Whether we like it or not, the Internet has not only become a useful tool for businesses and individuals, but a necessity of daily life. Many people spend more time during their weekdays online than offline (The Brandsmen are guilty of this…) and the Internet is unquestionably the go to place for information about virtually anything. For businesses that utilize the Internet to develop a digital brand this is a great thing, but many companies across a wide range of industries are sill living in the stone age when it comes to facilitating a strong digital presence. The importance of digital branding is at an all time high as our lives become more and more intertwined with computers and the digital world. In this article we will discuss what is digital branding and it’s importance in modern marketing.
What Does Digital Branding Really Mean?
The term ‘Digital Branding‘ can be a bit confusing. Let’s look at how Wikipedia defines it:
Digital branding is a brand management technique that uses a combination of internet branding and digital marketing to develop a brand over a range of digital venues, including internet-based relationships, device-based applications or media content.
While this may not be the simplest definition to digest, it hits on some of the major components that make up this relatively new idea. In its simplest form, digital branding aims to utilize digital assets (website, social channels, etc…) to connect and create an impression on people. Whether it’s customers, strategic partners, or employees, digital branding is the all encompassing feeling you get from a businesses digital profile. Let’s dive a bit deeper into the details of what goes into digital branding.
What Makes Up a Digital Branding Strategy?
Digital branding has been coined the cornerstone of modern marketing, but what really goes into it is often a confusing web of digital activities. Here we will break down some of the most important components of a digital marketing strategy.
The foundation of any digital strategy whether it’s branding, marketing, or simple existing online is a company’s website. We don’t have to preach the importance of a website, because no matter what industry you work in, everyone is already well aware of how important they are for a business. Websites play a crucial role in digital branding as they are more often than not the target to get as many people as possible to learn about your business. For this reason it’s essential that a website embody a company’s brand. Not only should the website look good, function well, and do it’s best to capture leads and new business. A successful website instills a feeling in someone who looks at it and helps them formulate an opinion on the brand.
Social Media Channels
Whether it’s Facebook or Instagram, many businesses know they need social media, but fail to thoughtfully create a strategy on how to use it. It’s a fantastic way to get a digital brand in front of potential customers, if it’s used in an effective way. But it can also be a massive waste of time, money, and resources if it’s not done right. While different industries will always have different uses for social media, if your business is going down the path of creating social media channels, it’s crucial to make sure that they mirror the same brand image and goals of your website.
Businesses should be blogging… If you’ve ever worked with or even had a conversation with a digital marketing company, then odds are you know the importance of content in digital marketing. The problem is, so many businesses (like social media) simply create content because they feel like they should, rather than with an actual plan and strategy in place. Whether it’s writing content for social media promotion or in an attempt to gain readers through SEO in a Google search, your content must always take into consideration the digital goals and brand of your business.
Paid Digital Advertising
From remarketing and pay-per-click ads with Google, to carousel image ads in Facebook, there’s an abundance of opportunity to pay to get in front of your audience. Paid advertising is another crucial element to digital branding and is one of the only ways to guarantee you get in front of your audience. While it comes at a price, it’s one of the quickest ways to get your brand and message in front of the people that you want.
The Importance of Digital Branding
Branding in the digital age is no easy feat. Entrepreneurship is a growing trend across the globe, and whether your branding for breweries or involved in real estate, the competition across nearly ever industry become more fierce by the minute. For this reason, developing an identity and a plan to reach your audience has never been more important than it is today. Where we see so many companies fall down in creating a digital branding strategy is the lack of cohesion between their various digital activities. They might have paid one company to build a website, they’ve got an employee running their social media in-house, a 3rd party doing their SEO, and one of the owner’s cousins doing PPC. There’s so much lost in translation and even if a business tries it’s best to get all the parts to work for a common goal, it’s often very difficult to maintain a centralized brand and marketing strategy.