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What is Digital Branding?

what is digital branding

What is branding?

The digital world is where the action is, and if your brand isn’t where it’s at, you might as well be driving a car without tires. While traditional, “analog” branding isn’t dead yet, businesses need to have a diverse array of digital branding tools at their disposal in order to make sure their real-world presence isn’t outmoded by the competition. To kick off your own brand strategy and make sure all of your bases are covered, read our essential guide to digital branding. We’ll explore everything from social media to SEO and influencers to emails so you can make sure your digital brand campaign checks all the right boxes.

What exactly is digital branding?

Branding is a creative, strategic process for building a positive image for your company, product, or service. It’s about telling potential customers what you’re all about: who you are and what you care about, why they should work with you, and what they can expect from you. After you start a business or create your first product, building a brand identity should be your number one priority.

Branding is a way to convey all the good things about your company in a meaningful way. Think of the golden arches of McDonald’s or the multicolor rings on the Olympics insignia. Even simple symbols can represent your company in a way that will resonate with customers all over the world.

We’ve just introduced three related—but slightly different—B’s to you: brand, branding, and brand identity.

Your brand is a perception of your company formed in the minds of your customers.
The process of branding involves designing and building a unique, memorable image for your company.
Your brand identity is the creative elements that feed into the branding process, like your website and social media, which broadcast your message, values, and purpose.
To create a brand, you must do more than simply provide products or services. You need a strong brand identity that informs customers about your business and makes them want to buy from you. Defining exactly who you are and what makes you unique is the first step in creating a meaningful brand.

Digital branding is how you build and design your brand over the internet through websites, apps, and more. It combines elements of digital marketing with branding to develop your presence online.

Brands need to be visible on the internet because most people are constantly using their devices. If a company wants to reach its target customers and convert one-time users into long-term loyalists, they need a digital presence. Digital branding enables any company to make its presence known anywhere—even in the palm of your hand. After all, if my cat has an Instagram account, why shouldn’t my favorite shoe brand?

What’s the difference between digital branding and digital marketing?

Digital branding and marketing have different goals. Digital marketing aims to generate sales, while digital branding gives you value and inspires loyalty. In the digital age, you are constantly being bombarded with advertisements. These might be on Instagram or Facebook, in the form of a pop-up coupon or an endorsement by an influencer, or even in an email.

Digital branding is all about establishing an online identity and positive feelings about your business. It helps people develop a one-time purchase rather than inspire them to make a permanent change in their life. Learn all about it here!

What are the benefits of digital branding?

A strong digital presence helps customers feel personally connected to a company or product. Well-crafted branding fosters relationships with users and allows companies to speak directly with consumers through day-to-day interactions on the platforms they already use.

Targeting Audience

When it comes to digital branding, your company’s online presence is the most important mode by which potential customers will learn about you. Digital branding allows you to target specific customer groups through the online platforms they use most frequently: Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and more.

Connect with customers

Successful digital branding makes customers feel like you’re speaking directly to them, especially because you’re engaging on the same platforms they use to interact with friends and family members. Personalize your message for each potential customer by making it relevant to their interests.

Digital branding helps companies communicate with their customers. It can be as simple as making it easy for customers to find information about your company on your website or helping them get great customer service. Ultimately, a brand that isn’t searchable online practically doesn’t exist in the contemporary consumer’s mind.

What are the components of successful digital branding?

1. Logo

Your logo is the single image customers should associate with your brand. Think Mickey Mouse, and you’ll think Disney. Think of an apple with a glowing bite taken out of it, and you’ll think of Apple. Your logo will match the personality and values of your business, industry, and target audience—but not too flashy or complicated that people forget it amidst the daily barrage of images they see online.

A logo is the foundation of a great digital brand. It should look good in all sizes on all your brand materials: letterheads, business cards, and billboards. But remember: digital platforms require specific sizes and imaging. You should design a logo that works well on profile pictures, cover photos, email headers, app buttons, and more. We’ve got everything you need to dream up a perfect logo in our guide on how to design a logo.

2. Website

When a customer wants to know your brick-and-mortar locations, your hours of operation, your product listings, or your contact information, they won’t be digging through the phone book. They’ll Google your website, where they’ll expect to find information quickly and easily.

