Getting branding right isn’t always easy. In fact, a lot of clients aren’t even sure what branding is. Whether you have questions about digital branding versus digital marketing, or how to build a digital brand, we’ve got the tips you need to get started. And if you need more, well, drop us a line.
What is Branding? And What is Digital Branding?
Branding is the process, both creative and strategic, of creating a presence that your customers relate to. It tells people who you are, what you do, what you represent, and why you are the right business for them. Your brand should relate your brand identity in a clear, easy-to-understand way, that can work across all channels, including social media, websites, and more tangible collateral like brochures and direct mail pieces.
So what is digital branding? It’s everything that branding is but online. This means that if a customer encounters your brand online, your digital branding needs to be top-notch. Your social media presence, your website, your apps, your Youtube channel—if it’s online, it’s all part of your digital brand and it requires a cohesive look, feel and message.
Interested in learning more about digital branding? It happens to be one of our specialties. Check out our digital branding services.
Why Does Digital Branding Matter?
Think about your own online experience. Do you shop just anywhere, or do you look for brands that resonate with you and your own lifestyle? Do you look for brands that seem to care about their customers? Do you look for brands that engage with their customers, in funny ways (we’re looking at you, Wendy’s Social Media Manager) or heartfelt ways (Stop making us cry, Nike “Find Your Greatness” campaign) A great digital brand can be the difference between being making a sale and making a sale and keeping your customers coming back for more. Sales are great, but more sales are better, and digital branding is designed to turn one sale into many through smart creative and messaging.
What is the Difference Between Digital Branding and Digital Marketing?
We get it, you might be thinking: hey, wasn’t that Nike ad more about marketing and advertising than branding? We could see why you might think that, and you’re not entirely wrong. Here’s the difference:
Digital branding is designed to create a customer that’s loyal to you. They know your brand, they talk about your brand, and they engage regularly with your brand.
Digital marketing is designed to bring in customers and make sales.
Look back at that Nike commercial. Did they make new customers and sell sneakers? Most likely, after all, it’s Nike. But did they potentially inspire a whole new group of people, who previously thought Nike was only for athletes, to see themselves as athletes too? Did it clarify Nike’s brand message that they are for every athlete? We’d argue yes, and that’s why we believe it is a phenomenal digital branding piece.
But that’s just it. Digital branding is about a collection of pieces that create a whole. So…
What Does a Digital Branding Toolkit Look Like?
You want to build a digital brand. We don’t mean to brag, but you’ve come to the right place. Not just because of this blog, but because it’s what we do. Here’s a few things you need to think about to create a comprehensive digital branding toolkit:
1. Find and target your audience.
Who do you want to attract to your brand? Who is going to engage with your products and services? Before you start building (or reshaping) your digital brand, you have to know the answer to that. Once you know who your audience is, it’s time to strategize on how you can engage with them.
2. Get a logo.
Logos are where your brand creativity starts. It’s also where customers can catch their first impressions of who you are. You want to be memorable—but for the right reasons, not the wrong ones.
3. Create an effective website.
Whether you have a website you want to give a facelift, or you don’t have any website at all, you’ll want to make sure you have somewhere online that reflects your brand. Your website should have a cohesive look, feel, and message with details that make it stand out from the competition. Also, keep your website smart and sharp: don’t throw a bunch of flare or useless information at your customers or they’ll start to wander away.
4. Optimize for SEO.
The best websites in the world don’t mean anything if no one can find them. That’s where SEO comes in. Optimize your pages for search engines, and ensure that when people type in questions and keywords that relevant to you, you have the content in place to answer them.
Note: We think SEO is one piece of an important content plan you’ll need. You want to get your message across, and that message should have keywords in place that bring people to you through Google and any other search engine.
5. Add social media and email marketing.
Once you have your website figured out, it’s time to bring additional engagement platforms onto the playing field. And you don’t have to be everywhere. If you’re a brand that has beautiful imagery and can tell a story with a photograph, maybe you only really need to be posting regularly on Instagram. If you’re all about quick wit, consider Twitter.
Then, connect everything to email marketing. Your website, your social, your Youtube channel, your blog. All of them can be tools to help you email the right messages and promotions to your customer base.
Once you’ve got these five pillars built, you can start looking into other forms of advertising to get your digital brand out in front of more people. But these? They’re a great place to start whether you’re building an entirely new brand or looking to update your current brand.