Building a brand online is easier said than done. When googling, “define: brand” you’ll be faced with the following definitions:
- A type of product manufactured by a particular company under a particular name.
“a new brand of soap powder”
- A brand name.
“the firm will market computer software under its own brand”
- A particular identity or image regarded as an asset.
“you can still invent your own career, be your own brand”
- A particular type or kind of something.
“they entertained millions with their inimitable brand of comedy”
But still, it begs the question “what makes a ‘brand’?”. On the one hand, some brands are built entirely on fancy designs, their whole purpose to be aesthetically pleasing – luxury brands, for example, their design is classy and clean cut, only certain colours used and a lot of hype surrounding them. Other brands don’t place as much importance on their design… and yet they still attract a significant number of loyal customers and continue to attract thousands if not millions of viewers. How? Because their product or service is of quality and is useful.
So here are 5 digital marketing strategies that almost any brand can use to attract those coveted customers, increase that all needed exposure and build that all-important fan base:
Don’t put all your eggs in one basket
What kind of social media were you using 10 years ago?
I was in the Bebo and MySpace era! Bebo was a social networking website that launched in 2005, a mere 3 years later the owners sold it. At one point, they had over 10 million users and was one of the most successful social networking sites in the UK and now, it is a distant memory… As for MySpace? That social media platform was the most visited networking site in the world – it even surpassed Google in June 2006! Although it’s still around, it’s much less popular and not only did they experience a massive data loss in 2018, but they also lost over 50 million songs in early 2019.
10 years ago, Facebook was just starting to gain traction, I had absolutely no idea what Twitter was or what its purpose was and “vlogging” wasn’t a thing. An “influencer” was more likely to be a political figure, rather than a teenager with excellent make-up talents.
My point is, what is popular today might not be popular tomorrow. You can spend years investing in building your online presence on a social networking platform, only for that platform to drastically diminish, very quickly.
Digital Marketing is an ongoing role of testing, pivoting, and never becoming dependent on one particular platform, website or method. Ensure that you’re using popular platforms and don’t be afraid to abandon ship if the platform is sinking (see Google+ for a good example of modern-day sinking).
Where we’re going, we don’t need RULES
We live in a society full of expectations and social conventions. We abide by spoken and unspoken rules and guidelines steering us to be model citizens. Those who don’t adhere to these rules are inflicted with a penalty or sanction as retribution for their offence…
The internet is not the same.
On the internet, there are very few formal “rules” especially when it comes to building a brand online; some digital marketers will do whatever it takes to make their brand succeed. This can include everything from Twitter bots to Instagram engagement groups, salesy YouTube “vlog-style” ads to clickbait headlines. Facebook adverts galore and purchased email lists are just some of the sneaky tactics to look out for.
And don’t think for a single second that you won’t succumb to some of those tactics too – because you will, and quite frankly, you should. It’s important to know how the internet works, not how you think it works or even how you’d like it to work. These ‘tactics’ will help you increase exposure, sell your service or product, acquire email addresses, build sales funnels and more.
Once you’re aware of the different branding methods it can help put things into perspective. If you see a new brand pop out of nowhere with thousands of followers on social media, don’t be disheartened, they’re probably not sticking to the rules, just like everyone else.
You are not ubiquitous, you are human.
Unlike an army of ants (which, if you’ve ever been by an ant hill, you will know they feel very much ubiquitous!) you can’t be everywhere at once. And you shouldn’t try to be either, it’s bad practice.
You don’t have to have a social presence on every platform available to you and you definitely don’t need to invest money into every single one either. You need to determine which platform works best for YOUR company. Do some research on who your target audience is and which platform they’re most likely to be using. For example, if you are an artist, you might use Instagram and Facebook to showcase, advertise and ultimately sell your artwork. You probably wouldn’t use LinkedIn as those who use LinkedIn are looking to connect with other people in similar fields to them.
In regard to investing money into platforms, consider this: if you’re selling a product and you know that for every £20 you spend on Facebook advertising, you make £30 back, why on earth would you be concentrating on growing your Twitter following which isn’t bringing you in a steady and proven income?
Unless you’re a unicorn company with a humungous advertising budget, it’s better for you to invest in a small number of enterprises that have proven to work for your business. Of course, it takes time and trial and error to find which is best for you. But luckily with social media advertising, it doesn’t cost much.
So my point is, don’t waste your time trying to be the Jack of all social media; SnapChat, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, LinkedIn… they’re not all for your business and believe it or not, no-one is sat at home double checking that you’re on all of them.
Look at your target audience, pick your most profitable platform and don’t waste your time on the other ones.
Analytics – easier to do than spell
You may have thought that when you went into digital marketing, numbers would be a thing of the past, you were wrong.
Simple logic states that if you want to achieve something you set yourself a goal, because without a goal how do you know if you have done what you set out to achieve? So many people forget this when it comes to their own marketing initiatives; they pour money into their efforts but don’t measure their success.
Why do you want a certain number of followers on Instagram? Is it to help position your brand as an authority in its sector? Is it to convert a certain percentage of those followers into paying customers?
If you set goals without a purpose, you’re wasting your time, money and resources. You need to set S.M.A.R.T. goals; Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Timely. Then review the success of those goals, measure them using the analytics tool of your choice and do the entire process again. You should be analysing your branding performance and making sure you’re constantly evolving and improving.
As with everything, consistency is key
There is as much content on the internet as there are stars in the sky… OK, that might be a slightly made up fact, but there is an unfathomable amount of content out there, so if you don’t stand out for the right reasons, you’ll never be a success.
So, what can you do?
You have to remember the one thing that’s going to make a difference… consistency.
Imagine this, you’re on Instagram’s explore page and you see a beautiful photo of a tanned woman advertising fake tan, you click on the page to find out more about this fake tan, but the profile has only posted 3 photos in total. You wouldn’t be alone in assuming that this page isn’t credible or that it’s a spam page. But imagine instead when you clicked on their profile that they have a few years of images on there… You inherently decide they’re credible and that they might be a leader in their sector – why? Because they’ve been consistent in their posting.
It’s all well and good building an entire marketing strategy around well-timed PR campaigns, big marketing pushes and “going viral”, but it’s a short-lived success. Like a reality T.V. actor, you’ll have sweeping fame and then you’ll be swiftly forgotten. So be like Leonardo DiCaprio: do what you know you’re good at and do it consistently; post regular, solid content. Make sure you consistently reply to queries, praise and criticisms. Be consistent in analysing your success and be consistent in your branding. If you stick to these 5 strategies, your brand will consistently be successful.
If you have any questions about how we can help you with your Digital Marketing fill out the form below and we’ll be in touch. In the meantime, check out our Marketing as a Service page, which you can find here.