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12 Digital Branding Trends for Reaching Customers

12 Digital Branding Trends for Reaching Customers

The digital world is more connected than ever before. With over 5.3 billion active internet users globally, brands have an immense opportunity to build solid connections and loyalty with customers through digital channels. As technology evolves rapidly, digital branding trends are also changing to help brands effectively engage their audiences.

The Growing Importance of Digital Branding

Personalisation Branding Trends 2024

Digital branding has become a crucial investment for businesses of all sizes who want to remain relevant, visible and top-of-mind with the always-connected consumer. Consider these statistics:

  • Global digital advertising spending reached $626 billion in 2023, making up 64.4% of total ad spending worldwide
  • There will be over 7 billion global internet users by 2028
  • 73% of customers say digital channels influence their customer journey

With numbers like these, brands need robust digital branding strategies to capture their share of voice online. Those who embrace digital branding trends will gain a competitive advantage in connecting with their audiences.

Leveraging Data and Customer Insights

Data power today’s digital brand campaigns. By leveraging audience and customer analytics, brands can develop highly targeted, personalised campaigns tailored to their customers' needs and preferences.

Key stats on the importance of customer data:

  • 76% of customers expect personalised interactions with brands (Salesforce)
  • 72% of customers only engage with customised messaging (Evergage)
  • Personalised emails achieve 26% higher open rates and 41% higher click-through rates (Aberdeen Group)

Data and insights should inform messaging, platforms and strategies. Ultimately, digital branding creates relevant, valuable connections with each customer.

Top Digital Branding Strategies

With so many available options, what should be the key focus areas for digital branding campaigns? Here, we explore major trends and strategies making an impact right now.

Website Experience Optimisation

A company's website remains the hub of all digital brand interactions. Investing in site design, user experience (UX), and performance is more critical than ever before.

Consider that:

  • 75% of users judge website credibility based on overall aesthetics (NN Group)
  • 44% of customers will abandon a lagging site after just 3 seconds. (Akamai)

To provide the best experience:

  • Optimise for mobile. Over 60% of website traffic now comes from mobile users. Sites must be mobile-friendly, fast and seamless on all devices.
  • Focus on UX and UI design. Sites should be intuitive to navigate, with compelling and consistent visuals that align with the brand.
  • Improve site speed. With higher expectations, fast load times are a must. Use performance monitoring to identify and correct issues.
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With a stellar web presence, brands make every visit more satisfying, memorable and converting.

Content Marketing

Content Marketing Metrics

Content remains king when it comes to digital branding. Brands attract and engage with their audiences by consistently publishing relevant content.

Did you know?

  • 70% of B2B content goes to waste due to poor targeting (Demand Gen Report)
  • 91% of customers would instead get content from a brand instead of traditional advertising (MDG Advertising)

Types of Content Driving Results

  • Thought leadership content – Build authority and trust
  • Buyer persona content – Appeal to motivations and pain points
  • Video – Compelling and sharable
  • Interactive content – Quizzes, calculators, etc.
  • Testimonials – Influence purchase decisions

Brands earn mindshare and loyalty with thoughtful content that solves problems and answers questions.

Thought Leadership Content

More than ever before, brands have an opportunity to establish themselves as trusted subject matter experts. Developing thought leadership content that provides strategic advice, industry insights, and best practices is tremendously valuable.

According to IDC:

  • Buyers are 5x more likely to consider Thought Leaders as a preferred supplier.
  • 96% of B2B organisations support sales and marketing goals through thought leadership.

The right topic, tone and channel are vital for making the most significant thought leadership impact.

Social Media Marketing

There's no brand awareness without a strategic social media presence. All brands today need to engage audiences on social platforms.

Let's look at social media by the numbers:

  • 4.62 billion global social media users and counting (Statista)
  • 90% of all marketers say social media is essential to their business (Buffer)
  • 72% of customers say social media content influences purchase decisions (MDG Advertising)

Effective Social Strategies

  • Manage brand-owned communities – Build loyal followings on channels popular with your customers, like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube and TikTok.
  • Influencer marketing – Partner with relevant influencers to expand reach. Micro-influencers often drive the highest engagement and conversions.
  • Paid social advertising – Amplify organic content and run targeted campaigns.
  • Monitor and respond – Actively listen, engage and assist followers across social communities.

