Where do you start if you want to develop a digital marketing strategy? It’s still a common challenge, despite many businesses knowing how vital digital and mobile channels are today for acquiring and retaining customers. The problem is that they don’t have an integrated plan to support digital transformation and business growth, and thus aren’t able to effectively engage their audiences online.
If your business doesn’t have a strategic digital plan aligned with your business plan, you will lose out to competitors from the same field who are more digitally savvy. It’s time you take to digital branding and a suite of digital solutions, to allow your business to grow in the right direction.
What is digital branding in the first place?
Branding is the creative and strategic process of building your presence, letting people know about your business, and telling them why they should buy your product or engage in your services.
Digital branding is the process of doing exactly that, but in cyberspace a.k.a online. While the process is the same, its execution – or digital branding strategy – is different.
What are the essential elements of digital branding?
We take a look at the different parts that come together to form your digital branding strategy and offer you tips on what you should consider and what to look out for.
Your logo represents your brand and symbolises it. That’s a given and it’s as true as offline. Your brand logo is the key element of your brand identity. So it should appear on all your digital marketing and branding collaterals. Need we say you should make it attractive and instantly recognisable? Just think of the Apple with a bite mark, the Nike swoosh, the golden arch of McDonald’s, or any of your favourite brands.
Unlike conventional marketing channels, your brand story assumes far more significance in your digital branding strategy. This is because you share a much more intimate relationship with your consumer when you engage them through online channels like social media and the likes. Your brand story should therefore be much more humane so that it touches the hearts of your consumers. Share about your beginnings and the journey you’ve experienced, or interesting stories and lessons you have learned along the way.
Your audience needs to know and understand who you are, to connect with you. An interesting story always hides behind the brand, and if you have one, you should shout it out to the world.
Brand Mission and Vision
Here’s something that a business with a clear direction should have, but usually isn’t clearly spelled out at the physical storefront. Your brand’s mission and vision.
There are many digital brands out there, so naturally, users will pick and choose the ones that they like to follow, use and support. That is why it is important for your followers to connect with your purpose.
The purpose of your brand ties together the value you provide with a stronger meaning behind it. It will help drive your brand behind the scenes, but it will also let people know what you stand for.
Your brand’s vision is what you want for the future. It is everything that you are working towards and all the goals you’re trying to achieve. It should be a statement that motivates you to achieve what the business set out to do right at the beginning.
The mission part outlines your purpose, and what your business does. Think of it as a description of what you do, and what the brand stands for.
What you say matters. How you say it is even more important. It’s not enough for your patisserie to make the best croissant in town. You should tell people about it at every opportunity and drive the fact home.
Typically, a brand message should convey what the brand is about, what it represents, and why it matters. Weave it into your brand identity and share it out there.
Your website serves as your online storefront in absence of, or complementing, your brick-and-mortar store. This is one of the most important elements of digital branding. It’s the place where all your online consumers go to get more information about you and your brand, view your products or services, and make inquiries.
Indeed, your website provides more information than any shop window. Which physical storefront today displays information about the founders, the mission, and star ratings?
Any brand advertising company will tell you that your website should be simple, fast-loading, and easy to navigate without detracting from the aesthetics. Your website is the most important part of the digital branding process. Make sure everything works as it should, and check for search engine indexing and ranking (or search engine optimisation) regularly.
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
All your digital branding efforts go to waste if your website does not rank up there among the first few SERP (Search Engine Results Page) results because that’s about all most digital consumers see before clicking on one of them. According to Google, the world’s leading search engine, webpages stand a better chance of featuring on the top SERP if you:
- Link your page to another more easily ‘findable’ page.
- Limit the number of links on your page. (Google recommends a thousand, which should be more than sufficient.)
- Keep your consumers in mind while creating the pages.
- Keep in mind the things that will attract and engage your consumers.
- Stand out from the crowd and provide value.
Just so you know, Google hates broken links, so you should constantly check your website for broken links. You should also check for large media files that take some time to load and optimise for a seamless user experience.
In short, SEO is not just about keyword rankings. It is about optimising the entire experience of your consumer from finding your webpage (or website) right up to inquiry and sale.
Social Media and Communications
From Facebook to Instagram, LinkedIn, Telegram, and WhatsApp, everyone these days is on one or more platforms actively, chatting with friends and sharing experiences. It matters when these experiences are about your business and your brand. It also matters if people are not talking about your products or saying negative things about them. If your brand is on these platforms, you can listen in and turn negative conversations into positive sales by subtly prodding users to discuss certain aspects of your product or service.
Facebook is, of course, the biggest, most versatile, and most intricate platform, and for this reason, it should be your first choice.
Plan your content well, and post regularly, to constantly be seen by the masses who follow your brand.
Just doing everything online organically is unfortunately not enough to get you noticed. If possible, you’ll need to turn to some online advertising to boost your presence, reaching out to your potential audience and clients. Some of these channels include:
- Social Media Ads – advertisements that appear on platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or LinkedIn. It could be specially created, or ‘boosted posts’, which turns normal posts into paid ones, to reach a wider audience.
- Search Engine Marketing – when a user searches for a term that matches your keyword, your advertisement appears alongside the other search results, putting your brand or product at the top of the search page, irrespective of keyword ranking, while also suggesting that your brand is the frontrunner in the field.
- Banners and Display Ads – these appear on websites with whom you have a tie-up for the paid advertisement of your product or service.
Launch your brand digitally and get noticed today
Competition in cyberspace is much keener and more intense, therefore your digital marketing strategy should also be sharper and more focused.
Need some help in crafting your branding and working on your digital marketing efforts? I Concept Singapore may be able to help with that!
We’re an integrated creative agency in Singapore, with vast experience in social media management and digital marketing, working with many of your familiar brands to help with their social media strategies and developing digital solutions to meet their needs.
As a branding agency, we also specialise in helping businesses craft and develop their brand stories and visual identities, helping them to grow. (You can even tap on the Enterprise Development Grant and get up to 50% funding support to raise your brand equity.)
With an understanding of your preferences and your business needs, our team of experienced strategists and designers will guide you to building and launching a digital branding strategy dedicated to your business, helping you reach your target audience. Get in touch with us today!