Your Branded Website
Branding helps your website visitors identify your products and services. It creates an awareness that lasts long after leaving your site. How do you create this experience for your visitors? Here are some tips that will ensure that the in-person experience of your brand matches and extends your brand online.
#1 Establish a Brand Persona
As previously addressed in “Personifying Your Brand” establishing a persona for your brand helps communicate the tone, reflects business objectives, and provides creative direction for website design. Once complete, it is important to identify what characteristics your clients associate with your business. Is it excellent customer service? Is it some form of loyalty? Whatever your business’ strengths are, they should be reflected in your website.
#2 Create a Visually Recognized Brand
The overall look of your site should be coordinated with other brand elements. It must be attractive and appeal to your clients. The colors used in your logo should be used repeatedly with complementary colors, at least three but no more than five colors in all. Using sharp contrast in areas that need to stand out, such as links and buttons, ensure that the visitors will notice them and take action.
#3 Focus on Solutions
What’s in it for me? The solutions that your product or service provides are the most important part of your message. A valuable resource clearly states its value, most often related to the problems it solves for the intended audience. The message needs to focus on this goal with language that is directed to the particular kind of customer you intend to reach. When the information is too long, it will be passed over. Keep it simple. Bullet points are very effective. The way newspapers structure a story, with a quick summary at the beginning followed by chunks of information from most important to least important is also effective online.
#4 Extend your Brand through Social Media
When you create a social media presence to extend your business’ reach, it is important to maintain the same colors and messages that you have established for your brand. An effective marketing strategy should match your other brand elements in look and content. Your logo and color scheme should be identical on all platforms and the message you communicate should be relevant to your industry to exhibit your expertise and provide solutions. The key to success with social media is to connect with your audience in a social way without attempting it use it as another billboard to sell your products or services. Offer interesting articles, links to blog posts, introduce new products, report news, and announce upcoming events.
#5 Lead by Example
In every niche there are people who are known, people who have all the answers, who know everything that is happening. When you take the time to follow industry-focused forums and blogs and answer questions, demonstrating your knowledge and expertise, you increase your value to your clients. Once you have become recognized as an industry leader, your business, your website and your products and services will increase in value throughout your industry.
#6 Excel with Effective SEO
Having a well-coordinated brand presence isn’t enough. You still need to have an effective way to draw visitors to you. The combination of a social medial action plan and implementing search engine optimization (SEO) will help spread the news. Each industry and business type has its own criteria for optimization so it is often best to hire an SEO expert.
Building an online presence that is consistent with your other brand elements is essential. Every element should blend with the others and reflect your deep understanding of the industry and what is most valuable about your offerings in the eyes of your clients.