Is Online Branding Effective?

Traditional online advertising – like banner displays or search ads – doesn't create the same emotional experience we get when we engage with brands offline.

In a world where people spend so much time reading content online, listening to radio on Pandora, and watching their favorite shows on Hulu, one would wonder why the majority of brand marketers’ money still goes offline.

Today’s brand marketers on average spend less than 10 percent of their marketing budgets online, and the rest goes to TV, radio, print publications, and offline content marketing (e.g., product placement in movies).

The reason is that traditional online advertising – like banner displays or search ads – doesn’t create the same emotional experience we get when we engage with brands offline. For example, can you remember any banner ad you saw lately? There’s a good chance you can’t. Do you talk about a cool banner ad when you hang out with your friends? Hell no, you don’t.

And how about search advertising? Well, it’s important to have it because you want to be the one customers choose when they are specifically looking to buy something, but it misses the whole point of brand advertising, which is to entice awareness, affinity, and remembrance – not necessarily an immediate purchase.

The true benefits of branding – the positive image or feeling people associate with a product’s name or logo, can only be achieved in online space if you let your brand participate in or contribute to the consumer’s online experience. Here are some tips:

  • Use smart online video ads. Don’t just take your TV ads and deliver then online, but rather consider the size of screen, interactivity, and social opportunities.
  • Consider social media campaigns that interact directly with consumers and influencers to humanize your brand in ways that were never possible before.
  • Develop informative, educational and entertaining content in text, picture, video, or a combination of different formats.
  • Release content on a regular basis to develop a cohesive brand story.

Content plays an important role in delivering a brand message that will resonate with an online audience and drive them to develop an affinity for the brand in a meaningful way. This is a marketer’s opportunity to connect with consumers who are  looking for a particular brand online, as well as with those who aren’t even aware that they have a need for the product or service yet.