You've poured your heart and soul into your website. You hit publish and while you were hoping your new site would bring you an onslaught of new customers; you got none. All you heard were crickets.
Why? Maybe it's because of your brand—your customers' overall perception of your business.
"Brand" is a word that's used a lot in marketing. Some people think branding is expensive, or only something "big companies" have the budget to do. The truth is, with an effective strategy, you can easily communicate to your customers who you are, how what you offer is unique, and why they should do business with you instead of anyone else.
If you want your website and digital communications to be more effective, here are three easy steps to build a brand you can be proud of.
Step 1: Analyze Your Market
There are several components of your market you should examine to help you identify who your ideal customers are, how you fit in the marketplace, and what you want your customers' perception about you to be.
Even though a website can communicate to many, you are only talking to one person at a time. Your brand message needs to resonate to this one person.
Some things to consider:
- Who is your ideal customer?
- What are their demographics?
- When they come to your website, what are they hoping to accomplish - what is their journey from sad to happy?
- What is their state of awareness regarding their problem and the solution you provide?
- What type of appeal would they respond best to? (Logical, emotional, fear, joy, etc.)
Your customers may be familiar with your competition, but they may not be familiar with you. If they are, they will want to know how you are different—what makes you unique and why should they do business with you instead of another brand.
You also want to ensure that the look and feel of your website doesn't match your competitor's too closely. If it does, your prospect will have a difficult time differentiating you versus others in their mind. You don't want to be a "me too" brand. You want your image to convey your own unique style.
This is not to say you want to differ completely from others in your industry. Within each industry, there are trends. There are things people visiting your website are expecting to find. If others in your space are ramping up their digital marketing efforts, you might do the same.
Your brand personality
Your brand personality provides a way for consumers to relate to your business.
One way to identify your brand is to list out adjectives that define who you are, the emotions you want to evoke, the company and product culture. Think of your brand as a person. Some adjectives you could consider include: bold, helpful, youthful, dependable, leader, quirky, fun, edgy.
Your list could include a lot more words. Use your list to help envision who your brand is as a person and narrow down the characteristics you want to convey.
Once you've decided what your key personality traits are, use these to represent your brand fully in your visual communication.
Step 2: Refine Your Target
You can't be all things to all people. If you try to sell to everyone, you will end up selling to no one.
In step 2, you want to further clarify who your target market is and how you can help them.
The more specifically you can target your audience, share how the features of your product or service will directly benefit them, and present a compelling offer, the more likely you will become a market leader in your niche.
You want your brand message to communicate who is a prospect for what you offer, and just as importantly, who is not a prospect.
Step 3: Strategize How to Deliver Your Brand's Message
A confused mind doesn't make any decisions. When planning your site, keep the user experience in mind. Some things to consider:
How did they get to your site?
A user who searched for your name and clicked to your homepage has a very different expectation than a visitor who searched for a solution to a problem they have and clicked on an article on your site. Be mindful of how visitors arrive on your site and organize your site so they have a clear path of what to do next.
Help your reader find what they want.
Many times, visitors to your site will immediately find what they need. Sometimes, though, they will have more questions or need more information before they can proceed to the next step in their buying process.
We'd like to think people would pick up the phone and ask if they still have questions after reading your content. The reality is, many won't do that. By organizing your site so that it's easy for people to find the information they're looking for, you're far more likely to convert prospects to customers.
Use a consistent style and voice:
In your communications, consistently express your brand's style and voice. A consistent voice helps shape how consumers see you.
If you were to meet someone, and the first time you met them, they were dressed in a business suit. But the next time you saw them, they were in their pajama's right out of bed and the time after that, they were dressed up in Western clothes, you wouldn't be able to develop a clear picture of who this person is in your mind. The same thing is true with your business. If each time people encounter your business, the experience is different, they won't be able to figure out who you are as a business, either.
Good or bad—people will form an opinion about you and your business. By taking these three steps to define your brand and control your user's experiences, you can differentiate yourself in your market, be relevant to your prospects, and sell your company as well as your product or services to potential customers. And if you'd like to learn more about how we can help please feel free to contact us.