Digital marketing companies are a little like construction and design firms. They spend years analyzing trends, practicing the latest building methods, and are a little picky about who they work with. And while all marketing agencies will differ in their approach, tone, and niches, most have these three brand-building methods in common.
What to ask digital marketing companies before you get started
Like any relationship, the one between you and your digital marketing company takes commitment, understanding, and communication. And some natural chemistry never hurts. So, before getting started on your brand-building—something that can make or break your brand—be sure to ask the following questions of the digital marketing companies in question:
- What is your track record with brands?
- Do you have success stories and data?
- How do you begin the brand-building process?
- Do you have any industries that are your niche?
- How long do you spend in both the strategic and creative processes?
Once you’ve gotten to know your agency a little better, the real work (and fun) can begin. The following methods are the three most successful brand-building methods digital marketing companies rely on—and what you can expect for your agency during this process.
#1: Positioning your brand for success
Positioning your brand is like laying the foundation on a house. No one will see most of the materials here, but they will make sure the rest of the house is durable enough to weather any storm. Of the brand-building methods that digital marketing companies use, positioning is arguably the most important. Within the positioning tool kit are brand positioning, naming and identity, and social media positioning, which build the foundation for a successful brand.
Brand positioning is a strategic approach to bringing your brand to the market and connecting with audiences. Effective brand positioning is described as one that’s “perceived as favorable, different, and credible in consumers’ minds.” In the positioning process, digital marketing companies focus on the following things:
Discovery: In this step, your marketing agency will identify the opportunities with the most potential. They’ll conduct interviews, market research, and focus groups to uncover your strengths, find where your brand is currently at, and fill in current strategy gaps.
Positioning: Through collaborative meetings and an individualized analysis, marketing companies deep dive and define your brand’s personality and attributes. This phase includes trend research, customer and competitor profiling, and market analysis.
Development: After defining the position, it’s time to translate strategy into action. This is where other teams in the agency—namely design, content, and development—come together and develop creative assets that reflect your new brand identity.
Launch: This step happens when your brand’s foundation is ready to enter (or re-enter) the market.
Naming and identity
Naming your brand is a crucial part of the positioning process and is equal part art and science. Digital marketing companies begin the naming process with market research, insights, and analysis. Then, look at the work done in the initial positioning phase and develop a unique and strategic name. This process often also includes developing a visual brand identity—like a logo, icons, or even a full brand book—to complement the new brand name.
Social media positioning
Positioning your brand for social media is the next step in this foundational process. Once you’ve got the other piece of the puzzle fitting together nicely, this next step will translate your brand tone, positioning, and goals onto the ephemeral (and often cutthroat) world of social. A social media positioning strategy will usually include competitor research, messaging and tone mapping, recommendations, and strategies goals and KPIs.
#2: Bringing your story to life
The second technique is all about brand storytelling. Going back to the house analogy, your foundation is solid, and you have the messaging with which to frame your brand. But the walls are blank and it’s time to add splashes of color and accent pieces. In other words, the content that brings your brand story to life.
Digital marketing companies approach this step in several ways, but the overarching goal is to tell your story well through all touchpoints—from the product to the customer service experience. The main elements of this technique are:
Copywriting and optimization
From the fine print on your product packaging to your homepage above-the-fold copy, words matter. Your agency won’t just slap some words together and call it good. Instead, they’ll develop a keyword strategy, analyze competitors, and implement tone and messaging guides developed from the positioning work.
Don’t confuse strategic for sterile, though.
Brand copywriting—from your Instagram bio to your product descriptions—should invoke storytelling. It should be meaningful, impactful, and compelling. Not only should the tone be appropriate for the content, but it should also echo your brand voice. After all, copywriting is where you get to write the rules of your brand.
Development and design
The other element of bringing your story to life is your visual language. These design elements include your brand colors, iconography, logo, typography, and imagery. In this step, digital marketing companies will take brand goals from your positioning and strategic storytelling and create a website, brand design book, and logo that consumers can connect with. The most important takeaway here is that “good design creates a consistent visual language and establishes an instant connection to your products.”
Bringing your story to life doesn’t just happen once. Instead, it’s an ongoing process through content marketing that’s constantly checking in with your brand goals and aligning your messaging. At Savy, our content marketing process includes a three-step process:
Create: Brand content connects with your audience, increases traffic, and supports inbound leads. Our writers serve our diverse client base with effective content for any brand.
Publish: Hitting publish is just the beginning. Once live, our teams promote it across organic, paid, and earned channels. This omnichannel approach provides an integrated customer experience.
Convert: Lastly, we design and create interactive imagery that tells the story your brand was designed to tell.
#3: Raising brand awareness
When your home is complete, you want to show all your friends and family the beautiful thing you’ve created, right? Raising brand awareness is something like that. Once your brand is complete, once you have the strategy in place and rich storytelling, you want to spread the word. Not only does this step lead to higher conversions and loyal brand fans, but it also keeps your brand relevant. Digital marketing companies employ the following methods to make it happen:
Google Ads are where strategy (technique one) meets creative (technique two). They allow you to promote your brand using relevant keywords to increase leads and sales. Marketing companies use these as part of ongoing strategies to raise brand awareness. They typically include a combination of search, display, video, and shopping campaigns.
Pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns are strategically crafted paid search campaigns that can provide relevant traffic, leads, and returns in real-time for your brand. These can include integrated marketing campaigns that reach customers through preferred channels or search marketing campaigns rooted in analytics to meet the customers on their buying journey.
Ongoing social media management
It’s tempting to simply re-tweet or post a funny GIF. But no matter how on-brand that may be, social media use needs to be strategic and entertaining. Digital marketing companies include ongoing social media management in their brand-building methods because this is where consumers (about 4.5 billion of them) are most frequently interfacing with your brand. Social media management involves:
Social media strategy: Competition is high on social media. Strategy (ahem, remember the social media positioning?) helps your brand identify the right channels, goals, and messaging to elevate your brand’s social media presence.
Social campaigns: A social campaign should be part of every brand’s social media playbook. Campaigns like social commerce, shoppable Stories, or user-generated content keep your users coming back for more.
Digital marketing companies are jacks and jills of all trades
Brand-building is a lot like building a house. And you need a strong foundation before you jazz it up and invite your family over. Digital marketing companies are like brand architects, builders, and designers (we did say all trades) helping to create masterpieces built to last.