This article has been contributed by Liz Roncevic.
We live in a digital world where businesses that aren’t able to keep pace will eventually get kicked to the curb. It’s a sad and startling truth that has become ever more clear with the state of our world and the Coronavirus pandemic.
COVID-19 has created a lot of turmoil for businesses. To effectively compete, brands must have cut-through and their online presence needs to be seamless and enjoyable.
This isn’t really a bad thing, as long as you’re prepared to do what it takes to keep up! What was once a secondary concern for businesses has quickly become a necessity.
In addition, businesses that could once skate by on referrals and walk-in customers are diminishing. The need for enhanced online visibility is now critically important.
As most businesses are functioning at limited capacity, the world is getting pushed into overdrive. More and more people are rushing to get their businesses online and keep up with changes in the global marketplace.
Make sure your brand doesn’t get left behind, and that you’re properly positioned to thrive after the pandemic. Read on to learn our 15 tips that will skyrocket your digital branding strategy beyond COVID-19!
TIP 1: Build Your Brand, Strategically
As you know, first impressions matter. A lot. And the importance and value of your company’s first impression is the reason you need a kick-butt, rock star brand.
Here are a few tips to keep in mind:
- Have a brand that speaks to your audience and potential clients
- Work on your brand strategy
- Don’t skimp on your logo
TIP 2: A User-Friendly Website is Vital
Your website is one of the most important branding elements of your business. Having a useful, appealing, user-friendly website is key to maximizing your company’s potential.
Some important things to consider include:
- Have a plan for your website
- Connect it to your social media accounts
- Make sure it’s well-designed and responsive
- Make sure it is easy to read and navigate
- Keep your brand identity consistent across your entire online (and offline) presence so that it is aesthetically pleasing and cohesive
TIP 3: Track & Measure Spending
Different online branding and marketing channels will provide different benefits to you and your business. And as the old saying goes, “you’ve got to spend money to make money”. Prepare to spend, but be smart about it.
Spend some time carefully analyzing each channel, platform or tool and what they offer to your business. Also set clear and measurable goals for each activity. You will want to do this so that you can properly decide where and how much to spend.
Your spending and digital marketing should be done in a strategic way. Doing things haphazardly will only yield ineffective and unsustainable results for your business – you’ll effectively be burning money.
Be sure to continuously measure and analyse the results of each of your branding and marketing tactics so that you can ensure you’re getting the best bang for your buck, and alter or cease activities that aren’t meeting your goals.
TIP 4: Get On Google My Business
If you are a local business or brand, getting your company on Google My Business (GMB) is of utmost importance. And the great news is that you can set up GMB yourself (or hire an agency for GMB setup)!
GMB is a free tool that allows you to showcase your company’s information on Google and Google Maps. You can highlight your branding elements through photos and posts as well as display important details such as your opening hours, website, address and phone number.
Here are some tips for GMB:
- Consistency on GMB and your other listings and website is crucial
- Respond to reviews and entice customers to leave them
- Post photos of your business frequently
- Post updates and specials to promote and encourage customer patronage
- Make sure you update hours whenever necessary, including public holidays
- Include a link to your website
TIP 5: Know Your Customers
Having knowledge about your customers and what their behaviors are will allow you to stay a few steps ahead of the game. And there are many tools to understand and measure your customers’ purchasing behaviors.
You can create customer personas which will help you build your digital marketing and branding strategy. Additionally, monitoring behaviors and results using Google Trends will keep you on top of relevant topics.
TIP 6: Do Your Research
Research involves a lot of trial and error. But through research and meticulous documentation, you will see the benefit ten-fold in the way you can reach potential customers.
Consider conducting case studies to explore in depth how you’ve helped buyers in the long term. In doing so you will be able to sell your products or services to potential new customers with ease.
TIP 7: Improve Your Online Presence With SEO
Search engine optimisation (SEO) is an important marketing technique every serious business owner should consider. With successful SEO, you can expand your reach to new audiences dramatically, and attract them to your website where you can hopefully convert them to paying customers.
Here are some of the benefits you can expect to see from SEO:
- Increased number of phone calls and emails
- More exposure for your brand
- Decrease in need for other marketing methods
TIP 8: Leverage Social Media
Leveraging social media is an important way you can take your brand to a whole new level. Display products and seductive branding in carefully curated posts or simply display client testimonials to entice new customers.
