What is Digital Branding?
BY BLAKE WILLIAMS /
CHIEF DIGITAL OFFICER
Our goal as a studio is to create brand experiences that leave impressions. It is a shared ambition that each of our clients has for their own business. If their brand doesn't stand out and resonate with clients, then businesses loose the impact of their hard work being attributed to their identity.
It goes without saying that successful entrepreneurs understand the value of building a passionate and quality business coupled with a memorably branded digital experience that backs it up. That's where a digital branding studio comes in.
We are going to highlight some top features of digital branding below. But first, let's talk about what this term means in the industry for a moment. Digital branding combines the visual consistency of internet branding (how you look, sound, and display your brand online) and the customer attracting strategy of digital marketing (the ads, social posts, and other online tactics you use to get customer attention).
Digital branding has the power to make your brand have a seamless digital experience that people can relate to and have a relationship with, while earning you a profit.
Now that we have the overview, let's dive into a few important details to understand about digital branding.
Digital branding is about more than having a pretty website.
We've mentioned it before: a strong website is one of the most valuable tools to creating a successful digital brand. But there is so much more that should go into your website experience beyond the "look." As a digital branding studio, when we work on a website we are thinking about the following experiences:
Branding - The website should be designed in a visual way that makes it look like it belongs to the brand. This includes the appropriate use of brand colors, fonts, and image styles, but fit for a digital platform.
Content - Of course the website should be visually beautiful and creative, but it also needs to engage, entertain, and educate customers about what you do. Content plays a big role in building a digital brand with meaning, not just flash.
Storytelling - Similar to content, the words on your website and in your other online tactics should tell a story. The way you speak about yourself with customers is the foundation of creating connections between consumers and the product or service your business is known for. It is also how to create brand recognition in the digital world.
User Experience - Every website should be designed and built with the user in mind. From mobile friendliness to proper information architecture, a website needs to be an enjoyable and exciting experience for your potential customers. Why? Because if it isn't then they will just leave.
According to Google, 79% of people who don't like what they find on one site will go back and search for another site.
Digital branding is different than digital marketing.
Digital marketing, also called data-driven marketing, is a part of digital branding, but they are definitely not the same thing. When you are marketing you are focussing on selling people an idea, product, or service. Often times this comes alive through online ads like Google AdWords/AdSense, social media promotions, e-mail direct marketing, SEO, and influencer marketing. Although we will commonly use these same marketing techniques and look at the data of where your customers are engaged online, the way we style and communicate these tactics are very different. Digital branding is about telling a consistent story of why your business exists and aims to create lasting relationships and raving fans. From these connections comes increased brand awareness and loyalty to your business. It is about creating quality impressions, not just noise.
Digital branding blends design and technology.
When it comes to your website or digital hub, it isn't enough to just have a good looking site and the perfect copy. It also needs to work! By having both a designer and developer immersed in every part of a project, cheers has the unique ability to understand a strategic brand approach and implement it through production and consulting. When I'm building a website I make sure our clients can actually upkeep it and that everything operates like it should. This means taking the time to evaluate the best platform and any additional required technology such as a recommended POS system or plugins that might be needed before a single thing is designed. Then I work with Danielle to make sure that we are creating a consistent and engaging visual experience across all common screens and browsers.
Digital branding shows your business's value.
Customers are always judging you, and they will use their experience and knowledge of your brand to help guide them through their decision-making process. By having a solid digital brand that leaves an impression, you're confirming why your services and products are worth the cost and their business. Most importantly, it shows your credibility as a brand and separates you from the competition.
Instead of saving it as an afterthought, make sure to put your digital brand at the top of your list of business priorities. If you are already online but need some help easing into a thoughtful digital brand, try following our 4 Tips to Setting up a Solid SEO Foundation. These tips will walk you through creating a base that will elevate your future digital branding endeavors. Plus, they are all things you can do yourself!