Traditional branding is the promise you make to your customers and developing consistent messaging around this promise. This includes product/competitive differentiation – what makes your product stand out vs. your competitors’. Developing a brand identity is also important; this includes development of logos, style guides, and other design elements which are carried through in print materials and digitally. Branding is also carried through in the attitude and communication presented by company employees. You can see that it permeates all aspects of an organization’s identity.
So, how does this translate digitally?
- Messaging: First, you need to make sure you have your messaging straight. What is your product or service differentiator? Every page on your website, every post on your social media profiles, and every paid search or display ad is an opportunity to call out what makes you better than the competition. Ensure that your selling points are powerfully written, demonstrable via customer stories or statistics, and easy for your audience to understand.
- Tone: Second, make sure the tone, including artwork and images, of your website, social properties, and ads appeals to your audience. This carries through to the language used also. If your audience is looking for medication or something that they will be using to fix a problem, for example, it’s important to use language and imagery that conveys trustworthiness.
- Consistent Design: Third, have your design elements nailed down. It’s critical that these are presented consistently across all your digital properties – website, social media, press releases, etc. As your logo or tagline changes, it’s important to update these across all your owned (and paid) channels to present a unified image. People are visual – they will remember your logo and your imagery and associate this with your brand, which is a good thing as long as it’s consistent.
- Discoverability: After doing all the work on the above, make sure your content can be found! Building your website on a solid foundation like Drupal (link to Drupal page), and ensuring that your navigational structure is clear, and optimized with strong content and keywords enables Google and other search engines to easily crawl your site to attract visitors from organic traffic. While you are waiting for your SEO to come up to speed for a new site, or to grow and expand your market share, PPC/Paid Search and Display advertising is an immediate way to get people to find your site. As mentioned above, it’s very important to carry through your tone, messaging, and differentiator in these ads too. Building out all appropriate social profiles is a great way to communicate with current and future customers as well. More and more frequently, people are turning to these for information about a company and customer support. Make sure you are visible for these and that you are putting your best foot forward on a very regular basis.
- Measurement: We always recommend that people use Analytics programs like Google Analytics, Adobe, Facebook/YouTube/Twitter Analytics ,etc. to measure the results of their marketing efforts. In this way, it’s pretty easy to see if there’s a disconnect between your branding, messaging, and your online audience. If there’s a high bounce rate (people leaving your site immediately after landing on it), it’s likely that you may need to tighten up the relationship between your ads and your on-site messaging.
Branding is a key component to a successful digital strategy. You’ve likely already done the work on establishing your product or service’s brand, now make sure it carries through to your online identity. Contact NikaLabs for help.