We see brands all time, sometime in streets, grocery stores, on Facebook newsfeed, Twitter, Instagram and almost everywhere. In this article, we will focus building a brand online for those who know the brand or for those who never heard about the brand, this process of building a brand online is called digital branding.
So, what is Digital Branding? In simple definition, it’s the sum of online customers experience with a brand, this means that digital branding happens every time online user get in touch with a brand on their social media newsfeed, or receive an email, or visit business website or even pick up the phone and call the company.
Every brand should answer this question: show me the reason why should I buy your brand? The answer is because of the value customer will receive after buying that product, this value can be spiritual or physical, so two competitive brands shouldn’t necessary sell with the same price, cause studies proved that customers will pay more for the same product just because they feel better to have the brand over another one, this spiritual feeling comes as a result of the way company’s team deal with customers online and reply to their questions and give solutions and the way they show the value of why to have that brand in a short video or using few strong words.
The secret behind having a strong online brand are three things:
- Consistency: this means that a brand is delivering the same value in every touchpoint a user made with the brand, for example, if a healthcare company post on Facebook, then that post should always carry the value of the brand, in our example healthcare company can always post common problems their fans are facing and then propose a product that can help solve the problem, this way we are positioning the brand name as a healthcare brand and it cares about customers’ health.
- Relevancy: the brand should always be relevant to customers’ demand or interest, it should customize products or solutions as per customers’ demand which is essential in any business.
- Building loyalty: brand loyalty is a continues cycle starts from promoting a brand, lead customers to buy, finish the selling deal, after selling service and then the brand will keep in touch with that loyal customer and always present the reason why to buy again and strengthen the value of everything you buy under that brand name.
In this over busy online world, a business brand will be forgotten unless you keep those three rules running all time, and with the positive rating you get from your customers, your brand can attract more online users and raise up the value behind that brand.
Traditionally, when we consider business objectives and targeted audience objectives, when those two things overlap we can see then what we call VALUE, value for both business and the target audience, However, the reality this in the digital world is this potential value is not enough, if a business wants audience to engage online then you should give a reason to want to engage, to leave feedback about a product, in other words, to create conversation. This is where digital branding comes into play. Digital Branding can bridge the gap between business objectives and audience objectives.
For B2B situation, if business A wants to but a complete solution from business B, then business B should give all needed contents to help business A make the decision, these contents should be educational content and delivered to business A on all online marketing channels, in practice; email marketing has approved the strength of communicating and delivering education materials to clients through sending short education emails that has links to complete details on educational materials.
A standard digital branding approach is for businesses to position useful contents/resources on specialized industry topic (i.e. healthy food, HR solutions, best economic cars, take care of your skin during winter …etc.), now the important key here is that business product should provide value outside of just talking about the industry.
For B2C, we need to understand the market options available, from a business prospective, the most critical piece of information we need to have is the customer life-cycle, if we know it, then we can provide the right piece of information, if we did this, then we will get 50% at least ROI on all what we are trying to sell.
The worst practice a business can do is to spend huge budget online without targeting customized audience and without knowing the stage of customer journey to make a decision and buy what you sell, to have an answer on online customer journey, we need to integrate marketing automation platforms (i.e. Marketo, Hubspot … etc.) to know exactly where we are now on customers minds before they make the decision and buy, of course, this should be done with full integration between marketing and sales team inside the company and this is exactly what marketing automation platform can help your business do.
In brief, digital branding is a long-continues process that sum user experiences online and relies on the provision of business value at the end.