Digital branding is now so ubiquitous that it can be difficult to remember that it’s still a relatively new development in the world of marketing. For that reason, it’s often easy to treat digital branding as something of a tick-box exercise.

This would be a mistake.

What is digital branding, why is it so important, and how do you get it right?

What is digital branding?

Digital branding is how you build and communicate your brand online. You can do this through a variety of tools, but it will usually incorporate a website and social media. It may also make use of apps and video, alongside written and other content.

It combines digital marketing with a cohesive approach to internet branding to help foster, support and grow a brand online. With the world becoming increasingly digital, it’s now the primary way in which brands will build an audience for their products and services.

Digital branding vs traditional advertising

Traditional advertising would make use of a variety of channels to help build brand awareness. It was largely influenced by the budget that businesses had to make an impact. It could take the form of newspaper and magazine ads, leaflets, TV/radio commercials, billboards and sponsorship, direct mail and events.

Some of those tools will still be used to help promote brands but they’re no longer as central as they were once were.  In fact, many of the most successful start-up brands never use traditional advertising or only use it in a very limited way.

The explosion in digital channels has helped to level the playing field between big names and start-up brands. If you have a strong brand identity and something different to say, you can rapidly find a niche for your products and services by using digital branding tools. To achieve similar results with traditional advertising would take a much larger budget. For that reason, digital branding has been a game-changer for many ambitious small and medium-sized businesses.

Digital branding helps you make your presence known practically anywhere. Crucially, unlike traditional advertising, digital branding doesn’t talk at you, but to you. It’s that space for customer engagement that can make all difference.

Why you need digital branding

There can’t be many people launching businesses who decide they won’t have any kind of online presence beyond an email address. Even if it’s just a simple entry on local business listings, you are dipping your toe into digital marketing.

Turning disparate online marketing efforts into a coherent digital branding plan takes a little effort but it can make all the difference. It provides an overarching narrative that shapes your digital marketing activities. You communicate a consistent and coherent message that it’s easier for your target audience to understand and engage with.

Digital branding helps you use different digital channels in a joined-up way to communicate a set of brand messages and ideas. With digital branding, you’re much more likely to find an audience that wants to engage and identify with your brand.

How to create a successful digital brand

A strong digital brand is consistent. It has strong visuals, great design, compelling content and well-considered positioning. It finds and develops a market niche, hopefully growing and expanding that niche through its digital strategy.

The brand tone and voice should be consistent across all digital outlets, making your brand feel more credible and communicating a distinct sense of your core values. It should communicate how you’d like your brand to be perceived, be that honest, reliable, knowledgeable or friendly.

Digital channels should be used to help humanise your brand. As well as ensuring your written content is consistent, it’s important to maintain a strong visual identity across all of your channels.  Think about how the internet operates. MEMES, Gifs, snappy pieces of content and short engaging videos all gain traction. If your business is on the internet, it should present itself in a way that’s meaningful to the medium.

Your digital branding should have a well-designed and easy to navigate website at its foundation. This is your shop window out of which many of your other online activities will flow.

What are the benefits of having a strong, well-developed online presence?

A strong digital presence helps customers to feel involved with your brand. It helps to foster relationships with users, creating channels of communication and allowing you to speak directly with your consumers through day-to-day interactions on the platforms they’re already using. Digital branding allows you to zero in on your audience by targeting specific customer groups through the platforms they prefer.

Digital branding also allows you to spread the word quickly and there’s always the potential that your latest content could go viral. It will also shape your marketing approach going forward, making it easier to assess what does and doesn’t work. Once you’ve found what’s effective across your digital channels you can repeat it without the need to constantly reinvent the wheel.

Tips for getting started with your own digital brand strategy

While the benefits of a digital brand strategy might be obvious, getting it right is an altogether different matter.

Firstly, before you can begin creating a digital brand you need to know what that brand is. Think about your goals, values and aims for your business and how you wish to be perceived. What is it that makes your brand stand out from the competition?

Then think about how you can communicate these values across your digital channels and which channels might be most beneficial. Take a look at the user profiles of different social media platforms and ensure that your website is an effective showcase for what you offer. Also, be sure to be consistent both with your customer engagement and the content you produce.

If you’re really serious you will probably want to consider working with a digital branding agency like Dawn Creative. We understand what works and how to deliver it.

Want to learn how we can help you create effective digital branding and help you achieve your business goals? Call 0161 711 0910 or email wakeup@dawncreative.co.uk