The marketplace has shifted away from geographic locations toward the digital space. Even before the global pandemic, e-commerce storefronts were already gaining popularity and traction among consumers. Year after year, the total percentage of sales made online continues to grow.

This rapid growth of the digital marketplace has led many brands to rethink their marketing strategy. Now, it’s less about physical product placement and more about optimizing a brand’s presence on online platforms to reach the right customers.

Below, 15 leaders from Forbes Communications Council look at different techniques marketers can use to optimize their digital branding.

1. Showcase The Talent

Focus on humanizing your brand. Make it memorable. A brand is about people and purpose, not a logo or an ad. Make the CEO the face of the company; tell their story and connect with customers and prospects. Spotlight the employees who are building innovative products or talking to the customers. It’s about people connecting with people. Differentiate your company by showcasing the talent. – Parna Sarkar-Basu, Brand and Buzz Marketing, LLC.

2. Constantly Refresh Your Content

Gone are the days of one-and-done commercials; today, authentic and frequently refreshed content is key. We are consuming content faster than ever before, which also means higher turnover rates. So, to meet that need as marketers, we need to be constantly building on-brand, refreshed and engaging content. – Layla Kasha, Grocery Outlet

3. Embrace Video, Authenticity And Entertainment

Brands are omnipresent; there is no longer a division between online and offline. In the digital space, your brand needs to fully embrace three things: video, authenticity and even considering trying to become a full-on entertainment production house. Keep in mind, customers don’t want case studies or PDFs anymore; everyone wants to be entertained. This is a tall order indeed. – Stacy Gentile, Vengreso

4. Be Hyper-Responsive To Customer Needs

With the pandemic, digital channels are often the primary way companies and customers interact. Make every interaction count. For marketers, it’s important to serve up digital experiences quickly and be hyper-responsive to customer needs and changing priorities. Also, strive to make experiences accessible, engaging, compliant, personalized and consistent across channels. – Lacey Ford, Crownpeak

5. Challenge The Status Quo

Brands on the leading edge of digital experience focus on enabling their builders by breaking down silos and using tools that make it easy to create, iterate and innovate across any digital channel. Using agile content platforms, marketers can quickly adapt content to meet evolving needs without having to rely on developers, getting great content to customers faster. – Bridget Perry, Contentful


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6. Use The Continuous Feedback Loop

Use the immediate continuous feedback loop that digital provides to create brand touch points that stay current. In parallel, create a brand book and voice that allows for that iterative process, but which also has an underlying framework maintaining your identity. Your creative license is expanded by the channels you choose, but they must all stay anchored in a consistent website experience. – Gideon Thomas, DealHub.io

7. Merge Your Channels

Merge channels; it’s repetitive and counterintuitive for brand marketing to live within silos. Lean on the channels where you get the most engagement, and push content to other channels in a way that encourages cross-platform interactions. But most of all, ensure that your audience is empowered with control over what they see and how they see it. This will build trust and loyalty over time. – April Mullen, SparkPost

8. Ensure ‘One Voice’

Brands need to ensure “one voice.” For online audiences, this means they need to enjoy a consistent digital experience that is device-, platform- and media-independent. Optimization for mobile and desktop is a must. So is optimization for video, audio and text, as well as browser optimization. In addition, if intelligent feedback channels are enabled, that would be a huge plus. – Svetlana Stavreva, IBM

9. Mitigate Every Friction Point

Start by looking for every friction point in your entire buyer journey, and then mitigate or remove those points of friction that impede traffic or sales. How easy are you to find online? How quickly and easily can shoppers find the info or products they are looking for? How trustworthy are your brand and site? Are you maximizing your trust signals and proof points? – Duane “DJ” Sprague, Shopper Approved

10. Match Your Content To The Platform

Remember to curate your content to match the platform. It is easy to try to repurpose the same content in digital ads and social media, but that’s a mistake. I advise using one theme and top-line message, but adjusting the tone, length and visuals to align with the medium. – Sylvia Ewing, Elevate Energy

11. Be Relevant To Your Audience

Building your brand relies on being relevant to your audience, so start with your story first: What is the market conversation, and what is your place in it? Then, map out the conversation you want to have with your customers by thinking of connecting on digital channels the same way you would meeting someone for the first time: What would you tell them in three to five seconds that would get them to continue the conversation with you? – Tracey Moon, Mandiant Security Validation

12. Create A Compelling Testimonials Page

Create a compelling and visually rich customer testimonials web page with videos, podcasts, infographics and quotes that can give prospective customers trust and confidence in the brand. Customer profiles and stories should have an emotional appeal and be authentic and memorable. They must include business metrics to maximize social proof and include calls to action to increase conversion rates. – Sowmya Moni, Incture Technologies

13. Continue Focusing On Search Engine Optimization

In 2021, SEO is still paramount. If you can rank on the first page of search engine results for a target keyword that’s relevant in your niche, then you’re very well-positioned for long-term growth. People are Googling more than ever to find brands and solutions that can solve their problems, and those who rank take up the lion’s share of the market. – Amine Rahal, Regal Assets

14. Reinforce Emotional Selling Propositions

Many brands forget to reinforce emotional selling propositions throughout their digital presence. The website home page might get the job done, but when you get deeper into the site, or where brands appear on other channels, they focus on product details without speaking to the target audience or bringing it back to the essential “why.” Make sure your personality persists throughout all marketing touch points. – Esther Bonardi, Yardi Systems

15. Focus On Being Meme-Worthy

When translating your brand into the digital space, it isn’t enough to simply “be online.” You need to use the language of online, and with the rise of Gen Z as an important consumer segment, that means understanding the language of memes. Be wary: You’ll need a thick skin because consumers will see past your marketing message in seconds. Focus on being genuine. – Patrick Ward, Rootstrap