Creating your Digital Brand
In an age where the biggest and brightest brands begin life online, it’s more important than ever to think about how to create your digital brand. But with everyone throwing the phrase around, it’s difficult to know where to start.
Your digital brand is your identity online. As in offline life, you want your identity to accurately represent who you—and your company—are. And with information more overwhelming and readily available than ever, it’s important to make sure that identity is unique, honest, and in line with your goals—in other words, ensure that it actually tells the story you want it to tell.
It starts with brand integrity—the point where your organization “achieves its desired brand image while reaching business objectives.” In other words, your customers are having the experience with your brand that you want them to have, and everyone knows you are who and what you say you are. The importance of brand integrity is in the statistics: 78% of purchases in business-to-business and business-to-client interactions are based on the perception of the company and the experience it delivers. In fact, a customer’s positive experience is so vital, 86% will quit doing business entirely if they don’t find it positive!
Okay, so you’re ready to build a digital brand. How do you go about it?
- Define your Unique Selling Point (USP). What sets you apart from the competition? What makes you special? What are you passionate about? That’s what you want to focus on when building an online presence and interacting with your clients.
- Be yourself. Yes, this might turn off some potential customers. But they aren’t the ones you want. You want the ones who will be intrigued and inspired by what you offer and how you offer it. Consider actually sharing some of your failures and the lessons you’ve learned. Customers want to interact with an actual human being with strengths and weaknesses… just like them.
- Set goals. What do you want to achieve? How will you get there? What does your market look like? What social media will you use to interact with it? It’s hard to achieve a branding goal if you don’t set it first!
- Create relationships. Of course you want to sell your product or service, but far more importantly, you want to build a relationship with your customers. The sales may not come immediately, but if your customers know you through your digital branding efforts, they’ll know exactly who to go to when they need what you’re offering. That’s the best kind of loyalty!
There are a million ways to build your digital brand, and you can (and should) experiment to see what works best for your company. But first and foremost, you need to take a look at what sort of story you want to tell and how you want to tell it. From there, the sky’s the limit!