Anyone who has searched for a job in the last five years has likely been told to “…create a personal brand.” While slightly clichéd, the saying does hold some truth when trying to stand out from the crowd. Those looking for a job must show why they are the right person for the job by consistently communicating through various mediums in a unique and believable way. This is the essence of a personal brand; the information and design on their resume must match their LinkedIn page that must match their personal website that must match their business cared that must match… you get the idea.
The same rule applies to businesses of all sizes today. Digital mediums have created countless opportunities for businesses to communicate their brand to customers (and countless ways to screw it up). Developing a consistent and reputable online brand is one of the most important items businesses should devote their resources towards. How many times have you decided against a restaurant after seeing their website design? Do you remember the number of reviews you read before making your last Amazon purchase? Maybe you went to a certain dry cleaner last weekend because your friend recommended it on Facebook? All these events (and whether or not you made a purchase) can be traced back to the success or failure of a business’s ability to effectively communicate its brand in the digital world.
Dana Weber is a brand strategist and graphic designer at Brandography. We asked her a few questions on a brand’s digital presence and how companies can best position themselves for success online.
What is a digital brand?
“Your digital brand is your company’s overall digital presence. This includes, but isn’t limited to your visual identity and written tone on your website, social media channels, digital ads, and email marketing.”
In your opinion, what is the most important piece of a strong digital brand?
“Making sure that your brand’s offerings, benefits, and CTA’s can be swiftly articulated by the viewer. These aspects should be presented with a consistent tone that is congruent with your company’s Brand Identity Guide. If your company does not have a Brand Identity Guide, you should have one developed to increase your brand’s visual consistency. Your Brand’s Visual Identity is important because it the number one tool for ensuring that the telling your brand’s story is consistent.”
What is one thing you feel that most businesses forget when building their brand?
“Evaluating to make sure that their digital brand presence is consistent across various outlets. A brand’s identity should be recognizable across any type of digital marketing campaign.”
What is the simplest/least expensive thing small businesses can do to enhance their digital brand immediately?
“Get into a habit of understanding the marketing you’re putting out. Before launching a campaign, ask yourself: “Does this look and sound like us?” If the answer is yes, go for it! If not, re-evaluate your approach and get back on track.”
How is Your Brand’s Digital Health?
Your Name: In the old days, a business’s name contained two things: 1.) The owner’s last name 2.) What service it offered. While these are still certainly one way to go about naming a business, in order to compete in today’s digital world a name must be SEO friendly.
Building an SEO Friendly Name: An SEO strategy starts when deciding on a business name. When choosing a name, it’s important to consider which SEO keywords you want to rank for and (depending on your business) where your business is located.
Why is this important? Your business name will likely be your domain name – a powerful SEO ranking factor. It will also be one of the most frequently used words on your site. Incorporating geo-based keywords is a great tactic for any website. Bonus points if one of these keywords is also your business name. This will not only benefit your business’s search rankings but across a range of digital mediums as well.
Let’s find out how you did? Which business below does your brand name resemble most:
Jerry’s Car Shop
Twin Cities Auto Body Repair and Restoration
While there’s no one path to SEO success, having a search engine friendly business name is a great head start.
Your Communications: As the digital world has exploded, so has the need for content. Blogs, social media posts, videos, infographics, websites, and more are no longer optional for businesses looking to be successful digitally. However, without a consistent voice, all this content will be powerless.
Building a Brand Voice: Who is your brand? Is he a 21-year-old male college student who wears hoodies every day, loves top ramen, and Xbox? Or, is it a grandma who doesn’t drive anymore, enjoys gardening but is less than confident when it comes to opening email? You likely had a very different picture for each of these characters. Your brand should be its own specific person and that character should come through in every piece of content.
Let’s find out how you did? Read your company’s last four blog posts, email blasts, and Facebook posts. Is there a consistent tone in each? Does it sound like it’s coming from the same person? If so, great! If not, go back and think hard about WHO your brand is and work to streamline that voice across every piece of communication.
Your Look: A logo’s worth a thousand words. And the way you present your company visually is worth your time. In order to be successful in the digital world, a brand must have a consistent strategy for its visual identity. The way in which you present your company online visually is equally (if not more) important than written communications.
Building a Digital Look: What does your logo say about your business? Does it align with the services/products your offer? Is it relatable with your customer base? The digital world is filled with stunning visuals and it’s your brand’s job to cut through among your clients.
Let’s find out how you did? Review the design of your website, email blast templates, and social media pages. Are the colors, fonts, and styles used consistent with your brand’s logo? It can be difficult to objectively look at your brand, so ask friends, family, or colleagues to provide their honest feedback. If they feel your brand has a consistent look across, congrats! If not, it’s time to hammer out a cohesive brand image.
Kick Your Brand’s Digital Presence Into Gear
The branding specialists at Brandography have helped Fortune 500 companies to small business startups build a marketable brand. Working alongside our online marketing experts, they strategically launch these brands into the digital world. If you feel your brand needs a little love after completing these exercises, give us a call! Whether your brand has been around for decades or you’re just getting started, we’ll make sure you’re putting your best foot forward online.