A how to guide on improving your brands' digital identity and presence.
The Digital Age began in the mid 20th century and in this time we have seen rapid growth in technology and information available. In 2019, the number of internet users worldwide stood at 4.13 billion, it now stands at 4.66 billion, which shows that the trajectory of the internet use is only going in one direction.
As a business, you need to adapt or die!. Having a strong digital presence is vital for survival and growth in this ever-growing digital melting pot. By creating a strong branding and marketing strategy you will be able to stand out from the crowd and reach new customers.
This blog is for all our readers whether you’re a modern brand that understands the importance of developing your online brand authority or you are a traditional company ready to take that giant leap into the digital world and finally reach your vast online customer base.
We will be exploring all key areas of "going digital", so you will be able to develop your brand’s identity and marketing strategy. We will be covering:
Importance of an online presence
Picking the right digital strategy
Do I need a website?
Strategies to create an online presence
Ideas for digital marketing campaigns
Importance of user experiences
Challenges you will face when building your brand digital
Importance of a good online presence
Why should I bring my business online?
The cost of not adapting to the digital era is becoming steeper and steeper. Companies that have refused to improve their customer experience or modernise their systems are being left behind. This means they are missing out on a large potential client base because users are used to a certain standard when it comes to how they experience brands.
Why a “GOOD” digital presence is vital.
A bad digital presence is worse than no digital presence. 60% of customers are put off by a bad user experience, this can include a bad website design, poor brand consistency and an inferior user experience. By tackling this issue you will be able to have a foundation for building your brand’s online presence.
Why do I need to be on google?
Google receives 3.5 billion searches per day, by building a strong online presence you are able to be part of those searches and be found by customers. It will allow your business to gain credibility and build your brand. If a brand does not have a digital identity it can be seen as less trustworthy, in fact, in 2018 75% of people admit to making a judgement on a companies credibility due to their website.
How can customers find me?
It is important to have a base, as this will enable your customers to find you online. If you do not have one, your business will not exist for a lot of people. Even if you do not sell anything online, this will still give you a place where customers can find information about you and you can showcase your company. This necessarily doesn't have to be a website, but it has to be digital and easy as possible to find.
Why do I need to stand out from competitors?
According to Google, 97% of consumers use the web to search for local businesses. This is how people find out about businesses and it is so saturated, you must develop an innovative marketing strategy to tap into this potential audience. Your competitors are doing the same thing, so you must think outside the box or do it better, or both! It is also a vital component in your marketing strategy.
Do I need a website?
A website can be used as the primary base for any business, it can be used for many different functions depending on the businesses needs.
You can use your website to sell your digital products, physical products or services. Users will be able to browse and buy different products and you will also be able to promote other offers.
A website can be used as a space to store important information that educates your customers about your business. It can also be a place where you can show off your brand’s character and identity.
Mainly populated by articles, photos and videos. Blog posts are becoming more and more popular in business. It blurs the lines between casual reading to strategised content put out by brands
A landing page is a specific page type created for a marketing campaign that drives visitors to take a specific action.
These are some of the most popular websites businesses use to propel their brand. As the Digital Age evolves, the expectation for a company to have a website is at an all-time high. It offers social proof of your brand and gives your brand credibility.
A website gives you a place to distribute information and control your image and voice. You can showcase your brand’s highlights and give a place for your customers to come and discover.
Strategies for an online presence:
Although a website is pivotal for your companies growth, digital marketing is just as important. "If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?". You could have the best website and the best product but if nobody knows about it or can find it, you will make no sales. You must drive traffic towards your website, thereon you can use lead capture techniques to convert the sale.
Creating a digital presence is about growing your brand; the main steps are; engagement, interaction, awareness, growth and reach. These steps will help push traffic to your website, where it can take over the conversion.
There are many strategies when it comes to building an online presence, depending on what business you have this will decide what technique would be most beneficial.
Social media marketing
Social media is a popular form of marketing. It helps you connect with your audience on a much more personal level. Companies are able to use it to create their own voice and personality that can relate to their target audience. Businesses are free to post as much content on their page and are able to interact with customers like never before. You can organically build your following, which will increase your online presence and awareness of your brand.
