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What is Digital Branding? A Complete Guide

digital branding

Digital branding is a vital part of any good marketing plan. So why aren’t businesses better at it?

A digital brand is the best way to get your company in front of potential clients. Digitally sharing your brand is cheap, and social media apps come with a built-in audience.

Yet despite the benefits, many small businesses are unsure about their digital brand. They might find the whole thing overwhelming. New social media apps pop up daily, and it can be difficult to keep up. Plus if you’re not familiar with the digital world, you can commit a serious faux pas.

But digital branding doesn’t have to be intimidating. By identifying your brand and creating a plan, you can master digital marketing.

Check out our complete guide to digital branding to get started.

What is Digital Branding?

At its core, digital branding is nothing new. It’s a strategy using advertising, customer info, and brand identity to achieve a goal. Only instead of using TV commercials or newspaper ads, you do this with a digital platform.

Let’s say you’re a small clothing boutique. You could create a branding strategy to advertise your business on the radio. You work with someone to create a short audio blurb. It talks about who you are, the kind of customer you serve, and where you are. Plus, you throw in some kind of incentive, like a holiday sale, that will get people to your door.

Digital branding does a lot of the same things but uses different methods.

For example, share photos of your clothing every day leading up to the holiday sale to get people excited. Each photo has your logo on it or has a unified theme like color or setting. Use the same upbeat, casual language you use with your customers to write about your sale.

All these choices reflect your brand, your customers, and your products, like the radio ad.

Why Do You Need Digital Branding?

There’s a saying that goes “If you want to get hit by a train, go stand on the rails.” So if you want more customers, you have to go where the customers are.

There are thousands of social media apps out there. But Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram are the top three. In fact, Facebook reports that there are over 2 billion users on their site as of June 2018.

While most people see Facebook as a way to keep in touch with friends and family, businesses need to see it in a new way. Digital brand managers should look at Facebook as 2 billion potential customers.

Of course, not everyone is going to love your business. You don’t want everyone too. You only want to reach out to the people who will use your services, and use them often.

With that in mind, why would you focus on social media? Why not continue to advertise with television spots and magazine ads?

Social Media is Cheap

As a company, you can create a profile on many digital platforms for free. That includes the big three: Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube.

That means you have a free space to share news about your products, your company, and your brand. From there you can buy ad campaigns to reach your target audience.

You’ll Get More Traffic

The other benefit of digital branding is your customers can share your information. In the past, you had to rely on your reputation and word of mouth for free advertising. Now your new ad can go viral with the click of a button.

Digital Branding Builds Authority

If we have questions today, we Google it. That means if your site shows up as one of the top results on Google, you’ve become an authority on the topic. If you’re the authority on plumbing solutions in your area, you’ll get more customers.

Common Digital Branding Issues

By now you’re thinking that digital branding sounds like a sweet deal. But you might still be hesitant to lean into it. After all, you’ve heard stories from others who wasted time and money on digital branding.

Digital branding problems do happen. But it happens when there’s a disconnect between brand identity and customer base.

For example, McDonald’s wouldn’t advertise their Quarter Pounder on a health food website. No one who’s on that site wants to eat from McDonald’s, especially a huge greasy burger. So as far as McDonald’s knows, that ad was a loss.

But if McDonald’s had a new healthy options menu, they would be expanding their brand identity. This new identity could reach the health gurus in a new way.

How to Become a Digital Brand Master

If you’re new to digital brand management, then here are some questions to get you started.

1. What is Your Brand Identity?

This question should include everything about the public image of your business. What is your logo, and your primary colors? What kind of language do you use in your copywriting?

It should also include information about the market you’re competing in. Who are your target clients, and what do they need? How are you going to fill these needs in a way no one else will?

2. Pick Three Social Media Apps to Focus On

What are the three apps your ideal clients use? Are they on Facebook, or YouTube? Do they prefer Twitter, or are they on LinkdIn?

Whatever you choose, make sure that you’re familiar with it. There is a certain etiquette for every platform, and you don’t want to offend anyone.

3. Create Social Media Templates

If your customer sees your brand on Facebook, they should recognize you on Instagram. Make your digital brand consistent with colors, fonts, and image templates.

4. Create an E-mail List

What’s the best and most direct way to communicate with your client? E-mail.

Yes, there’s a chance that they’ll delete all your e-mail promotions. But if they gave you their e-mail, they’re interested in what you’re selling.

Want More Tips on Creating a Great Digital Brand?

Whether you’re new to digital branding, or you want to learn more about it, we’ve got you covered.

Take a look at our site for thoughts, inspirations, and how-tos.