“Why is digital marketing important for branding,” you ask? As a business owner, even as you’ve identified your target audience, you’ll soon find that they’re spread out over many different channels online. For this reason, digital marketing helps you and your brand connect with your market, allowing you to reach them in the proper time and in the proper manner.
Being present online is a business need.
While the importance of traditional marketing cannot be contradicted, the exponential growth in the scale of digital marketing must never be ignored. Business owners should capitalize on this fact.
With digital marketing, companies can improve the visibility and reach of their business brand. It does not matter whether you are a small restaurant in Northern California; people from across the globe can learn about the great burgers you offer.
Individual brick and mortar stalls need not worry about making enough buzz because the internet makes sure that you have a global reach. With the right approach, a larger audience will discover your brand.
Many online platforms are free, such as Instagram and Twitter, and businesses must take advantage of that.
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Table of Contents
What is Digital Marketing?
Digital marketing is a phrase commonly heard during present times. As a business owner, you will often hear from other business owners, advertising firms, and marketing solution companies: “Let’s go for digital marketing” or “Digital marketing is our best option.” It is possible that this term is being thrown carelessly, without much thought or understanding of it. But as a business owner in the digital age, it pays to know more about it.
It is possible that this term is being thrown carelessly, without much thought or understanding of it. But as a business owner in the digital age, it pays to know more about it.
Digital marketing originates from the concept of direct marketing. In general, marketing is a process by which companies communicate with their target audience to make a sale or to promote a product.
Before the world went digital, marketing efforts were made through flyers, posters, TV ads, and phone calls. However, as most people shift to personal devices for their needs, it has become essential for marketers to adopt a new strategies.
This shift allowed digital marketing to come to the forefront of marketing and branding.
With digital marketing, companies’ efforts are targeted to land on personal devices for personal consumption. Advertisements and promotions are made to elicit interaction from an identified market.
Prior to this, companies would have billboards printed and posted in freeways and building facades for everyone to see. Now, everything is done surgically. People see ads based on their profiles and preferences.
The Role of Digital Marketing in Building Brands
Branding is not a new concept. It has been around ever since production began. Products come in packaging, bearing certain seals and labels. This is called branding. Essentially, branding was a way for business owners to put their mark on a product, so the product becomes easily recognizable.
But branding has evolved through time; it grew into a rather complicated concept. It suddenly involved the tone of the communication materials, the design aesthetic, the website interface, and much more. It became more than just a stamp and a seal. Branding is now an overarching concept that relates to anything communicated to your audience.
As digital marketing takes the center stage of marketing efforts, it dramatically affects how branding is executed. It is through digital marketing that companies are able to communicate their branding efforts. It is the primary platform for them to showcase their brand.
Whether it is through making viral content, or a curated Instagram feed, digital marketing has become the most important tool for communication.
Why is Having a Brand Important?
Branding is all about positively reinforcing the image of your business to your target market so that they could always remember you and keep you on top of their minds when they need a service that you offer.
Brand equity is a premium value added to a product or service. For this reason, a pair of Ferragamo shoes or a limited edition of Air Jordans sell much better than less known brands. They’re all footwear, but the well-known, positive brand image automatically raises the value.
Building Your Brand
Building your brand from the ground up is no easy feat. It takes years of knowledge and expertise to penetrate the over-saturated information highway -that is, the internet.
Sure, building platforms in social media accounts is easy. You register, then you are done. But the main thrust of the work is putting your little online space in the forefront.
With millions of accounts and business trying to establish their brands online, it is very easy to drown in all of the chaos. Without guidance and assistance, failure is imminent.
It’s not too late for you to take the plunge and drive your business to success! Embrace digital marketing to grow your brand.
The Golden Rule of Business
The root of all brand building efforts was probably best articulated by Bob Burg – All things being equal, people will do business with, and refer business to, those people they know, like, and trust.
To be a successful brand, you want your customers to know you, but you also need to make them like and trust you.
