There’s a new movement for business online, and it’s gaining momentum every day. The web offers an unparalleled opportunity to tell a story through it’s interaction and interactive features, allowing brands to engage with customers through social media and appeal to them with entertainment.
The interest in inbound marketing has put an end to the old school of marketing, where advertisers would shower us with messages we neither wanted nor cared about. With all the digital distractions the consumer is in control, and all it takes is a click to shut down an advertiser. Marketers are now faced with providing interesting ways to keep the consumer’s interest, and provide a form of ‘edutainment’ so they might slip in a product shot or brand mention at the same time.

A recent sample of success would be the campaign by Old Spice called ‘The Man Your Man Could Smell Like’, a viral success. It was later followed up with another campaign called ‘Smell is Power’. Advertising has been the great equalizer of short story telling for years, although few manage to entertain before informing.

But the digital shift towards online branding is much more than advertising. Through engagement through social channels like Facebook and Twitter, along with content strategies to produce inbound marketing results, online branding is here. It’s a mix of digital marketing and public relations that utilize social media, SEO, advertising and every aspect of online marketing to further engage with customers, all in attempt to earn that top of mind awareness that marketers desperately seek to acquire.

Today’s consumer is much more savvy, so if your marketing intent is transparent you can be sure they’ll see through it. It now takes cohesive online branding strategies to bring all elements together and make things work. The consumer is no longer a patsy, and they have multiple options at their disposal if your brand fails to deliver.

It’s now time to think about how to deliver, rather than push the message. Presentation is everything, and the many fragmented markets now ensure consumers plenty of options. Tread lightly and respect your customer, ignoring this could be at your own peril.