude. With Thrive you get conversion based software, education, and support. The price of $19 is therefore very reasonable in our opinion. You get a lot of value divided over software, education, and support. If you are willing to invest in your website, Thrive can help you make big steps.
Create a simple logo with Fiverr
If you don’t have a logo yet and you don’t want to spend a lot of money on it, this is what you can do:
Make a logo yourself with the help of Canva. A free design tool with many templates you can use and alter as you like
Let a freelancer make you a logo. In this case, I would suggest you would look for a designer on Fiverr
Tip for Fiverr: when you do want to use a freelancer don’t go for the cheapest one. There is a reason they are cheap. When you search for a designer make sure they did multiple projects before yours. Furthermore, take a look at their ratings. Every freelancer receives a rating on Fiverr which is given to them by their customers. To conclude: don't go cheap. Many projects were done before yours. Solid rating of 4 stars minimum.
ActiveCampaign – Marketing automation - Internet branding strategy
Marketing automation is a key element in your internet branding strategy. Marketing automation has made it easy for us to reach your entire audience and get your brand message across in a few clicks. The tool we use for our clients is ActiveCampaign. There are multiple players on this field but none are as good value for money as ActiveCampaign. Hubspot is their biggest competitor and offers a wide arsenal of tools. However, you rarely use all of these tools. Most businesses only use 1/3 of the tools but you pay for all of them. And the pricing of Hubspot is 13 times higher than ActiveCampaign. Yes.. 13 times. The A/B testing feature of ActiveCampaign is also superior to Hubspot’s.
ActiveCampaign is known for its email marketing software which is an easy-to-use and beautiful editor. In a few clicks, you can build a good-looking and effective email marketing campaign.
ActiveCampaign is popular with small business owners and larger enterprises. This is mainly because they have great plans for different stages of business. When you are a startup there is a lite plan for $9. For the big enterprises, you have the enterprise package. And in between, there are many other packages.
ActiveCampaign is known for its email marketing software which is easy to use and beautiful editor. In a few clicks, you can build a good looking and effective email marketing campaign.
ActiveCampaign is popular with small business owners and larger enterprises. This is mainly because they have great plans for different stages of businesses. When you are a startup there is a lite plan for $9. For big enterprises, you have an enterprise package. And in between, there are many other packages.
How to use email marketing for your internet branding strategy?
The key in creating a brand is the frequency in which you broadcast your internet branding image to the world. You can use multiple media to do this. For example, television, radio, local newspapers, blogs, and your website. But most of those are meant for the entire public and are therefore less personal. A great way to bring your branding message across is via email marketing. Email allows you to create a branding message which you can send to everyone, but yet it feels like you are speaking to that specific person. It gives you space to add that personal touch to the messaging.
Below you’ll find a list of different email types you can use with ActiveCampaign. As you can see there are different methods to use. The wisest move is to combine these to reach different layers of your audience.
So let’s talk about the price. ActiveCampaign has different plans for different stages of business. From small startups to full-size enterprises. The beauty of ActiveCampaign is the level of education and mentoring they provide. When you become a customer at ActiveCampaign they will allow you to learn from free exclusive webinars and courses.
Furthermore, with the professional package, you get 3 One-on-One training sessions each month. In these sessions, you can work on specific marketing and internet branding goals. The coach you get is highly educated in the latest online marketing automation trends. ActiveCampaign is an innovator and industry leader in marketing automation. Wouldn't you love to learn what they know?
Conclusion: ActiveCampaign is a partner we are proud of having. They provide high value for money which is something we are always looking for. We want the best for our clients and the software of ActiveCampaign gives them exactly that. Excellence and value for money. The price is fair when you break down all the possibilities with the tools and support from ActiveCampaign.
#4. Internet Branding - Know what your competitor is doing!
Your main focus should always be on yourself. Are you making sure your internet branding is working? Does your audience recognize the brand image you want them to see? But that doesn’t mean you should ignore your competition and their branding strategy. They could very well be attacking your brand position.
“ When everybody is planting apples a visionary plants oranges."