This holds particularly true as the marketplace grows increasingly more crowded and cutthroat. A brand helps a business, a product, or a service better resonate with its intended target market — the stronger the connection, the stronger the brand.
Growing a humble small business venture into a globally recognized brand is an aspiration for many entrepreneurs and managers.
Of course, such a process would take time, effort, and resources. And while many small business owners are aware of this fact, being able to develop a successful brand building strategy, and subsequently carrying it through, is a real challenge.
A good brand image separates you and your business from competitors. Experts believe that having a brand image is more important than having money. Profits come and go, but a substantial brand presence guarantees that your business will survive even the toughest periods when your operations aren’t as profitable as you’d like them to be.
Digital marketing is probably the best and the most cost-efficient way to accomplish this task. With so much competition out there, small businesses are faced with the daunting challenge of having to cut through all the marketing clutter just to establish a connection with the audience.
Digital marketing covers a good number of practices, such as search engine optimization (SEO), PPC advertising, email marketing, and social media management, among others. Each of them plays a role in the marketing mix and helps to build a brand successfully.
Start your brand building efforts by creating a whole bunch of high-quality content that helps reinforce your current brand message.
A good number of search optimized, long-form articles of about 2,000 words featuring lots of great visuals, videos, links to your other pages as well as trusted sources within your chosen topic will greatly benefit your marketing efforts. Content should be well written and express your authority in the niche.
This will help to attract more visitors to your site who will keep coming back for fresh content and updates on your products and industry developments. The best part about content marketing is that you can do it for free. As long as you invest some time into creating content that will provide value to your target audience, you won’t have to spend a dime.
These days, it’s more important to come up with amazing, market-relevant, comprehensive pieces of content once a week or even once a month, than pumping out mediocre content daily.
PPC vs Organic SEO
That said, both pay-per-click (PPC) and organic SEO marketing strategies are important for your brand-building initiatives, but they each have specific uses.
PPC can give you a big boost in terms of brand awareness, online visibility, and a traffic increase short-term. Organic traffic, on the other hand, will pay off in the long run with a steady, sustainable stream of new visitors via search engine optimization.
So it’s acceptable to run some ads if you have to. For example, you might have a special promotion or launching a new product. But don’t forget to create high-quality pieces of content we’ve mentioned in the previous section, as those could help your SEO strategy.
The main objective of social media marketing is to attract and engage potential customers. Identify three to four best platforms where your target audience is likely to hang out. Remember that you don’t have to be present on all social networks, just the ones that matter the most.
Make sure your profiles are complete, with your business information clearly visible. When people take time to drop a comment or review, you need to respond back right away.
Engagement is what fuels social networks, and their algorithms can pick up cues from how your audience responds to what you post. Comments carry the most weight, along with clicking a “play” button or clicking through links.
Find out what are the best times to post on social media, and consider using chatbots to automate some of the basic interactions on your channels.
We’d like you to pay particular attention to video content as a marketing means. It allows you to showcase so much about your brand — your brand image, products, how-to tutorials, and much more.
Use videos to tell your brand’s story and let your customers know what’s your business all about. Come up with content that can help showcase your expertise, and take the opportunity to show how likeable, relatable, and accessible you are through these stories.
Videos synergize very well with other marketing channels, boost online visibility, engagement, search engine rankings, and ultimately, sales. These are all great reasons to use videos on top of your brand-building efforts.
In case you didn’t realize, four out of five consumers believe that demo videos are very helpful, and almost half of all internet users look for videos related to a product before visiting a store.
One of the most overlooked areas that can give your brand a higher impact is improving local SEO.
Around 50% of mobile users conducting a local search visited a nearby store within a day. It is projected that searches for products and services “near me” will only increase with more people using voice search on their mobile devices and smart home assistants.
Sign up for Google My Business to claim your local listing, and fill up your profile as best as you can. Make sure your NAP info (business name, address, and phone numbers) are consistent throughout all your online pages — your website, landing pages, social media channels, as well as online business directories.
