Now is the time to put your digital brand top of mind with a far more engaged audience
With many countries in some form of lockdown and a quieting of our normal ‘physical’ world, the digital world has seen an explosion of online shopping and increased consumption of digital media. As consumers are facing the challenges of working from home full time, they are seeking a connection to the outside world via multiple digital platforms.
Consumers are looking to be inspired and actively seeking out those brands who are providing it.
As a result many businesses have been forced take a step back and assess their online presence as well as the brand story they are communicating through online channels to date. The reality for most companies is that their digital branding is a long way from where it should be; the amazing brand story-telling that has been crafted through traditional media is not reflected so clearly in their online strategy. Unfortunately, digital branding is often ignored or forgotten in digital marketing strategies.
So what is digital branding? Why is it important?
Digital branding is about establishing your brand’s presence in the digital space and sharing your brand’s story through every online touchpoint that your customer interacts with (including your website, SEO, email, display advertising, social media). As with traditional forms of marketing, the same principles apply to digital branding which should create a meaningful connection with your target audience – one that resonates with them.
The primary goal of digital branding is to establish brand recognition in the digital sphere focusing on driving awareness. This provides substance to your digital marketing strategy with the long-term benefits of cultivating customer loyalty. Digital branding is essentially about using your USP to give you a competitive edge and differentiate yourself from your competitors. Digital branding is essential in creating the connection between your customers and your products or services, by making the customer feel as though you are speaking directly to them.
As brand specialists, our team at IM understands the value of branding from every aspect, both developing and optimising brands to achieve the best possible ROI. Here are some simple tips from us to get started on setting up your digital branding:
1. Digital Brand Identity
Developing your brand identity for digital is the foundation to good digital branding. In line with your vision, values and brand personality, you will need to clearly define your brand logo, tone of voice and imagery style for digital use. We recommend that all these details are collated into a digital brand guidelines document. In the digital world two key elements to consider are your logo and website.
Logo: Your logo is the single image that customers first associate with your brand. Nike’s infamous Tick’ or Macdonald’s ‘Golden Arches’ are obvious examples. The key here is deciding on a version of your logo that will be used across all your digital platforms (social media, website, emailers, display advertising) to ensure consistency and easy recognition.
Website: While your logo is the sign for your brand, your website is equivalent to your shop window. The design should be simple, easy to navigate and strongly convey your brand identity through the colour scheme, fonts, imagery and tone of voice.
2. Brand Message
It is important to craft your brand message or brand story for your chosen digital platforms. Your brand message should reflect your brand values and speak to your customers’ needs and aspirations. In order to define your brand message, the following questions are useful:
- What does your business do? What products or services are you providing?
- Why do you do what you do? i.e. What is your business or brand’s purpose?
- What makes your brand unique and differentiates you from your competitors?
3. Social Media
While each social media platform is driven by different types of audiences and content (imagery on Instagram, text for Twitter etc.) there should be brand consistency across them all. This is done by ensuring your brand guidelines are adhered to on each platform and that the same brand story is being told through every channel. Likewise, it is key that your social media content matches your brand identity on all platforms to engage your target audience in a meaningful way.
4. Content Marketing
There are multiple types of digital content available to engage your target customers from photos, videos, emails and blog posts to infographics, e-books and much more. Content marketing targets them at each point of contact they make with your brand, so the brand message you express through each of these formats must be consistent with your brand story and identity. Successful branding relies on consistency.
SEO is an important component of digital branding; it’s a powerful tool that will ensure, when done correctly, that your brand is easily found on search engines. Start with identifying the keywords your target audience is likely to use to find the kind of products and services your business offers and incorporate these into the design of your website. In other words, you need to design your website with SEO in mind.
If you need support with a digital brand audit, or are looking to undertake setting up your digital brand strategy, we’d love to speak to you. Drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com