Business MeetingCompetition for online brands is fierce. And with the way search engine algorithms are shaping up, the rapidly evolving landscape of the worldwide web leans more towards Darwin’s survival of the fittest.

To survive online, webmasters need to build a brand that has long-term appeal and can be trusted. SEO alone will not help you rank well. The digital marketing arena is much broader.

Every marketer will tell you that your brand is one of the most powerful tools your company can have. A brand should be designed to leave a lasting impression – and ideally a favourable one.

So how do you go about building a healthy brand name online?

Social media

Clearly the first target when building a brand name is your audience. Social media networks give you direct and instant access to customers and allow you engage in two-way communication.

Approaching customers in a personal way like this allows you to leave a lasting impression. You should use social media to your advantage and secure customer loyalty.

But social media also enables you to show all your followers what you and your company represent. You can do this through the type of content you publish, but more importantly how you respond to situations.

For example, let’s say one of your followers criticises your customer service. You can either try to defend yourself and attract more criticism, or you can make a public apology, give a reason for the error and offer to make amends.

Engaging customers

Whilst there is a focus of producing content that engages customers, there are other ways to attract attention too. Again, the most powerful tool is through social media sites.

Top brands make themselves visible and with the amount of content and comments being posted on these networks on a daily basis, there are plenty of opportunities for you to make comments.

However, replies should be carefully crafted. Humourous or witty comments always delight and show you have a good sense of humour. Professional advice is always welcomed and positions you as an expert.

Defining your brand

Sharing content help to define your brand. Studies show the content people choose to share do so in order for other people to create an impression about them.

For example, if they want to appear intelligent they may share an interesting article they read in The Scientist or an art review. It may be that they want to state their political views.

The same principle applies to brands and helps you define your brand to prospects and customers. Therefore, don’t be afraid to share material that imitates your brand. Just stay away from politics and anything else controversial and you will be fine.

To define a meaningful brand, demonstrate that you are more than a business that pushes products and services. How can your product help people on a daily basis?

If you show customers you are a company that as a heart and can be trusted, they are more likely to engage with your brand, and with a loyal following of online customers that share your content, your online business stands a far greater chance of survival.