The combination of organic content and strategic paid campaigns ensures brands maximise impact.

Digital Tactics Driving Results

While strategy provides direction, brands still need the right tactics for executing successful campaigns. As part of robust digital strategies, brands should consider these impactful activations.

Personalised, Triggered Email

Triggered Email Marketing Campaign

Email marketing delivers the highest return of any channel, with $36 earned for every $1 spent (DMA). In 2023, global email users will surpass 4.3 billion (Statista).

But not all email performs equally. The most significant results come from triggered and personalised messages sent to subscribers at precisely the right time.

High-Impact Emails

  • Welcome series
  • Cart abandonment
  • Browse abandonment
  • Re-engagement
  • Win-back

Personalised subject lines, dynamic content and tailored offers based on interests and behaviours optimise every send.

Retargeting

Retargeting (or remarketing) helps brands reconnect with visitors after they've left a website. By strategically placing ads across channels, brands guide buyers to complete desired actions.

The numbers show retargeting works:

  • Retargeted ads are 70% more likely to convert (Wordstream)
  • Retargeting has an average 7.8x higher click-through rate over new visitor ads (AdRoll)
  • 49% of users say they feel more positive about brands that retarget them (Retargeter)
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Configuring suitable remarketing ads, offers, and time delays ensures high relevancy and impact.

Augmented and Virtual Reality

Immersive new technologies like augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) create interactive experiences for customers. And leading brands are taking notice.

Look at the adoption of these reality technologies:

  • 61% of retailers plan ongoing AR or VR programs (Gartner)
  • Global spending on AR/VR is projected to reach $72+ billion by 2024 (IDC)

Brand Applications

  • Product visualisation – Try products virtually before purchase
  • Brand experiences – Interactive branded games, tours and more
  • Employee training – Improve skills in realistic simulated environments
  • Trade show engagement – Attract booth traffic and expand reach

As AR and VR expand, innovative brands will uncover new ways to educate, excite and connect with customers.

Key Marketing Technology Investments

What Is Digital Marketing Automation

The fast pace of change across the digital landscape requires brands to evaluate their technology stack continually. Investing in the right marketing technologies provides efficiency, performance and competitive differentiation.

Marketing Automation

Marketing automation enables brands to streamline campaigns, deliver personalised messaging, and monitor customer engagement at scale. Leaders invest here.

Let's break down marketing automation adoption:

  • 75% of B2B marketers already use marketing automation (Ascend2)
  • An additional 23% plan to implement it within 12 months (Ascend2)
  • 89% say it improves efficiency and productivity (Salesforce)

Core capabilities like email nurturing, lead scoring, campaign analytics and reporting optimise all efforts. And robust integrations with other systems expand functionality.

Customer Data Platforms (CDP)

Fragmented customer data severely limits personalisation initiatives. That's why brands turn to customer data platforms (CDP) – centralised repositories housing unified profiles.

The success of CDPs is shown in the numbers:

  • Global spending on CDPs will grow 34% YoY to reach $6 billion (Finsights)
  • 95% of businesses report seeing ROI from CDP adoption (Arm Treasure Data)

With complete, accurate customer views powering targeting and experiences, CDPs are a must-have foundation for digital marketing stacks.

Digital Experience Platforms (DXP)

As customers engage across more digital touchpoints, brands risk fragmented, inconsistent experiences that erode loyalty. A digital experience platform (DXP) solves this.

DXPs unite cross-channel content, commerce and customer data onto a single platform. Benefits include:

  • Omnichannel personalisation
  • Improved customer lifetime value
  • Enhanced operational efficiency
  • Future-proofing as needs evolve

As volumes of DX suites grow 30% annually (Gartner), integration capabilities make these foundational tech investments.

