As many businesses have made the shift towards digital, you should also make the same transition. In doing this, you need to build a digital brand that your target audience can understand. You can make an impact once you’ve established your online brand. Plus, with a consistent online brand, you can increase revenues by up to 23%. In this article, learn about the basics of digital branding and take inspiration by how big brands do it.
What is Digital Branding?
It’s the online version of your brand positioning and messaging to communicate across different channels to your target audience.
In what ways can you execute your digital brand? Here are the elements you need when creating a standout digital branding:
Brand Style Guide
Before we get to the channels where you can present your brand, you need your brand style guide. This handy guide will provide direction on how you’ll convey your message to your target audience. It will also set a precedent on how you’ll create designs for your organization.
Elements of a Brand Style Guide:
The logo design is an essential element of a brand style guide. It’s the visual representation of the brand, and it’s usually the first thing your customers or clients see.
Your logo guidelines should also appear on the brand style guide. It dictates how your logo should appear across different digital platforms (and even print). For example, you can’t have the logo appear pixelated on any other website. Or maybe it needs to appear horizontal on specific platforms.
- Tone of Voice
The way you communicate and converse with your customers or audience is an integral part of your brand. Most brands would include tone of voice or message on their content style guide. You need to set this up because it’s how you’ll write a copy for ads, social media, and other types of content to publish. Plus, the tone of voice may also play a key role in crafting a design as well.
Another way to distinguish your brand from most of your competitors is to establish a font suitable for your branding. It will elevate your brand’s personality. Plus, it also helps connect you with your target audience because they might identify with your brand on how you present it through text.
Colors play a huge role in branding. If you integrate your organization’s colors on any digital platform, you can further heighten brand recognition. After all, more than 80% of customers will remember a product because of its color.
In color psychology, you can establish trust or stir emotions. By choosing carefully the colors that are befitting your brand, customers may recall how they felt when they saw any of your content. This may help them decide on purchasing your product or availing of your service
- Iconography, illustrations, and images
Some brands would include photography, iconography, or illustrations as part of their branding. These components can set them apart from other brands. You may not know it, but by personalizing these, you might increase brand recognition.
Your brand style doesn’t have to be elaborate. It can also be a simple visual guideline. So long as you set the most significant features of your brand, you can build it up.
Your website is the most important component of your digital branding. It’s through your website you can convert visitors into customers. In doing so, you need to integrate your brand through website design and copy. Not only will you have a digital presence, but you can also get loyal visitors or customers.
An organization’s social media profiles act as the extension of its website. It’s a portal to engage or interact with customers.
Make sure that you have social media accounts because brand discovery happens through any of those platforms. Plus, you need to stay active on social media by posting regularly.
The simplest way to implement your branding on social media is by adding your logo to your post’s graphics. For example, you can post a quote from a famous person or a statistic that matters in your industry. On the graphic, you can add the logo at the lower right-hand side. You could also create a custom social media graphic to make it personal or even aligned with your brand.
Post whatever works on your social media platforms. Make sure the design is compelling enough that it will generate engagement from your followers or fans. That way, you can further assess the types of designs you can post on social media.
Content marketing has become a vital tool in digital branding. Almost 40% of digital marketers believe that content marketing is essential for their company’s bottom line. The main key factors in assessing the success of content marketing are sales and traffic.
Content marketing and digital branding work hand-in-hand because it helps increase brand awareness. Visuals have become a staple in marketing, that 49% of creators know the value of images for their strategies. Some examples of what you can post on your blogs:
- Blog header images
- Custom blog images
- Charts and graphs
Plus, content marketing is no longer just about blogs. Since you want to reach your customers in any way possible, you need to diversify.
One example of content marketing is email marketing. Email has become one of the widely used channels to connect with customers. Most eCommerce websites and B2B companies use email to boost sales and even referrals.
Other content you can publish:
If you want more exposure, digital advertising is your best bet in strengthening your digital branding. If you’re still a new company or brand, it might take time to widen your reach. However, digital advertising does yield success. As such, you can try running ads on the most popular channels. This way, you could increase visibility.
Digital ads that you can run:
- Social media ads
- Banner ads
- Display ads
- Mobile ads
- PPC ads
You can incorporate digital branding on ads by referring to your brand style guide. Try to make your designs coherent from the content you publish. This way, your customers might remember you.
How Do Companies Execute their Digital Branding Strategies?
Apple is a widely cited example of applying their digital branding effectively on the website. The company exudes an air of exclusivity. Plus, they aim to become “different” from their competitors.
Once you load the landing page, you’ll notice the iPhone SE upside down. Most of the time, it would show the screen. Perhaps they applied that technique so visitors would be curious about the phone. Plus, you can see they implemented visual hierarchy to follow the progression of elements as you browse the website.
The website design is worth noting. If you further explore the Apple website, you’ll see how much they value aesthetics. The whole site is organized by using grids and following a zigzag flow as well.
Check out how Asana executes its online branding on their social media accounts. The graphics, photo edits, videos, and photography are almost the same everywhere. It’s best to have the same content everywhere, so your followers can identify your brand quickly. Asana implements it well, so no matter where their followers find them, they ensure consistency.
Here’s an example of an infographic from DotComInfoWay.
You can visualize an article into an infographic because humans are visual learners. It’s much easier to follow data and information in a graphic form. Since it’s organized by subtopics, one can skim the infographic until they find interesting information. Plus, they used contrast on color and icons to visualize text. The infographic also matches their logo and their overall branding.
You can view the whole infographic here.
Another example of content marketing is this email from Litmus. As you can see, they used the colors associated with their brand for retention. They also use only one font throughout the newsletter, which is easier on the eyes.
You can view the whole email newsletter here.
One of the most telling features of the Spotify ad design is the typography. You’ll see it on their website, social media accounts, and content. It’s only right they use the same font on the ad, so many people would recognize that “ah, that is Spotify!”
The music streaming software also uses striking colors and gradients. It’s an excellent way to capture people’s attention.
Here are two other campaigns from Spotify. One’s from their nostalgia ad campaign. Another is a Twitter ad where they promote their software. See how all the ads look the same? This will help in retaining Spotify’s brand message on any platform they post ads.
Your organization should have a strong digital branding strategy. By doing this, you need to establish your branding guidelines. Plus, you should also know which platforms to use in reaching your target audience. This way, you can invest in resources that will strengthen your online brand.
If you want to enhance your digital branding, you can subscribe to Design Doctor. They will ensure that the features of your brand style guide are present in any design. For only $349/mo., you can request any graphic design such as digital and social media ads, social media headers, and the like. Click here to start your Design Doctor subscription.