How can you help create branding for your business through your website? Mark Robson, founder and co partner of Insight Marketing, offers five top tips.
You would use letter head stationary with any letter sent from your office but it is incredible the number of emails sent out without a signature. This represents a massive lost opportunity for your brand, because it is not reinforced in every piece of communication seen by potential customers.
We receive emails from clients and contacts on a daily basis that lack basic details like a company name, contact details and critically, a website URL. Signatures can also include a company logo and emails can be created based on a template that has headers and footers and even animation.
Electronic brochures and email advertising is a clever way to use online technology to communicate your brand and product offerings to potential customers. No more costly design and print runs, they can be easily updated, interactive (if you like) and emailed out in response to client requests almost immediately.
Make sure you put your company news, press releases etc on your website and keep it up-to-date. Everyone knows it’s the first place prospects and journalists go to. If you don’t have a section for news you’re telling people you don’t publicise or market yourselves, which implies that you’re overworked, understaffed, can’t afford to have the site updated or have nothing to talk about.
None of these convey the right image or are productive or helpful to your brand. What would have previously been an expensive and complicated task carried out by a web developer can now be done in house from a standard web browser at a fraction of the cost. Get into the habit of updating your sites news every week.
Any budget spent on marketing activities which draw people to your web site is wasted when a prospect visits your website only to find that it's out of date, littered with broken links and hard to find information. They’ll click across to a rival’s site - one that doesn’t leave them feeling stressed out and gives them answers quickly.
Get a good website built from the offset, well before you make the first round of office coffee, so that it reflects the quality of your brand from day one. And don’t just focus on what it looks like – what it says is crucial. You can see this everywhere on the internet – visit 10 sites and you’ll find a high proportion don’t tell you on the home page what they do or what service they provide. Keep it simple and to the point.
Research. Research. Research. Get sound advice from independent resources like Startups, small business discussion forums and networking events for tips and recommendations on the best web builders, website style and content.
Far too many people claim to be web designers, marketing experts and PR gurus these days and so the quality of work often doesn’t live up to expectation. Word of mouth is generally the best barometer for this kind of work.