Digital Brand Awareness Strategies for Saturated Platforms
The digital “world” in marketing has been around for a long time now. In many ways, the internet revolutionized marketing and the opportunities companies have to cultivate wide brand recognition.
Even as technology speeds ahead, the landscape of the world in which digital marketing takes place is long-established. As marketing mediums mature, they start to inherit a number of similar issues. Although, digital marketing certainly has a mix of new solutions and spins on very old strategies to overcome those challenges.
Saturation: not a new challenge, but an amplified one.
One of the main troubles with digital spaces is the amplification effect they have. People can do things faster, more easily, and with more choice. Back when companies were pioneering social media platforms and Google rankings were easy to automate, being seen was easy. Early adopters of digital marketing created new ways of reaching audiences directly, in their homes and on their personal devices.
Now, so many marketers have piled onto those platforms that it’s nigh impossible to compete on a small budget. Facebook changed its algorithm to devalue posts from businesses because users got extremely tired of seeing marketing content everywhere they looked on the platform. Any blog post one cares to write likely has pre-existing competition from hundreds of sources.
Facebook is saturated, Twitter is saturated, Google is saturated. Blogs, LinkedIn, Quora — it’s all full of digital marketing. This is not, by any means, a new problem. The problem has, however, been intensified by the nature of digital media. People are bombarded with advertisements in the apps on their phones, in Google results, on their social media pages, on Youtube … you name it.
Saturation is a bigger monster now than it ever was.
Provide quality content.
It’s not enough to be the best at what you do. Not anymore. Users need to be given a reason to find that out about you. If you’re trying to reach people online, you need to provide a free service first. What that consists of can depend greatly on your particular preferences and brand identity.
If you’re Wendy’s, it means excellent clapbacks and troll posts on Twitter. If you’re a tech company, it may mean access to a free version of your tool, like an antivirus company with a genuinely useful free download. If you’re a media organization, a certain number of free articles per day. Your offering can be as simple as blog posts with information, tutorials, or opinions. The key here is that as well as providing a functionally better service than the competition, you also have to provide better reasons for people to engage with you in the first place.
Taking local outreach to a global audience.
A host of new information, and therefore demographics that you can target, is available online. One massive change that digital marketing has brought to the industry as a whole is the sheer amount of data about themselves that people willingly share.
People are often vocal about the causes they advocate for, especially on social media. Corporate social responsibility initiatives — volunteering, gifts to charity, events, and benefits — can now reach far beyond the local communities they are conducted in.
One interesting response to the saturation of digital marketing has been a great deal of pushback from audiences against marketing campaigns, especially involving social causes, they see as cynical and profit-driven. Marketing should be a secondary effort to corporate social responsibility, and your business should pick causes that people in the company genuinely care about.
Public relations and outreach have become a large part of marketing. Fumbled PR can be a marketing disaster, as disgruntled customers also have global reach and may generate a viral post about an unpleasant experience. Excellent customer service, and excellent integrity in how both workers and customers are treated, have become increasingly necessary in a world that talks often and fast across communities, cities, and countries.
Psychology: an older marketing puzzle with new digital features.
Everyone views your digital content differently — on different sized screens, with different colour balances, in different places, at different times of day.
Advertising on TV, or putting up a billboard, you have reasonable expectations of where a customer is and what mindset they are in when they see your ad. In modern digital marketing, with the ubiquity of mobile, you really have very little idea about what physical space and what headspace someone is in when they interact with you. They might have wildly different reactions to the same ad depending on whether they’re sitting at their home computer or browsing on their phone in the bathroom at work.
This takes some traditional marketing concepts and tosses wrenches at them. According to an article published by the University of Southern California’s Applied Psychology Program, color theory and psychology have been married concepts in marketing for a long while. Color has a number of broadly impactful influences on design, but it also means different things to different people, at different stages in their lives and even in their day.
If you’re targeting office workers who look at harsh white screens all day, muted colors and off-white backgrounds might help them more easily and comfortably interact with you. On the other hand, at the end of a long day more uplifting and vibrant colors might appeal to them better. Responses to color can depend on and influence a person’s mood. The effectiveness of each strategy will likely depend on how, when, and where the same audience chooses to interact with your brand.
Luckily, data about all of those variables is available to you thanks to the various tracking and social technologies people opt-in to. Learning how to gather, manage, and extrapolate upon that data will become a powerfully important part of any digital marketing strategy.
Just remember that all the data and strategy in the world won’t help you if you don’t have quality content that people like to engage with. Those tools can help you take that content to the next level, and even evaluate which types of content work best for you, but the development of the content itself requires genuine human effort and genuine human connection with your audience.
Author bio: Ainsley Lawrence is a writer who loves to talk about good health, balanced life, and better living through technology. She is frequently lost in a good book.