Undoubtedly, “digital marketing” is the next big thing when it comes to promoting your business online! It reaches where traditional forms of marketing simply cannot. However, merely jumping on the digital bandwagon for brand awareness is insufficient.
First thing is to understand what ‘branding’ really means and why digital marketing needs to be an integral part of your agency’s branding strategy. You may have frequently heard people talk about brand awareness or branding, but what does it mean? Are they referring to your company name, website or the logo? Well, branding is a lot more than that!
Branding is about giving customers a total experience of your services, tangible as well as intangible. The way you choose to go about doing this will form your branding strategy and digital marketing is the perfect fit. Digital marketing includes all forms of electronic media, increases the way customers interact with your agency’s business, and builds brand awareness. Here are five key factors you should consider:
Focus on building a strong brand strategy
Competition in your industry is high and customers have plenty of choices when it comes to education and migration. To gain substantial market share, your agency’s brand must stand out from the competitors.
You need to start seeing your agency as a living entity. Much like human beings, it needs to have a personality that matches with the way your target audience thinks and communicates. This is what you need to do:
Understand your consumers and competitors
Break down the demographics of your consumers and analyze who they really are, where they come from, their preferences, level of education, and so on. Find out about your competitors, the sort of migration or education services they offer, their rates, the markets they operate in, and even marketing campaigns.
It is also important to know your agency’s status, in terms of consumer perception and market share. All of this data will enable you to differentiate your services and position your brand in the target market accurately and effectively.
Pinpoint your agency’s USP
Now is the time to figure out your ‘unique selling point’ or USP. Begin with identifying your agency’s core philosophy, mission, and values. How do you expect the consumer to perceive your brand? Talk to your partners, management, and stakeholders. What should your agency’s brand say to the consumers and how should it speak to them?
Try to sum up these answers in the shortest and clearest way possible. Some companies make it a part of their mission statement, while others use it as a tagline. For instance, MasterCard’s slogan “There are some things money can’t buy. For everything else, there’s MasterCard”.
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Develop your creative elements
The next step is to create the look, feel, and voice of your brand that will resonate across all marketing channels – website, social media, and online advertisements. Take help from a graphic designer and copywriter to set the look and tone of your brand.
Build links to improve visibility in search engines
Start by considering how you can increase your visibility within search engines. Search engines are the primary means people use to find websites and pages online. There are two main ways of doing so:
Use paid advertising
Pay-per-click (PPC) is a way to use search engines to advertise your services, in which you pay every time someone clicks on your advertisement. It will allow your agency to reach prospective clients at a time when they are researching for education or migration services.
You only pay when people click to visit your website or make a call. Moreover, you can choose your location – local, regional or global. Try Google Adwords. If your agency is a start-up, it is an option you can choose later on, once the business is more established. Until then, focus on growing your brand organically.
Grow your brand organically
“Organic” refers to growing your brand without paying for online advertising. You can do so by getting on social media, interacting with online communities, writing blogs, sending newsletters or getting loyal customers to spread the word about your brand.
With this approach, you need to focus on providing high value content in a creative and engaging way. Your content should not focus on simply giving out relevant information. It has to be interesting enough for consumers to subscribe to your newsletters or start conversations on social media.
Optimize your agency’s website
Your website is an online gateway to your services and probably the best marketing tool for brand awareness in cyberspace. When optimized with your target audience in mind, it will attract traffic, get website visitors to stay longer and access more information, as well as keep them coming back for more.
You can make the most out of your website in the following ways:
Use good and functional web design
Good design reflects aesthetic functionality. Making your website attractive should be the first priority. At the same time, make sure it is functional and has all the right buttons and links. The website’s layout should be easy to access, with good use of your brand colors and fonts. Make sure your brand’s messaging is clearly visible – logo, company tagline, mission, and values.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
While developing content for your website, it is crucial to use keywords, based on the way people search for similar content on the internet. This must be strategic, and not random. Keywords should not be placed everywhere in the website, but only where it is relevant. You can use keywords to tag each page in the website and even images.
Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO)
CRO is the method of using analytics and user feedback to improve the performance of your website. It gives consumers their “wow” moments and turns passive visitors into active ones. Use appropriate calls to action, persuasive messaging, and excellent testimonials on your website. You should also provide registration options, downloads, feedback forms, and other attractions on the website.
Write Quality Content
Quality content is king for a good reason! With content marketing, you can express to people how your business works for them and fulfills their needs. This type of content shows search engines that your brand is an industry leader and worthy of an organic search.
Blogging is a great way to create value for your brand. Start by writing high quality blog articles that talk directly to your consumers and inform them about the industry. Think about the language tone you want your brand to convey, consider the demographics, as well as their goals and lifestyles. Start your blog only when you are confident it will be consistent.
Post breaking news articles occasionally
Apart from writing regular blogs, post shorter articles occasionally. It can be more newsworthy and unique. It will give customers something different to read and leave a lasting impression about your brand and its services.
Take social media seriously for brand awareness
Once upon a time, getting on social media only meant finding long-lost friends or sharing photographs. It has evolved tremendously since then. Today, social media has become a global platform to connect with your target audience and talk to them personally. Facebook and Twitter are just some of many options.
Find a social media that suits your brand. Post messages and pictures that relate to your audience, but more importantly, talk to them in your brand’s tone. Create a strategy to decide what type of content you will post and how many times a week or month.
Building brand awareness takes time, patience, and sincere commitment. Start now!