Digital Marketing vs. Digital Branding: Your Guide to Creating Your Digital Brand
Digital Marketing vs. Digital Branding
Most of us are familiar with digital marketing. It incorporates:
- online advertising
- social media advertising
- content marketing
- search engine optimization
- email marketing
- influencer marketing…and more
Its purpose is to grow your business through expanding your customer base and increasing your sales. It’s a growth strategy where its sole goal is to increase revenue.
Digital branding may use similar delivery methods, but its goal is very different.
Digital branding is a retention strategy that is focused on increasing your brand recognition and customer loyalty. It’s the creative and strategic process of telling potential customers what your company is all about. It is a consistency in how you present yourself visually, audibly and in tone, style and attitude. With time, this repetition becomes your brand identity and makes you instantly recognizable to your audience.
So, what’s the difference between branding and digital branding? Well, honestly nothing. They are essentially the same. In today’s digital age, many companies make their digital presence less compliant with their established brand. You see strong brand emphasis in print materials and other physical branding. Yet, these brand standards seem to fall to the wayside when it’s time to present your business online. This lack of consistency across all marketing channels not only makes your brand less memorable – it can hurt your business due to decreased recognition by existing customers. That’s why it’s important to put as much focus on your digital brand as you do everywhere else in your branding.
While digital marketing can be periodic, digital branding is permanent.
Why is having a brand important?
A company cannot be marketed until a brand has been designed. Your brand is the way the outside world perceives your company. That is why a brand guide is everything. Branding is the process of designing and building a unique, memorable brand. Your brand identity is the set of creative elements that feed into the branding process, which includes:
- design elements
- tone of voice
These elements should be presented consistently throughout your website, social media, advertising, literature and more.
How you do this is by answering a few questions to help define your brand.
- How would you describe your company?
- What emotions or feelings do you want to invoke in people when they think of your company?
- What value or expertise do you want to contribute to the marketplace?
- What are your primary beliefs, values and reasons for being in business?
- What sets you apart from the competition?
- Who are your ideal customers?
This is where a marketing partner – including outside vendors – know how your company should be presented. It will provide rules and best practices to keep you consistent and recognizable in all your marketing efforts.
How to build positive brand awareness in digital channels
Digital branding is how you design and build your brand through digital channels. Your brand guide will be essential in the development of websites, apps, social media, videos, emails, podcasts and more.
We live in a digital world with so many devices connected online. Digital branding allows your company to make its presence known anywhere. There are more opportunities now than ever before to get in front of your audience.
Consistency is key. Double check that your online presence, profiles and marketing are consistent and up to date with your latest brand elements and strategy.
The components of a successful digital brand
- Qualitative research: Effective brand messaging starts with an in-depth understanding of your audience, which is gained through the qualitative research process
- Logo: Your logo should match the values, personality, industry and target audience of your business.
- Brand messaging: Brand messaging is what your company says and how you say it. A successful brand message should answer what you do, what you stand for and why you matter.
- Website: You should think of your website as your digital storefront or business location. It should be easy to find online when searching for your business name, services or products. It should tell who you are, what you do, what you offer and how to contact you. It should be simple, concise, easy to navigate and match your brand guide for colors, fonts, imagery, tone and messaging.
- SEO: Search engine optimization (SEO)company, brand and its offerings are easily found on search engines.
- Social media: Every social media platform is unique, and not everyone needs to be used for your business. Determine which platforms best match your brand and target audience. It’s better to focus on one or two and do those well than to try to manage too many at once. Once you can manage one easily and get an understanding for how to utilize it best, then move on to the next.
- Email marketing: Email marketing targeted communications tool. It is valuable for prospect conversion campaigns, announcements, cross-selling and education. Make sure your content is valuable and that the significance of your message stands out, as audiences review emails quickly and many are left unopened. Email can be best used to build thought leadership, add value and educate in a helpful, “tell don’t sell” approach that can help build credibility in an over-promoted, over-filled bin.
- Online advertising: Online advertising as listed here is comprehensive of paid search advertising (Search Engine Marketing or SEM), display ads, social media advertising, over-the-top (OTT) streaming video, streaming audio, and IP and geo-targeted ads.
- Content marketing: This is a key element to creating a loyal, returning customer base that is actively engaged with your brand. Great content marketing requires you to think more like a news editor. It’s about creating content for your audience that entertains or educates. It can tell stories, provide DIY guidance and help them overcome a common problem. Many companies utilize blogs, social media, podcasts, vlogs, Spotify playlists and other media to execute their content marketing strategies.
- Influencer marketing: Influencer marketing is becoming increasingly important to your marketing mix. It helps you reach large volumes of “followers” of key influencers in your industry or niche. Instead of marketing directly to this audience, you are working with related “influencers” or thought leaders with extensive followers to help present your brand message in their content. It’s essentially mass informal referral marketing and is effective when done well. Research and choose potential influencers carefully.
TruStar Marketing can be your digital branding partner
TruStar marketing fuses the art of the brand with the science of data analytics to measurably improve results. Our award-winning brand messaging design, development and digital teams are here to provide helpful answers to your questions.