In the last step, we are taking a look at competitor analysis. What is your competition trying to establish with their branding? And does it interfere with your internet branding? If so, by adapting you can strengthen your brand and defeat your competition. As in everything: knowledge is power.
KWfinder – Internet branding through SEO
KWfinder is a keyword research tool. When you enter keywords (popular search terms by which you are shown on Google) that are related to your business you will get a list with results. When you click on them you will see in the right corner which businesses are the top authority online.
For instance, if you have an e-bike shop you can enter the keyword: e-bike. When you click on the results you will get a breakdown of the keyword:
- How many people search for this keyword each month
- How difficult it is to get results via advertising
- What the organic difficulty is
In the picture below you can see the dashboard of KWfinder. It’s a very beautiful and clean looking dashboard. It is easy to find the key statistics and it doesn’t require you to be an expert. Furthermore, the difficulty measurement system of KWfinder is far superior to all the free keyword research tools available. As the saying goes: you get what you pay for.
Content marketing to improve your internet branding
KWfinder gives you insight into the search results of internet users. This means that you now know what your audience is looking for. But what if your authority is not sufficient enough to put you within the top 3 of Google? It’s time to start creating content.
Content marketing: is a strategic marketing model in which you focus on creating and distributing high-value content frequently. For example blogs, videos, and social media. It's a very powerful way to add authority to your brand name. People will appreciate a brand more when it adds value to their life frequently. Especially when some part of that value is free. It creates a genuine feeling of a business that cares.
Use content marketing to get more customers
Adding a blog to your website will increase your authority with Google. Therefore you will be easier found when people search on keywords related to you. Does this mean you can start writing random pieces of content? No, most certainly not. You can use KWfinder to search for keywords that are relative to your business. KWfinder will show you how difficult it is to get a higher position within Google. If you just started with a blog for your business you should be careful with keyword difficulties above 40 (this goes only for KWfinder. Every tool has a different measurement system). You will not have the page authority to rank high when you write about these keywords. Try to start ‘sniping’ the keywords which are labeled as easy. When your authority increases you can start going after the bigger fish.
KWfinder is the ideal tool for every business owner who:
- Wants to start internet branding through content marketing
- Owns a startup, small business, or is a freelancer
- Doesn’t want to spend money on expensive tools like Ahrefs
The pricing of SEO tools, in general, is relatively high but they can also make you a lot of money. When you start to score high in Google this could potentially earn you 10.000- 1.000.000 readers per month. Dependently on if you do the work and post frequently on the right keywords.
SEMrush: the all-seeing SEO and competitor analysis tool
If your business is mainly based online you should take a look at SEMrush. SEMrush specializes in Search Engine Marketing. In other words: you can be found easier on search engines like Google and Bing. SEMrush is being trusted by over 6 million marketeers.
So what is the difference between SEMrush and KWfinder?
The comparison between SEMrush and KWfinder is not completely fair. SEMrush is a software package with over 40 tools to use for SEO and marketing purposes. KWfinder is pure a keyword research tool. However, there are a few comparisons to be made. For instance, SEMrush has a keyword tool that is a direct competitor to KWfinder. Furthermore, we can look into whether the price for SEMrush is worth it to you.
SEMrush's keyword tool is very strict in measuring the difficulty level of keywords. In my opinion, they are something a bit too pessimistic about your potential to penetrate a keyword market. However, the information is very thorough and complete. It dives deeper into key metrics than KWfinder or other tools. But for the keyword tool only I wouldn't necessarily buy SEMrush. The reason I would buy SEMrush is competitive research. Take a look at the picture below.
SEMrush: Competitive Research
SEMrush doesn't only give you metrics on keywords but also complete markets. With the market explorer you get the following information:
- Learn the trends within the total market
- Reveal the top players in any market
- Benchmark growth dynamics
- Find leads for your business
What else does SEMrush have to offer?
