The Importance of Digital Marketing in Building Your Brand
The ability to create a successful brand is of the utmost importance in a marketplace that grows exponentially.
This is the primary reason why business development and brand building are so in demand these days.
Growing a humble small business venture into a globally recognised brand is an aspiration for many entrepreneurs and managers.
Of course, such a process would take time, effort, and resources.
Also, while many small business owners are aware of this fact, being able to develop a successful brand building strategy, and subsequently carrying it through, is a real challenge.
A good brand image separates you and your business from competitors.
Experts believe that having a brand image is more important than having money.
Profits come and go, but a substantial brand presence guarantees that your business will survive even the toughest periods when your operations aren't as profitable as you'd like them to be.
As shown in the infographic below by Serpwatch, digital marketing is probably the best and the most cost-efficient way to accomplish this task.
With so much competition out there, small businesses are faced with the daunting challenge of having to cut through all the marketing clutter just to establish a connection with the audience.
Digital marketing covers a good number of practices, such as search engine optimisation (SEO), PPC advertising, email marketing, and social media management, among others.
Each of them plays a role in the marketing mix and helps to build a brand successfully.
Why is Having a Brand Important?
Branding is all about positively reinforcing the image of your business to your target market so that they could always remember you and keep you on top of their minds when they need a service that you offer.
Brand equity is a premium value added to a product or service.
For this reason, a pair of Ferragamo shoes or a limited edition of Air Jordans sell much better than less known brands.
They're all footwear, but the well-known, positive brand image automatically raises the value.
The Golden Rule of Business
The root of all brand building efforts was probably best articulated by Bob Burg – All things being equal, people will do business with, and refer business to, those people they know, like, and trust.
To be a successful brand, you want your customers to know you, but you also need to make them like and trust you.
This holds particularly true as the marketplace grows increasingly more crowded and cutthroat.
A brand helps a business, a product, or a service better resonate with its intended target market — the stronger the connection, the stronger the brand.
The Goal of Branding
When people go to McDonald's, they know that they're not just getting a hamburger, but that they're getting a specific dining experience.
When people buy Beats by Dre, they know they're not just getting a regular set of headphones.
The same goes for those who shop at Amazon, book an Uber ride, or stay at Airbnb places.
Branding is all about managing expectations.
Companies that are aware of this fact take great efforts to ensure that their brands live up to the expectations of the customers.
A brand that keeps its promises and stays true to its claims earns trust.
Why Digital Marketing?
Digital marketing covers a good number of practices, each of which has a vital role in connecting with your target market.
Digital marketing has levelled the playing field, allowing small businesses to advertise and promote products and services, as well as communicate with potential customers, just as larger companies with more substantial marketing budgets do.
However, the average small business owner already has quite a bit on her plate, with enough troubles of day-to-day operations and weekly sales to worry about.
They can't possibly know all digital marketing hacks, which is why it's important to focus energy and efforts on some of the critical areas.
To help you be more efficient with your brand-building efforts, here are some of the essential trends in digital marketing that you can use in formulating a strategy and action plan for your brand.
Start your brand building efforts by creating a whole bunch of high-quality content that helps reinforce your current brand message.
A good number of search optimised, long-form articles of about 2,000 words featuring lots of great visuals, videos, links to your other pages as well as trusted sources within your chosen topic will significantly benefit your marketing efforts.
Content should be well written and express your authority in the niche.
This will help to attract more visitors to your site who will keep coming back for fresh content and updates on your products and industry developments.
The best part about content marketing is that you can do it for free.
As long as you invest some time into creating content that will provide value to your target audience, you won't have to spend a dime.
These days, it's more important to come up with amazing, market-relevant, comprehensive pieces of content once a week or even once a month, than pumping out mediocre content daily.
PPC vs Organic SEO
Here's an interesting fact — 80% of people ignore paid search results, clicking only on organic listings.
However, 64.6% of people who do click on Google ads are looking to make an online purchase.
That said, both pay-per-click (PPC) and organic SEO marketing strategies are essential for your brand-building initiatives, but they each have specific uses.
PPC can give you a big boost in terms of brand awareness, online visibility, and a traffic increase short-term.
Organic traffic, on the other hand, will pay off in the long run.
So it's acceptable to run some ads if you have to.
For example, you might have a special promotion or launching a new product.
However, don't forget to create high-quality pieces of content we've mentioned in the previous section, as those could help your SEO strategy.
The primary objective of social media marketing is to attract and engage potential customers.
Identify three to four best platforms where your target audience is likely to hang out.
Remember that you don't have to be present on all social networks, just the ones that matter the most.
Make sure your profiles are complete, with your business information clearly visible.
When people take time to drop a comment or review, you need to respond right away.
Engagement is what fuels social networks, and their algorithms can pick up cues from how your audience responds to what you post.
Comments carry the most weight, along with clicking a “play” button or clicking through links.
Find out what are the best times to post on social media, and consider using chatbots to automate some of the fundamental interactions on your channels.
We'd like you to pay particular attention to video content as a marketing means.
It allows you to showcase so much about your brand — your brand image, products, how-to tutorials, and much more.
Use videos to tell your brand's story and let your customers know what's your business all about.
Come up with content that can help showcase your expertise, and take the opportunity to show how likeable, relatable, and accessible you are through these stories.
Videos synergise very well with other marketing channels, boost online visibility, engagement, search engine rankings, and ultimately, sales.
These are all great reasons to use videos on top of your brand-building efforts.
In case you didn't realise, four out of five consumers believe that demo videos are beneficial, and almost half of all internet users look for videos related to a product before visiting a store.
One of the most overlooked areas that can give your brand a higher impact is improving local SEO.
Around 50% of mobile users conducting a local search visited a nearby store within a day.
It is projected that searches for products and services “near me” will only increase with more people using voice search on their mobile devices and smart home assistants.
Sign up for Google My Business to claim your local listing, and fill up your profile as best as you can.
Make sure your NAP info (business name, address, and phone numbers) are consistent throughout all your online pages — your website, landing pages, social media channels, as well as online business directories.
Encourage your clients to leave testimonials and reviews about your products and services, and acknowledge these with prompt responses.
In a world where people are constantly inundated with advertising, promotional offers, and all sorts of sales pitches, branding not only helps to stand out from the crowd but it also allows companies to break through the clutter and get a chance to make a real connection with the customers.
Digital marketing is a blessing for business owners, as it allows them to reach potential customers more effectively.
However, with an increasingly competitive landscape coupled with the hectic schedule, the struggle to find time to build a brand can be a real challenge.
Thorough knowledge of digital marketing trends is vital in developing a good strategy for building your brand, as the bulk of your clients are already online.
Knowing how to best connect with them is crucial for sustainable business success.
The critical components of success include a steady, consistent effort in creating positive brand messages, developing genuinely useful resources to showcase your expertise and to genuinely connect with your market with real interaction and by delivering on your brand promises.