As we enter the third decade of the twenty-first century, we’re well into the digital age, and the world of marketing will never be the same. Every business, from the most massive multinational conglomerate to the smallest mom-and-pop shop, must now consider their digital brand. Of course, this is easier said than done, since the world of digital marketing is fickle and ever-changing. Here are a few tips to help make sure you are keeping up with branding in the digital age:
Who Is Your Ideal Customer?
One of the great advantages for smaller businesses in the digital age is the ability to target a very specific customer base, without spending millions in advertising costs. With modern SEO tactics, artificial intelligence, and the latest software, you can send tailor-made ads right to your ideal customers for a relatively low cost. However, this comes with its own challenge: who is your ideal customer? What audience are you trying to reach with your business?
To discover exactly who you should be targeting with your ads, first put yourself in the customers’ shoes. What product are you selling? Who, exactly, can benefit from this product? Why should customers choose your product over your competitors? Once you can answer these questions, you can begin to narrow it down even further.
Where is your ideal customer located? What is their occupation? Where will they buy your product? When do they buy? How often? Once you have answered all of these questions, you’ll be able to optimize your advertising towards this prospective customer.
Strive For Consistency!
Consistency has always been key in branding. This was true long before the digital age, but it’s especially true now. Indeed, remaining consistent is especially crucial for online advertising, because your potential customers will see your brand from multiple angles. That is to say, if a customer takes notice of an ad on Instagram, and follows a link on that ad to your Facebook, and then another link to your company website, your pages on all those sites should feel like a unified whole. Many businesses fail to do this, and this lack of consistency costs them customers.
How, exactly, do you remain consistent? Start simple: use the same font, the same colors, and the same letter sizing across sites. You should also strive for a consistent tone; different web pages shouldn’t be tailored to completely different customers. Simplicity is also key; don’t needlessly complicate things. Just know what your message is, who it is for, and be confident in your product.
What Is Your Brand Message?
Creating a consistent, unified product that is perfectly tailored to your ideal customer really boils down to one thing: brand messaging. You have to have a vision for your brand, and you have to be able to communicate that to your customers. First, think of your ideal customer. Why should they choose your product over that of your competitors? Or, more specifically, what problem are you solving for your customers? If you can’t answer these questions, you may need to go back to the drawing board, because you don’t have a strong vision.
Actually, you should be able to answer several questions about your business. What does your company believe in? What are your core ideals? What is your core mission? The answers to these questions will inform all of the content you create, and that is your brand message.
SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, is an absolutely crucial feature of marketing in the digital age. In fact, without it, your business is unlikely to ever go anywhere, regardless of how great your product is, and how strong your brand message is. Nothing else you do will matter if potential customers can’t find you, and, in the modern digital age, they will be looking for businesses like yours via search engines.
There are several strategies you should be undertaking in order to ensure your brand appears at the top of your potential customer’s search results. Make sure that all of the content, across all of your company pages, is on-brand, and on-message. Absolutely every sentence you type, and every picture you post, should be in service of displaying your brand message to the world.
Another key to success in SEO is schema. Schema is a code that you place into your website to make your search engine results more informative for users. For example, let’s say you sell sporting goods through your website, and you find that the ideal customer in a certain area seems to be most interested in tennis. Through schema markup, you can make it so that when a prospective customer searches for “Sporting Equipment,” the result that they find includes information on “Tennis Equipment.” This will make the customer that much more likely to click on your page over that of potential competitors.
Expand Your Reach Through Social Media
If you want to survive in the business world in the modern day, you need to have a reach on social media. We’re not simply talking about paid ads, either: those will only get you so far. You want social media that customers will share with one another, organically, and if your social media is well-crafted and engaging, they will do just that.
If you manage to target your social media to the right place, and you target the right customers, you’ll end up expanding your reach even further as your customers share your brand with one another. Discuss how to expand your reach with your SEO professionals.
Build Relationships With Your Customers
Of course, no amount of advertising success is going to matter if you can’t earn the loyalty of a devoted cadre of customers. In order to survive in the business world, you have to develop a relationship with your customers. How can you do this? Well, how do you develop a relationship with anyone? You engage with them. Empathize with them. Treat them with respect and courtesy. If a customer sends you a message, never ignore it. If they have a complaint, address it quickly. If they pay you a compliment, thank them. As you develop a relationship with your customer base, you will put down the roots for a long-lasting, successful business.
Spread Awareness Of Your Brand Through Search Engine And Programmatic Marketing
Search Engine Marketing is different from Search Engine Optimization, but no less crucial to the success of your brand. While SEO seeks to place you at the top of search engine results, SEM is focused on paid, targeted ads. In some ways, this is similar to SEO – you need to ensure you are targeting the right customers, for example – but in other ways, it’s a bit different. You will need to keep track on who is clicking on your ads, how long they are spending on your pages, etc., and you will use this information to create better targeted ads in the future.
Programmatic marketing is similar to SEM and SEO, and is becoming ever more important in the business world. Programmatic marketing creates targeted ads through automated bidding on advertising inventory. In other words, you’ll be competing with other businesses to reach the exact same customers. How much are you prepared to pay to ensure your ad can be seen? How can you ensure that utilize this as effectively as possible? Discuss this with your online marketing professionals.
Connect With Relevant Influencers
Influencers are increasingly more important in the social media world of today, and if you can connect with the right ones, you’ll find that you are automatically in touch with a built-in customer base. For example, if you have a business that’s devoted to selling clothing to a certain demographic, you can pay an influencer to wear your brand in an Instagram post. Instantly, you’ll be connected to a wide array of people who are already interested in clothing and looking for the perfect thing to wear. This will immediately increase your brand visibility and help put your business on the map.
Work with Professionals
Running a business means there are a million things on any given day that require your attention. Often, overseeing your own digital branding is the type of thing that has to fall by the wayside. Working with professionals that understand your brand and your vision can be key for success. Intrix Media digs deep to understand the core of your business, and to communicate it to your target audience. Contact us today to learn how we can work with you to supercharge your digital branding.