Branding 101: Ultimate Guide on Branding in Digital Age
In the fast-paced digital age, customers are constantly bombarded with new content and information from different brands. The only difference is, brands are now fighting for customers’ attention through social media and digital ads, instead of radio and newspapers like before. This is why it’s more important than ever to have great branding and a solid online presence to stand out among your competitors.
But how does one create great branding in the digital age? Let’s dive in to find out more.
I. What Is Branding?
Before we go into detail about building your brand online, we must identify first what exactly branding is. Branding is the process of creating a distinct identity for your brand or business. It’s composed of your visual assets such as logo, color palette, website, and typography, to your non-tangible assets such as tone of voice and customer service.
In the digital age, branding also includes what kind of social media content you post, what tone of voice you use on your blog articles, what your email newsletter looks like, how you interact with your customers online, and what kind of digital ads you run.
All of this has a massive effect on how your customers perceive your brand. By having a great branding strategy, you’ll be able to establish your brand.
II. Why Is Branding Important In The Digital Age?
Let me give you some numbers: As of 2022, 55% of marketing is now digital. 27% of customers search for a business or brand after seeing their display ad online. 97% of customers also use the internet to search for local businesses and find reviews about them.
Considering that we live in a digital-first world, this is not surprising. Imagine that a potential customer searches for you online, but they see a poorly-designed logo or a slow-loading website. They will just close the tab and move on to a competitor.
This is why the majority of brands prioritizes building a strong branding strategy and combining that with an equally strong online presence.
Branding also guides purchasing decisions for customers. 68% of people will buy from businesses that they trust. And you build that trust through your branding.
Branding also helps your brand be more memorable and recognizable in the very saturated digital landscape. With millions of brands advertising on the internet, having a strong branding will help you stand out among them.
However, branding is still just one aspect of marketing. You need to put your brand and message out so that people can actually see and be aware of your brand.
III. How To Build Your Brand Online
Now that you know the importance of branding, let’s take a look at how to actually create your branding.
A. Define your brand
The first thing to do is to take a step back and take a deep look into your brand or business.
Ask yourself these questions: “Why did I start this business?”, “What values do I believe in?” “What kind of traits do I want to be associated with my business?”, “How do I want my customers to perceive me?”, “What makes my brand unique from the competition?”, “What problems of my customers can I solve?”, etc.
By knowing all of this, you’ll be able to create a branding strategy that can accurately reflect your visions.
B. Identify your audience
Branding’s main purpose is to create a brand that your customers can resonate with and trust. If you don’t know your customers to begin with, how can you create a strategy that will be successful?
To properly identify your audience, you need to know the following information about them:
- Education Level
- Interest / Hobbies
- Social media platforms they use
- Type of content they consume
- How much time they spend online
- Purchasing behavior
- Problems or issues they usually encounter
Knowing your audience is key to building a solid branding strategy, so make sure you take this step seriously.
C. Identify your competitors
Knowing your competitors is also crucial to the success of your branding. By researching your competitors and their customers, you’ll be able to craft a winning branding strategy to make you stand out.
For example, in creating a logo, your competitors use a particular logotype. You can take advantage of this by creating a logo that is in line with theirs so that it’s easier for your audience to subconsciously associate you with your industry. Or, you can create one in an entirely different style to stand out.
Another example is in social media presence. If you notice that your competitors usually post on Instagram, you might want to focus your marketing efforts on TikTok instead to take advantage of the untapped audience on that platform.
D. Create an eye-catching logo
Based on the research that you have done on the previous steps, you should now have a good idea of what kind of logo will accurately represent your brand. This is important because your logo is the first thing that your customers will associate with your brand.
Your logo should be something that is in line with your target audience. For example, if your audience skews younger, a bolder and more playful logo design might suit you better. If you have a more luxurious branding, a simple cursive wordmark logo might work for you.
It might be tricky to design a logo from scratch, so take advantage of logo maker tools online. You can find premade templates that you can further customize to fit your vision and style preferences.
E. Build a great website
Now that you have built the foundation of your brand, it’s time to start building your presence online. The best way to do it? Create a great website.
Your website is essentially your brand’s office online. It’s where your audience will go when they want to know more about your brand and your products. Having a great website is crucial if you want to create a strong online presence.
Your should design your website with your branding in mind. Use color schemes, typography, images, or illustrations that are in line with your brand’s style.
The content on your website, from how you write your “About Us” to your blog articles, should also be consistent with your brand voice. The content you write should also be relevant and high-quality, and something that your audience will find value in.
Your website should also be easy to navigate, user-friendly, uncluttered, and loads fast. It should also be optimized for mobile use, as 57% of traffic comes from mobile users.
F. Leverage social media platforms
Another way to build your branding online is to have a strong social media presence.
For example, you can create social media content that highlights your brand’s personality, share user-generated content to engage with your audience, and share relevant posts that are in line with your brand’s values.
Try posting regularly to keep your brand on top of your audience’s mind. However, don’t just post random stuff just for the sake of posting. Make sure your content is fun and engaging and something your audience will find valuable.
Contrary to popular belief, you also don’t need to be on every social media platform. Think of your audience and your brand, and create pages only on platforms that are suitable.
For example, if you have a younger audience and you create lots of trendy content, you might want to focus on TikTok. If you have a more professional B2B clientele, LinkedIn is the best platform for you. If you have a food-related business, consider having a YouTube channel where you can showcase your food.
G. Consider digital marketing campaigns
Running digital marketing campaigns is also a great way to build your brand and boost your online presence. Look into digital ads, webinars, and email newsletters, or work with influencers that are suitable for the brand image that you want to represent.
Choose the strategy that would be most effective with your audience. And as always, make sure your marketing campaigns are in line and consistent with your branding — that they are using your colors, typography, brand voice, etc.
H. Track and analyze your results
Branding is a continuous process. It takes time and patience, as well as trying out multiple strategies to see what works and what doesn’t.
All of your efforts will be for naught if you don’t analyze and review them. Make sure to track the performance of your website, social media pages, and marketing campaigns so that you can see where you can still improve or make adjustments.
Building a brand that can help you stand out from the competitive online noise is a hard task. With weak branding, customers won’t be able to connect with you and will just move to a brand that is more engaging to them. We hope our guide above will help you to build a great brand in this digital age.
Faviola has been in the digital marketing industry for six years and is currently an SEO Content Writer at BrandCrowd.