For business owners, be it small or medium, it is extremely essential to adapt to changes. It always pays well to stay ahead of the competition and digital branding is one such way by which companies can build their authority in the market.
With the advent of digital mediums, marketing has gone through a considerable transformation. And, branding being an important aspect of marketing has also experienced the transformational phase. Branding is something which every business whether big or small should spend its time and energy on. The process of branding is not easy. It requires lot of planning and a strong strategy. Since there are innumerable platforms, this situation would be quite overwhelming for a new business.
A brand is much more than a logo and a tagline. It is the trust of the customers which turns a name into a brand and that trust is directly proportional to the satisfaction of customers.
Before moving onto the digital branding steps, it is important to understand the basic definition of digital branding.
What is meant by digital branding?
Digital branding is the way of building a brand i.e the positioning and the purpose of a company through digital channels. Digital branding means using digital platforms to communicate the values of a company and building a long lasting relationship with the people.
But what are these digital channels?
Here, digital means internet or online. The well-known online channels are emails, website, social media, and paid ads. But before discussing these, it is essential to understand the importance of digital branding.
Why is digital branding important for your business?
The digital mediums have strongly influenced the purchasing decisions of people. In a survey, it was found that more than 70% of the people do online research of a business/company before taking a decision to visit the physical office or buy a product/service. So if you are not leveraging the digital platforms to build your brand, you are missing out on a large opportunity.
The digital channels are a great medium to connect with your target audience. These channels provide powerful insights and analytics which can help you to understand them better. As a result, you will be able to position your business in a way that resonates with your audience. Moreover, you can directly interact with your audience on digital channels, and address their queries or complaints.
Digital channels provide a wide exposure to all kind of businesses because of large number of users. Having a strong presence on multiple channels has the potential to benefit a business in increasing its sales and creating an important place in the digital market.
Leveraging the digital channels for branding in a right way takes your business far ahead of the competition.
How to do digital branding in a right way?
The process of building a brand is not a one-day thing. It’s a long and a herculean task. Having a well- built strategy is the foremost thing. You cannot afford to waste your time and energy in the wrong direction.
So, a digital branding strategy is something which you should not ignore before starting out on your brand building process.
1. Identify your USP
The first step is to identify your unique selling proposition. You should clearly identify what sets you apart from your competitors. Your company tagline and the site content should reflect your USP. This will have a long lasting impression on the minds of people.
2. Research your target audience
The purpose of branding is to build an authority and a strong relation with the target audience. Spending time, money and energy on wrong kind of people can prove detrimental to your brand.
3. Create your customer avatar
After researching your target audience, it’s the time for creating a detailed ideal customer avatar (buyer persona).
In order to create a customer avatar, you need to figure out the following things (in the context of your business):
a. What are the goals and objectives of your customers?
b. What are their struggles and problems?
c. What kind of solutions are they seeking?
d. What is their buying behavior?
e. What kind of digital channels they use the most?
f. What are their interests?
g. What is their age?
h. What is their location?
i. What is their gender?
j. What is their income?
This is quite a large amount of data. But then how to get answers to these questions if you are just starting out?
This can be done in the following number of ways:
a. Analyze your competitors and find out how their audience is engaging with them. Note their customer reviews and engagement behavior.
b. Join social media communities closely related to your niche. Actively participate in the community discussions and observe how people are interacting with one another. This will give you a good amount of information about their problems, struggles, and doubts. Make use of polls to collect relevant information.
c. Create a free or low-offer digital product like e-book and promote it on communities or using ads, to collect email addresses of your target audience. Once you have their email addresses, it will be easy to conduct a two-way communication with them and asking about their goals, motivations, struggles, etc.
d. Use Google Analytics and social media analytics, if you already have a decent amount of traffic and followers on your website and social media platforms respectively.
One important thing to note is that your business USP should closely align with the kind of solutions your target audience is seeking.
4. Create a catchy Logo
Your company logo should reflect its mission and values. Use different color combinations to make it look more appealing and unique. Logo size should be of appropriate size so that it looks well on all kind of platforms. It shouldn’t be too complicated. Try to keep it simple yet elegant.
5. Create a compelling tagline
Your company tagline should reflect your business’s USP and a promise to your customers.
6. Design a creative website
The experience that your audience has with your website is going to impact their buying decisions. If your website is super user friendly then the people are going to love spending their time on it. A website with excellent user experience & user interface always wins the heart of the people and leaves a long lasting impression on their minds.
Some features of the best kind of websites are:
- They use attractive color combinations.
- They have an easy navigation. Users don’t have to scroll too much to read the desired information.
- The website content aligns with the users’ needs and solutions they seek.
- The websites are fast loading
7. Use the psychology of colors
Using the right kind of colors in your logo and website can have a considerable impact on people’s mind. Every color has a different meaning. Choose the color combination that resonates most with your brand.
8. Create super valuable content
A brand is more than just a logo and a tagline.It is the trust of the customers which turns a name into a brand and that trust is directly proportional to the satisfaction of customers. The best way to achieve customer satisfaction is to provide them with the valuable content. A good brand always aims to solve the problems of the people. The key to creating valuable content is to identify the stage which your ideal customer is in during their buying process.
9. Use Social networking sites
When it comes to connecting with other people then what’s better than social networking websites. These website have huge number of followers which is a great opportunity for a business to expand its reach.
When using social media platforms, follow the below-mentioned steps for optimum performance:
Step #1 Optimize your profiles properly. The profile should be complete in every aspect. A half-filled profile doesn’t look good and has a not so good impression on people who view it.
Step #2 Share valuable content with your followers.
Step #3 Share content on a consistent basis.
Step #4 Ask your followers and customers to review your business.
Step #5 Never ignore any negative reviews, comments. Always, make sure to address them if they are from genuine people. Remove the ones which are fake or which are just meant to ruin your image.
Step #6 Join social media communities and actively participate in the discussions. Social media communities play a very big role in the brand building process. Sharing knowledgeable content with the community members establishes you as a
10. Use emails to communicate with your audience
Emails are a great medium to drive website traffic and to have a two-way communication. As a business, it should be your responsibility to know your target audience well and provide reliable solutions to their problems. You can directly interact with them through emails to retrieve important information and offer relevant solutions. Addressing the queries of people will establish your business as a trustworthy brand.
11. Use search marketing to boost organic reach
If you want to generate traffic to your website without spending a dime then SEO is your best bet. A completely optimized website with good number of backlinks ranks higher on search engines. Higher it ranks, more traffic will it receive and that leads to more brand awareness.
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The digital branding steps discussed above are the best way to build your brand if you don’t want to spend money on branding.