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What is digital branding and how to do it correctly

Digital branding is the process of establishing a brand identity and presence in the digital realm. Today's online landscape requires companies to consider various facets of the internet when it comes to building a brand. From social media discussions to responses to online reviews and a sense of cohesiveness in both language and style throughout company websites, digital branding is a new frontier that requires careful and close attention.

In this guide, we'll explore the definition of digital branding, learn how it can increase your brand equity, understand the difference between digital branding and digital brand marketing, and take a look at the top digital brand strategy options.

What is digital branding?

Digital branding refers to the cohesive brand experience across various online platforms an organization creates to promote its identity and presence. Digital branding can occur across several channels, including websites, email marketing, social media, and digital advertising. The goal is to convey a brand’s mission, values, and unique selling proposition to its target audience through the effective use of digital media.

Prior to making a purchase decision, many consumers experience brands in the digital space. Today's internet environment is noisy, and it can be challenging to reach your target market, much less make a lasting impression. Using powerful digital branding strategies can help your company stand out in a broad sea of competitors.

Digital branding is generally broken into three large categories:

  • Visibility, which includes search engine rankings, shared properties, and content marketing
  • Identity, which includes content marketing, owned properties, and social media, and
  • Credibility, which includes social media, tone of voice, and ratings/reviews

Digital branding categories do not operate in a vacuum, and understanding how the different facets of a solid digital branding strategy interact with one another is key to developing the online presence of your brand.

Digital branding vs. traditional branding

For any company, it’s important to employ both digital and traditional branding methods for products and services being offered.

Traditional branding typically uses a combination of physical media, including print media like magazines and newspaper ads, along with billboards and other highly visible marketing tools like bus stop ads.

Digital branding consists of creating a consistent brand voice, tone, and style across online content, including interactive marketing tools, video content, landing pages, video ads, social media content, and more.

While traditional branding techniques use physical advertising to catch the eye of their target market, digital branding works to meet their target market in the online spaces in which they're already spending their time.

What are the differences between digital branding vs. digital marketing?

In some cases, the terms digital branding and digital marketing are used interchangeably, but it's important to understand the difference between the two.

Digital branding is the way your company presents itself to your market and includes your online image, voice, tone, language, and customer perception. Conversely, digital marketing refers to the promotion of your brand through ads and targeted marketing efforts. It's key to have a solid digital branding plan before you begin the digital marketing process, as you'll want to establish a sense of cohesiveness across your brand's online content.

What are the benefits of digital branding?

Digital branding is a necessity in today's increasingly online world, and it's key that your marketing team understands the importance of prioritizing digital branding strategy.

Benefits of digital branding include:

  • Increase brand recognition: Each time members of your target market see your brand online, their trust in your brand will grow.
  • Establish a strong brand identity: When you implement digital branding strategies, you're able to help your target market understand your brand's voice and priorities, creating a strong brand identity that’s recognizable to customers.
  • Stand out among competitors: With digital branding, you're able to get real-time data that allows you to tailor your strategy to what's working for your target market. This means that you have the chance to carefully study data and stand out to your potential customers.
  • Improve customer loyalty and trust: When customers see you online presenting a consistent tone and voice, you'll be able to build trust with them as they see your brand consistency over time.

What are the top digital brand strategies?

Creating an action plan for your team's digital branding strategy is an important first step to developing a strong online presence. From using content creation modules and brand guidelines that get your employees on the same page to setting aside a portion of your advertising budget for paid digital ads, you'll want to employ some of the strategies below to boost your brand's digital branding success.

1. Create digital brand guidelines

Your team needs to show that your brand is cohesive across all platforms, and developing digital brand guidelines can ensure that everyone is on the same page. Creating digital brand guides can help your branding and marketing team understand the voice, tone, vocabulary, and style they need to use to give your target market a sense of what your brand has to offer.

2. Design a memorable logo

Your brand's logo is a symbol that customers will eventually recognize as a sign of your brand without needing to see the brand name. When it comes to your logo, keep it simple. Stay within the confines of your digital brand guidelines, including your color palette guidelines, and work to create a logo that conveys your brand's values to your target market.

3. Create a website

An up-to-date, intuitive, mobile-friendly website is a must-have in today's business world. Whether you're creating a digital storefront or providing customers or clients with more information about your services, your website needs to be clear and easy to use. Using plenty of white space, non-industry-specific language, non-distracting imagery, and easy-to-read text can all go a long way in helping your target market get the most out of your website.

4. Invest in SEO

Search engine optimization, or SEO, is a set of ever-evolving best practices that help websites show up on the search engine results page (SERP) when potential customers use search terms related to your business. Most people only consider the first few options when they use a search engine, and it's key that your website ranks near the top. In fact, 53% of web traffic comes from organic search, highlighting the importance of investing in SEO efforts.

Doing keyword research, which is learning more about what your target market is searching for and tailoring your website to give them more information on key topics, can help make your business more visible to potential customers. Placing key search terms in headings on your site, working to make your site easy for customers to navigate, and ensuring that your page responds to navigation quickly, are all factors that can help boost your website's search engine rankings.

5. Create social media campaigns

Learning where your target market hangs out online is key. Once you know your market's preferred social media platform(s), you'll be able to post engaging content, create paid ads, and interact with users through comments. When you engage with your audience on social media, other viewers get to see how well you treat your customers and get to showcase your brand’s personality, giving them a sense of trust in your brand even as they're just beginning to learn what you're about.

6. Build an email list

Direct email marketing provides the opportunity to speak directly to those who have expressed interest in your company. Using a call to action (CTA) on your website allows you to turn leads into customers, one informational or promotional email at a time. Research shows that the average ROI for email marketing in the U.S. is $36 for every $1 spent.

7. Produce engaging content

Producing engaging, exciting content can help your target market get to know your brand. Many companies share content that's relevant to their audience, even though it isn't directly promoting their products. Through your blog, you can explain relevant industry topics and incorporate visual media like photos, videos, and infographics to build trust with your audience and help search engines better understand your website.

8. Invest in paid ads

As we mentioned, the internet is noisier than ever. Using paid advertising, such as social media ads and Google ads, can help put your brand in front of the eyes that matter most.

Wrapping up: The importance of digital branding

Research on the importance of branding is evolving constantly, and staying on top of the latest best practices is key to furthering your brand's success. At Bynder, we know that your team is firing on all cylinders when it comes to developing and implementing your digital strategy, and our Digital Asset Management Solution is here to help. We're excited to learn more about your branding needs and help your team stay on the same page as you work through branding campaigns and marketing projects.