Successful Brand Marketing Strategies For Online Marketers

What are brand marketing strategies and how can utilizing brand marketing strategies help an online business? Just like a bricks and mortar business, an online business also needs to suggest a positive image to the customer. In spite of what many people believe, branding is much more than creating a company logo and using a specific color scheme. Brand marketing strategies should also include the purpose, focus and image of the business. Let’s discuss some of the benefits with regards to brand marketing strategies.

Benefits of Branding:

  • Having your own brand helps people to remember your company as opposed to companies using a common name. Brand marketing strategies are about helping the target market to distinguish your company focus and purpose. Consumers are more likely to turn to your business when they are aware of what you do and what you’re all about.
  • Brand marketing strategies also will help you to become well recognized. People who may not yet have done business with you should still be able to recognize who you are and what you do. If they see your advertisements on the internet, receive your newsletter, receive regular mailings from your company by email, etc. then you’ve established a brand identity. When the tine arrives that they require your product or service then your company will be the first that they think of.
  • Using brand marketing strategies will help get and retain customer loyalties. It is a fact that people bond closely with brand identities. The astute consumer wants a quality product or service from a company they know they can trust. In delivering great brand identity people tend to remember you and your company. Quite frequently they’ll refer family, friends and associates to you based on their level of satisfaction.
  • Buyers will pay for image, it’s that simple. Society is very “brand aware.” Commonly people associate certain brand names with superiority and only choose to purchase certain brands for that reason. Brand marketing strategies can reward a business well when done wisely. When a consumer only wants one certain brand of a product or service, they are willing to pay any price to get it. Establishing a great brand using brand marketing strategies will give your company a superior brand image and make the consumer forget about the competition.

Brand Marketing Strategies Initial Steps Of Branding Yourself

It’s worth repeating that branding is much more than a logo and color scheme or a catchy motto. When using brand marketing strategies there are some initial steps that should to be followed to create a successful brand image.

Step 1: Brand Marketing Strategies Focus On the Competition

A key factor in creating a successful brand image for the network marketer is to set yourself apart from the competition. It’s imperitive to find how the consumer sees the competition and to recognize how the competitor sets themselves apart from others. Identifying the competitors weaknesses and strengths is also important. When the competition’s weaknesses are learned it’s much easier to learn from their weaknesses and can be an asset in helping to portray your business in a more positive manner.

Step 2: Brand Marketing Strategies Recognize Your Strengths

Once the competition’s weaknesses are known the focus should move to defining your own company’s strengths. Running a target market analysis can be most advantageous when what is learned from it is used. The usefulness of this tool will be realized by confirming that your company strengths are actually important to your target market. In knowing your company strengths and what strengths are important to your customers, you now have the ability to market these successfully to the public involving them in your branding campaign. Branding marketing strategies have to be implemented properly to work.

Step 3: Brand Marketing Strategies Be familiar with Your Customer

Getting familiar with the consumer is another key branding marketing strategy not to be ignored. Find out about their buying behaviors, how frequently do they buy? Are their purchases a select few or a wider array of services and products. Asking these types of questions can help to better market to the consumer. Also finding out your target customer’s needs, standard of living, attitudes and mindsets. In discovering and working with these personality qualities another key to marketing success has been found.

Step 4: Brand Marketing Strategies Be Your Brand

Be your brand, live your brand by making certain that your company truly expresses the brand identity you’ve established. In other words if you’ve established quick response time to customer inquires as one of your brand marketing strategies, then you must give response time to your customers. Every member of the company should live your brand and be your brand for your brand marketing strategies to be useful.

How to Make Sales With Branding

After the brand marketing strategies are in place then what? When thinking of the McDonald’s brand what comes to mind? Do the golden arches come to mind or Ronald McDonald? Similarly it is important to choose a niche online and brand our business accordingly. Get recognized for doing well in I area before moving on to another. Here’re some of the things needed to sell online with branding after the brand marketing strategies have been implemented.

1) Your own company website. This shows that you’re in fact a serious entrepreneur. Nothing screams amateur more than somebody showing a replicated affiliate web page. Your own domain hosted website is a wise brand marketing strategy.

2) An auto responder service and opt in form are two “must haves” in brand marketing strategies. Very likely your site’s visitors won’t purchase or join on the first visit. So when they leave your site you may lose them for good unless you capture their name in an opt in form. In doing this you are able to follow up with a series of emails messages. The follow up email messages help to reinforce your brand name in your target consumers’ minds. Remembering to keep the follow up at a respectful level of persistence can win sales.

All serious entrepreneurs must have an auto responder service. In adding to this brand marketing strategy you can increase your chances of capturing visitor names by offering a free gift like a report or eBook.

3) A profile picture of yourself and online signature adds not only a personal touch to your brand marketing strategies but lets your readers see that you are a real person.

4) Sound, if your speaking voice is pleasant then put a voice recording together with your profile picture and signature to help humanize your company website and establish a relationship with your audience. This is a great brand marketing strategy that works well for many marketers.