SEMrush: organic research
Want to beat your competition in organic growth? The Organic research tool includes:
- Learn your competitors most successful SEO articles
- Find the domains you compete with for the top position in Google
- Breakdown of their keyword research
SEMrush: brand monitor
Especially for branding... Ta-daaa: the brand monitor. We are pretty fond of it because:
- By using smart mention trackers you can check the online reputation of your competitor
- Evaluate the PR campaigns of your competitors
- To check the authority of competitors
With SEMrush it kind of feels like you are using a super-secretive government weapon. The amount of information which you can obtain is incredible. With this knowledge, you can substantiate your branding strategy with data. Therefore you can be highly precise and effective in conquering the brand position you desire.
In total there are more than 40 tools available to you when you buy SEMrush. We highlighted a few that are good for online branding. That doesn’t mean the others aren’t great but just a bit less relevant to our branding guide.
Now it is time to face the big bad wolf... The pricing. At first, the price might shock you a bit if you compare it to KWfinder. But important to take into account is that SEMrush is a total package of more than 40 tools.
Admittedly, the price overwhelmed me too when I first read about SEMrush. It was only when I started to use the free trial when my opinion started to shift. When you break the pricing down by looking at all the features it offers, then the pricing is very acceptable. You get a complete SEO and competitor analysis software package which is by far superior to any other. Therefore SEMrush was worth the buy for me.
SEMrush shouldn't be your priority when your online presence is secondary. A baker who focuses mainly on the physical store doesn't need SEMrush. However, when this baker wants to start penetrating the online baking space SEMrush could be a very effective weapon.
When you truly want to conquer the online space in your niche, then you should consider buying SEMrush. It’s by far the most complete and powerful SEM software package in the world. The price looks expensive at first. But when you start using the 40+ tools yourself it gives you another perspective. SEMrush covers so many areas of market intelligence that it justifies the pricing.
SEMrush comes with a free trial of 7 days in which you can test all the powerful tools it has to offer. When you decide to purchase a subscription you can easily up/downgrade it at any moment. Lastly, SEMrush has a 7-day money-back guarantee. They believe in their product to truly help businesses forward.
Internet branding strategies – Conclusion
Having the right internet branding strategies in place is no easy task. However, you'll benefit from it for years when you set it upright. Internet branding always starts with you. What makes you special? Your drive makes you different from the competition. Secondly, it’s wise to invest in your knowledge about branding through books and courses. Branding is one of the most valuable skills an entrepreneur can learn. Lastly, get your internet branding going with the right tools. Educate yourself by reading reviews and look at resource pages. Start with the more affordable tools and scale up as you grow.
Internet branding FAQ
In this FAQ we are going to answer the most common questions about internet branding and branding strategies. It’s your fundament for a profitable business. If your question isn’t included, please leave me a message down below!
Internet branding is all the activities one performs on the internet to create brand awareness, brand value, or recognition. For example, email marketing or content marketing.
Internet marketing started in 2001 when the first online marketing software began to introduce itself to our world.
Set straight goals for the coming 5 years. Afterward, what tools do you need to secure these goals? Are you going for a growth strategy with content marketing or looking to boost revenue through email marketing? Lastly, select the internet branding partner that suits your needs.
Branding strategies are planned activities to create awareness around your business. Part of it is promotion but also think about the look & feels of your communication devices like your website or email.
Branding is meant to create awareness around your business, products, and human resources. It adds value to your product or service without changing it on an RD level. It's your ticket to long-term growth and prosperity.
- Build a high-converting website and offer valuable content for free
- Start with building an email list
- Boost your visitor count with social media marketing
- Let the different marketing channels strengthen each other
- Monetize the process with ads and e-products
Social media marketing is a great way to start branding your startup. It’s free to use and only costs time. Additionally, make sure you get your look and feel right at the beginning of your startup. You don’t want to spend money on a big rebranding campaign. Check for color branding, logo interpretation, and analyze your communication with the customer.
Coca-Colas most powerful branding strategy is the ability to include emotions into their ads without directly pointing towards their product. It feels like the Coca-Cola bottle is accidentally there. It creates a deep link in our brain which connects Coca-Cola with the feeling of happiness. It's highly intelligent and very effective.
Apple's branding strategies are based on its ability to create a premium feeling around its products. You don't have a PC, no you have an iMac. The same goes for your mobile phone. If you own an Apple phone, you're probably calling it an iPhone. People want to be part of Apple because it's premium and high-tech.