The role of digital marketing in today’s fast-changing media environment is considered a threat to many traditional marketers. However, its benefits for business are a lot more than the cons. Digital technologies in marketing and communication simply make all processes faster, more streamlined, practical and versatile than traditional paper-based marketing.
This write-up is not about the general benefits of digital marketing. It’s about how it can help build a better brand experience, media, and PR strategy – both locally and globally.
What Is Brand Experience?
According to Josko Brakus, published in the Columbia Business School Research Archive brand experience is defined as such:
“Brand experience is conceptualized as sensations, feelings, cognition, and behavioral responses evoked by brand-related stimuli that are part of a brand’s design and identity, packaging, communications, and environments.”
The above might be too bookish for some. In simpler terms, a brand experience is a group of different things that a label delivers to its customers. These can be tangible or intangible such as reputation, value, goodwill, etc. There are numerous activities, both in the digital and the real world, which can be put together and termed as the brand experience.
Some of these activities are corporate events, advertising, employee-customer relationships, a business website or an app. In short, almost everything associated with a business contributes to building up this experience.
A meaningful and substantial experience generally results in either a high or low customer brand affinity.
For more on brand experience, check out this amazing Ted Talk by Josh Miles
Advertising, no matter what kind, is about creating brand awareness around a brand’s promise. Brand experience, on the other hand, is proof of that promise. A perfect marketing strategy is able to accomplish that link between products and services and the customer. It is done through useful interactions. These interactions can result in an important emotional connection between the company and its users. Having said that, a negative brand experience can spoil it all.
Pro Tip: Different events and experiential activations can trigger positive emotions in the audience and customers.
How Can Digital Marketing Help Brand Expericence?
A social media strategy is an important part of online marketing. Through a sharp and effective social media strategy, a business can target specific interests or demographics to grow awareness. Targeting thought leaders through social media is also a great idea.
Similarly, displaying ads can help you discover people who are looking for what you have to offer but just haven’t found it yet. Through retargeting, you can approach people who have already been to your site and require some kind of follow-up.
Note that all the methods above give you the chance to interact with your audience. They also provide you with the opportunity to create a bond – a bond which we call, “brand experience”.
What Is PR And How Can Digital Marketing Enhance It?
PRSA (Public Relations Society of America) defines public relations as,
“A strategic communications process that builds mutually beneficial relationships between organizations and their public.”
Now, considering the digital divide, there are two types of PR digital strategies existing today – traditional PR and digital PR. The main idea behind the two remains the same. They’re working toward building better relationships between the public and organizations. However, the process, tactics, and channels to address the audience differ.
With the rise of digital media, traditional PR is becoming less and less popular. PR practitioners often use established channels like print publications, press releases, billboards, radio, TV, sending out product samples via post to promote their client’s brands. However, these methods can feel ineffective in an age where everyone has access to online sources of information at their fingertips.
On the other hand, digital PR ties into SEO, content marketing and social media in order to reach audiences on platforms and devices where they spend most of their time online. Unlike its old-fashioned counterpart, digital PR is not a solo act but rather a collection of initiatives that are part of a master business strategy. It is focused on building strong long-term relationships with the customers, storytelling and improving visibility of your business and website.
One of the most important things to remember is that there’s no “one size fits all” approach. You need both traditional and digital PR, because they offer unique benefits depending on your industry or business model. However, you can never have too many tools in this ever-changing world! The key is in knowing what you want from publicity – whether it’s targeted demographics or just general visibility for any campaign objectives.
How To Build A Solid Digital Marketing Strategy?
Through link building and SEO, an organization can connect to its audience far more effectively. Similarly, a virtual landscape gives you an opportunity to reach out to key players – bloggers, influencers and thought leaders. Moreover, these key players can usually captivate a bigger, more relevant audience than you’d have expected.
This means more shares and increased visibility. The best thing about digital marketing tactics is the fact that they provide quicker results. Good social platforms typically have results in a matter of days, if not hours.
Despite all this, traditional PR strategy plans like trade shows and event planning come with their own unique sets of benefits. People can interact directly with products and talk personally with creators or sellers. It’s a hands-on experience instead of a virtual one.
Digital PR is immediate, measurable and increases visibility. It may be more specific as compared to the traditional approach. After all, you need the ability to address and target the right audience, and therefore, online channels can help you achieve exactly that.
Digital Brand Marketing Myths
Since the pandemic of 2020, many businesses have made the leap to digital marketing. This transition has been difficult for some as many companies were struggling to keep afloat. As a result, a lot of traditionalists have attributed certain myths that disavow digital marketing as a strong brand experience and PR set of practices.
Results Aren’t Viable
Is digital marketing measurable in terms of results and ROI? Yes, it is! Through tools like Google Analytics, you can record and track online placements. It’s perfect for webmasters and marketers. It can help them analyze and record audience behavior in great detail. They can see how people react to an ad, what makes them click on it, and even how they move about a website.
It Is Not That Important
Digital marketing is a critical component to help your business grow. However, many companies still consider it as a low priority when planning their budget.
However, as 93% of people research companies online before buying their products, you really lose the bet if you don’t invest in digital brand marketing. The modern-day customer is well-versed in the market, and will go anywhere they need to find what’s best for them!
Therefore, make sure you build a strong digital marketing strategy to keep these prospects for yourself and create a robust brand experience. Enhance your online presence with all the goodies it offers – SEO, PPC, Email, Mobile, Social Media, Voice, Video and Analytics.
A Website Is Enough
You can’t afford to be lazy with your digital marketing efforts. Creating a website is just the first step – you need an online strategy that will help drive traffic to it and engage people. So, you need to keep a close look at what they are looking for on social media, search engines, indigenous forums/blogs etc.
In order to get ranked high up in searches related directly towards product offerings of yours, make sure all relevant keywords appear within text content when possible.
To succeed in today’s competitive marketplace, you need a strategy that includes SEO (search engine optimization), content creation and pay-per click advertising. If your site isn’t promoted online then people will struggle to find it themselves. Hence, they won’t be able to enjoy all the benefits of your business and look for a solution elsewhere.
It’s All About The Quantity
If you want your digital marketing efforts to benefit brand experience and PR, you need to make sure you invest enough resources in high quality output. Of course, consistency is fundamental especially regarding fresh content, but if it is too generic, your competitors will prevail.
The first step of a successful digital marketing strategy is having an engaging website. But, there are other elements that help websites rank higher on Google search pages and gain more traffic organically – like social media integration or blog posts with backlinks from relevant high-authoritative sources.
In reality, if you do not have a structured and intentional digital brand marketing strategy, you won’t be able to gain more customers than you currently have. When you spare the time to make sure that everything is clear, it can really hurt your sales. Your customers need a good reason for buying from YOU and not someone else – they’re going with what seems more convenient or affordable at first sight!
Therefore, you don’t have to go overboard with your social media posts and blog content in order to boost your brand experience and PR. Keep it interesting and engaging – that’s the recipe for digital marketing success!
Digital marketing is here to stay. The tactics and approaches organizations use in order to better their PR strategy and brand experience will continue to change. There is no fixed recipe for success in the online world, the landscape is always changing and businesses need to adapt. It’s a race in which you don’t want to be left too far behind.