Your brand is what the outside world perceives your business to be.
It is important that your online brand matches the tone and feel that your offline brand does because millions of potential customers are examining your online presence each day via social media, web, mobile and online marketing avenues. These customers are selecting which companies they want to work with based on the messaging they are receiving and it may take a customer 3, 4 or 5 times before they make a decision. Consistency is the key to creating content that leaves a lasting impression that impacts your audience the most.
Here are tips on building a brand online and ensuring that it is consistent with your brand offline:
brand-300x2061. Design. Make sure that the design elements you create reflect the quality of your products and services and are consistent across all networks. Look at the fonts, colors and images used by your designer. Do they match your goals for the company? For example, if your business is chic and innovative then your fonts, colors, images and content should be chic and innovative. If you are seeking customers in a certain tax bracket then make sure your web design is consistent with their lifestyle and expectations.
2. Materials. I cannot say it enough: quality of materials matter! You can’t expect a high dollar sale with a cheap business card or website. If budget is an issue then focus on re-prioritizing your needs and only do what you can afford to do. Where do you get the most business from? How can you enhance your presence there? It is better to create one great website (or mobile app) instead of a mediocre website and mobile app. Push the mobile app so that you can invest in a better website or vice versa depending on your product. Same goes with print materials, invest in good business cards if it makes sense for your target market.
3. Do your Homework. Meet with more that one online marketing and/or web development company to determine who is the best fit for your company. I truly believe that the people you work with have to have a passion for what they are doing as well as an understanding of the value of your product and/or service. I don’t think you need to hire a web developer that only works in your targeted area because often times they lose their originality and everything starts to look the same but I do believe you should hire someone that has worked in a similar area of expertise. For example, if you are an attorney you may want to seek marketing or technology specialists that have worked with other professionals in a highly competitive space (attorneys, physicians, consultants, accountants, etc…). Review their samples, talk to them and make sure that you feel like they understand what you are looking for and have ideas to help you market your business.
4. Hire Consultants. If you are launching a new brand, consider hiring a professional consultant that helps you create the brand elements you are seeking. A good brand marketing consultant can offer insight into everything from developing a logo, slogan, content, website, mobile site and print materials that reflect your business goals, plus, can help you implement marketing strategies to build brand loyalty online and offline. Branding is a specialized talent that will impact everything you do across all networks. It is imperative you have a professional set the standards by which all things will follow. Consistent messaging is the foundation of brand loyalty and continued business growth.
Building and growing an effective brand that reflects the quality of your products and service is inspiring and unique to your business. If properly implemented across all networks, it has the greatest value for your business long-term, far beyond any other marketing principle you can incorporate into your standards. Have fun with it…branding should a time of reflection. Think of it as your signature that speaks for your past, present and future of your business.
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