Brand building has traditionally occurred using newspaper, magazine and television marketing plans. However, as the internet is quickly moving these three information mediums toward the realm of the obsolete. Cutting-edge and resourceful industry mastheads are focusing more and more on alternative and cost-efficient means of marketing a product or name.
The most important branding tools available are:
Search engine optimization is actually a component of content marketing (see below), but SEO is so critically important that it requires its own explanation. While the notion of talking about SEO prior to content marketing may seem like putting the cart before the horse, that fact that content without optimization is all but useless means any discussion of branding should begin with SEO.
SEO influences content, websites, mobile apps and social media networks. SEO is the means by which content and sites achieve a high ranking on a search engine. Recent studies have shown that the number one ranking page on a search engine gets 33% of the traffic.
In other words, in order to brand a product using a website, social media networks and mobile apps, SEO must be the first consideration.
Content marketing is the act of exposing people to content and information using social media networks, business websites, data and information sites and mobile marketing and commerce apps. There are other content marketing tools — email and text messages, — but the three biggest content marketing tools and trends are websites, social media networks and mobile apps.
Consider this, YouTube has more users than any single network on cable. Here is another interesting fact that illustrates the potential in content marketing, Facebook has replace pornography as the number one use of the internet world-wide.
The secret to content marketing is two-fold. First, it must be search engine optimized. Secondly, once users are exposed to it, it must capture their interest.
Interestingly enough, while 66% of marketers use content to market — typically in the form of a blog — only 9% have a full-time blogger on staff.
Mobile Marketing and Mobile Commerce
Mobile marketing and commerce are developing as quickly as any communications technology in the history of the industry. 92% of the world owns a cell phone. 50% of those people use their cell phone as their primary means of accessing the internet. 71% of those people make an online purchase a minimum of once a week.
Here is another means of understanding how influential and fast moving mobile marketing and commerce — mobile apps — are. It took radio 38 years to reach 50 million users. The mobile app Draw Something reached 50 million users in 50 days.
Branding is all about exposure, the number of people exposed to a product or service. In the end, mobile commerce will be the only commerce.
Websites are still the most valuable tool for branding a product. While mobile commerce apps have their use, they’re generally used to quickly expose a mobile device user to a product and a means to allow that user to quickly purchase it.
However, a website is the means by which potential customers can scrutinize a produce, write reviews and give ratings, and interact with the people behind the company. A website is — and probably will be for some time — the most important digital aspect of a company’s marketing campaign.