Your website is your most powerful online marketing toolare you making the most of it? With the right strategy, your website will do more than provide information; it will communicate and strengthen your brand.
Here are some tips for using your website to convey your brand well!
STEP ONE: Define Your Brand
Before you can communicate your brand effectively, you need to have a clear sense of what it is. Have you taken the time to outline your companys mission? Do you know what your one or two key attributes are? This is important, so if answers to these questions seem a little fuzzy, dont move forward. Do the work of defining what exactly sets your company apart. Identify your style and what image you hope to convey.
STEP TWO: Understand Goals of Website Branding
Once you know who your company is, how does branding come into play? What exactly is the purpose of branding efforts? Why does it matter at all? To help answer those questions, here are a few key goals to keep in mind:
Communicate Clear Value
The Internet only gives you a few seconds to make an impression on new visitors, which means you have to get your message across fast. Using layout, images and text, show visitors what your brand offers. Make it clear whats in it for them.
To strengthen your brand, your marketing materials need to be consistent, from your print ads to your Twitter account to your website. Consistency reinforces your message over and over again, making it stronger.
In a lot of ways, a brand is a promise: this is what you can expect from us; this is who we are. So when youre designing and strategizing your website, think about what your brand is offering. Will your clients come to you for packaging solutions that work? Do they see you as an authority in the automotive parts industry? Will they believe youre the best company for the job? Branding seeks to set clear expectations that you can follow through on.
STEP THREE: Put All the Factors to Work Together
Your website is made up of many parts, from text to images, headlines to layout. To create the greatest impact, all of these factors must work together to build your brand. Here are some considerations for each:
Your layout is an important branding tool because it sets the organization and order of your content and images. You can use it to highlight more important information—put a large header at the center of the home page, centered above an eye-catching image, for example. Based on what youre trying to communicate, choose a layout that helps communicate your message.
As they say, content is key. Even with the greatest layout and pictures, if your content is sloppy or dishonest, you can expect to discredit your branding efforts. Likewise, the fonts you use can dramatically impact the way your content is received. For a more thorough look at font choices, take a look at “Font Selection for Web Designers” from the Straight North Blog.
In todays photo-centric Internet world, high-quality pictures are more important than ever. Look for high-resolution images that reflect your brands style (i.e., no cartoons for a scholarly vibe; nature pictures for a green focus).
Build off the same color scheme you use in your logo, if possible, in order to amplify the sense of your image to visitors of your website. Additionally, most designers recommend sticking to a handful of (say, three) colors rather than a wide rainbow. According to The WordPress Experts, The more colors you use, the harder it becomes to keep them all in harmony and create a balanced, consistent look for your site.
What do you think? Is your current website appropriately conveying your brand? If not, could putting a little strategy into your design change your marketing results? What other branding tips have you found to be helpful in website planning?