Measuring Digital Branding Success

Brand Engagement Examples

When making significant digital branding investments, performance tracking and optimisation are essential. By closely monitoring metrics, brands ensure initiatives deliver against goals and required ROI.

Digital Brand Tracking Studies

Detailed tracking studies measure ongoing brand performance and track key health indicators. Covering metrics like brand awareness, consideration, favorability, purchase intent and more, these studies help managers identify growth opportunities and upward or downward trends.

Comparing performance benchmarks vs. competitors highlights competitive advantages or vulnerabilities to address. Well-designed studies provide decision-making support for subsequent investments.

Campaign Response and Engagement Rates

Detailed engagement tracking for each digital campaign and channel informs budget decisions and strategy. Analyse open, click-through, bounce, and conversion rates from email, social posts, SEM/SEO, content offers, and more to pinpoint the performing assets and platforms.

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Tools like Google Analytics, social media analytics and marketing automation provide robust reporting to monitor response. Over time, look at trend lines: Which efforts steadily increase reach and engagement? Which seem to lose steam? Double down on what works and pivot away from poor performers.

Brand Lift Studies

How does your brand tracking study performance tie back to specific campaign activations? Sophisticated brand lift studies connect the dots. Marketers quantify incremental brand lift driven by each effort by surveying exposed audiences around digital activations vs. a control group.

Lift studies help justify budgets by proving the hard ROI delivered from digital branding activities. All contributors are held accountable for delivering returns.

Conclusion: Plan for Flexibility and Continuous Optimisation

Digital transformation continues accelerating across industries. Customer expectations rise exponentially while innovations emerge daily. In this climate, even the savviest digital brand strategies rarely remain static.

The thriving brands move fast, test new opportunities and optimise efforts continually. With flexible strategies and budgets, they reallocate spending to the highest-performing platforms and initiatives in real time. Agile decision-making based on robust analytics keeps them ahead of trends and competitors.

While today's cutting-edge tactic could become tomorrow's obsolete relic, one certainty remains – digitally connected customers will only grow more demanding. Brands must continue expanding their digital toolkits, listening intently to ever-evolving needs and doubling down on customer experiences to earn loyalty over time. Those who stay continually curious, creative and agile will maintain their edge.

5 FAQs on Digital Branding Trends

What are the most essential technologies to include in our digital marketing stack?

Focus first on critical platforms enabling automation (email nurturing, lead scoring), unified customer views/profiles (through a CDP), and centralised experience management (DxP solutions). Strong analytics capabilities are also vital for optimising efforts. With these foundations secured, you can flexibly add capabilities to support new strategies.

What social platforms should we prioritise?

While major platforms like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter remain staples, also consider emerging spaces popular with your target audience, like TikTok, Snapchat or Clubhouse. Conduct audience research to identify key gathering spots that provide messaging and engagement opportunities.

How much of the budget should go toward paid media vs organic content?

Generally, 60/40 is a solid paid media to organic content split, but this varies by company size, industry and goals. Track both channels diligently and shift budgets to better-performing areas over time. Big-budget companies will skew more toward paid, while smaller brands centre around organic.

Who should we involve on our digital branding team?

Key players are marketing executives setting strategy, content teams creating assets and campaigns, designers focused on visual branding, web/mobile developers managing sites, and analysts interpreting performance and trends. Additionally, draw subject matter experts based on initiatives, i.e. social media managers, thought leadership leads and email specialists.

What risks come with investing more in digital branding?

Digital branding costs tend to scale rapidly. Ensure you have accurate attribution modelling and ROI calculations before aggressively ramping budgets. Monitoring efficiency metrics like cost per lead/customer also safeguards against overspending while capping volume, reach, and engagement dramatically cuts into results. Maintain budgets responsibly.

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Stuart Crawford

Stuart Crawford is an award-winning creative director and brand strategist with over 15 years of experience building memorable and influential brands. As Creative Director at Inkbot Design, a leading branding agency, Stuart oversees all creative projects and ensures each client receives a customised brand strategy and visual identity.

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