Streamline design and maintain brand consistency by using a limited color scheme that matches or complements your logo. Make your brand name and essential details stand out with bold, legible fonts. Keep pages concise and to the point, and don’t bog down visitors with excess information. The fastest way to make a potential customer stop clicking is to bury essential info.

3. Brand Messaging

Brand messaging is what your company says and how you say it. If I’m opening a breakfast joint with the best blueberry pancakes in town, you best be sure I’m mentioning that in my brand message. My message should reflect what my company does and believes, and speak to my customers’ needs and desires.

Bear in mind that your brand message should speak to an online audience. If your brand is on the internet, it should act as the internet does. The internet has its own modes of communication, such as memes and slang, which your company can use on social media when appropriate.

4. SEO

Search engine optimization (SEO) ensures that your brand and its offerings are easily found on search engines, one of the primary avenues through which customers seek out your services. To start optimizing your site for SEO, design it with search engines in mind. A great place to start is Google’s Webmaster Guidelines, which explain how Google indexes and ranks sites.

Make sure to use a keyword search tool like Ubersuggest, Ahrefs, or Keywordtool to find frequently searched words that you can use in your copy and to ensure your website code (schema) and meta tags are optimized for search engines.

5. Social Media

Everyone from your grandparents to the youngest millennials are present on social media. If your customers are there, your brand should be too.

To get the most out of social media, think like a social media professional: Schedule posts for specific times and dates, engage with commenters, and respond to direct messages. Track your progress with a tool like Hootsuite or Google Analytics. If you want to sell directly on a social media platform, a tool like Shopify can link potential customers straight to your website’s shopping cart.

6. Email Marketing

Online mailers are an easy way to reach out to customers, especially those who don’t use social media. Start by building robust targeted email lists plump with “leads” who are likely to be converted into web visitors and subscribers. You can get these signups from advertisements or gather them directly on your website by including a popup with a newsletter signup on the landing page.

To market your business and drive sales, target your emails to specific customer segments and write them in a lively, engaged tone that fits your brand. Include photos, videos, and useful information that seeks to not only sell your products but actively engage customers in your brand’s lifestyle. Carefully schedule out mass emails; sending too many back-to-back emails often results in a first-class ticket to the junk mail pile.

7. Online Advertising

Online advertising takes advantage of the many different ways to market on the web. While it used to be as simple as placing a banner on a website, today there are dozens of ways to advertise digitally. Here are some of the most common methods:

A] Search engine ads:

These ads help to boost your website to the top of a page on search engines so that customers will see your products or brand first.

B] Display Ads:

These ads are banners that can be clicked upon, and that you’ll find on web pages across the internet.

C] Social Media Ads:

Social media sites Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram offer a variety of ways to market your product. You can pay-to-play and automatically have your content appear in the feeds of potential customers. Or you can hire an influencer to post about your product for you.

D] Mobile feed and desktop feed ads:

These ads look like any other post on your feed, and they appear as suggested content. They have a more natural feel because they’re integrated directly into your feed and blend in with non-paid content.

E] Retargeted ads:

You’ve probably experienced an ad for something you were just looking for. That’s the power of retargeted ads. These reach customers who have already expressed interest in your business or services, whether by Googling it, visiting your website or liking your Facebook page.

8. Content Writing

To create a loyal, returning customer base today, you need to be engaging in addition to being sales-focused. That’s where content marketing comes in. Think of it as the human side of your brand—where digital marketing emphasizes sales, content marketing focuses on engagement through photos, videos, Spotify playlists, and blog posts like the one you’re reading right now!

Effective content marketing should entice users to become interested in your brand, products, and message. Content marketing creates trust between brand and customer, and seeks to establish lasting relationships. Digital marketing introduces a customer to your brand, while successful content marketing keeps them interested by transforming one-time users into diehard fans.

9. Influencer Marketing

Influencer marketing uses social media stars with large followings to promote a brand. This type of marketing is particularly effective because it allows a brand to reach new consumers without having to spend money on traditional advertising.

Working with influencers is a great way to market your brand. Influencers typically have large followings, and they’re trusted by their networks. They create content that matches the image of their brand, so you don’t have to worry about them posting something that doesn’t fit your company’s style.

There are some pitfalls to avoid when it comes to influencer marketing. You don’t want to hire a fitness influencer to sell your brownie mix—his or her audience might not be interested in the product, and neither will his or her followers. So choose carefully and clearly define acceptable ways for those influencers to talk about your brand.

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