Brand building in the digital age: a guide
In this day and age, social media and the internet play a prominent role not only in our personal lives but in the business sector as well. Regardless of what industry you operate in, your company needs to have an online presence so that you can stay connected with your customers. These days, there are so many digital channels that you can leverage; it is easy to get carried away and potentially dilute your brand in the process. What you have to do is come up with a strategy for brand building that takes into account the digital landscape, while also keeping in mind the fundamentals of branding.
Fundamentals of digital brand building
Differentiate your brand. What makes your value proposition unique?
- Be authentic : Don’t make promises that your brand can’t live up to.
- Be consistent :Your brand “personality” should be the same regardless of the digital channel.
- Understand your audience : Make sure your marketing strategy is tailored to their needs.
- Engage with your customers : These days, digital marketing is a conversation. Listen to the needs and requests of your customers, and personalise their experiences as much as you can.
- Value over volume : The quality of your digital communication is far more important than how often you post content.
Keeping these fundamentals in mind, here’s what you can do to build a successful brand online.
5 steps to successfully build a digital brand
1. Understand your target audience.
Brand building begins with your target audience. This is your potential customer base. They are the ones you have to convince if you want to sell your products and services. This is where demographics (age, gender, income, education, ethnicity, or even occupation) come into play. Think about the kinds of people who would be interested in your product, and do some research to get more details. One way in which you can do this is by conducting interviews. Having in-depth conversations with people can give you a lot of insight into what your customers really want. It is virtually impossible to get this kind of qualitative data in any other way.
However, the drawback of interviews is that they are expensive to conduct and can only cover a small sample size. This means that the data you collect may not necessarily be representative of your wider target audience. You can conduct surveys to remedy this problem. While it may be harder to get more insightful answers, you will be able to reach more people. As your customer base grows, you can also use past data to predict future trends.
2. Decide the positioning of your brand.
Once you have an understanding of your customer base, you have to focus on your brand itself. Identify what it is that makes your brand special and unique. What can you offer to your target audience that other companies cannot? What impact will your product make on the lives of the people who buy it? And, most importantly, what do you want people to feel when they think of your brand?
Your brand positioning does not have to be based solely on the end product itself. For example, perhaps you want to position yourself as an eco-friendly brand. In this case, your messaging can also include details of how you source your materials, and how your process is good for the environment. The positioning of your brand will inform your brand voice and style.
3. Choose a brand voice.
Now that you know what you want your brand’s personality to be, you have to decide how you are going to talk about it. There is no blanket rule that you can follow – your brand voice will depend largely on the personality of your audience and, of course, your own personality.
A good place to start is by deciding what your tone is going to be. You can choose to take a formal tone, a casual tone, or something in between. This, in turn, will inform the language and words that you choose. if you are marketing to children, for example, you would want to maintain a playful tone and use words that are easy to understand.
Whatever voice you choose, you have to make sure that it feels authentic to both you and your brand. Also, don’t be afraid to change your brand’s voice as you engage with your audience and get to know your customer base better.
4. Craft a consistent style.
Your brand voice takes care of how your brand sounds, but how your brand looks is just as important. Visual elements play a key role in digital brand building. Choose your colours, fonts, and style elements carefully so that they convey the personality of your brand. For example, if the tone you have chosen to go with is “playful”, you could use bright colours and handwritten fonts to indicate that your brand is not “serious”.
You have to maintain consistency not just with your brand’s look and voice, but also across platforms. Your audience should be able to take one look at any of your posts or emails, and know who is talking to them. A good way to make sure you stay consistent is with the use of templates. You can use graphic design software like Adobe Illustrator to ensure that there isn’t any incongruity in your communication.
5. Think multi-device.
These days, anyone who uses the internet on a daily basis most likely owns more than one device. Keep in mind that your audience may be accessing your content from a desktop computer, but also from a tablet or a smartphone. You have to ensure that your content is designed for all of these different screens. For example, you must take into account the fact that an email will look different on a laptop and on a smartphone.
If you need help with your brand building…
Consider outsourcing your work to another company. This will give you enough time to focus on your business itself. We at iTrobes offer our digital marketing services all over the world. We will work closely with you to create a brand voice and style that accurately reflects your vision. Our brand-building team includes experts in SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) and SMM (Social Media Marketing) to ensure that you reach as wide an audience as possible.
Contact us today to start building your online brand!