If you’re going to make a purchase, are you more likely to do so from a company that you have experience with, or one that’s unfamiliar? “59% of consumers prefer to buy new products from brands familiar to them.” This is just one part of why branding is such a crucial component of digital marketing, particularly now, when a multitude of options is available to customers at the click of a button.
How Branding Makes All the Difference
Small and medium-sized businesses have to establish a strong, recognizable brand in order to make their mark in the world. After all, you’ll be in competition with some much larger companies who likely have more established brands and big budgets for their marketing efforts. You don’t have to pay an arm and a leg to get your name out there, but you do have to create and employ a thoughtful identity strategy!
“Simply put, your brand is defined by a customer’s overall perception of your business.” You want your branding to be consistent whether you’re advertising online or offline, in magazines or flyers, on Facebook or Google. It means your logo and colors, yes, but it’s so much more than that. Your brand is, in a sense, your reputation. You have to really work hard to cultivate it in order to get it into presentable shape.
So, how do you build your brand? Over time. You want to incorporate aspects of user experience, social media, blogging, email marketing, and so much more. These aspects of digital marketing mesh in order to create a cohesive strategy, one that will get the word out on every online platform and format.
Step by Step: a Branding Guide
The first step on this journey is to figure out who your target audience is. This is the first step toward a lot of online marketing goals, but that’s because it’s essential. Once you figure out who you’re trying to reach, you’ll be able to tweak your messaging to really speak to them.
After that, you want to make sure you have a solid mission statement that you’re willing to stand behind, one that you’d be happy to present to your target audiences. Everything you do – whether online or otherwise – should be aligned with that mission and philosophy. This is important because it generates trusts in your users.
A big part of digital marketing will always be research, and branding is not exempt. You don’t want to copy others in your industry, but you should look into what they’ve been up to to see where they succeed – and fail. Again: be careful to not “appropriate” too many elements from their strategy that you like: you want your brand to be as unique as possible!
Could you name the benefits and “key qualities” of your brand, if asked? You should be able to! Being able to identify your unique offerings is a big part of making your brand memorable. Why should people choose you over a competitor? When undertaking this exercise, give reasons that vary between the literal (your product or service features) to the more vague (your company’s qualities and philosophies).
Naturally, a logo and tagline, among other “traditional” branding elements, are a part of this process. You want to have a visual for people to easily associate with your name and your products/services. This is an investment, as it’ll be the image that represents you for as long as you use it. The tagline is another piece of it, giving you a bit (though not much) more space to express who you are and what you stand for. Make sure the end result is really something well-aligned with your business!
Work Alongside the Branding Experts
These are just a few of the many pieces that go into developing a strong brand. It can be an incredibly daunting task, but an experience digital team will be able to walk you through each step in order to produce an ongoing plan that you’re happy with. If you want to connect with that experience team ASAP, then get in touch with Eyler Creative today!