Encourage your clients to leave testimonials and reviews about your products and services, and acknowledge these with prompt responses.
Do you remember the last time you received a letter? Whether it was written down or typed out, the words did not feel “cold” because you knew it was written for you.
There’s something about somebody making the time to write to you. It’s a gesture that is quite easy to appreciate and relish even when you don’t feel like chatting with anyone online and having some “quiet” time.
According to Entrepreneur, “the average number of emails sent and received on a daily basis has reached 269 billion.” This number alone shows you the amazing potential of email marketing in improving your brand’s awareness and conversion rates.
How? Email marketing helps you identify the different data sets of your customers, specify your marketing content, and reach out with a personalized message. Your email subject is vital to them clicking on the email and opening it; the content is what will make them read it and, hopefully, click on the links.
Let’s look at the data:
- According to the Digital Marketing Association, 66% of customers make a purchase as a result of an email marketing message
- According to McKinsey, email is “almost 40 times more effective than Facebook and Twitter combined in helping your business acquire new customers”
- According to Email Monday, email marketing yields an average ROI of $38 for every $1 spent
Email marketing is an effective tool in brand-building provided you are consistent, you provide solutions, and the message is customized.
Temper the sales talk and approach it instead like you are sending updates to a friend, telling them you miss them, or telling them about this great deal that you think would help them.
Your care will come through and be felt. And, hopefully, your call to action will be heeded again and again and again.
As you can see, digital marketing covers a good number of practices, each of which has an important role in connecting with your target market. Digital marketing has certainly leveled the playing field, allowing small businesses to advertise and promote products and services, as well as communicate with potential customers, just as larger companies with more substantial marketing budgets do.
However, the average small business owner already has quite a bit on their plate, with enough troubles of day-to-day operations and weekly sales to worry about.
They can’t possibly know all digital marketing hacks, which is why it’s important to focus energy and efforts on some of the key areas.
The Ultimate Goal of Your Digital Marketing and Branding Efforts
When people go to McDonald’s, they know that they’re not just getting a hamburger, but that they’re getting a specific dining experience. When people buy Beats by Dre, they know they’re not just getting a regular set of headphones. The same goes for those who shop at Amazon, book an Uber ride, or stay at Airbnb places.
Branding is all about managing expectations. Companies that are aware of this fact take great efforts to ensure that their brands live up to the expectations of the customers. A brand that keeps its promises and stays true to its claims earns trust.
It is also through digital marketing that companies determine if their branding efforts are translating into actual sales. Remember: the end goal of all these things is to make a sale and establish your presence in the market.
Regardless of how pretty your Instagram page and how many followers you have, it matters less if your audience’s buyer’s journey does not progress at all. Digital marketing allows you to pinpoint the reasons why your branding does not work.
The ability to directly communicate with the audience, which digital marketing enables you to do, lets you discover the pain points that you have. Through direct emails, Facebook comments, Instagram polls, you have greater access to information that you otherwise do not have without digital marketing. After identifying these pain points, you can adjust and re-brand accordingly.
A Final Word About Digital Marketing and Branding
In a world where people are constantly inundated with advertising, promotional offers, and all sorts of sales pitches, branding not only helps to stand out from the crowd but it also allows companies to break through the clutter and get a chance to make a real connection with the customers.
Digital marketing is a blessing for business owners, as it allows them to reach potential customers more effectively. But with an increasingly competitive landscape coupled with the hectic schedule, the struggle to find time to build a brand can be a real challenge.
Thorough knowledge of digital marketing trends is vital in developing a good strategy for building your brand, as the bulk of your clients are already online. Knowing how to best connect with them is crucial for sustainable business success.
The critical components of success include a steady, consistent effort in creating positive brand messages, developing genuinely useful resources to showcase your expertise, and to genuinely connect with your market with real interaction and by delivering on your brand promises.