It has been discussed in recent years about the advent of digital engagement and branding. Indeed, social and digital media have helped even the smallest of companies to engage in sophisticated marketing campaigns without burning deep holes in their pockets. Yet, we continue to see smaller and medium sized businesses investing heavily on traditional advertising, without seeing the results they wish to see.
Firstly, we need to understand that the market climate has changed completely. People often do not bother to look at ads, even online. Advertisements are seen as intrusive, annoying and extremely pushy, even when it is subtle and in the background. Part of the reason why customers feel so is because advertising has been over-utilized and people feel saturated to marketing messages. However, they are open to genuine marketing communication that seeks to inform about a product or service.
This is probably why social and digital campaigns fare better than advertisements, at least for small and medium sized businesses. Larger corporations have the moolah and big budget to take risks with traditional advertisements but a small business might not want to do that. For this reason, it is important to understand that digital and social brand engagement can prove to be a valuable alternative to advertising, especially when one faces cash crunch.
Now, let us take a look at some of the advantages that digital branding has over traditional advertising.
Spurring engagement using digital media helps in brand activation. Brand activation can be described as the process of inspiring people to take action by weaving a brand narrative into creative media content. Traditional advertising simply does not have the freedom to do this, and comes with its set of limitations. However, digital brand engagement exercises allow you to spur interaction and inspire people to take desired action.
Digital media gives you a platform to reinforce individual consumer behaviors, when it is in your favor. For instance, those who write a great review can be suitably rewarded, and even a social post expressing happiness with your product or service can be suitably positively reinforced. Traditional advertising does not provide the flexibility, as visibility of individual consumer reaction is not possible.
One of the most important things that a brand needs is lifelong loyalty. Loyalty is something that needs to be nurtured, just like relationships are nurtured. For this to happen, digital and social platforms provide the right situation. You can easily track consumer posts and nurture them individually, so that loyalty is enhanced. In traditional advertising, this is not possible. Everything is planned and individual behavior cannot be nurtured.
Digital marketing and brand engagement is infinitely cheaper than old school advertising. Even online advertising costs more than brand engagement exercises done over social or digital media. For this reason alone, a number of small and medium sized companies prefer to engage target audiences over social and digital media. This also helps them to measure the success of their investment and the ROI. Certainly, this is one of the better ways to reduce expenses.
One of the best features of digital marketing exercises is that everything is measurable. There are tools that help to quantify various attributes. This data can be used to create better marketing campaigns that drive engagement. It is also easier to learn what kind of posts and campaigns drive more engagement, so that such communication is given more preference. Once you identify and quantify engagement, it serves as a more useful tool than traditional advertising which does not provide a lot of analytics.
Digital brand engagement is usually done on social or digital media. Social media is not only the present but also the future of the way we will do business. This means, digital branding is future-proof and one does not need to worry about being stuck in the past or using outdated techniques. Most importantly, both the target audience and the companies can remain accessible to each other, enabling a two-way communication. This is not possible in traditional advertising as it is a one-way communication.
One of the most important metrics of engagement is feedback. When people begin to provide feedback about your marketing communication, you will know what you are doing right and what you might be doing wrong. It provides ample opportunities for you to fix things, which is very important. On social and digital media, receiving feedback and responding to them is very easy, unlike in traditional advertising, where it is almost impossible.
For SMEs, digital brand engagement is easily the more superior choice
As we can see, digital branding makes use of social and digital platforms to connect with the target audience. Digital brand engagement ensures a more organic and impactful communication with the target audience, which in turn helps in building brand loyalty and reinforces desired consumer behavior. Advertising is out of reach for most small and medium sized businesses, whereas digital brand engagement can be a sustainable approach toward being heard and known.
Digital brand engagement ensures interaction and reinforcement of a brand narrative, which results in brand activation. This is important to ensure that people feel inspired and not compelled to buy. Moreover, digital engagement helps in positively reinforcing desired behavior and helps in building brand loyalty. In addition, companies can also look forward toward reduced ad spend and focus on measurement and analytics.
As digital branding is future-proof, we can rest easy that what we create now will not be irrelevant tomorrow, unlike in traditional advertisements. Last but not the least, digital brand engagement helps in receiving feedback immediately and assists companies to make improvements to their products and services, which is not always possible in advertisements. So, it is quite evident that traditional advertising is too expensive and far less effective than digital brand engagement, which can easily fit into an SME’s marketing budget and brings far more effective results.