As someone who never started out as a traditional digital marketer, but approached the industry from the content side, I can definitely say that my biggest learning curve has been understanding the true concept and value of the Perception, as well as the importance of this concept in when it comes to establishing yourself as a brand. This is highly applicable to digital world where only your image communicates with the audience.
The industry we operate in moves at lightning speed – constantly evolving technologies, emerging social media platforms, viral videos, streams of memes, algorithm updates, increased mobile adoption and so on, making it easy to forget about one of the few things that stays constant through it all…the Brand and its Perception.
But, what develops a perception on the digital world? Setting up a social network account is not build an image, blind action without direction doesn’t attract audience attention. In order to be successful in Digital Marketing you must be intuitive and persistent and know what tools are at your disposal today and how effectively you can use them to active the desired results.
Create, Engage, Communicate, Listen
Digital Marketing to be effective, brands must proactively create an engaging communication, listen and then respond to consumers in a relevant, open and meaningful way. Social media has given people a voice; they expect it to be heard and acted upon.
Consider Coca-Cola, one of the major brands across the globe, their drive for consumer engagement for example has earned them a following of nearly 51 Million+ Facebook fans and over 100 Million+ views on its YouTube channel. Coke’s online campaigns encourage sharing of photos from worldwide events, videos of its campaigns and a “Your Stories” section calling on fans to showcase how they embrace Coca-Cola. It is not essentially ground-breaking, but it’s the execution that matters.
In such cases the opportunity exists for a two-way relationship to develop consumers enjoy the added value the brand provides, while the questions and issues raised allow the brand valuable insight into the minds and concerns of its consumers.
Brands have also derived added value from encouraging consumers to share their own user-generated content on their digital platforms, this has built a strong communal spirit among fans of the brand. Brands that have managed this well have become almost self-sustaining a snowball effect.
While many brands think that the key to success in Digital Marketing is sending out bulk SMSs or merely setting up social network accounts as an add-on to traditional campaigns. There are also brands who view their digital presence as merely a means of regurgitating existing offline campaigns into their social network accounts without any added value to consumers. Despite the explosion in social media’s reach and potential, most brands still rarely use it to actively engage with consumers.
At least 51 percent of consumers believe that inactive or un-engaging social network accounts reflect negatively, organizations stand to lose immense business and valuable consumer intelligence.
The research, conducted by comScore on behalf of iProspect, found that internet users exposed to mere impressions of organic search results, paid search results, and online display advertising alone and in combination experienced measurable improvements in people’s perceptions of those brands, leading to increase in number of followers and engagement.
Digitization has restructured the top-down direction of traditional marketing and into a two way channel drawing in consumers through their engagement. In the digital arena companies succeed when users perceive them as a relatable brand.
Digital branding is to create and project your real world identity on to a virtual platform. It helps a brand to develop its position on digital platforms and sustain this position in the market. A start-up company needs digital branding to reach its audience and make them aware about their brand. A company already engaged in digital branding, needs it to push their reach and communicate better with its audience to retain the achieved benchmark on digital platform and move it up the scale.
Social Media in India, has gained a lot of commercial importance in recent times. More and more people are indulging in various online activities and spending a good amount of time on social media platforms. So if a start-up company is looking to engage people and develop followers, these platforms are a great help to promote your business.
Analytics and Audit
Doing a complete audit of your business is essential when it comes to Digital Marketing. The digital world is a continuously evolving world and what worked yesterday may not work tomorrow. A thorough analysis of activities thus becomes crucial to survive. In simple terms it is checking if your current strategy is working or not, if yes – how to improve it, if not – what changes are required. It is to consider a bigger picture, and inspecting your business’s Digital Marketing activities to create an optimized strategy that best suits you.
Content Creation and Marketing
One of the biggest fear an individual has is about Content Marketing. With every two-bit digital marketer throwing their hat into the ring, it is hard to come by authentic content.
Digital exposure to both the world enables generation of creative yet technically sound content and understanding a brand, its values, principles and objectives and communicating it to the audience in an easily digestible form is the crux of content marketing.
Search Engine Optimization
In the digital world, visibility is crucial. It gives your brand accessibility and reach, and to be visible to the audience you need to catch their eye. The all-searching eyes are various search engines used to look up any information. Search engines cast a very wide holed net and a brand’s target is to get caught in that net, for which you need to be properly optimized with the engine’s algorithms.
Paid Marketing is one of the major tools in the digital kit. Paid Marketing simply means you pay for visibility. And like any other commercial exchange you need to know when, how much to pay and also have the knowledge of how to use the bought visibility to maximize your reach.