Traditional marketing certainly still has its place; billboards, print ads and commercials continue to be part of the daily marketing landscape for SMBs and Fortune companies. Today however, more and more of a brand’s identity exists in the digital landscape and will only continue to do so as time goes on.
With 49% of organizations not having a clearly defined digital marketing strategy in 20171, there’s opportunity for companies to outsmart their competition online by taking the time to develop one. As with traditional marketing, before taking to tactical planning, you’ll want to assess the health of your brand to determine how it will stack up on the channels you choose.
For digital channels, here are the top 4 considerations to keep in mind to ensure your brand will be effective and adaptable to the digital realm.
- Your Brand Identity Needs to Be Cohesive Across Multiple Platforms
In the digital landscape, your brand is no longer a static print ad or brochure; rather, it’s accessed through a multitude of mediums—desktop, mobile, apps, videos, social media, virtual reality—and the list keeps growing. By establishing and maintaining a universally recognizable brand identity across all digital channels, your brand will build rapport with its target audience regardless of their method of interaction.
Your brand needs to maintain a consistent look and feel across all channels – if you update your boilerplate or messaging, it needs to be updated on every platform. There’s nothing more off-putting to a potential buyer than not knowing what the latest and greatest information is about your company. To maintain a cohesive multiplatform identity, follow these tips:
- Develop brand guidelines that showcase various, acceptable formats of your logo
- Share your brand guidelines with everyone responsible for marketing your brand
- Create a checklist of all your company’s digital profiles and pages that will need to be updated when a new message or visual is introduced
- Identify a point-person in your company or marketing agency who will act as your digital brand ambassador, responsible for updating your channels
- Your Brand Will Always Be Visible to Your Customers and Competitors
The digital landscape is an environment that’s always populated; no matter what, there will always be users inhabiting the space where your brand exists. This constant visibility can be both a blessing and a curse; on one hand, it means your brand is always in the limelight and being interacted with. On the other hand, it means that eyes will always be on your brand, even when yours aren’t.
Any lapse in your brand’s integrity – from something as little as a typo or broken link on social media to something as debilitating as a hacked profile or negative review – will be seen and can reflect poorly on your company’s reputation or image.
Digital branding also provides a unique competitive edge and subsequent disadvantage for businesses: transparency. While digital transparency provides ample opportunity for your own business to gather inspiration and ideas from competitors, it leaves your own brand open to review and imitation by competitors for their own gain. But that’s just the name of the game.
We advise taking advantage of the transparency that exists by carrying out competitor audits to make sure you’re on par, and subsequently better, than competitors. Beyond that, review best practice references to identify brands you aspire to look like. Note: a best practice references doesn’t have to be direct competitors, but rather a company that seems to be doing things right.
- Your Brand’s Associated Visuals Need to be Fluid for Digital
A business’s brand is a moving, viscous entity in the digital landscape. Fluid visuals offer a new degree of motion for your digital brand. Today, a static image is outdated and ineffective, living in the shadow of a brand that promotes itself visually. Examples of fluid digital visuals include:
- GIFs and videos
- Loading animations
- Interactive elements such as quizzes and clickable logos
GIFs and loading animations add an obvious mention of fluidity; they’re short videos or animations that play on a continuous loop. Not only will the motion draw attention to your brand, but its repetitive nature will also create a rapport with those who interact with your brand by associating it with your product, idea or organization.
Interactive elements, like a logo that reacts to a user’s clicks or choices on a page, or a quiz that provides value to a user’s experience while increasing the clarity of your message, are invaluable tools in the digital landscape. The user gets a fulfilling experience interacting with your brand, while subconsciously absorbing your brand’s messaging and key points.
Your brand logo will be a constant, and therefore, it’s important to ensure that your associated imagery strategy and graphic elements are fluid and compliment the look and feel of it.
- Your Brand Must Have a Fluid and Tangible Personality
Brands aren’t just text or an image on a page anymore. In a digital world, brands are living representations of your business, products and ideas — or even YOU, if you’re building a personal brand. From personable, conversational social media presences that respond directly to consumers or reach out to target demographics, to interactive quizzes and responsive user interface (UI) elements on a website, brands are able to interact with users in ways that create engaging digital experiences.
The social media presence of most major brands has a clearly defined voice and response method when addressing compliments or complaints from their client base. Organizations that interact directly with their target audiences through social media allow people to associate a human personality with their brand.
Checking Each of These Boxes Is the Key to Digital Branding Success
It’s inexcusable today to not have some sort of digital branding strategy, especially when it’s become such a crucial part of the marketing environment. By keeping your brand’s identity consistent across digital mediums, taking your brand’s constant visibility into account, utilizing fluid visual elements and building your brand’s tangible personality, you will create a successful digital branding strategy that will make you stand out in the digital landscape.
Are you interested in B2B marketing and digital branding services? Contact Sagefrog Marketing Group today.