March 27, 2018
We have all heard the saying, the best things in life take hard work and time. This is no less true for branding. Although the digital world has made the speed in reaching and communicating information easy, branding develops and evolves over years and decades, instead of days or weeks. Building a trusted brand is not about your product or service alone, but also all the pieces in between – social engagement, sales and marketing process, customer support or call centers.
In digital branding, the focus is on managing your brand in digital media solutions and platforms. By strategically employing its capabilities, brands can be built over time to be the top of their industry.
Focus entirely on branding, not conversions
The main shift that happens when teams become brand-focused is creating a singular strong online value proposition. The message needs to be clear, consistent and relevant. Your service or solution should not leave any doubt as to how and what problem it will solve.When you combine your branding message with data, things get a bit blurred. Teams start compromising on the direction of their brand campaigns, focusing on the metrics for conversion instead. For branding to work, the feeling of urgency or quick momentary gains need to be off the table. The world’s most effective brands like Coca Cola or Apple, don’t need to push you to buy anything. They only need to direct a specific association or feeling to their brand, which then translates into something more permanent in the consumer’s mind.
This is mainly why, you will see companies rebranding or looking to bring their back in the game, with a fun twist. Sometimes this is inevitable but most times, if branding campaigns are individually assessed, without the push from conversion numbers, the value will be achieved over the long term.
Create an integrated unified message
Trust is the most important glue that keeps any bond together. Consistency in communication and action are key to form that trust and grow it with time. The same is true for branding as it involves creating loyalty and improving on the service or product offered. Take time to match your brand with your content in tone and subject matter. It’s unlikely to create any type of trust or connection with your audience otherwise.
Great branding depends on your message being consistent with your brand image, every single time. When using digital advertising, social media, and traditional media adopt tactics that work best for each channel with your audience in mind. Using images, videos (webinars and demos) and catchy headlines are always important. Treat all your messaging as part of the customer experience from start to finish, providing confidence by persisting in what you believe your service or product provides.
Start small and steady to sustain your branding efforts over time, publishing new content alongside ads, videos and marketing messages with a carefully planned schedule. As your audience becomes familiar with your brand messaging, increased website traffic and conversions is sure to be seen.
Speak to your audience in their language.
Building your brand voice online can seem like a daunting process. There is a constant flow of ideas, comments and opinions. Consider that every minute there are 448,000 tweets, 66,000 Instagram posts and 317,000 Facebook status updates. This information is easily accessible and a good monitoring process needs to be in place for getting the best value.
Narrow down your audience search by looking at your followers and search through their hashtags or photos of interest. See what conversations are happening in between and use those keywords and phrases when you speak to your audience. Also notice what your other competitors or local services are doing and see how your audience is engaging with them. Find out the words and comments they are using when they comment about them.
Get a pulse of your industry by looking at trending topics on Facebook, Google +, Linkedin and Twitter. These will provide great discussion topics, which can grow into a series of articles. Combining hot industry themes with your audience comments and discussions, will guide your brand voice to be heard and be in on the conversation.
Become the content authority in your industry
Pushing digital content is a long-term endeavour and it will always be driven by your brand image and voice. Leverage the information you collect from your marketing channels and focus on developing unique ways to connect with your audience. This can be in the form of weekly live videos on local updates, webinars with experts, or perspective talks and debates on hot topics and trends.
Your content needs to be unbiased and focused on helping your audience learn new and important facts at no cost. This will be a key way your brand will start to stand out. Create an unified message that reflects each marketing channel and the wants of your audience. Test and try again, because it takes time to get it right. It definitely works, because some of the most popular brands tend to have a lot of engaging and authoritative content under their belt.
Content authority does not mean selling what you do, but using your brand to create and share engaging messages that demonstrates an unique understanding of the challenges faced by your industry. Within your blog message include direct helpful advice with supporting data, that can be easily put into action. For SEO purposes, create content that is current and ripe for the picking by your audience and industry. When it comes to your industry and promoting your content, be aware of all the big and small players and create a solid network. Engage with trusted voices in your industry and send them your content as comments.
Be a constant online observer, listener and learner. These are the major legs your digital brand will stand on. You can’t just copy and paste the same message and information, and expect your audience to engage. Every marketing channel and touch point needs to have its own personal messaging. Once your brand voice is recognized and listened to by your audience, your message will not easily be forgotten.