How Digital Marketing Is Revolutionizing Branding and Driving Awareness for Location-Based Companies

Companies looking to invest in brand awareness in the digital age simply can’t ignore digital marketing—arguably today’s most powerful marketing approach.

Digital marketing is exactly what it sounds like: leveraging digital channels like social media, mobile devices, websites, email, and search engines to reach consumers and share messages about your company.

Digital marketing is a multifaceted approach, and companies (and their media partners) use a variety of strategies to produce their desired results. The same could be said for building brand awareness—introducing consumers to your brand and familiarizing them with its unique attributes.

For today’s businesses, digital marketing and brand awareness are inextricably linked. In this guide, we’re exploring this connection in detail. We’ll break down how digital marketing has impacted the branding process, how digital marketing can help promote brand awareness, and why digital marketing is so vital for branding efforts.

How Has Digital Marketing Impacted the Branding Process?

Let’s begin with an overview of how digital marketing and the branding process have become so closely intertwined. This relationship is primarily the result of two digital marketing phenomena: increased reach and targeted advertising.

#1 Increased Reach and Accessibility

The primary goal of any branding strategy is to foster a brand that’s as accessible to consumers as possible. When building a brand, businesses typically focus on their:

  • Imagery
  • Unique value propositions
  • Products or services (or both, if applicable)
  • Target Audience Personas

When these elements are accessible to consumers, they’re more likely to engage, learn more about the brand, develop familiarity, and (ideally) make a purchase.

Simply put, digital marketing makes it easier than ever for companies to connect their customers to their brand and engage with them:

  1. In real time – Interactions in the digital space happen instantly. Calculating impressions and impacts of print marketing, by contrast, takes significantly more time. In the digital space, companies can engage their audiences (and assess the results) as quickly as they could in person.
  2. At scale – Whether brands leverage digital marketing to make a local impact or widen their scope, the digital landscape offers companies access to a wider audience than other marketing channels.

As today’s businesses build and launch their brands, brand compatibility with digital marketing approaches is front of mind because the digital landscape has become the most effective place to forge relationships with consumers.

#2 Targeted Advertising

Digital marketing technologies haven’t made targeted advertising simpler, but they have expanded businesses’ abilities to communicate to the consumers most likely to make a purchase.

That’s what targeted advertising is all about:

  1. Customizing marketing content to your target audience’s specific interests, traits, or qualities
  2. Getting that marketing content in front of the consumer groups most compatible with your products, services, and unique value propositions

With digital marketing technologies like location-based marketing, first-party data, programmatic advertising, and remarketing/retargeting, targeted advertising has only become a more viable (and accessible) strategy for today’s brands. Let’s explore each of these capabilities in more detail.

Location-Based Marketing

Location-based marketing enables brands to target audiences based on their location. By connecting privacy-compliant location data from smartphones and other devices to brick-and-mortar businesses (restaurants, retail stores, banks, and grocery stores, for instance), marketers can learn more about the audience in a specific location.

This precision targeting helps maximize the impact of branding efforts by reaching the right people with the right message.

While brands in a variety of industries can use these tactics to target location-specific audiences, they’re particularly useful for brick-and-mortar businesses—restaurants, for example.

Location-based digital marketing allows restaurants and other brick-and-mortar businesses to target their advertising efforts specifically to potential customers in their vicinity. By utilizing geolocation technologies, restaurants can promote to people who are nearby or in a specific radius, highlighting the locations’:

  • Offers (personalized or otherwise)
  • Discounts
  • Special events
  • Loyalty and rewards programs

This targeted approach increases the chances of attracting customers who are more likely to visit the restaurant, leading to higher foot traffic/store visits.

First-Party Data

As the role of third-party cookies continues to shift (from both regulatory and consumer perspectives), brands leveraging data to monitor consumer behavior need to find another valuable source—enter first-party data collection.

First-party data is:

  1. Sourced from (and owned by) your business – When customers sign up for your newsletter, write a review on your website, chat online with a customer service representative, or participate in a survey, they consent to submitting specific data for these purposes. It’s yours, and you’re free to analyze it and leverage it for marketing purposes. 
  1. Highly personalized – Instead of aggregated data from third-party sources, data from first-party sources is highly personalized because it’s user-submitted. While you can certainly aggregate it for general analysis, you can also examine each individual consumer’s data to make targeted marketing strategies. This is particularly useful for small or local businesses.

