The word branding gets thrown around a lot in the business world, but what does it actually mean in the age of digital marketing? The goal of branding is to help your company establish its position in the marketplace for the long-term. It’s the way you give meaning to your products and services by creating a uniqueness in your clients (and potential clients’) minds. Branding is strategic—whereas marketing is tactical. Marketing contributes to your brand but the truth is, your brand is bigger than any one particular marketing or sales effort.
The question is no longer:
“Should we be doing digital marketing?” but rather, “how much should we be spending in order to achieve year over year growth?”
Impactful branding relies on continuity, consistency, and investment. Lack of investment and inconsistency in brand development will allow your competitors to steal market share from you. If you want to grow your company, it’s imperative that you make long-term branding a part of your focus. And it’s equally imperative in today’s world that you use digital marketing to do so. Here are four ways you can build your brand with digital marketing.
4 Ways To Build Your Brand With Digital Marketing
Potential clients and candidates first go online to qualify your firm’s credibility before they do anything else. So what kind of a brand story does your content tell? Everything you write and produce tells a story about who you are as a company, whether it’s the copy on your landing page or a blog that you wrote.
- Do you sound credible?
- Are you giving advice that is valued in the industry you serve?
- Are you telling people things they may not already know, which ultimately adds value to their lives?
- Do you have case studies to validate your process?
These are all essential questions to ask yourself that will contribute to your authenticity and credibility in creating industry-leading content for your brand.
Social media is a platform and ever-evolving landscape that uses content to build your brand, reputation, and credibility in the marketplace. So do you have a solid social media strategy to share your brand with potential clients and candidates? Posting insightful blogs, salary guides and best practices to LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter will keep you top-of-mind for clients and candidates seeking talent or new positions. If you build an informative, reputable, and credible brand on social media you are much more likely to be the first call when an opportunity presents itself.
Your website is the foundation of your brand. Having a website that is outdated and underwhelming is like walking into a potential client meeting in sweatpants and a t-shirt. Your website is the face of your company these days, so what kind of shape is it in? The quality of your website will often be the deciding factor in whether or not a potential client will commit to the next step with you. While content and social media will lead people to your website, you can still write the best blog in the world and lose out on a potential client who gets turned off by a website that’s outdated or hard to navigate.
“Having a website that is outdated and underwhelming is like walking into a potential client meeting in sweatpants and a t-shirt.”
– Jared Hummel | VP, Finance
SEO and PPC are the back-end of building your brand. They’re the aspects of building your brand that aren’t always tangible to the novice eye and are usually handled by experts. This can sometimes create confusion for small business owners and scare them away from fully jumping into the digital marketing space. If you don’t understand something, it’s easy to not want to do it! But SEO and PPC are what help search engines like Google not only find you but allow you to rank at the top of the search results page. This is crucial in building your brand as a credible expert in whatever topic a potential client searches. Imagine yourself searching for an attorney on Google to represent you in a business case that could have great financial implications. When you type in best business attorneys, the first ones that come up in the search results garner instant credibility. The message is “we specialize in this, we’re the experts” and they’ll likely be the first ones you call or click on. It’s no different for recruiting; if you don’t show up in the search results until the second page, you probably aren’t getting the call.
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How Branding Through Digital Marketing Will Pay Off
As the Vice President of Finance for Parqa and their sister Company, Versique Search & Consulting, it is easy to assume that my mentality is all about immediate ROI on any money spent on marketing—measuring all our financial metrics down to the penny to make sure we know what we’re getting. While it’s true that it is always important to know your numbers, when it comes to branding your company there are many non-immediate financial implications to creating a great brand and the metrics used to identify if your brand is growing don’t always pay off in an immediate financial ROI. There is a familiar phrase “if a tree falls in the woods and no one hears it, does it make a sound.” In an ever-changing digital marketing landscape are you being seen and heard?
As a passionate entrepreneur myself, I have spent the last 8 years helping small business owners realize their dream of growing their revenue, gross margin and net income. I understand that the role of a financial leader or business owner in a company is more then just looking at the next month’s income statement. It is imperative to be looking a year or two down the road and prepare for growth in order to achieve growth. The pay-off may not happen overnight, but if you don’t start making digital marketing a part of your branding efforts, you won’t see a pay-off at all. Two quotes that I try to live by are:
“If you’re not growing, you’re dying” and “Insanity: to do the same thing over and over again and expect a different result.”
While cold calling and individual reputation will always be a part of our business, if you aren’t investing in digital marketing and branding today I can guarantee you that your future growth will face a significant uphill battle as more and more people look to the internet to build trust and verify reputation.
Our CEO, Tony Sorensen just attended a staffing conference in Dallas where the common theme was not “should we be doing digital marketing?” but rather, “how much should we be spending in order to achieve year over year growth?” It’s time to leverage digital marketing to grow your brand, gain credibility, and yes, eventually see that return on investment.