2013: The Year of Digital Brands
However, an even more intriguing trend is the role brands are playing online by investing in building and nurturing their digital identities to have a much wider reach in the virtual world than the physical world. Here are some important steps being taken:
- Creating and sharing great content: Companies are building digital content that becomes the driver of audience engagement and eventually revenue opportunities. Successful online marketers begin by understanding what can capture their target customers' attention and then weaving in good stories and content that viewers will want to share. Red Bull is one of the brands that used this tactic successfully with their "death defying jump."
Great content also has a spin-off effect.
Successful content marketing experts use COPE: Create Once, Publish Everywhere. While this suggests content should be pushed out on multiple platforms, it also means that content which might not be valuable to one audience in its current form, such as a press release about a senior member joining a company, can be spun into an interesting blog post, which shares the person's vision, experiences and take on industry trends that many readers may find informative.
- Using social media to extend brand reach: Another big step for brands is going all out and embracing social media to extend their reach. This is a wonderful vehicle that helps in spreading news, creating awareness and providing an environment for meaningful two-way dialogues with target audiences.
A good example was this year's London Fashion Week, which used digital technology and social media to reach out to the growing segment of shoppers. More than 21 shows at the fashion event were broadcast live on the LFW YouTube channel, of which 60% were live-streamed to the LFW website. Brands, publications and designers used social media sites like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to share their experiences of fashion week. Participants on Pinterest created a photographic diary of brands and fashion magazines, designers and celebrities; giving the equivalent of "VIP" access to the shows. Twitter trends enabled fashionistas to not only get the opinions of fashion leaders and celebrities, but to also give their own feedback—that is what social media is all about.