Rebranding can breathe new life into a business and attract new customers. It can also help keep your company current with trends in the marketplace. In 2008, InterMedia became Mad 4 Marketing, so we are definitely familiar with the hurdles of designing, building and exposing a new brand. We know exactly how tricky it can be to spread the word, establish key messages and ensure client retention. But with today’s digital marketing options, rebranding is made even simpler with the help of a few key strategies.
Cost-Effective, Automated Rebranding
First and foremost, using the Internet to establish rebranding is an incredibly cost-effective way to make many people aware of the change. You’ve already got the real estate to advertise it: your own website. Naturally, you don’t want visitors to arrive at your address one day and see that there’s been a complete overhaul. They’ll probably assume they’re in the wrong place and leave altogether. So in weeks and months prior to your rebranding, be sure to let visitors know what they can expect down the line.
Changing your website address entirely? You can retain some of your presence online by setting up an automatic redirect from your old site to your new site. Or, you can leave the old website up but change the homepage to explain where you’ve moved and why. Letting readers click through manually can make an even more solid impression, while providing necessary information. Remind them to also change their bookmarks and links!
Keywords and Consistent Messaging
Today, many businesses earn referrals and acquire clients directly through their website. Naturally, you don’t want to sacrifice your strong online presence or lose incoming traffic when you change your content or location. The only way to combat this is to have an advance plan for SEO. As a large part of your rebranding efforts, remember to target words and phrases that can be used throughout all advertising efforts and tied back into Pay-Per-Click (PPC). Researching effective keywords may take some trial and error as you watch how traffic lands on your new site’s pages. Then you can adapt your PPC investments accordingly to keep your new website at the top of search engine lists.
However, by evaluating where traffic comes from and how it moves through your old website in the months prior to your new brand’s launch, you should be able to deduct which keywords should be carried over, what should be ditched and which content should be carried over directly to your new page—with a change of names, of course. Careful analytics before and after your rebranding process will help you utilize the strongest possible keywords to grab online traffic and express your new message to all visitors.
Using the Power of Links
Aside from keywords and targeted content, another quick way to loan strength to your new page is to build link connections with influential websites. By having many pages linking to your site, especially heavily populated websites, you’ll not only receive direct references from those locations but this will also cause search engines to rank your website higher by association. Once again, web analytics play a large role in this process. You can track who’s been landing on your page and from where to determine all of the major sites who link to yours. Rebranding is a great excuse to reach out to everyone who used to link to your old website and asking them to update their links–while announcing your rebranding initiative.
Of course, it’s also a good time to make new connections and develop contacts online. Figure out which websites might be interested to hear about your rebranding and provide them with all necessary information to promote you. A great way to encourage promotion is to offer a link exchange with them, so that your website is returning the favor to help strengthen them. You may want to come up with other incentives for this kind of partnership, or directly purchase a link. Powerful websites may take your offer more seriously if you begin by linking to them first as a show of good faith. Linking without reciprocation to relevant websites may make them take notice of your page organically while they’re doing their own analytics follow-up.
The most important piece of advice to remember is to be patient. As with all steps in the rebranding process, gaining a solid footing online through redirects, links and keywords may take time. But by utilizing available web analytics and other resources–including your own contacts and existing website–rebranding your business can be much more efficient and affordable.