You may be thinking about how to get started with digital branding or already in the throes of the process. Either way, you’ll find useful information right here.
As you may already be experiencing, there are a few things that need to be in order before actually starting the process of building your profitable, digital brand.
Let’s get started!
How to Get Started With Digital Branding
If you’re a person looking to profit from your talent, skill, or expertise, keep reading for more information on how to get started with digital branding. To get started, you must understand your purpose, carve out how to stand out, and establish your home base. Let’s start from the top.
1. Understand Your Purpose
2. Carve Out How You Stand Out
Once you know who your target audience is as well as what you offer them, you need to figure out what makes you different from your competitors. The digital world is a cluttered world, therefore you need be purposeful with your offerings.
The more targeted your approach, the more effective you will be at attracting audiences and turning them into your customers, partners, or future sponsors. Targeted, intentional content will provide your audiences with the value they seek to ensure they stick with your brand for the long haul.
Establishing yourself as a thought leader is key to standing out within the digital space. While it’s great practice to add personality and a clear voice to your brand, make sure it doesn’t overlap too much with your personal brand and platforms.
For example: Posting about how you volunteered for a charitable cause is a great way to boost your digital brand’s reputation, especially if this is something your audiences value. However, keep the beers you had with your friends after a hard day’s work to yourself. You may post it on your personal social media platforms if you like, but keep it out of your brand’s spaces.
Create Your Brand Slogan
You can consider this the public-facing version of your value proposition.
When I first started to build my brand, I didn’t have a clear direction.
Creating a brand slogan, forced me to get clear on who I am and what I have to offer. And it can do the same for you.
Let me give you an example.
Mine is “Your Digital Branding Evangelist.” I want everyone to know that I am dedicated to advancing the practice of digital branding. And you can find this slogan on my website and social media accounts.
Now, your brand slogan should be featured prominently throughout your digital presence, because it lets readers know INSTANTLY who you are, what you offer, and that they’ve come to the right place.
It’s more important to have a brand slogan in the digital space because —let’s be honest—we don’t spend that much time doing research online because there are too many options. So we bounce!
So you MUST establish your brand slogan and display it online to quickly gain the attention of potential customers.
Again, this is important because in a world where people are surfing the Internet–bouncing off pages–you’ve got a FEW seconds to communicate what it is you have to offer.
If you don’t create a brand slogan, people may be confused. And when they get confused, they go elsewhere. So you’ve got to be clear…and that’s why you want your brand slogan right at the top of your website and your social media accounts.
3. Establish Your Home Base
Where will your brand live? What platforms work best with your brand identity?
Your home base refers to what platforms your digital brand will occupy within the digital space. Examples of these include websites, mobile apps, or social media platforms. Your brand may occupy one of these or multiple, it depends on what your target audience wants and needs.
In order to make this decision, you need to gather as much information as you can about your target audience. Some key questions include:
- How large is your target audience? Dozens, hundreds, thousands?
- What platforms do they tend to engage with, mobile, desktop, or both?
- Where do they get their information? Newspapers, blogs, emails, or social media platforms?
- Are they even tech savvy or do they prefer more traditional methods of communication?
SEE ALSO: 6 Things That Can Hurt Your Brand
Once you have this information, you can move on determining their preferences in the format of the content:
- What platforms does your audience use regularly?
- Do they prefer long or short form content?
- What is the best format for the content they consume? Videos, blog posts, e-books, images?
The next step involves looking at your competitors. Examine their brand promises and how they deliver on them:
- What makes your competitors successful?
- Where do they have room for improvement?
- How can you outdo their execution?
Once you have all of these concepts and information in order, you can get down to execution and acquire all your digital assets. These include one or multiple domain names, social handles, and the right platform.
They only require a small amount of money and provide immense value by protecting your online reputation. If you have a more common name, you may need to find alternatives.
In choosing your domain name, you also want to think about the letters that come after the dot. .com is a popular choice for small businesses, and so is .net. They key is to make sure your domain name extension is one that is highly recognizable and that your customers would know and trust to click on.
If you have a very unusual business name, then you might get lucky and get a domain name registered in your actual business name. But if you have a more common name, the likelihood of getting digitalagency.com is very small. So, if you are an expert or have a private practice do this as soon as possible.
You know this is the area where most digital branders see the least return on the time they invest. So often it’s a time suck.
And most of us are active on social media but we struggle to substantially increase our followers or their engagement with us. And even if we can increase our following, we struggle to convert those followers into subscribers or customers.
Think about your target audience and choose the platform that aligns the most with your brand identity, promise and consumers.
Now your action item for this tactic is to: Choose your primary social media channel.
You know, there’s a lot of people out there that give really bad advice. Gurus who suggest that you’ve got to be everywhere you need to be on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram, periscopes, snapchat I mean pick one.
But I advise that you choose just one to prevent overwhelm. For me in the early days it was Twitter for you it may be Facebook or LinkedIn. But focus at least one. Because it’s better to have a significant presence on one social network than a diluted presence on several.
And find out where your customers are spending time online and focus your efforts there. I would suggest you start on Facebook as it has the most users.
For more detailed information on how to build your digital brand, check out our Digital Branding Checklists for various types of professionals.
You can always find more detailed information and next steps at Digital Branding University. Our modules will guide you step by step throughout the process of building a strong digital brand and making it profitable.
There are many more steps you’re going to need to take along the way to having the digital brand you know your business needs.
You have taken the first by reading this article. But I highly recommend you follow the right resources and create a schedule to continue learning how to build your brand presence in the digital space.
I hope this information was valuable. And I hope that you leave with actionable insights that will take your business to the next level.
What do you think about these steps? Is there anything missing? I’d love to hear your thoughts below!