Anyone who makes their brand visible on the Internet with a digital strategy builds up a lasting charisma. Because the digital measures make the success of a brand strategy measurable and enable a tailored approach to the target group.
For companies that make a significant proportion of their sales online, the digital brand can decide how the profitability margin will develop. Given a large number of comparative offers, only the brand remains as a subjective purchase argument after the price. Also, in contrast to offline branding campaigns, digital branding is more measurable, controllable, and effective – because there is no media break and conversion is often just a click away.
A strong brand on the web with a convincing communication strategy not only has an impact on user behavior but also on the visibility of branded content. The CEO of Google, Eric Schmidt, already indicated in a comment the weighting of the brand authority as a fundamental criterion for the evaluation of content: “ Brand affinity is hard-wired. It is so fundamental to human existence that it’s not going away. It must have a genetic component. “
The following is a breakdown of the key factors and measures that define a strong brand and proactively lead a brand development strategy to succeed in the digital space.
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What Is An Online Brand?
An online brand is defined on three scalable levels, which enable a targeted optimization of the brand communication strategy and an economically valuable interlinking of all online measures:
1.1 Fire Visitation
The more the brand is searched for and visited directly online, the higher the brand authority on the web. The increased search volume for a brand is the result of increased brand awareness, which arises through the channeling of attention through advertising campaigns, be it TV, social media, or content marketing, to the company’s online offer and develops in the medium term from the customer’s motivation. Brand visitation has three advantages.
- First: A large part of the brand visits have not been bought and therefore show a high ROI.
- Second: A high proportion of brand visits has positive SEO effects, as Google also perceives the site as an authority for a topic segment.
- Third: For the brand, the brand visits mean an optimal online conversion of the branding and thus a measurable effect on the company value
1.2 Brand Interaction
The aim here is to emotionalize the brand to indirectly increase sales via online channels. Comments, shares, or likes from the community are on the one hand indicators of the target group’s sympathy and perception of the brand and its content, the branded content, and on the other hand, serve to multiply the followers:
- The larger the community, the stronger the brand’s assets.
- Those who lead a need-oriented interaction are automatically rewarded with a higher reach through earned media and gain the target group’s trust in the products.
1.3 Brand Loyalty
Access from users who associate the brand with direct added value (eg “I buy glasses from Mister Spex”) and who repeatedly visit the brand for their purposes is particularly valuable.
- Online loyalty means that the user accesses price comparison sites less because he appreciates the high quality of information and service from his favorite brand.
- It also means that when searching on Google, users are more willing to click on the search results of a brand, even if the result does not achieve a top ranking.
- Besides, they interact faster with digital communication in the form of brand postings on social media, even if these do not address immediate needs in terms of content. The brand loyalty effect also increases the effectiveness of all forms of advertising, because brand communication is associated with increased authority.
How Do You Measure The Success Of Digital Branding?
A decisive difference between digital branding and conventional brand concepts is scalability. Often millions of euros are put into offline media channels, where the sales success cannot be controlled. Not so with the digital brand, because here you can not only measure the effects much better but also assign and optimize individual campaigns on individual channels.
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2.1 These Variables Of A Digital Brand Can Be Measured
- Brand keyword traffic
- More sales from customers who access the online offer via brand keywords
- Increased CTR in search engine rankings
- Higher repurchase rate with existing customers
- Number of brand mentions in the media
- Number of natural brand links from authority media
- The volume of the organic acquisition of social media followers
- The relative increase in social media engagement (important: similar posts e.g. social posts versus product post)
Even if online measures lead to offline sales, multi-channel tracking can be developed with the help of CRM systems and lead management tools. The click-through rate in the Google search results should be documented as well as the lead generation on the homepage and the resulting sales. Tracking enables an analysis of the ROI of brand communication down to the last euro.
The engagement of the user with the digital content already provides information about whether the brand communication serves the needs of the target group. Those who measure themselves against the development of user behavior and align their brand strategy to their needs are using a strategic lever that will sustainably increase brand awareness, traffic quality, and ultimately also the ROI.
2.2 Digital Branding And SEO
- The higher click-through rate in search results of the brand generally results in better rankings over time, as Google perceives this algorithmically.
- Besides, the number of returning customers is increased through direct brand search, bookmarks, which lead to browsers in search BIAs, whether Android or Chrome, Google systems search for search patterns from the past; a frequently entered web page is suggested more often in the autocomplete function. This is an additional multiplication effect for digital brands that will pay off in the medium term.
- As Google has already suggested in the past, direct search queries for a brand have an impact on the overall rankings of a website: If Mister Spex glasses are searched for frequently, Mister Spex’s overall rankings for glasses also increase because brand authority is in place. In an interview with Wired, Google Search Engineer Matt Cutts explains: “And we actually came up with a classifier to say, okay, IRS or Wikipedia or New York Times is over on this side, and the low-quality sites are over on this side. And you can see mathematical reasons … “
The qualitative evaluation of a page is based, among other things, on the quantitative evaluation of user behavior.
But How Can I Optimally Combine Digital Branding And SEO?
It is important that branding and SEO are not mutually exclusive in terms of departmental politics, but rather that they are thought of as being linked to one another. The learning effect for the SEO strategy is that content that generates organic rankings as content or generates links must be on the same level in terms of content; that they support a positive brand image in the form of thought leadership. However, assessing this is not a classic SEO function, but rather an editorial function that requires close cooperation between the departments.
At the same time, marketing strategists must understand that content charges the brand with authority if it is profitable for the user and focus not on the company itself, but the solution. Often, digital branding also dominates the visual design of a website and thus usability, which has an impact on SEO and the positioning of content. It is often forgotten to perceive the communicative content as part of the brand positioning and not just images and slogans. The latter means that the website looks like a glossy advertising brochure, but no content positioning is possible for the user or the search engine.