Digital branding can give your small business the edge over its competitors, strengthen it as an ongoing concern, and help you plan strategically for the future.
Sounds good, but is that something that smaller businesses need to think about, particularly in the early days?
Digital branding can ensure your business has a future
The often-cited statistics about small businesses stand as a warning to anyone who thinks going it alone is easy. Around 660,000 startups are launched every year, but 20% of those won’t be around by the end of their first year of trading. After 3 years, 60% won’t be in business. They’re sobering statistics that highlight just how difficult it can be turning a great idea into a viable business.
Why do so many businesses fail so quickly? Often, it’s an issue of cash flow. The finances simply don’t come in to keep the business going. It can be a lack of planning, or a failure to understand basic business concepts. It might just be that they haven’t worked out what they would do in a worse-case scenario.
More often than not it’s because there’s holes in their marketing strategy. Right from the very start you need to invest intelligently in branding and marketing. Digital marketing is an increasingly necessary tool for business success.
What is digital branding?
Digital branding is all about using the tools that are offered by the internet to help create, build, and grow your brand identity. It allows a company to communicate that identity across a range of platforms, creating a constant source of leads. The kinds of digital channels that might be used include a website, social media, content marketing, SEO and even influencer marketing.
How does digital branding help your business?
Digital branding can give your business a competitive edge over your competitors.
Digital branding communicates a consistent message across a range of channels, reinforcing your brand identity and helping to encourage customer interaction with your brand.
Live up to expectations
One consequence of the increased digitalisation of our daily lives is our shifting expectations. Customers expect to be able to find your business on online channels. They also expect how you’re communicating on those channels to be familiar and consistent. Businesses who can’t be found online are increasingly less trusted.
Speeds up engagement
Customers like to be able to ask questions, raise issues and communicate with brands on social media. Digital branding allows them to do just that. If they have an interest in your products or services, they can ask questions almost immediately that may come to mind. This increases the chances they’ll then become customers. If they have any issues with your service, they can quickly be resolved. Speedy, accessible engagement strengthens brand loyalty, builds customer trust and minimises the chance of minor issues becoming problems.
What’s the difference between digital branding and digital marketing?
There’s often some confusion between digital branding and digital marketing. The two are symbiotically linked, or at least they should be. Understood simply, digital marketing is about using digital channels to make sales. Digital branding is about communicating your company values and adding value through digital channels. Digital branding should provide the supportive ecosystem through which sales can happen.
How to get started
Digital branding can be a complex and involved process that takes some consideration. Here’s a brief guide to some of the steps you may wish to take.
Who’s your ideal customer?
Think about who is likely to buy your products. What’s their age, gender, and location? What’s their income bracket? What are their interests? When do they purchase and how? What are their motivations in life?
Design your logo and website
You’re going to have to live with your logo and website design for some time so be sure to get it right. Make your logo stand out but ensure it’s appropriate for your particular field. Think about your ideal customer. What kind of aesthetic approach to life do they have? Homely and comfortable, stripped back and contemporary, angular and edgy? Make sure your visual branding matches their own tastes and preferences.
Work on your brand message
To establish your brand in the mind of your customers you’ll need to send out a clear, consistent, and confident message. What are your customers looking for? What problems can you help them resolve and how are your competitors meeting the challenge? Take inspiration from successful brands, but never copy them.
Provide value to your customers
What does your brand offer that no other brand can? What particular issues can your brand solve that other brands are failing to do? Talk to your customers, find out what they most want. Get to know your customers, and as far as possible seek to personalise the offer you make to them.
Content, Social Media and SEO
Content marketing, Social Media and SEO will be at the heart of your digital branding. Along with your website, they will be the principal means by which you communicate your brand values, encourage engagement, and ultimately convert interest into sales. Make sure that your use of all three is consistent with your digital branding. Focus less on sales, and more on communicating your brand identity, and adding value. The sales will then follow.
Get in touch
Dawn Creative can make your digital branding outshine your competitors
Digital branding can often be a confusing area for many business owners. At Dawn Creative we are digital branding specialists with a unique perspective and a track record of delivery. We’d love to help you create a digital branding strategy that allows your ideas, products, and services to truly shine.
Why not get in touch to find out more about what we can do for your business?