You will want to pay close attention to the most effective channels for your business. Whatever you choose to do, you can’t lose if you make the most of social media and all that it can do for your branding strategy.
TIP 9: Be Authentic
One of the most compelling ways to attract new customers is to be authentic. Rather than creating a brand that you think people want to learn about, why not figure out what’s important to you and your company?
In doing so, your voice will be heard through your brand storytelling, and your audience will respond to in a much more genuine way. Authenticity will convey a message about your brand that will attract a more relevant customer base to your business.
TIP 10: Blog Frequently
Blogging frequently on your website is a great way to build buzz in addition to creating more of an online presence. A successful blog shows readers that you are an authority in your niche. In addition to this, you will boost the strength of your website and do wonders for your online presence.
Here’s a few tips to optimize your content strategy:
- Make sure visuals and content is in alignment with your brand
- Write on relevant topics
- Brush up on your copywriting skills
- Use tools to help discover what to write about
- Keep content fresh and post regularly
TIP 11: Use YouTube
Using YouTube is a great way to improve your online presence and reach. You can connect with a talented video marketer or create YouTube videos yourself. Just make sure they look professional and are an extension of your brand.
There are many video editing tools you can use for YouTube marketing that make creating video content easy. In addition to the software and equipment you will need, you will want to keep some things in mind:
- Incorporate branding in your YouTube videos
- Write compelling SEO optimized description of every YouTube video you create
- Make sure images and video content is clear and audio is not muffled
TIP 12: Respond Proactively
Now that much of the world is online and your business is beginning to thrive, you will notice you can’t make customers happy ALL of the time. However, you can do your best to address obstacles that come up appropriately and in a way that will make your business shine.
Here are some tips for responding to negative customer feedback:
- Don’t get involved in a defensive back and forth, no matter what
- Do whatever you can to please the customer and make things right
- Respond in an appropriate and courteous way to negative feedback
- Brainstorm the right way to approach any bad PR and how you can correct such instances
TIP 13: Engage And Interact With Users Online
Another important part of branding your business correctly through digital marketing is by engaging and interacting with others online. This might include sharing and re-sharing posts, talking about others’ achievements and successes, and commenting or responding to comments in a strategic and authentic way.
Humanizing your brand is a great way to gain more exposure and enhance your credibility. In addition, it will create a buzz around your brand and help people to relate in a more connected way.
TIP 14: Leverage Your Analytics
Leveraging analytics is important for any business. When you spend time on a promotion or creative strategy, it’s crucial to measure and analyze results of what you do.
Doing so will help in a multitude of ways. For one, you will pinpoint any missed attempts and know which efforts aren’t important to your business. In addition, you will be able to understand what customers respond to so you can improve on that and remarket in effective ways.
Leveraging analytics and paying attention to the results is a sure-fire way to boost your brand online.
Here are a few helpful analytical tools to measure results of marketing activities:
- Google Analytics
- Google Search Console
- Social Analytics
These are just a few of the many tools available and at your disposal. After all this work on digitalizing your business, why not make the most of them and measure your results?
TIP 15: Take Time For Learning And Finding Out What’s New
One of the most important things that’s not discussed enough is taking the time to learn and improve on your skillsets and your business. As far as digital marketing and branding is concerned, this should be done on a regular basis.
You can set aside some time every week and learn about what’s new and working. In addition, joining groups and developing business friendships is a great way to stay knowledgeable.
Here are a few tips for staying on top in the digital marketing world:
- Follow influencers and experts in the industry
- Join email mailing lists to your favorite news and information sources
- Watch gurus on YouTube and immerse yourself in new information
- Join Facebook groups to stay on top and in the know
There is a plethora of information at your disposal online. It would be a shame and a waste if you didn’t take the time out of your schedule to stay informed. Unfortunately, due to how quickly digital marketing changes, it’s hard to stay on top unless you do the footwork. Following these simple suggestions and guidelines is a great way of doing so.
The world of business is constantly evolving. Now, more than ever, the way business is done is changing. It’s crucial to focus on digitalizing your company in order to stay afloat.
We hope these tips for digital marketing and branding have provided you with some excellent information to get started. There’s nothing left to do but get started – so good luck!
About the author: Liz Roncevic is the founder of a digital marketing agency, Bizmap LLC. She works with businesses to improve their online presence.