What is brand building through digital marketing

Digital branding: brand building in a digital context

Big brands and global players recognized it for a long time and implemented it extensively. In the meantime, it is also at the top of the communication concept for small and medium-sized companies: digital branding. The measures understood by this, which can also be found under the terms “digital branding” or “interactive branding”, nowadays have a decisive influence on the visibility of brands on the World Wide Web.

Digital branding: success factor in the branding process

In order for a company or its product to become a brand, targeted actions are required, which should be based on a previously planned branding strategy. The branding is made up of different processes in different company areas. The basis for brand building is certainly the company itself. Its actions and the trustworthiness of its products determine the so-called corporate behavior.

It is important to develop your own look to match. This includes, for example, a logo with recognition value or your own corporate font. This area falls under the corporate design. The corporate identity is created in connection with the selected communication measures and internal and external forms of communication, which are transported, for example, by marketing measures.

A credible corporate identity is the basis for the long-term establishment of a brand. However, in today's world of digitization, there is another aspect: communication and presentation in the digital environment. Today it is no longer enough to position a successful product on the market and to spread a nice image campaign on radio and television from time to time. Today the customer wants to participate and feel the brand as a whole. What may seem a bit strange has become one of the most important aspects of a successful branding strategy as so-called digital branding.

How does digital branding work?

Digital branding means positioning the brand consistently with the brand identity in the online environment. On the one hand, the previously selected corporate communication channels play a role. On the other hand, it is important to adapt the digital branding strategy of the brand and, in particular, the image of the brand. Blind actionism on all available online channels could do more harm than good to the brand image.

In order to consistently and successfully implement digital branding measures on the World Wide Web, the right strategy is required. This strategy can vary from company to company, but it usually includes a few fixed parameters that need to be taken into account.

Analysis of the target group

A successful digital branding strategy can only be developed and implemented if the goal is clearly defined. What does the company want to achieve through its digital presence? Who is looking for the company? Of course, it makes a difference whether the provider's portfolio is aimed at young adults of the so-called Generation Z or whether an offer is more traditional and classic.

An example: A company that has placed its offer in the organic segment and perhaps offers a vegan product line has a different target group than a manufacturer of car tires. And yet it is of crucial importance for both companies to also use suitable measures online. While the bio-interested target group may be looking for the origin and production of the respective products and be interested in the suppliers and manufacturing processes, the car fan may be looking for the latest tests and top prices for car tires.

Visibility through search engine optimization

The process of findability begins with the knowledge of the target group. The term means the findability of a brand on the World Wide Web. If the interested user is looking for the brand or a specific product, he should get a result without further ado. And that regardless of the time of day he searches or from which device.

A good website is certainly a must for any business today. But the website alone does not make digital branding. The online presence must also be geared towards the target group and, above all, be able to be found by them. Search engine optimization measures, including keyword research and the target group-oriented design of the landing pages, are the basis for visibility on the Internet.

But the technical orientation is also one of the SEO success factors. The loading time of a page, the user guidance on the page, the usability and the customer journey, all these criteria influence the process of digital brand management. Last but not least, there are now far-reaching opportunities for digital visibility that go beyond the classic website.

As part of its digital branding strategy, a company must therefore decide at an early stage whether a website with responsive web design is suitable for the target group. Programming a progressive web app may make sense to reach the target group. Because this relatively young form of web application is search engine relevant, responsive and the content is even available offline.

Interaction through social media

In the English-speaking world, digital branding is referred to as interactive branding, which illustrates the core element of these branding measures: the focus is on interaction with the user. But here too, caution is advised. A traditional company whose brand image is high-quality, serious and classically established should conscientiously prepare its corporate presence on Facebook, YouTube or Instagram. Even if the goal could be to address a young target group in social networks, this attempt can be a tightrope act.

The company's portfolio may not appeal to young users. In this case, a presence on Facebook & Co. could irritate or even scare off regular customers. A sure instinct is required here. It only makes sense to be found in social networks if the brand communication on these channels is perfectly aligned with the brand's image. An obsessively relaxed youth language leads to success only in very few cases.

Consistency through uniform communication and a digital style guide

This is where the brand's consistent communication comes in. An important prerequisite for successful digital branding is the uniformity of the brand presence. Language, forms of communication and images must ideally match the corporate identity. Because there are few individual design options in terms of colors, fonts and shapes on social media platforms, communication must be the focus here.

A digital style guide should be followed where possible. Images that are published in social networks can always have the color scheme of the corporate design or have the company's logo integrated. The same of course also applies to e-mails or any other form of correspondence within the company.

Content marketing

In times of social media, it is not enough to distribute purely advertising content online and offline. Today the customer wants added value. Storytelling is required here. The user wants to feel addressed, participate and ideally even participate. An example of successful content marketing is a campaign by Coca-Cola from 2013.

In German-speaking countries, the campaign was known as "Drink a Cola with". Internationally it was called "Share a Coke". At that time, Coca-Cola no longer printed its labels with the world-famous white and red logo, but with 150 names and nicknames. On the Group's website, customers could even personalize labels, print them with the name of their choice and have them sent to their home. The virtual cola could be shared on Facebook. The campaign became a worldwide success and one year later received the Effie, which is considered the Oscar for the advertising industry.

The art of content marketing is the emotionalization of the content. The fact that a product is available is part of everyday life for digital users today. Therefore, the real challenge is to arouse the interest of the user, to address him emotionally and thus to bind them. Certainly not an easy task, because in this case too, knowledge of your own target group is the basis for success.

Cross-media networking and multi-channel campaigns

Digital branding means visibility on channels that fit the brand. The visibility begins even today in the offline area. Depending on the offer, a product should of course also be available offline. Advertising measures in suitable print magazines can also contribute to visibility, as can presentations with brand-appropriate exhibition design at events and trade fairs.

Multi-Chanel campaigns ensure consistent brand awareness. Those who choose the right channels will attract a wide range of attention from the respective subgroups of their target group. But here, too, it is important to present the brand consistently and credibly both online and offline. Cross-channel brand consistency is crucial in digital branding and the general branding process.

Digital branding: User experience becomes brand experience

Digital branding means much more than the visibility of a brand on the internet. Today's users want to participate and have a say. Contact forms on websites and in online shops are just as important as direct contact via suitable social media channels. However, it is not just the availability of such services and options that directly influence the user experience.

As soon as a contact form is used or a request is made, it must be processed immediately and contact with the customer established. Otherwise, the digital branding measure turns into the opposite in no time at all. Anyone who does not receive an answer to an inquiry as a customer can quickly get frustrated. And emotions are the number one success factor in digital branding.

However, if you manage to turn your digital branding into interactive branding in the truest sense, you will be able to increase the trustworthiness of your brand in the long term. A brand must be tangible today and also be able to arouse positive emotions and associations. Digital branding has a number of pitfalls. Applied correctly and consistently and consistently implemented, however, it increases the trust of the user and in the best case achieves a very own, unique brand experience. Stock Photos
Featured image & images on the left: Rawpixel.com / Shutterstock
Top right: zaozaa19 / Shutterstock
Bottom right: one photo / Shutterstock

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