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Our Digital Brand Consultants Get Your Brand Ready For The New Playing Field

Digital branding is all about building awareness of your company online. Many different elements go into the strategy of digital brand development, including increasing brand exposure, improving your brand reputation, establishing brand authority, and solidifying your brand identity. Successfully building your brand online requires different strategies and tactics than those that were used for traditional branding efforts in the past.

We work closely with your business to plan and execute an effective inbound branding strategy tailored to your unique brand.

The World Of Marketing And Branding Is Changing As We Know It

Before the advent of the Internet, marketing and branding was a simpler process. The strength of a brand was tied to how much exposure the brand got through traditional advertising methods, from TV and radio ads to billboards, magazines, and newspaper ads. While traditional marketing can still help build your brand, it is arguably more effective (and cost-efficient) to do so online. Audiences are much larger online, with a potential for much greater reach. However, digital branding has its own set of challenges as well as advantages to consider.

Traditional marketing is more passive. People who are watching TV, listening to the radio, or reading a magazine aren’t actively watching or listening to commercials or reading ads. They see or hear them, but they aren’t fully engaged. They are more likely to be distracted by other things around them.

With inbound marketing, you’re not forcing your branding efforts onto your audience, you’re positioning yourself to be found. This means that your audience is coming to you. They’re more locked into what you have to say because they made the decision to engage. Online audiences are less open to interruptions–and it’s something you have to keep in mind when implementing your digital branding efforts. You’ve earned their attention, now you have to show why you deserve to keep it.

Although there are fewer interruptions for your audience, they also have more options. The moment your audience loses interest, you’ve essentially lost them completely. They can simply move to another website or exit out of whatever page they’re on. The attention span of an online user tends to be short. They are more likely to forget about your brand within a few minutes if you don’t make an impact, especially once they’ve moved off your page. Not only do you have to figure out how to keep them on your page, but you also have to devise ways to get them to come back.

 

With traditional marketing methods, there’s no real connection being made. The audience is essentially being forced to consume whatever marketing efforts are being placed in front of them. Because they can choose the brands that they interact with online, audiences expect more. Generally speaking, they’re not just looking for a product or service, they’re looking for a company that they can believe in, that they can feel good about purchasing from. They are looking for a stronger connection with the brands that they interact with, and to relate to your brand and to connect with it on a personal level.

Branding Must Transcend The Visual Or Design

There are businesses that still have the misconception that the branding of their company is limited to the way their logo looks. While your logo certainly plays a part in your branding (for example, there’s no arguing that the famous swoosh isn’t part of Nike’s brand identity), it’s not the only element of what makes up your brand. The visual aspect and design of your brand help establish your identity, but there are many other aspects of branding to take into account as well, including your reputation and your message. It’s not enough that your audience is able to recognize your brand–you want them to also feel and think something when they recognize it.

Branding Must Move Beyond Simply ‘Staying on Message’

Having a clear message helps when it comes to establishing a brand identity, but your “message” and the way that your logo looks aren’t that difficult to establish. It’s your brand’s authority, reputation, and personality that require long-term work. The way that your brand engages with and interacts with your audience is also an important part of building your brand identity.

We Apply The Inbound Methodology To All Branding

The inbound methodology is a process in which you identify who your audience is, position yourself to be found by them, and then nurture them through their buyer’s journey. We apply this methodology to your branding efforts using the following steps:

Traditional marketing is more passive. People who are watching TV, listening to the radio, or reading a magazine aren’t actively watching or listening to commercials or reading ads. They see or hear them, but they aren’t fully engaged. They are more likely to be distracted by other things around them.

With inbound marketing, you’re not forcing your branding efforts onto your audience, you’re positioning yourself to be found. This means that your audience is coming to you. They’re more locked into what you have to say because they made the decision to engage. Online audiences are less open to interruptions–and it’s something you have to keep in mind when implementing your digital branding efforts. You’ve earned their attention, now you have to show why you deserve to keep it.

It’s not enough that you attract people to your site, you’ll have to give them a reason to convert. This is done by creating content that is helpful and relevant to their needs, designing a user-friendly website that’s easy to navigate and explore, using effective calls-to-action, and providing offers that are compelling in return for their conversions, such as downloadable eBooks, free trials, and free consultations.

Once you’ve converted a lead, nurturing begins. This involves building a relationship by addressing their problems, providing more helpful content, and offering promotions to move them through the sales funnel until they’re finally ready to make a purchase.

 

Closing a sale will certainly help your brand since it means that the buyer trusted you enough to make a purchase. Brand trust is an important part of your brand identity. However, it doesn’t end there. Continue to build brand loyalty by fostering a relationship with your customers and ensuring their experience with your brand continues to be a good one. This involves continued communication, sending them more content that is relevant to them, offering special promotions, and more.

If you excel at this stage, not only will you build brand loyalty (which results in more sales), but also a brand evangelist who will promote your brand on your behalf.

The Area Most Brands Lack In Is Delight

One of the common issues shared by many brands is that they stop short of the delight stage of the inbound methodology. They assume that once they’ve closed a sale, they’re done. But it’s during the delight stage that you really build the relationship you’ve started with your customers, and what really helps to strengthen your brand. Here is how the delight stage can benefit your branding efforts:

Obtaining feedback from your customers is vital to help improve their experience with your brand. Even the action of requesting feedback shows that you care, which immediately helps strengthen your relationship with them.

 

The feedback you receive can be very beneficial. Collecting feedback shouldn’t just be done as a way to fake interest in your customers. Your customers can pinpoint issues that may need to be addressed. Improving these issues can help you in many different ways. If customers see you do something with their feedback, they’ll feel more connected to your brand. They’ll understand that they have a say, which improves brand loyalty.

 

Your brand is nothing without customers–this is important to understand. So allow your customers to help mold your brand. Give them the experience that they want to have and let them guide the direction of your brand’s identity and reputation. This is generally the best way to increase brand exposure and to improve awareness of your brand.

How Can Our Consultants Assist?

Branding is unique to every business. At SMB Advisors, we go to great lengths to determine what makes your brand unique to help establish your brand identity. We will then design a branding strategy applying the inbound methodology. We will implement this strategy and monitor the various tactics, tracking the performance of your brand and making adjustments as needed to achieve your goals.

What Does an Inbound Branding Consulting Commission Look Like?

At SMB Advisors, we use a retainer approach. This means that you’ll be able to use our inbound branding consultants at a fixed cost. You won’t have to worry about going over budget due to unexpected costs or hidden fees. You’ll find that working with our inbound branding consultants is likely to be more affordable than hiring just one full-time employee.

There are a wide-range of components that are involved in developing an effective Digital Brand Development initiative. If you're not sure exactly what your business may need, talk to one of our Trusted Advisors to define your business goals and help you align and integrate an effective Digital Brand Development plan today.
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