5) Start a business blog. Your blog can be an add on to your primary domain or if you’re working on a tight budget you can use a free blog service at least until you start to realize some profits. Every brand marketing strategy discussed here can be used into a free blog. The blog should be updated often with fresh, unique content that is relevant to your niche. The message of the blog should remain a consistent one, so off topic content should not be added. The goal is to keep the theme and message consistent. Readers of your blog can be kept updated about your blog’s content by using RSS feeds.

6) A final brand marketing strategy that will be very important to the online marketer is a domain name. A domain name can be registered and forwarded to point to your blog if you don’t use an add on to your primary website domain. Showing your audience that you’ve registered your own domain will show them that you are serious about your business.

Brand marketing strategies should be an integral part of all online business as people do want to do business with people that they know, like and trust.

Insurance Agency Web Marketing Plans

As insurance agencies create their marketing plans for the upcoming year, many will focus on insurance agency web marketing as a key marketing driver to generate insurance agency leads. Web marketing is not merely a trend; it is a new way of doing business, and one which agencies cannot ignore. The days of agency growth from a purely referral driven perspective are gone, as more and more communication becomes virtual in nature, as networking moves from handshaking to internet surfing, and younger buyers embrace digital communication over face to face meetings.

Yet what does web marketing mean these days? According to Wikipedia, web marketing “refers to the placement of media along many different stages of the customer engagement cycle through search engine marketing (SEM), search engine optimization (SEO), banner ads on specific websites, e-mail marketing, and Web 2.0 strategies.” This serves as a reasonable definition for our discussion, as we answer important questions relating to insurance agency web marketing: Let’s begin by identifying the key components of an insurance agency web marketing plan:

  • Agency Web Seminar Marketing
  • Blogging and Vlogging
  • Insurance Agency Website Design
  • Insurance eMarketing Campaigns
  • Insurance Search Engine Marketing (SEM)
  • Insurance SEO (Insurance Agency Search Engine Optimization)
  • Pay Per Click (Google PPC, LinkedIn PPC, etc.)
  • Social Media Marketing (Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube, StumbleUpon)
  • Insurance Agency Telemarketing (augments web marketing)

Arguably, insurance agency web marketing always begins with a comprehensive insurance website redesign, unless the agency website was recently completed and is up to date. An insurance agency website must be graphically attractive, it should have current and compelling content, a blog (and vlog if possible), and industry news to mention a few important elements. Video is becoming increasingly more important as it provides a medium for the quick conveyance of information in a compelling and personal manner. Website video can also be leveraged on YouTube to further increase insurance agency internet presence. Vlogs, which are video blogs, can be very helpful to a website. Vlogs can be a talking head video, recorded PowerPoint presentation or even voice over photographs. They integrate the contextual power of a blog with the enhanced impact of a video or PowerPoint.

Content is king on the internet, and insurance agents should take great care in the creation of their website content. A graphically attractive website, short on content, will result in a sub-optimized insurance search engine marketing result, adversely impacting insurance agency SEO efforts and mitigating website stickiness and efficacy. These days, a key aspect of any insurance agency web marketing plan should include an annual review of website content. Further, the content should be of interest to both prospects and clients alike.

Social media marketing incorporates Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube, and StumbleUpon to mention just a few of the major opportunities, allowing agencies to dramatically expand their marketing reach. Social media marketing offers insurance agencies the ability to expand branding, share content, establish subject matter expertise and participate in discussions. There are many aspects of insurance social media marketing to consider. For example, a simple blog entry can be utilized in many ways to expand reach. A blog can be tweeted, reblogged, ePublished, and incorporated in a newsletter or eMarketing campaign. In this case, one blog is reused five times, though there are methods where one blog can be used ten or more times, dramatically expanding internet reach and enhancing cyber presence and insurance SEO. Why is social media marketing a critical component of an overall insurance agency web marketing plan? Social media marketing creates a cyber foundation for an agency to build upon. Ultimately, social media marketing, if used correctly, can become one of the key drivers for insurance agency leads. For the purposes of this article, we’ll add blogging and ePublishing to the social media marketing category since these are tightly interconnected. Blogs which are repurposed as articles can then be shared on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and StumbleUpon, helping insurance agency SEO.

Social media marketing along with insurance agency SEO help with organic search engine rankings. Another option is paid engine ranking placement otherwise known as PPC or Pay Per Click advertising. At the top and side of the organic SERP (search engine results page) are paid PPC ads. When an internet user clicks on one of these, your agency is charged a fee. These fees can range from under a dollar to $15 or more depending upon the competitiveness of the search term. For example, let’s say that your PPC keyword phrase is New York Business Insurance, and when someone types in that keyword phrase your PPC ad appears. Depending upon your budget and keyword phrase bid, you might appear on the top, and when someone clicks on the ad, you are charge a PPC fee, let’s say five dollars. The great thing about this is that the volume, efficacy and conversion ratio are really easy to track. The negative is, of course, that you are constantly paying out ad fees. Thus the difference between organic and PPC, and predicated on your insurance agency web marketing plan, you may have budget for only one or the other, or perhaps for both.

