Have you ever wondered if your digital marketing is being held back by poor branding? As your potential customers whizz through digital content, attention is at a premium – your brand must make an impact, fast.
Here’s a closer look at why branding can make or break your digital marketing activities and how you can get your branding up to speed.
Why Branding Is Important for Digital Marketing
Your branding plays a pivotal role in determining how your business and your products are perceived by your customers. It’s common knowledge that a strong and recognisable brand makes marketing much easier and effective.
Think, for example, how marketing collaterals from companies like Apple and Nike are instantly recognisable. This is thanks to the strong brand that those companies have carefully cultivated over the years.
Those brands perform brilliantly in the digital space, too. And this is becoming increasingly important.
By now, we are all aware of the dramatic shift that has taken place in the world of marketing over the past decade: as budget allocation to traditional channels continue to dwindle, digital marketing budgets have never been so high.
Brands must appear where their potential customers are, and this means appearing online. Google alone boasts a staggering 63,000 searches every second of the day, so the battle for digital dominance is a fierce one.
As of 2016, mobile traffic officially overtook desktop traffic. Your potential customers scroll and swipe at breakneck speed, so your brand must be able to leap from the screen in the second that it appears.
How Brands Stand Out Online
How exactly do brands manage to stand out online? They create strong branding and extend that flawlessly into the digital world.
Quickly cast your eye over these early banner ads from Apple.
In just a millisecond, you know who these ads are coming from and what they are advertising. This is due to the power of strong branding and an intelligent transition to the digital space.
Look at how Nike manages to achieve the same:
Here’s a closer look at the key ways these top brands invoke their brand in the digital space.
If you look at these examples again, you’ll probably find that the font is even more prominent than the images at first glance. Obviously, these brands have spent lots of time and resources to cultivate very strong brands to make their fonts instantly recognisable, but you should attempt the same.
It’s important that your digital collaterals coincide with your website and any print materials. Consistency is key to strengthening your brand and making an immediate impact as your potential customer scrolls quickly through a page.
The Apple banner ads use consistent product imagery and in most cases, those images take up the majority of the space. These small choices help to build consistency and present the Apple brand within the digital space.
Nike invests an incredible amount of money and effort into its photography and graphic design. So much so, that the brand can often by recognised by its images alone. You should work alongside your designers and marketing team to cultivate a distinct style and stick to it. Too many businesses make the mistake of using poor-quality and disparate images.
Digital marketing is incredibly unforgiving: you have just milliseconds to make an impact on your audience and you have to make it count. Look at how sparse and direct the copy is in both of the examples above. Despite the brevity, the copy still helps to push the brand voice.
The Nike ads are a great example of this. Concise and declarative sentences are a part of Nike’s identity, invoking a feeling of action and speed. Take the time to think how your digital marketing copy can reflect your brand and build a consistent feel.
Another important factor that can affect your brand in the digital space is placement. Brand safety has become a big talking point in recent years, and brands want to ensure that their messages and brand appear within an appropriate environment.
You should think carefully about how to execute your campaigns to ensure your brand is only ever presented in the best light. If your brand appears alongside unsafe and inappropriate content, irreparable damage can be dealt to your brand.
Giving Your Brand the Apple Treatment
Here is Heue Digital, we are big fans of Apple (in the world of branding and marketing, who isn’t?!). We particularly love that the company has such an impeccable understanding of how tiny design choices can have dramatic impacts on how its brand is perceived.
We believe that this is a very important lesson we can all learn a lot from, and we draw a lot of inspiration from it when we work with our clients. When we launch a new branding initiative with our clients, we work to give them the “Apple Treatment”. This means we take a look at every possible way that the brand will be presented and refine it as much as possible.
We had a lot of fun recently imagining what would happen if household brands in the UK decided to rethink their brand to create a more minimalist look and feel that would translate well online.
Here’s a look at our reimagining of McDonald’s, for example. We know that the original branding is legendary, but in this example, we imagined that a McDonald’s that focused more on high-end burgers and coffee rather than fast food.
We believe that the more mature and signature look that we created is striking and could translate well into the digital space. A cohesive link between the digital and physical world would make it easy for customers to recognise the brand.
As part of our exercise, we sat down with a brew and soon began to wonder how the UK’s largest tea provider might look if it decided to appeal to a more sophisticated market.
We decided that a more heritage feeling could standout online, while the Japanese print hinted at the origins of tea. The earthy tones that we chose would be easy to carry over into the digital space too.
How Does Your Branding Help or Hinder Your Digital Marketing?
Have you tried everything but your digital marketing results are still disappointing? Your branding might be letting you down. We recommend that you dedicate some time to really think about how your brand is reflected online and the changes you can make to create a brand that is as consistent and recognisable as possible.
Chris Mcdonald has been the lead news writer at complete connection. His passion for helping people in all aspects of online marketing flows through in the expert industry coverage he provides. Chris is also an author of tech blog Area19delegate. He likes spending his time with family, studying martial arts and plucking fat bass guitar strings.