Internet marketing is all about hard results, not generic concepts
of branding. Still, there are ways to go about branding your product or service
on the net without spending a fortune.
Branding refers to the vague notion of creating an identity for a product, service or name with consumers. The classic example, of course, is Coca Cola. Being first on the scene, the company has been able to create such a strong name brand that most people use the word coke instead of soda when ordering. This is true even when they prefer Pepsi. In the world of marketing, we all bow before the marketing team that accomplished this branding. The Internet, however, is a different beast. That same marketing team would be crushed if they went after a similar strategy on the net.
The Internet is so large that branding is an expensive and
difficult goal unless you are the first major presence in a niche. Sites like EBay
and Amazon were the first major money players in their fields, giving them a
huge advantage over subsequent competitors. Unless you are coming to a field
with a lot of money and no current dominant site, your branding efforts are
going to meet with failure or limited success at best. If you want to stick
with it, the only cost effective and ultimately successful strategy is to
pursue a width search engine optimization campaign.
Search engine optimization is simply an effort to get pages on your site ranked high in search results on the three big search engines Google, Yahoo and MSN. To establish your brand, the best Internet marketing strategy is to identify every single phrase your prospects use to find services or products in your business area. You then build optimized pages for every single phrase and get them ranked.
This strategy has two benefits. First, it will produce free traffic to your site. If you build 200 pages and each gets 50 visitors a day, your site will receive 10,000 visitors a day. The second benefit is your brand becomes established. Regardless of what the prospect searches for, they keep seeing your site. This creates both recognition and credibility with the prospect as they tend to equate high rankings with quality. As they visit your site over and over, they will also become readily familiar with your unique selling position as presented on the site.
If you want to establish a brand, avoid wasting your money on
banners and such unless you are in a niche that isnt dominated by any single
site. Instead, use the width search engine optimization tactic to establish
your site and pick up free traffic.