Web seminar and eMarketing campaigns represent a compelling outbound approach for agents. Agency webinars offer the ability to communicate on a high level with B2B prospects. eMarketing campaigns that offer educational content are much better received than insurance product offers or pitches. A long term approach to agency web seminar marketing can yield significant dividends, though it is important to note that eMarketing and web seminar programs can often take up to 6 months to establish a following.

Lastly, where and how does telemarketing fit in, after all, it is not technically a web marketing solution. Telemarketing, or in this case perhaps appointment setting is a better description, can be an important component of an overall web marketing plan. After all, these web marketing leads need to be followed up upon. If producers are busy with renewals, or if they only have time for warm prospects, the outsourcing an appointment setter can be very helpful to an agency’s overall pipeline building effort. For example, when doing an eMarketing campaign, all prospects who click through to an agency website and all webinar registrants should be called directly after the web seminar to ensure that the agency has taken advantage of their web marketing efforts. If producers don’t have the time to call, the calls should be done with a qualified appointment setter. After all, the primary purpose of any web marketing plan is to drive qualified leads into the pipeline.

Discover Your Web Market From the Inside Out

For you to see web marketing in a different light I first need to introduce a new picture of the web, and then a different understanding of web marketing can emerge. Following that introduction this article can then talk about what is important about social media, along with beliefs and values, as they pertain to search engines and web marketing.

In the mid 90’s a lot of media pundits were trying to say what the Internet, and more specifically the web, was all about – but no one really knew. Some compared it to television and some compared it to newspapers and others said it was most like the telephone because it behaved like a one-to- one communication media.

It looked like television because of the screen similarity, and it looked like newspapers because of the text content, and it acted like a phone conversation in how it behaved as a one-to- one communication media.

All of these different metaphors missed the primary difference that the web brought into being and that was the search engine. Without a search engine the web would be as useless as a library without index cards. It would be a tangled mess of invisible and unsorted web sites, and the great pool of information would largely be invisible.

Search engines ground the web into a usable reality through the written word when a search is conducted, and then search engines became the eyes of web users for finding their way around in the depths and darkness of billions of web pages.

Search engines give us social media

In the same way that you and I search for information others search for other people and find their groups to belong to. Just as the search engines make finding specific information a reality they also make it possible for groups to form and for people to find the group they have affinity with.

How do people find their groups? How do they search? And why do we need to know how this works in order to develop a web marketing strategy?

Deep Pockets

If your business has deep pockets then you can use contemporary marketing research methods by conducting expensive testing with market research firms. But what if you don’t have deep pockets? And what if your market is anonymous like the web market is? What options do you have?

As you are probably aware, a web market does not provide you with demographic data to help you target a market. Until a visitor to your web site has decided to contact you they remain anonymous and you do not know a thing about them in terms of marketing information. How could you even conduct a proper test if you do not have any boundaries to work within?

Your web market is an intangible, yet very real market. Your web site is simply on a fishing expedition with your keyword signals that you are using for bait. What does your market feed on and what should your keywords be?

Who is your market and where are they?

Are you going to throw your line into the big pond with all your competition and fish with popular keywords for bait? You have to wonder if your market is really in the big pond, especially if you are looking for a niche market. How can you possibly find your market without very deep pockets? And what if you are fishing in the wrong pond with the wrong bait?

I suppose, with enough time and experience, you will find out which pond to fish in and what keywords your market feeds on, but this could take years of gathering information and hours of analysis. And even then you may still be guessing.

Turn the focus inward

So far I have asked external questions and the answers you would get back are not the answers you want to hear. What keywords to use? Where to find your market? Who are they and where are they? The answers are all the same… more testing and keyword research.

What if you turned the questions inward instead? What if you asked questions you already have the answers for? Suppose you asked yourself what you value the most about your business? What is your attitude toward your market? What gives you the greatest sense of reward in running your business?

Answer those questions and you’ve got the beginnings of a marketing strategy to send signals to your market – and let them find you.

On the web, this makes finding your market easier than by using demographics because the search engines do the work for you. For those that have difficulty leaving factual data behind they could use demographic keywords and try to signal income levels, for example, but your business values will cover more ground and work better.

Why do values work on the web?

On the web people find their groups. News Groups were one of the first social networks long before they were called social networks, and people found their groups by the values they shared. The same is true for Facebook, MySpace and YouTube. Add to this list other web connections like blogs and article sources and you see that the web is a unique media for sharing values.

If you prefer to market yourself in true fashion to who you are then you would need to look on the inside of who you are and the values you hold. This sounds easier than it is, and yet it is all about integrity in marketing. In either method you need to play with psychological values, or you need to hire a marketing shrink to sort it out for you.

You can see why most web marketers are sticking to the demographic style of marketing because it feels more tangible even though the web as a medium is anything but tangible.

We’ve discussed briefly why demographic marketing has difficulty dealing with anonymous web users, and why looking inward can provide a marketing strategy to target anonymous market segments.