The role of digital marketing in today’s fast-changing media environment is considered a threat to many traditional marketers. However, that’s not true. The digital techniques used in marketing and communication are simply 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, PR, and media strategy.
To put things in perspective, let’s start with a little intro on brand experience.
What Is Brand Experience?
According to Josko Brakus, published in the AMA Journal. brand experience is,
“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, 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 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 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.
*TIP* Different events and experiential activations can trigger positive emotions in the audience and customers.
How Can Digital Marketing Help?
A couple of years ago, there was a study highlighting the most effective channels for marketing. According to the study, email, social media, online ads, retargeting and mobile were the top channels.
A social media strategy is an important part of online marketing. Through a sharp and an 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 a 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?
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 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 the channels to address the audience differs.
What’s the Role of Digital Marketing?
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.
A good digital relationship results in a more loyal following. 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 approaches 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.
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.
Digital marketing is here to stay. The tactics and approaches organizations use in order to better their PR 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.
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