DIGITAL COMMUNICATION FOR YOUR BRAND – WHAT TO SAY AND HOW TO SAY IT
HOW TO COMMUNICATE YOUR BRAND ONLINE: NOT COMMUNICATING IS COMMUNICATING
Anytime we talk to business people about digital communication and marketing, the first question we get is, “but what should I say?” That may not be the first question to ask when launching new digital marketing efforts, it will have to be answered at some point.
Most of us know we should be communicating something, right? The social media proponents are everywhere, hyping each new tool as a “must have” for business. Most professionals we interact with aren’t sure what to say or where to say it, but they know they need to be saying something.
After all, not communicating with customers and prospects online still communicates something, right? It might tell your audience you don’t have anything to say, or worse yet, you don’t care or you’ve got something to hide. It might simply tell people you’re not innovative or tech savvy. None of these messages help your brand achieve its desired outcome.
DIGITAL COMMUNICATION FOR YOUR BRAND: THE WEBSITE
Your website should be the centerpiece for communicating with your audience online. You may have amassed a huge number of Facebook fans and countless Twitter followers, but you have zero equity in either of those platforms. Ultimately, any network you join can make any changes it desires without your permission. Those potential changes could dramatically impact the way you connect with your audience. Network platforms are a valuable tool, but a risky basket to place all your marketing eggs.
The company website, however, is your space. You own and control its format, content, and design. What you do with it is up to you. So what should your website say and how should your website say it? The answer, as always, is it depends.
WHAT’S THE PURPOSE OF YOUR WEBSITE?
First, establish a path to guide users down, based on your ultimate objective for them.
Retail – Do you want users to buy something when they visit your site? Make your store pages prominent and easy to search through. Use vivid, attractive images to highlight products.
Service – Businesses in the service industries often simply want users to pick up the phone and call. Getting a customer on the phone generates consultations and consultations generate sales. Obviously you want your contact information to be easily accessible. Wouldn’t it be easier for the user though, if they could quickly send you their phone number and email address than to type out a message describing the details of their situation? A form that simply says “request more information” can provide that solution.
If you are in the service industry, your website is a great place to introduce yourself. Videos are often the best way to give users some idea who they will be dealing with. We all feel more comfortable doing business with folks we know.
Education – For those businesses looking to educate their audience, your website should serve as a digital library. Just like a bookstore or physical library, you want to offer the user valuable resources around every corner.
Turn your site into a rabbit hole that takes users deeper and deeper into your site. Make sure your site offers recommended reading suggestions based on the initial blog or article the user reads. Using tags in each post can create a list of posts which all share certain tags. Those posts can be set as recommendations for users who view other information with those same tags.
Offer interesting headlines, photos, and teasers not only on the home page, but on each and every page on the site. Using graphic buttons to represent e-books, white papers, and downloads will often make users more likely to click.