Digital branding can be a powerful competitive advantage that enables businesses to grow in size, influence and profitability. In fact, consistent brand presentation across all platforms increases revenue by up to 23%, according to a Lucidpress report.
As the number of companies competing for brand attention rapidly expands, the power of digital branding is more important than ever. As we move toward 2020, it’s a good time to ensure your organization has considered every critical aspect of creating, launching and maintaining a powerful digital brand.
These 20 points provide a comprehensive overview of all of the elements worth considering when assessing your digital brand strategy. Use it as a checklist to ensure you’re hitting all of the critical aspects of digital branding in your marketing strategy.
Define your goals. Define where your business is heading and ensure your brand strategy is aligned to your business strategy. If there are any gaps between how you are seen now and how you want to be seen in the future, plan to bridge them through your digital branding program.
Building and maintaining a solid, memorable brand requires being able to succinctly articulate who you are, what you do and why you do it. When you capture these points in clear, crisp messages, you boost the chance that your brand will resonate with your target audience in multiple formats, including blog posts, guest posts, eBooks, videos and podcasts.
While you want your brand to stand for something distinctive, your messaging needs to speak to your customers’ needs, issues and challenges. Ensure you take this into consideration and demonstrate how your key strengths and differentiators meet your customers’ needs.
Every business needs an influential brand message to maintain an edge over its competition. Sending out a clear and consistent message is the way to get a solid brand message into the minds of your customers. Fine-tune your ideal message by conducting competitor analysis, identifying target audience pain points and seeking inspiration from successful brands.
Building a brand that merely blends in with other companies in your industry is not a powerful strategy. Although it can be scary, take a leap to be truly unique. This step will elevate your chances of launching and sustaining a memorable brand identity. Done right, this will give you the edge you need to stand out in the crowd.
Could a typical potential customer identify your brand at a glance? Would your brand stand out from your competitors if your content was placed side-by-side? Your visual look and feel is a big part of your brand, so make sure it both defines you correctly and provides a distinct look in your market. Your visual branding includes your logo, tagline, color palette, typography, iconography, layout design and imagery.
Along with your visual image, it’s also important that your content voice and tone match your brand image. Brand voice is what you say and brand tone is how you say it. If your messages don’t sound “on brand,” they will limit your ability to make meaningful connections with your target audience.
Great branding relies on your message being consistent with your brand image. Once your brand voice, values, look and feel are established, make sure you apply them consistently across every channel and customer touchpoint — including your website and landing pages, emails, blog posts, eBooks, videos, podcasts and more. The greatest negative impact of inconsistent brand usage is the creation of confusion in the market.
While long content has its place in a branding program, shorter content adds power when wielded with precision. Look for opportunities to say something in four words versus 30 words, for example. Cut a piece of content in half and see if it boosts the power of the message.
Content is a great way to define your brand as one that’s interested in helping and teaching people at no cost. The most well-known brands tend to be the ones with lots of engaging content. The most well-known brands reach hundreds of thousands of readers every month, which increases their presence and reach. Beyond writing great content, aim for authoritative content that readers value and seek out.
Great brands are built from the inside out. They instill pride, belief and culture in your business and team. Steep your staff in your brand by involving key people from different departments across your organization. Also, before telling your prospects and customers, tell all of your employees about your brand messaging. It’s their brand, too.
Too often, companies create great products and services but give short-shrift to customer service. But this is a mistake because positive service experience is vital to a great brand. Look at the whole customer experience and put your brand stamp on every touchpoint. This includes the sales team, customer support, and online support content and tools.
Everybody prefers modified and personalized content. Also, with data now being more mainstream than ever before and innumerable insights available from the huge amount of data, marketers can deliver more personalized and customized content than ever before. Marketing automation supports these technical advantages and makes your digital branding campaigns more powerful.
Several leading-edge technologies are evolving and reaching various levels of success within digital branding programs, including chatbots, artificial intelligence, live video streaming and voice-powered search. Consider which of these innovations can support your digital branding program.
Social media platforms, like Facebook Ads and Twitter Ads, are valuable tools for content promotion. Both allow companies to reach large, highly targeted audiences likely to respond positively to a brand. The key to effective branding through advertising platforms is to find websites that attract a highly relevant, interested audience. If the people viewing your ads are likely to become customers or evangelists for your brand, they’re a fantastic audience for a display campaign.
Influencer marketing is becoming a popular way for companies to expand their brand reputations. Find out where your potential influencers are, make a connection and explore ways they can support your brand — including everything from videos, blog posts and social media mentions.
SEO is a cornerstone of successful digital branding. Some basic guidelines include referencing Google’s webmaster guidelines when designing a website, using proper schema markup to describe web content, and publishing unique, authoritative and engaging content that people love to read and share.
A/B testing is important because it helps you identify your best-performing channels or campaigns. You can then easily understand which messages and campaigns are delivering the maximum ROI and optimize them accordingly.
Unlike conversion campaigns, which have a short period of time from launch to results, effective digital branding campaigns are a long game. As a result, resist the urge to focus on conversion rates and short-term ROI as the barometer of branding’s effectiveness. The world’s most effective branding campaigns don’t push you to buy a certain product or take action — instead, they focus entirely on associating a specific feeling with a certain brand.
From being busy running the business to lacking expertise in specific areas, it’s hard to ensure you can launch and sustain an effective digital branding campaign alone. This is where a brand specialist can help you — from assessment to creation to launch to sustaining. An outside expert will ensure your branding campaign delivers the targeted impact.
Digital branding is an essential component of successful marketing programs in today’s highly competitive industries. These 20 tips will help ensure that you are giving your campaigns every opportunity to achieve your ideal level of branding success — so you can stand out in the business world and make more powerful connections to your target audience.