Content marketing gives businesses a chance to provide value to their target audience in exchange for engagement and awareness. Content marketing is becoming more and more important when it comes to business. Companies will ofter to write high-quality articles that will answer users queries. Content marketing is one of the biggest drivers of your website's SEO, by posting valuable articles, you will appear more in web searches.
Pay per click is swiftly becoming the norm in paid advertising. It is when your advert is shown on a website or on a video. You are then charged a fee for each click of your advert you get. You are able to create content for a specific audience and then control who sees your advert. By doing this, you are strategically able to create your online presence and then present it to the correct people. These targeted ad campaigns can increase ROI considerably when done correctly.
Ideas for digital marketing
It is very important that you do not oversell when it comes to advertising and marketing, especially when working with organic posts. Humans get sold so much every day and are constantly being advertised to. Social media was initially designed to be a haven for people to interact and network digitally and that’s why people use it and love it.
The danger is when businesses become overzealous, audiences can feel themselves being sold something and if it is too open and direct, they will ignore it. The solution is creating interesting, innovative and well-designed content that will really catch the audience's eye. It doesn’t even need to mention the price at all. This helps the audience relax and explore what your business has to offer.
Below will include simple Ideas for digital marketing campaigns:
Competitions are a great way of generating a buzz around your brand. When executed properly a competition can hit many KPIs such as growth, awareness and engagement. You will be able to promote your brand and your products in a covert way while engaging your audience in a fun way.
When bringing out a new product it is very important to showcase this product to your potential customers. Use a multi-stream marketing strategy to present the product, but keep the theme and style consistent. You can use this same style guide for imagery, graphics, videos and more. This will help communicate as a story to your audience and it will give value to your product.
Throughout the year there are many seasonal celebrations that are perfect to tap into for a seasonal campaign. They keep your business current and relatable but can also open up opportunities to communicate and with more niche groups that are your potential customers. Christmas, Easter and New years are some of the more inclusive holidays that all businesses can capitalise on, but there are some events that are more specific like St Patrick’s day, back to school or Eid, that certain audiences can relate to.
Importance of brand appearance
The thing that is more detrimental to your business than not having an online brand presence is having a bad quality online brand presence. It takes about 50 milliseconds (0.05 seconds) for people to form an opinion about your website (8ways, 2019). With websites and digital standards being so high nowadays, a bad looking website will stand out like a sore thumb. 38% of people will stop engaging with a website if the content or layout is unattractive, this also goes for your marketing. Appearance is vital when creating an online presence, it instils trust and confidence for your audience.
Your appearance is also linked to brand consistency. Brand consistency is making sure that your brand values, image, and messaging are consistent across all channels. Customers appreciate this and it gives validity to your brand and with the right design strategy it should be a style that your target audience can relate to. Having a strong brand will not only improve your chances of getting new customers, but also increase employee motivation, and provide your business with a unified direction.
Challenges you may face when developing your brand’s online presence.
Getting your business seen
Appearance and consistency is very important, but if no one sees it, it is pointless. Getting your business in front of the right eyes can prove to be difficult, especially for new brands but it is important to:
Grow your social database
Grow your email database
Improve website SEO
Use Pay Per Click Ads
Research and understand your target audience
Make content for your target audience
The cost of creating or developing a brand online can be very high and it takes a lot of time and effort to create something of quality. It is important to find a consultancy you can trust that has a good understanding of branding and strategy. The cost can be high but it is an investment. The ROI for digital branding will pay dividends for years to come. Once you have your brand identity sorted it will be much easier to create marketing materials.
Getting your business online is so much more accessible nowadays because everybody is online and this has created huge saturation in many industries. There will be many different websites that will share your products or your customers, the trick is to stand out from the others. Try and focus on why your audience likes you, what your USP is and make sure you target that in your marketing.
The digital revolution is not coming to an end anytime soon, it just becomes more prevalent year by year. So developing your businesses digital presence is vital for the survival of any business, your Digital brand identity is as important as your physical brand identity, sometimes more.
If you invest in digital branding and marketing you will see your business elevate in both quantitative and qualitative ways. You will increase your sales by increasing your brands, confidence, quality and authority, By taking the user on a comfortable and pleasant journey throughout your brand
Adrastichyperlink works with brands and businesses to help create or develop their digital presence. Adrastichyperlink is a brand strategy design consultancy that helps your company create a voice that speaks to your target customers through design and innovative campaigns. With experience in animation, graphics, web design and brand development.
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