Let’s face it. It’s getting more and more difficult to stand out from the competition online. Most people spend their days consuming media, whether scrolling their devices, listening to podcasts, checking their email, or watching TV. We are constantly bombarded by retailers and service providers with the same essential messages – “Buy Now!”, “Sign Up for Free” or “Subscribe Today”!
So, how does a company stand out from the competition with so much noise?
First, you must have a presence in the digital channels where your target market spends time. You need a compelling identity that resonates and intrigues your audience. And you must be credible and trustworthy.
You only have a few seconds to grab someone’s attention, so let’s explore how you can create that presence through strong digital branding.
What Is a Digital Brand Strategy?
Branding isn’t just about a cool logo and an attractive color palette. Your digital brand is how your business is perceived online.
Do you come across as professional? Are users experiencing a cohesive message across all channels? Are you speaking to them in a way that resonates? Multiple elements need to come together to create a digital brand strategy that sets you apart from your competitors.
Elements of a digital strategy include:
- Your Brand Identity, which includes the visual elements of your brand & messaging strategy.
- Owned Properties, which include your website, blog, & digital newsletter.
- Shared Properties, which include your social media pages & product or service reviews.
- Earned Media, which is other outlets talking about your brand.
Why Digital Branding Matters
As the internet continuously becomes more prevalent in our lives, our buying behaviors evolve. In the past, you either saw physical signage, asked for a recommendation, or went to the phone book. These days, our go-to is an internet search. It’s so ingrained in us that 5.7 million Google searches are conducted per minute. Studies have also shown that 85% of shoppers conduct research before purchasing online.
So, to connect with your customers, you must have a digital presence. But simply being online isn’t enough.
You need to be where your target market is looking while presenting an identity that resonates and feels trustworthy. All these elements should be addressed as part of your digital brand strategy.
What Makes a Great Digital Brand Strategy?
An effective branding strategy tells your company’s story across multiple platforms in a way that matters to your audience. To develop your brand strategy, you must thoroughly understand your target market. Ask yourself:
- What will resonate with them visually?
- Where do they conduct research?
- What is their problem?
- How do we solve that problem?
- How should we speak to them?
- How do they buy?
With these variables, there is no cookie-cutter strategy for a solid digital brand. However, there are aspects that must always be included. You need to be consistent, be visible, and convey how you can be trusted to solve their problem.
A digital brand strategy must consider your brand identity across each online channel. Research shows that more than half of consumers use three to five channels when making a purchase decision. If they don’t have the same experience across each platform, that negatively impacts their perception, making them far less likely to become customers.
Your brand identity consists of your visuals (logo, color palette, fonts, etc.), messaging, and user experience. Whether they’re on your website, a social channel, or reading Yelp reviews, they should experience consistency.
Of course, that doesn’t mean you’re saying the same thing on every platform. It means you have the cohesive messaging, personality, and tone in everything you put out – whether you’re a one-person shop, have a team producing content, or work with a digital agency (like the expert content creators here at Square 205…hint hint).
Imagine you’re looking for a new salon. The first thing you’re likely to do is an online search. The first results you see are Google’s Business Listings. As you browse, you see a salon with good reviews and a website link. You navigate to their site to learn more about their services. Then you click on their Instagram to see pictures of clients they’ve worked with. You like what you see, so you Google the salon name to see if you can find more reviews or articles about the business.
Contrast that to another result in the same Google Business List that doesn’t have a website. Chances are you’ll skip it entirely and move on to the next salon.
If your company is hard to find, or not effectively telling your story, you can bet that there’s a competitor out there who is. Think through the steps your buyer will likely take before purchasing, and ensure you have a presence in those areas.
And if you need a boost, consider advertising. Search engine marketing is a great way to improve your visibility by using keywords to target people who are specifically searching for what you offer. on a platform where people are specifically searching for what you offer. You can also run advertisements on the social platforms your audience uses, whether that’s Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, or TikTok. Consult with a digital marketing expert to determine the best online advertising fit for your business.
You’ve probably heard the expression, “you can’t believe everything you read on the internet.” Most of us have some degree of skepticism about what we read online, especially when it’s from someone trying to sell us something. But we find more credibility in the words of a third party offering their recommendation. We’re more likely to do something when we have confirmation it’s worked or been enjoyed by others – we want social proof.
Therefore, your digital brand strategy should go beyond being present and consistent on various platforms. You need to have reviews.
There are channels, such as Google and Facebook, where any business can be reviewed, but you should also have a presence on industry-specific channels. If you’re a home service provider, you’ll want to be on Thumbtack, Houzz, or HomeAdvisor. If you’re a local business, such as a restaurant, Yelp is essential. If you are a B2B service provider, there are platforms like UpCity and DesignRush where companies can read customer reviews.
Develop Your Digital Brand Strategy
So, is your company accurately perceived online? If you believe there is an opportunity to improve your identity through branding or a new website, increase your visibility through digital marketing or a revised social media presence, or build more trust with your audience, Square 205 has the knowledge and experience to help you with any or all components of a digital brand strategy.
When you’re ready to take your digital brand to the next level, contact Square 205 so we can help you tell your story to more customers.