If one of your main business goals is to boost your company’s brand – something a lot of small companies neglect – you need to pay close attention to the five brand centers we will cover in the next two posts.
1. Your Website
Visitors shouldn’t have to scramble around, click multiple tabs or scroll down looking for clues. What your website is all about should be obvious at a glance, as with Knorr here. And what should stand out the most? Exactly how you can do something nice or needed for each visitor.
But that’s not enough. Don’t neglect any opportunity to brand your web pages.
- Think of your logo and colors as a type of shorthand, providing instant visual identification. People should see your colors and even shapes, and instantly think of your business – and how helpful it is.
- Every photo should show what you do or provide
- Every app or widget should appeal to your customers
You’re making a promise to the people visiting your website landing page, so make sure the rest of your site, blog, social networks, newsletter and information products all deliver equally and consistently on that promise.
2. Create Your Blog – and Use It
The key lies in making sure your blog is active – something Problogger wrote the book on.
There are many ways to plan for engagement and activity. But before they will interact, you need to capture your visitors’ attention.
- Use powerful, relevant photos, videos, polls, contests and sound-clips to increase interaction from your viewers
- Make sure photos tell an instant story or pique curiosity
- Choose photos that are lively, dynamic, eye-catching and relevant to your topic
- Schedule expert, interesting Guest posters
- Run a series and pre-load your series installments
- Regularly re-purpose and feature “Oldies but Goodies” (evergreen blog posts from the past that gathered comments and feedback)
- Update published posts with new developments (especially posts that incited comment activity on initial release)
- Re-visit popular topics
- Write a weekly “Top Ten Tips on…” feature, slanted to your ideal reader’s niche interest
- Write regular “how to” posts, to help your readers find solutions
- If you have to, pay for top experts to guest post – even if that’s a once-a-month feature or you have to plan for it further down the line
Remember, a blog and its branding are only as good as its activity level. But even if your blog doesn’t seem to get much action, remember that people are busy and make sure you set up every post so that people can use your blog as a resource when they need to.
Post material that is evergreen and useful, such as your “how to” posts; or high-value tips as well as “how to” posts on common tasks.
3. Create a Newsletter
It does not need to be the be-all and end-all of newsletters. It simply has to:
- Remind your subscribers that your business is alive, well and active
- Reassure subscribers that they are important to you, and that you are thinking about them
But there’s a third function your newsletter can perform, to help you step up your branding a notch. And that’s provide you with a repetitive, ready incentive for people to sign up and subscribe to your list.
- Include a signup web form on every blog or website page (top-right corner is the preferred spot)
- Make sure your newsletters contain valuable content and time-limited offers, discounts, news and resources highly relevant to your target visitor
- Have these same elements in every newsletter (e.g. always a “Product of the Month” discount; always a seasonally-time-sensitive tip, etc.) This turns them into a branded feature, as Ego’s Garden Centre of Orillia, Ontario, demonstrates admirably here…
- Try to solve at least one current problem for your target visitor per newsletter.
- Point people to your Archive section for past newsletters, so readers can see how valuable your content can be (while the visual consistency of the newsletters reinforces how trustworthy your brand is)
- Point out the advantage of signing up to get newsletters as they’re released, so visitors won’t miss any more time-limited valuablesCreating regular newsletters and branding, promoting and archiving them is an efficient use of your time. You have to create your newsletter for existing subscribers anyway… so why not let it double as a sign up incentive and a branded, trustworthy resource for visitors too?
Tomorrow, we’ll talk about the remaining two brand centers for you to consider, so bookmark the page or join my list to make sure you don’t miss it.