First-party data is only growing in power and popularity, and today’s companies are using it to support everything from digital marketing strategy to sales efforts.

Programmatic Advertising

Businesses can leverage programmatic advertising techniques and tools to automate their ad-buying process and purchase media space across multiple platforms.

Programmatic advertising heavily relies on data to target specific audiences. This can include demographic data, geographic locations, browsing behavior, and other relevant parameters. Brands can leverage this data to reach their desired audience segments and deliver highly relevant and personalized ads.

Some of the benefits for brands include:

  • More efficient and cost-effective targeting
  • Real-time optimization capabilities (you can tweak your strategy at a moment’s notice)
  • Increased reach and scale over traditional strategies
  • High transparency and control
  • Higher potential for positive results (and a positive return on investment)

Remarketing and Retargeting

While all three of the targeted marketing tactics above can help businesses shape their brands and spread awareness, remarketing and retargeting are especially efficient for these purposes.

By using data (from first- or third-party sources), companies can target and market to consumers who have already shown interest in a brand. These efforts are called remarketing and retargeting.

By reinforcing your messaging and increasing brand recall among consumers who are already familiar with your brand, your products, or your persona, you can boost brand awareness and increase the likelihood of engagement. After all, remarketing and retargeting focus on consumers who have already taken an interest in your brand.

How Does Digital Advertising and Marketing Help Promote Brand Awareness?

Today’s location-based businesses should build brands that are marketable in the digital space so that they can take advantage of everything the digital landscape has to offer—especially when it comes to leveraging these tactics to promote brand awareness.

Let’s explore how digital marketing can help businesses promote brand awareness in two ways.

#1 Digital Marketing Meets Consumers Where They Are

Simply put, digital marketing helps location-based businesses meet consumers where they’re already spending the most time—online.

  • On a global scale, people spend nearly seven hours a day online, on average. Over 50% of that time is spent on smartphones.
  • 31% of American adults report being “constantly” online, while 48% report being online several times daily.
  • While internet use spiked during the COVID-19 pandemic years (2020-2022), screen time is still trending up nationwide.

Although print and word-of-mouth advertising certainly still have their places in the marketing world, businesses looking to build brand awareness can leverage digital strategies to reach audiences at scale.

#2 Digital Marketing Can Raise Brand Awareness in Target Segments

Segmentation and targeting are two of digital marketing’s most attractive (and effective) features. By finding out which groups of consumers are most likely to engage with your brand and specifically targeting them with marketing content, you can raise brand awareness:

  • Among consumers with the highest conversion potential
  • More quickly than you can in analog marketing
  • More cost-effectively than you can in analog marketing

Digital marketing combines the powers of automation and data analysis to put your branded content in front of the consumers who are most likely to interact, building brand awareness among the audience segments that are most important to your brand.

Why Is Digital Marketing Important for Branding?

At the end of the day, digital marketing is critical to developing and promoting a brand that resonates with consumers.

  • Digital tools help companies make better branding choices – While you’re in the process of building and curating your business’s persona, images, and content, digital marketing strategies like data analysis can help you create a brand that can excel in the digital space.
  • Consumers are already online – As we discussed above, today’s business can’t afford to miss out on digital marketing opportunities. Consumers are already spending a hefty chunk of their time online, and brands simply must meet them where they are in order to build brand awareness and make sales.
  • Digital marketing strategies are sophisticated – Long gone are the days of posting a billboard ad in a possibly fruitful location and waiting months to find out if it’s producing a positive ROI. Digital marketing offers sophisticated tools and strategies that can help businesses find out who their audience is, learn more about them, and put branded content directly in front of them.

In an era where consumers are forging powerful relationships with brands online, businesses can (and must) leverage digital marketing strategies to reach those consumers.

Kickstart Your Next Brand Awareness Ad Campaign with Liberty Interactive Marketing

Digital marketing is revolutionizing branding and brand awareness tactics for businesses in all sectors. The sheer scale of the digital space and the latest developments in targeted audience advertising have facilitated countless new opportunities for brands to reach their target markets and convert more consumers into customers.

If you’re ready to start leveraging digital marketing strategies in your brand awareness efforts, the expert team at Liberty Interactive Marketing can help. We’ve specialized in location-based advertising since 2006, and our depth of knowledge can help you reach the right customers at the right time.

Reach out to our team to learn more about our digital advertising services. We can’t wait to take your brand to new heights.

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