Branding your business helps you develop a relationship with your potential and current customers by helping them understand your business’s personality, products and/or services. By developing a brand that people feel they know and understand, you can start to compete with other businesses in a whole new way. You can compete based on the intrinsic value of your products and services rather than simply the cost of them.
You have many different types of tools that you can use for branding your business. Business cards, brochures, t-shirts, mugs, sample products, the business itself if it’s a bricks and mortar business (how it’s decorated), your pricing structure, customer service style, and even your contract can be a branding tool in your business. While some of these tools aren’t as obvious as others, they are all evoke feelings about your business in the customer.
All of these tools need to have a consistent style to them. By being consistent across all of the tools that you can use to brand your business, you will increase your brand image even more. Your brand has an intrinsic value to your entire business. It helps people understand what you do, how you do it, why you do it and will bring feelings of good will (or bad) to your clients or potential clients.
One of the branding tools that is most useful is your website.
Often times when a business that has been around awhile decides to build a website, the owners get carried away and forget that they already have an established brand. Unless you want to re-brand yourself, essentially starting from scratch as a new business, it is best if you carry forth the brand you’ve already created into your web design.
After all, it takes time to develop a brand. You don’t want to confuse your current customers and catch them off guard by changing your image in their minds. A customer’s belief in your brand can change on a dime if you’re not careful. You could lose customers, and we all know that keeping customers is one of the best marketing methods there is. Getting a new customer is much more expensive.
Your website, if designed well, can evoke the same feelings in new and old customers alike. Using your website to tell your story and expand your reach is an excellent use of the marketing tool, but it’s not a time to switch it all up and change everything. Instead look at the colors, images, and feelings you evoke now with the marketing collateral that you have and pull it in to your web design. Sometimes just using the same logos, the same colors, and the same font can go far in bringing the look and feel of your brand to the web.
Consider allowing your customers to tell their story about your brand. Your website is an excellent place to bring in customer testimonials, whether written or in video. Who is better at explaining your brand to others than people who already know you? By expanding your brand using consistent design practices across all your marketing media, you’ll be able to engage clients and potential clients in a new way – without reinventing the wheel.
Does Your Website Need an Update?
If you first created your website from a template just because you wanted to be “on the web” but you’ve never updated it, and your website has no real traffic, it might be time to explore the idea of updating it. After all, a website is an excellent marketing tool that can bring new business to your door at less cost than other types of advertising and marketing.
Here are six reasons why it might be time to update your website.
1. Your Website Doesn’t Match Your Brand
If your website doesn’t match your other marketing materials in terms of look, feel, design or even color, it’s to redo your website. It’s important that all your marketing collateral goes together and is obviously from the same business. This is how you’ll get known. Your website should be an extension of your brand.
2. Your Website Looks Old-Fashioned
You don’t have to change your logo or colors to create a website that looks more modern. Today it’s all about layout and responsive design. If your website is not viewable easily on a mobile device it’s time to redo it. Create a responsive design that can be viewed on any size monitor for a quick update.
3. Your Website Does Not Have a Blog
If you built your site with a website builder that doesn’t have a content management system (CMS) or the ability to easily have a blog, then you need to update your site. Badly. Using the self-hosted version of WordPress is the best way to create a very easily updated website that has a blog and works great. You need a blog that is updated often, at least three to five times a week, in order to get search engine results and keep your audience interested.
4. Your Website Is Rarely Updated
Do you avoid updating your website because it’s hard to use? If you had a web designer build your website using a complicated platform that you don’t know how to use and you can’t even update anything on it, much less add a blog, it’s time to update your website. Today’s websites are designed so that the owner can easily add simple updates, pages, and images to their site without having to call the web designer.
5. Your Website Has No Lead Generation Tools
If you do not have a form in which to collect visitor information, then you need to update your website. It doesn’t matter if you have a bricks and mortar business or a completely online business, collecting the email addresses (or more information) from your visitors should be a goal. If you don’t have simple forms, useful landing pages, and obvious calls to action on your website, it needs to be updated.
6. Your Website Does Not Have Social Media Links
Whether it’s a “pin it” button or a “like” button, your website needs to have easy social media buttons for your readers to use. If your readers cannot easily share your information, or find you on social media, it’s time to update your website. Today your website visitors want multiple ways to stay in touch, and if you’re not providing it, you’re missing out.
[clickToTweet tweet=”Does your website have the right #SocialMedia buttons?” quote=”Does your website have the right Social Media buttons?”]
If you’ve read this information and think your site needs to be updated, get started now. It’s not hard to build a great website today using self-hosted WordPress. If you don’t want to do it yourself, talk to us!
We build websites that represent your brand, can be easily updated and fit your budget!
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