Benefits of Digital Branding
Congrats! You have chosen to take your brand to the next level in a highly effective way: digital branding! There are endless benefits to digital branding because creating a strong brand image online helps increase revenue, website traffic, brand awareness, and loyalty. Digital branding helps you connect with your audience as well as expand your audience base. So the question is, how do you reap all of these benefits? You implement a strong digital branding strategy. Without further ado, let’s get started.
How to Create a Winning Digital Branding Strategy
Having a fully prepared plan before starting your digital branding campaign and journey is key. Why? Because making sure everyone agrees and supports the brand image that you will be portraying makes your campaign stronger. What if something gets posted that doesn’t quite match your brand? The consequences usually are not bad, but they do put you back a step. By having a plan in place, you can prevent any slip ups. As they say, “Measure twice, cut once.”
Digital Branding Guide
Step 1: Know your brand
Sit down and just talk about your brand, what you stand for, what makes you different and who you are. Knowing the exact image you want to portray will make things a whole lot easier. Here are some questions to ask your team to identify your brand.
- What makes us memorable?
- What are our core values?
- What is our personality? Are we funny or more informative?
- What is our story and how has that shaped our values?
- What are the top three things you want our audience to know about us?
- What words represent our brand?
These questions will help you identify what makes you different and know exactly who you are and what your brand represents.
Homework: Make a brand messaging document. This should include taglines, descriptions of your company, important characteristics, purpose, values, position, and of course your logo and style guide.
Step 2: Set your goals
The main goal for digital branding is to connect your customers and clients to your company. After establishing that, it’s time to narrow in on your precise goals. Is building brand awareness or encouraging loyalty more important?
Homework: Create a document outlining your goals. Putting things into words really helps know what it is you are trying to do.
Step 3: Know Your Audience
Is your target audience millennials or boomers? Primarily women or men? Rural or urban dwellers? There are thousands of ways to group and identify your audience. Knowing who your audience is will help you reach them effectively.
Homework: Create a customer persona document. Choose three main target audiences and for each one create a persona. This should include age, gender, income, location and values. Oftentimes customers and clients choose your business because of your values. So knowing what values stand out to people is important.
Step 4: Identify What Your Audience Knows About You
Let’s say your business is a B Corp and also family owned, and your audience is really aware of the fact that you are family owned, but only some know that you are a B Corp. That means that your brand strategy should focus on getting out the message that your business is a B Corp.
Homework: Research what your audience knows about you and document the results. There are a few different options for research opportunities.
- Survey. Surveys are great for ecommerce companies who do not work directly with their customers.
- Interviews. Interviews are great for businesses that work with clients and provide services. At Colibri Digital Marketing, we conduct brand surveys every once in a while to ask our audience how they view us.
- Focus groups. Focus groups help you know your audience and know what they think of your company. These are more difficult to find participants for but very beneficial.
Step 5: Review the Information You Have and Pick Keywords
Now that you have a clear image of your brand identity, your goals, target audience, and what message you need to portray to them, it’s time to put all the information together.
Homework: Pick the most important information from each document and meet with your team to get insight into what you learned during the process. From there create a document outlining all your keywords.
Step 6: Choose your content channels
Now that you have reviewed all your information, it’s time to choose your channels. Will you reach your target audience better on Facebook or Instagram? Do you have the resources to write a blog or newsletter? Should you invest in paid advertising and which one should you choose? Do you need to update your website? At Colibri, we believe in making plans that are sustainable, so you have to be honest in choosing what your company is capable of. Check out our other blogs to help you choose what channels to work with, or set up a complimentary meeting with one of our specialists.
Homework: Set up accounts for all the channels you will be working with. If you choose to work with an email provider service, set up an account. Make sure your usernames are as consistent as possible across social media platforms. And most importantly, write down your passwords and usernames. That will make the process much more efficient.
Step 7: Make editorial calendars
It’s time to get to work. Having editorial calendars ahead of time eliminates so much stress. If you are writing a blog choose some topics and when they will be posted. It’s important to remember that the goal of what you post is not only to buil;d brand awareness but also to increase website traffic and revenue. So for every calendar you make for different platforms, make sure you consider SEO. That means choose keywords ahead of time for your blog and base blog off of those keywords. Choose strong hashtags for social media that not only match your brand but also have visibility.
Homework: This step involves a lot of homework but each step is important.
- Choose a tool for managing your editorial calendars. Google spreadsheets work well, but there are more advanced tools out there. Airtable is one of our favorites. They give you the opportunity to add many aspects to your spreadsheet.
- Design your spreadsheet. The first step is to add dates. Then things vary depending on the channel you will be using. For social media you will need to have a separate caption, image, and hashtags section. For blogs you will need to have titles, topic keyworda and whatever else you find most beneficial.
- Fill in your editorial calendar. That’s the fun part, assigning captions and content to keywords that will build connections between you and your audience.
Step 8: Create your campaigns if you are choosing to use paid ads
If you will be using paid ads, create your campaign. This means choosing what different audience you will target, where your ads will be, what they will say and look like.
Homework: This time the homework is simple. Just do it! Start designing your ad with the company you are working with. This step can be pretty fun and with all the research you have already done, it should be pretty simple.
Step 9: Build out your website
If you choose to add a section or update your website in any way when choosing your content channels, it’s time to create that section and put your plan into action.
Homework: Write the content that your website needs and update what you decided needed work. Oftentimes updating a website can be difficult so many people choose to work with a digital marketing team. At Colibri, we offer a website building package to help you create a website that converts.
Step 10: Go live!
At this point your strategy is developed and your plan is prepared. You have social media blog posts outlined, newsletters ready to be sent, ad campaigns to be launched, and possibly more, so post them! Send out your emails. Put your digital branding to work.
Creating your digital branding strategy takes time. In order for your work to be effective, your plan needs to be sustainable. The most important thing to remember during this process is who your brand is. Because after all, you are trying to show your brand to the world.
If you need help creating a digital branding strategy, reach out to our team at Colibri Digital Marketing by scheduling a meeting with one of our digital marketing strategists here.