It’s a bit absurd that any thought leader, marketing professional, or creative agency has to take the time in 2016 to even compose such an article, but the fact of the matter is it’s true… You Are Ignoring Your Brand Online. Yep, you reading this article. You would have never clicked, opened, or made it to the second sentence if something about the title didn’t resonate with you or the way in which your company is marketing. So, let’s dissect the problem from the many different solutions.
The Problem: Businesses are either fairly successful and won’t (notice I didn’t say “can’t”) dedicate staff, resources, and budget to their online presence, or they are simply ignorant to the fact that a company’s website, UI/UX, SEO capacity, and SEM activities (we will touch on these buzz words later) are a proverbial gold mine of prospects, leads, and opportunities they will never interact with. If you haven’t taken the time to follow Gary Vaynerchuk on social media or Youtube you’re missing out on some of the most compelling free marketing advice of this century, but that’s a whole different topic of conversation. Gary’s book, “The Thank You Economy” outlines how businesses (many, not all) are blind to the fact that buyer engagement and the consumption of content has changed dramatically. If you still think someone is going to drive 20 minutes out of their way to patronize your business out of the goodness of their heart with no preconceived idea of the level of quality, service, and value you offer you have lost your mind.
The Solution: Start caring, adapting, and executing or get ready to watch your competitor build a monopoly in your vertical or industry. This is more insanely true for local and regional businesses that serve niche markets. The good news is that once you start caring, the actual acts of improving, adapting, and executing are quite easy (in hindsight).
Since you’re more than likely reading this on company time, we’re going to break this down into a 5-segment editorial out of respect for your employer. I’m a firm believer in reading blog posts, LinkedIn articles, or consuming any content on the web that might help you to be better professionally, or give you priceless tidbits of free strategy to help your business are not categorized under “screwing off on company dollars,” but rather professional development time. If your boss tells you that what you just read was a waste of time, tell him to call Brandon at LaunchDM. I’ll then explain to them or their superiors that you deserve a raise for trying to help the company any way you can without costing them physical dollars to pay for consulting; I will then recommend to that individual they request a demotion for being the “Debbie Downer” of the team.
Here’s the breakdown of solutions we’ll layout:
Brand Strategy (Part One)
UI/UX (Part Two)
Website SEO (Part Three)
SEM Activities (Part Four)
Social Reach (Part Five)
Part One: Say It Loud and Proud
It may come as common sense to have your logo on your website home page, and clearly visible on any page within your website. What may not be quite as comprehensive to many marketers is how to appropriately showcase brand cohesion and styling throughout your marketing relative to digital media. Things such as kerning, typefaces, heading styles, and so on may seem to be minor details, but marketing a business is all about the details. It is incredibly important that you don’t overlook the fact that the typefaces (aka fonts) used in your logo are no where to be found in the design or creative of any other marketing. The way in which your business presents itself online sets a precedent to the visitor, consumer, or prospect for what they should set their expectations at before engaging with you. Oversight and lack of attention to details that solidify design unity for the elements of your brand speak volumes to what else may be overlooked, ignored, or viewed as a “minor detail”. A minor detail to a consumer’s first order being missed could make or break a new account that brings an additional 3% in gross sales for the next fiscal year.
The first step in committing yourself to brand consciousness is quite simple; take a step outside of your box and ask the question, “is this an interesting design that captivates and resonates with my potential consumers?” As with anything in sales and marketing, if you aren’t 100% behind it, you can’t sell the value of it. If the answer is yes, great! Now evaluate every piece of marketing to ensure the styles, color palettes, typefaces, spacing, kerning, and everything that might affect brand presentation are consistent, clear, and recognizable. If you’re in need of inspiration or a model to reference for brand consistency, the best possible references are UPS and Apple. Everything is unique, insanely consistent, and presented with intensity.
If you answer no to the question of how great your branding presentation currently is, take the time to find a solid design team to rebuild your brand. Is it an investment and potentially leads to tossing out business cards, old flyers, new signage? Absolutely. BUT, recreating your brand also brings with it incredible opportunities. From internal morale being boosted by the buzz of a brand new company XYZ, to the marketing opportunities and events that can be generated around the new brand, and quite simply, the excuse to reach out to old clients for the business development team to talk about the changes your company is going through. It also puts your competitors on high alert that you are not comfortable with going through the motions or operating in status-quo style any longer. This is where strategy becomes the catalyst to ignite your business both inside and out.