If back in 1998, you magically hibernated and then woke up now, 20 years later in 2018, you might feel slightly overwhelmed. The world is changing at the highest pace ever, with the internet being arguably the biggest contributor to that phenomenon. Marketing has evolved into entirely different form and became prevalent on the internet. The same happened with personal branding which is currently mainly associated with using the internet and social media platforms.
Let’s talk differences
In the so-called well-developed countries, statistics have shown that the amount of time spent on mobile devices increased to a whopping sevenfold in the last five years. That only shows the potential of how we can use the internet as a tool to establish our brand. Although the general blueprint and goals are the same, there are also some underlying differences which I’d like to highlight briefly:
- Non-stop availability. As opposed to traditional media such as television and radio advertising, newspaper or flyers which provide only temporary transmission. With the internet, we are available at the fingertip of every user regardless of their location. That, in turn, strengthens the effect of exposure. We tend to feel more affection or familiarity with brands with which we often interact. Or at least, see them. It is also way cheaper, or oftentimes, even for free.
- Ability to interact. It’s not one-direction transmission anymore. We now can exchange messages, share content, comment or give feedback to the author. This is important for creating long-term relationships with existing clients, as well as for attracting new prospects.
- Creating or losing trust is way easier. This is connected to the point above. Building good relationships with people is easier when they can share their thoughts and give an instant feedback on what’s going on. This, however, is also the fastest way to lose the reputation. You can view it as a detriment, but I only see in it an opportunity to provide the best service possible.
- Speed. Is it not fascinating how quick things go viral if they are either very good or very bad? It was not possible, or it would take way more effort in the past. All it takes now is to go online and get into an interaction with whomever you want to talk to or share an opinion with.
- Reach. Traditional media channels are in an increasing retreat with fewer people watching television and reading newspapers. The attention is shifting towards the internet.
Let’s talk methods
E-branding, just as traditional branding techniques, uses different methods to establish the brand in people’s perception. The digital revolution started nearly 30 years go with the creation of web pages which became modern age business cards for companies and people offering services. They also go together with site positioning of which SEO is an extricable part.
Next one is a total game changer. Social media. For nearly 15 years, social media has been consequently gaining the attention of individual users and businesses. And the pace is just accelerating. Research by DEI and OTX have shown that over 70% of users use social media as a way to find the information about the company and service they offer. Following brands on social media has become a new trend and helps tremendously in building two-sided, long-term relationships.
Content marketing permeates the other two points as it’s the filling element for both social media and web pages. It’s high-quality free information of which purpose is to inform and solve people’s problems. It creates an image of professionalism and competency. It wins people’s trust. Good quality content on the web pages is also very conducive to better positioning in web search rankings.
Last but not least – buzz marketing. It’s so powerful because we tend to trust what other customers have to say other than companies that would share only positive news about their business.
Business is increasingly shifting towards the internet and this phenomenon will only persist. We have no other way than to adapt and make the best of the amazing tools e-branding offers. The future is digital.