Your personal brand is the backbone of your business. Your brand tells your story, speaks to the unique needs of your audience, and communicates what makes you special. In the past, a brand was primarily communicated through paid TV and print advertising. Today, your brand is more likely communicated through your digital branding strategy–the elements that show and tell who you are to an online audience.
A strong digital branding strategy includes marketing pieces across multiple channels–including your website, email campaigns, social media, and more–to create an impression on your customers and prospects. Most importantly, it helps build the “personality” of your brand. What are the unique characteristics and features that make your brand real, relatable and relevant to your online audience? Not sure how to best capture your voice and tone? We’ve got you covered through our proprietary process known as The Voiceprint Framework™.
In the following article, we’ll take a look at how to create a foundation for your digital branding strategy and how to execute that strategy in three different marketing channels.
Your Voice, Your Story, Your Look: The Foundation for Digital Branding
Before launching into the specifics of your digital branding strategy, you’ll want to hone in on what’s unique–and uniquely valuable–about your brand. This will help you make choices in both your copy and design, and help you develop a brand that feels true to your company and effectively reaches your target audiences.
The voice/tone of your brand will determine not only the “personality” of your copy, but the overall feel of your design, color palette, graphics, imagery, and more.In thinking through voice and tone, don’t just think about your personal preferences; think about your target customer and who they might respond to. Click To Tweet
Here are some ideas for what voice/tone might sound like:
- Sophisticated and a bit formal (e.g. for a luxury apparel brand)
- Playful and lighthearted (e.g. for a children’s toy)
- Active and intense (e.g. for a fitness product)
- Honest and down-to-earth (e.g. for a personal services company)
In any case, decide on a few “keywords” that help you stay on brand and maintain your special, unique voice and tone throughout your branding.
Your “story” will define how you plan to guide your prospect from reluctant buyer to loyal customer and brand advocate. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a true personal narrative; rather, it should be the story you imagine your prospect participating in.
Let’s say that you run a fitness brand. Is your story one of weight loss, strength training, self-improvement, and newfound self-confidence? Then this is the story you’ll communicate in your branding.
Or maybe you’re a financial consultant. Your story is one of going from debt and struggle to financial health.
In any case, you’ll want to keep your story at the back of your mind as you create digital assets–this story will inform your branding, no matter what you’re creating.
Your look and feel
Of course, your design, graphics, color palette, and imagery will make a significant first impression on your potential customers–and act as a critical piece of your digital branding strategy. Keeping in line with your voice/tone, think through what would resonate with your audience. Bright colors and geometric shapes? Soft lines and pastels? Lifestyle shots or bold illustrations? Choose carefully, and above all–stay consistent!
Elements of a Great Digital Branding Strategy
Now that you’ve considered how to communicate your brand through your unique voice, story, and look/feel, you’re ready to dive into the three foundations of a great digital branding strategy: your website, email marketing, and social media.
Your website or homepage is the anchor of your digital branding strategy. It’s where your prospective customers will eventually land from all other digital marketing assets. It’s where you have the most comprehensive opportunity to show and tell who you are, and what you offer. And it will introduce a potential customer’s first impression of you.
In thinking through your homepage (kinda like the front door or entry way of your home), consider:
- What will your “above the fold” copy say? That is, what’s the first thing that a site visitor reads when they visit your website?
- What kind of featured imagery and color palette will you use to make an immediate impression on your site visitors?
- What kind of user experience would you like site visitors to have? (Will you funnel them right to a sale? Would you like them to take a look at your content? Or, would you like them to sign up for an email list?)
Your website doesn’t need to be complicated, but it does need to cover the basics: what you offer, who you are, your pricing, and a call-to-action (For example: Buy a product, Schedule a phone call, Download a PDF).
Email is still one of the best ways to position your branding and developing relationships. While social media is powerful, a study by McKinsey and Company shows that email marketing is up to 40 times more effective.
Your email marketing plays into your digital branding strategy by making a repeat impression on recipients, and by maintaining a connection with your prospects and customers.
Here are a few things to keep in mind when crafting an email campaign strategy:
- Subject lines are key, as they’ll be a strong deciding factor in whether your recipients decide to open your email or not.
- Email campaigns should get to the point quickly. Why are recipients getting this email? Are you telling them about a new product release or a sale? Are you sending a special discount code? Wishing them a happy birthday? Whatever your point is, get to the point quickly and clearly.
- Finally, make sure all aspects of your emails align with your digital branding strategy. If your branding is sophisticated, for example, don’t stray from that in your email communication.
If you’d like to learn more about how to create specific email campaigns for your business, read our article on “9 Types of Email Marketing Campaigns Your Business Needs.”
Social media will be your third pillar of a digital branding strategy.
Depending on your brand, you’ll create a social media presence on Instagram, Facebook, and potentially LinkedIn, Pinterest, or Snapchat.. This requires you to create content that aligns with your digital branding strategy–keeping in line with who you are, what you sound like, what you talk about, and what you “look” like.
Here are a couple of things to keep in mind when thinking through your social media:
- Keep it up! To build a social media following that will eventually generate loyal customers, keep posting fresh content regularly.
- Social media is more about building relationships and brand positioning than driving a sale. That being said, this is a key arena for digital branding.
- Be authentic as possible in your social media. Your followers want to relate to you as a you as a helpful, trustworthy resource and mentor.
Finally, think through how your social media will play into your overall user experience. How do you expect social media followers to eventually convert to customers? Consider how your content will eventually drive them into a stronger partnership with your brand.
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Stuck on your next move towards a cohesive digital branding strategy? We’ve got your covered! We specialize in helping businesses to create powerful digital branding with a special focus on email marketing. Let’s help you develop a powerful brand voice that is real, relevant and fun for your audience, click here to get started.