I want to share with you a case study which is a good example of using branding techniques for a small niche website. It’s not only big brands that can use and benefit from these techniques; in my opinion all websites need good brand awareness if they are to succeed.
I was approached by the owner of specialist spy software company called Acisni.com. The site is a learning resource dedicated to different types of spy software with a special emphasis on cellphones. It’s not as shady as it sounds – they focus on legal uses of software for child monitoring and employee monitoring. They do in depth guides and reviews – like this one of mSpy – the best selling spy spp right now. Definitely a very specific, targeted market.
The owner is called Susan Kennedy and she wanted advice about increasing the brand awareness on the website. He was looking to find ways to increase the website’s exposure and possibly gain some traction in social media.
The first good point I noticed was the domain name – it wasn’t some keyword stuffed name commonly used by web marketers. The Spy Software Guide is a decent sounding branded domain name.
Another plus point, was the fact that he was targeting legal uses for the software with an emphasis on monitoring rather than spying – a subtle difference, but an important one in terms of branding and any social aspects of the site. No one wants to share and tell friends about some illegal website!
The website had no social presence at all so my first step was to set up all the usual social profiles:
Google plus – we built out a good solid profile and connected the website to the profile and set up Google authorship. This is a crucial step for any young website and one which has become virtually essential in my opinion.
You can use the Google rich snippets testing tool to check that the authorship is working correctly.
Facebook – another essential sharing platform for every website regardless of size. Here we used his personal account to set up a custom business page. Installed a few nice photographs and a custom background just to create a professional look.
Twitter – not my favorite platform but it is so easy to set up that I usually include it. Again using the same custom graphics and background images for a professional look – keeping the brand consistent.
Pinterest – the website already had some great images so Pinterest was a logical addition. I figure we will be able to get some good sharing with the custom graphics and targeting worried parents should give us some traction. This platform can be a great source of traffic in certain niches.
YouTube – he already had a few simple video intros hosted on his own website but no YouTube account. We set up a dedicated YouTube page and moved his videos to it. Always good to have another strong web property linked to your website.
The next step was to link all of the accounts together and to link everything back to the website. From an SEO standpoint this has the added benefit of strengthening the backlink profile. The main purpose of all this however, is to spread the word of this website across the different platforms and gain that branded, social presence.
Getting some plus ones on Google, some likes on Facebook and views on You Tube all add some social validation to the website – helping to make it look like a real brand.
All of this work cost very little money and took just a little time and organization – something every website could and should do to improve their appearance and widen their brand.