Last week on the Digital Download, we talked all about Branding in the Digital World. It's worth going back and having a listen to the entire conversation (because we shared a TON of info on what needs to go into building a strong digital brand), but I thought I would take this time to share with you the top takeaways from the panel of experts :)
Takeaway #1: Be The One Who "Runs" Your Industry Online
In the online space, there are always a ton of available EYES. But if you aren't giving the people who you want in your brand community a place for them to find you online, you miss out on all of those eyes.
And we're not talking about ADS...which is what most online marketers talk about when it comes to eyes.
What we ARE talking about is giving people a place online to come and EXPERIENCE you. To find out what it's like to be in your presence. To be in community with you. As a company. As a team.
Most companies, when asked who runs the best LinkedIn Live show in their industry, can't answer the question. Which means there's a HUGE opportunity for it to be YOU. So whether you're an established company or a start-up - or heck, even just an entrepreneur - figure out what, in your opinion, people need to know about your industry, and then create a space where you SHARE that with people.
Takeaway #2: Be Intentional About Your Brand
This one starts with your people.
Every single one of your team members contributes to your brand.
And every single person can contribute intentionally, or not.
If we create a space where people can discover their contribution to the company, and share that with other people, we start to be able to leverage THEIR agency into our brand reputation.
We attract additional team members who are already in alignment with our goals and vision, and we can continually grow our influence.
Takeaway #3: Build A Brand Community
When we talk about vendors, prospects, leads, etc. our language can unintentionally create a barrier between US and THEM. But when we show up and treat everyone like a valuable community member (just like we did with our employees in Takeaway #3), we find much more access to "stickiness".
You know... those intangible things that make people want to stick with you in the hard times, or when prices go up.
When we can see, hear, appreciate and respect all the members of our community, they reward us...with business.
Takeaway #4: Be Yourself
As an extension to being intentional, there is an additional benefit that is experienced when that intentionality is in alignment with your authentic brand.
Every single business has a unique USP (unique selling proposition), and owning that allows you to attract the people who SHOULD be in your community, and repel the people who shouldn't.
When it comes to marketing and branding, we are often talking about getting MORE eyes. But if all your outreach and marketing 1) isn't getting any eyes, or 2) getting the wrong eyes, it still won't turn into business at the end of the day.
Branding activities are NEVER about being what you're "supposed to be". They're about being who you ARE. About embracing YOUR unique USP, so the right people can find you.
So you can have FUN doing business with awesome people.
Takeaway #5: You Have To Show Up
All of the already stated takeaways might have this one covered, but it's important enough to say it one more time. If you don't show UP and show people you exist in the digital landscape, it doesn't matter how much authenticity or intentionality you have.
Because other people will never know about it.
Your brand doesn't actually EXIST without people's experience of it.
To be clear...your COMPANY may exist.
But a BRAND is a human's experience of your company.
And if more and more business is moving online, and you DON'T have a branded online experience that your community is getting from your team, then what do you have?
Not an online brand.
And certainly no digital influence.
Branding in the Digital World: The Big Difference
Branding isn't actually different in the digital world.
It's still all about people's experience of you.
What they would say about you after their interaction with you is complete.
The problem is that most businesses, who have invested in in-person experiences for years, have forgotten about creating that experience online.
Either that, or they've chosen not to.
And it's always up to you where you choose to compete.
But if you WANT to compete in the digital space, then you need to be creating experiences in the digital space.
And is an unsolicited advertisement (aka. here's a brochure you never asked for) really the best way for people to experience your brand?
I would guess not 😉
It's time to rethink your digital brand.