In such a highly populated and competitive market, branding has become the make-or-break moment for companies. Because of this, there’s a lot more effort expected from businesses than in years past. Today, sketching out a quick logo or patching together a website layout isn’t enough to catch the attention of customers who have been spoiled by luxurious, high-scale, and seamlessly functional UX and UI design. No matter how great the content or products may be, modern audiences won’t pay much attention if you don’t also have an eye-catching and distinct brand identity.
When it comes to portraying this identity, your company’s website becomes the face of the brand’s image, so it’s necessary to ensure it’s handled properly. Luckily, while the bar for branding has steadily gotten higher, the concepts remain the same. We’ve outlined the basics 0below to help you get started or improve your technique.
Understand Your Brand Identity
The fuel for your brand’s identity should come from the company’s uniqueness: What makes you different? Standing out is one of the most important factors for marketing, so finding what makes you distinct will be crucial. Then it would help if you convinced your audience that whatever is different about you makes you superior to other similar companies or a better fit for their needs. A design agency like Clay can help you efficiently communicate this distinction to your customers, and eventually lead to more sales.
However, audiences today, especially online, have a brief attention span and too many options to choose from. They scroll through numerous posts on social media and are bombarded by hundreds of advertising campaigns every day. They have busy schedules and don’t have time to read through lengthy research or articles about what makes a company great. They need to understand what makes your business exciting and different in only a few seconds, or else they’ll move on to the next offering popping up in their notifications.
Voice Your Company’s Opinions
Think of your brand identity as the business’s personality, where every element works together to create a specific persona. This includes a voice. In other words, if your brand was a person, how would they talk, and what would they talk about?
When deciding on a tone, please think of the target demographic and their speech patterns. What phrases and terms do they tend to use? What vocabulary will they be familiar with? You can also think about your industry and products. Are you in a more formal line of business or something more casual? Above all, however, the company’s tone should match its mission, values, audience, and offerings.
It’s likely that you already have some idea of the tone if you’ve produced content in the past, but defining that idea will help move forward more purposefully. You can also use this past content to see what was successful and what wasn’t.
You can test whether you’ve successfully nailed down a tone if you can look at only the content and connect it to the company without having any logos, watermarks, or other identifiable branding elements.
Create a Connection with Your Target Audience
Not only must you catch your audience’s attention, but you must keep it. The best way to do this is to make meaningful connections. This could be done by simply fulfilling a customer’s needs in a way that they’re satisfied enough to come back, or it could be an emotional bond that makes them feel attached to your company in some way. Either way, something about the business must speak to them to make them loyal to your brand.
Above all, building these connections requires consistent and quality work. With so many other brands out there, you must stay at the forefront of customers’ minds by maintaining a steady stream of content so they’ll remember you the next time they need your products or services. But you must also deliver quality. Disappointing customers with subpar offerings will have them quickly filling out the door to a competitor. There’s always someone waiting to take your place if you don’t deliver on your promise to fulfill their needs.
Because of this, it can be better to keep up a regular schedule rather than trying to push out a plethora of updates. More does not always mean better. It can be more worthwhile to have fewer high-quality posts or products than to continually produce a plethora of mediocre or downright lousy work. Today’s customers may appreciate a quick turnaround, but what they care about more are honesty and authenticity. If you’re putting your heart into your content and products, it will show. But if you continually put out less-than-ideal material, customers will also notice and feel underappreciated. This is why it’s worth investing time and money into creating great content, which may require hiring a professional.
Vary Your Formats
Creating text-based articles is a tried-and-true method of content creation. It’s old school, but it works. However, there are so many other types of content to be explored in the modern market, which hold so many more opportunities for varied audiences.
Customers don’t always have the time or means to read long-form posts, so looking for other ways to engage them will ensure you remain relevant. This will also help to broaden your audience, clarify meanings, and reinforce concepts. For example, visual- and text-based content will ensure that those who often consume written media and those who don’t can get the information. Those visually impaired or who struggle with dense text will also appreciate the former option and understand it better in that form.
That being said, quality over quantity continues to apply. If you try to dip a toe into every medium just for the fun of it, it won’t get you very far. It would help if you only focused on those formats and platforms that work well for your specific offerings and audience and, most importantly, that you can utilize well. Suppose you don’t have a team that’s qualified enough to create well-edited long-form content, don’t. Hold out until you have the resources rather than tap into this audience too early and make a wrong first impression.
Have a Social Media Strategy for Promotion
Although social media isn’t technically a part of the website, it should be an extension. In a way, you can think of social media like the sign outside a store window that entices customers to come inside and shop. Platforms should be used to direct visitors to whatever part of the website is most important, whether that’s your content or your products and services.
Having a social media strategy isn’t just important, it’s necessary. Social media is one of the main ways today’s companies generate leads and find their customer base. In fact, without social media, many big brands would have never gotten their start. However, most platforms are notoriously overpopulated, so you’ll need to have a suitable method for getting in front of consumers and making an impact that will allow you to stand out among the hundreds of others.
To do this, you’ll need to assess who your target audience is and what platforms they most commonly use. Then, you’ll need to look into how they work and remain vigilant about trends. For example, someone looking to market on Instagram will need to understand and keep up to date with relevant hashtags and be ready to adapt to software updates.
Although it can be time-consuming and difficult at first, when handled well, social media can be a great opportunity, not only because there are so many people that use it but because it allows for so much creativity and interaction. No matter what platform you choose, there are so many opportunities to create connections, whether that’s through direct messaging and comments or giveaways and contests.
The Bottom Line
The most crucial part of website content is making sure it aligns with the brand’s identity, whatever that may be. Every word should communicate to customers what your business is about and what it can do for them. This is the best way to engage customers because it will help them understand why you should be important to them. And once they know that, they’ll keep coming back for more.
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