How to Rebrand Your Business in the Digital Age

Rebranding your business is an exciting time to flex your design muscles while also breathing new life into your business. The digital age also means that there are lots of avenues for you when it comes to getting the word out and building your online presence.

That said, rebranding your business isn’t always a walk in the park — and the task becomes twice as difficult when it comes to figuring out how to do so digitally. There are lots of potential avenues you could go down, so the key is creating a digital branding strategy that works best for you.

Build your website

The first step to rebranding in the digital age is starting with a website. While you may already have your business’ social media platforms operational, you still need a website to serve as a digital home base. Marketing director Michael Kava states that working with a reputable web hosting site is of utmost importance, as this prevents your site from crashing or getting hacked. Furthermore, you should also make navigation menus easily readable. After all, a beautiful site isn’t worth much if people have a hard time finding the information that they need.

Engage your existing audience

You should involve your current target audience throughout your rebranding process. Failing to do so might alienate your old customers, which is definitely not the effect you want to have. Posting teasers of your new look and sharing the story behind your rebranding strategy generates a bit of buzz surrounding the new reveal while also allowing your customers to be part of your business’ story.

Solidify your aesthetic across all platforms

It’s important to ensure consistency across all platforms to build better brand awareness amongst your audience. From adjusting banner sizes to sticking to making your website mobile-friendly, such guidelines will help enhance brand recall and attract more clients. The effectiveness of these techniques is why they are drilled into students on university design courses. This is why digital media degree professor John Fahnestock of Maryville University emphasizes the importance of focusing on the aesthetic, technical, and theoretical aspects of design across a variety of mediums and specialties. Following these principles will help designers shape their visual storytelling. Keeping those principles in mind, and asking yourself whether your design is both functional and beautiful, will help you create engaging content that works either as an Instagram story or a Facebook post.

Replace your targeted ads

No digital rebrand strategy is complete without ads. If you already have digital ads in place, remember to edit them to match your brand’s new visual strategy. You can also use this opportunity to explore other advertising options. Partnering with influencers on Instagram posts and stories is a great way to get the word out, as is creating sponsored Twitter posts. The beauty of digital ads is that you can also track their performance through analytics, which can then help you further refine your campaigns.

Choose the right payment gateways

Of course, a digital rebrand isn’t just about aesthetics: it’s about positioning your business as a fully accessible online service. As such, partnering with the right payment gateways helps establish your business as a trusted vendor. PayPal continues to be a popular payment service for online businesses, making it an obvious choice for SMEs who want to mitigate risk. Stripe is another payment gateway that you can use, and both services let you create payment buttons that you can then embed clearly on your site. Potential customers who go to your site will then see these buttons and know that you offer flexible payment options.

Our previous Social Media 101 post maintains that going digital is one of the best growth strategies you can take as a business owner. With that in mind, the tips mentioned above can guide you towards a successful digital rebrand.

 

Article made for clairemckinneypr.com

By Annie Lawson

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Marketing is Not Public Relations

 

Right away I am going to lay it out there to say that these two practices are not the same and the line is not blurring.  Marketing and public relations are not becoming one discipline and I am going to tell you why.

Marketing is not Public Relations

According to the American Marketing Association, Marketing is defined as “the activity, set of institutions, and processes for creating, communicating, delivering, and exchanging offerings that have value for customers, clients, partners, and society at large.”   Your strategies and objectives in marketing are ideally supposed to lead to a sale of something that has “value for customers”.  Public relations is “the art or science of establishing and promoting a favorable relationship with the public, ” according to Yahoo.  I prefer to say it like this: pr is about getting the word out through appropriate messaging across many channels.  First, you create the story or message you want to broadcast, and then, via traditional and digital media, you propagate the information.

It is clear that by definition these two are not the same in terms of their intentions and outcomes.  It is also easy to see why people get confused.  But the issue is not about either discipline.  It is about the tools we use to do the job.

No Digital PR?

A bunch of years ago everything became digital and digital marketing was born.  Was there an equivalent in the public relations world? No digital pr?  This is where the problem started when marketers began thinking they were pr experts and vice versa.  In actuality, the functions of marketing and public relations are what they have always been, with the exception that we all need to know how to function effectively in a digital world.

We need to know how to tweet, post, use hashtags, analyze our efforts, and create opportunities to build relationships.  The difference between marketing and pr here is that marketing wants to bring in a paying customer, whereas public relations is trying to create an image, impression, or relationship.  When pr has built the audience and forged the relationships then marketing comes in for the kill to get that product sold.  Public relations is a craft about words and pictures that tell a story about a brand.  Marketing wants you to buy that brand, go to that concert, rent that hotel room, etc.

Company/Individual = Product

Recently I came across an article that substantiates my point:   In it, the writer, a pr person, was discussing the travel industry and rental properties.  She says there is more crossover between marketing and pr, but there is a very good reason why it looks that way.  She says, “as technology has connected not only us much more deeply with each department’s previously distinct audiences but also those audiences with each other, the line between marketing and PR has blurred. This is especially true in the vacation rental industry where the company is the product when you are recruiting new owners to your program.”

This does not mean that the line has blurred.  This is a result straight from the internet that has to do with “celebrity”.  It applies to artists, authors, musicians, and individually branded businesses.  Our society has a culture where your level of celebrity or fame equals the amount of influence you have.  When the person or entity behind the product is the public image, success becomes dependent upon that person’s relationship with an audience.  This is how it works: PR shapes the brand and image using messaging and imaging and then marketing joins in with advertising and direct mail to encourage a sale.  Did I say it already? Marketing and pr are not the same.

Working Together

What is absolutely true is that it has become even more important for marketing and pr to work together.  The problem is sometimes there is a turf war between the two.  Everyone wants to use the fun tools and tricks available in the digital marketing toolbox.  Fine.  There is more than enough work to go around.   We need to understand the differences in what we do so that we can work effectively to promote our people and products.  They say it takes a village, you know.

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Social Media 101: Pinterest Infographic

Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are the three most popular social media platforms out there. We’re so focused on these three that we forget there are other great, useful platforms out there – like Pinterest. Pinterest is a colorful, fun tool that you can use to promote your book or brand. This week, we have a Pinterest infographic that will help you start an account. Read a more detailed blog post on using Pinterest as an author tool here.

If you are interested in more social media platforms and how to use them, download our free social media 101 guide.

Our Pinterest Infographic:

pinterest infographic cmpr

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