Can you remember a time when you were drawn into a shop by a clever window display? Or perhaps put off from entering somewhere new by a confusing store front? This power of first impressions applies to the online world as much as it does to the high street, and it doesn’t just concern ecommerce stores. Service businesses should be equally aware of the impression that their website gives to potential clients, in particular your home page which is where the majority of visitors will likely enter your site.
You wouldn’t expect customers to visit a dated shop, and you wouldn’t invite clients into an unkempt office. So if you present your potential customers with a tired, difficult to navigate website, don’t be surprised if they don’t stick around.
Anyone who is undecided about your business can be drawn in or put off by your website, gleaning all that they feel they should know from a simple glance. So does your website communicate your brand values, current offers, or popular services? If you are unsure, let’s dive into how to create the ‘shop window’ experience for your website.
Firstly, before you get carried away with any big changes, make sure your website appeals to your target market. Just as the window display of a baby clothing store is made to make new parents go ‘aww!’ so your website should draw in your target audience. Think of it as your business values meeting the values of the customers you want to attract.
For ecommerce stores, ensure that your home page reflects the current events and seasons, whether it’s a Valentine’s Day banner, or a badge supporting an awareness month. Just as you would change a physical shop window display to keep up with the seasons, make sure your website stays relevant.
While you may not have a Valentine’s Day special for your service based businesses, keep up with the changing times, and make sure the first image your visitors see isn’t a dated award nomination!
That doesn’t mean that you have to wait for a special occasion like Christmas to change things on your website. Instead you should make sure to refresh your offers, banners, products and news articles regularly.
As well as enticing new customers to explore further, repeat customers will learn that visiting your website frequently will be of value. If the home page looks the same every time they stop by, there is little chance of them becoming regular visitors.
Updating your imagery and text regularly will not only encourage visitors to come back again, it will also assist your SEO efforts as search engines prioritise fresh content.
Finally, don’t look like everyone else. Imagine your website as a store front on a packed high street – how will you make it stand out from the shops around you?
It may seem like a lot of effort, but the more work you put into your website ‘shop window’ on a regular basis, the greater rewards you will reap.
Are you feeling inspired and thinking of injecting some fresh thinking into your website? Get in touch with our team and find out how we can help. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on 01600 891525.
Consistency is vital to the success of marketing, and there are few better examples than the world’s number one soft drink brand. So what is it about a consistent approach to marketing that delivers so much value for your business?
Whatever size your business is, your brand is one of your most important assets because it is the personification of your business. It gives your organisation a look, a feel and a tone of voice that, in turn, create an impression in the mind of your target market. By using the same design and imagery wherever a customer is likely to come across your business, you ensure that they recognise your company every time they see you.
By seeing the same look over and over again, the visual elements of your marketing become ingrained in the minds of consumers, and they are more likely to remember your brand and recognise it when they come across it on different channels.
This recognition through the use of consistent marketing helps to make you more visible to your customers and can help to create customer loyalty. It also helps to build credibility and a trustworthy reputation. If customers have the same experience every time they come in contact with your brand, they are more likely to trust your business and invest in it.
Maintaining a uniform visual aesthetic is not the only important aspect of marketing consistency, voice and tone are just as valuable in creating trust and generating sales.
“Many factors contribute to a brand’s success, but perhaps one of the most valuable is content consistency. From social media and blogging to responding to customer reviews and replying to emails, your content needs to maintain a consistent voice, tone and style.” Forbes
To continue with the example we used at the start of this article, you never open a bottle of Coca-Cola and wonder what it will taste like this time – brand consistency ensures that it is always the same, no matter what country you are in.
Or if you were told that a restaurant had ‘wholesome values’ and then were snapped at by a waitress wearing something more appropriate for a nightclub than a family restaurant, the entire illusion of the brand would crumble for you. If instead someone dressed appropriately, approached you with politeness and courtesy, your confidence in the brand would grow. Marketing consistency has to continue through every aspect of a business to be effective.
It takes effort, but it’s worth it.
All aspects of your marketing will start working together so that your business becomes visible and recognisable, driving customers to respond positively to your brand.
Learn more about How LimeGreen Marketing can help you to be clear and consistent in your marketing here and if you’re interested in talking to our team contact us here or give us a call on 01600 891525.
The world of marketing has changed dramatically over the last 20 years. With the advances of digital technology, gone are the days of the simple mail shot and the cold caller. With an effective online strategy, we can now reach our audiences 24/7 through the screens of the portable devices that they hold in their hands.
With such an opportunity can you really afford not to make the most of it? Surely you know your business best? So, why outsource your digital marketing to an agency?
One – An Objective Opinion
While it’s great to be at the heart of your business – no one knows your product/service better than you – sometimes it’s great to have a new set of eyes and some fresh thinking from someone who is one step back from it. Your marketing manager is in a position to be able to be objective about what you do well and what you need to do better and has the best industry knowledge to advise you from a neutral stance.
Two – Marketing Trends
Just like fashion and food, digital marketing is not exempt from trends. In 2017 we saw a huge surge in video content and so far, 2018 has seen the rise of influencer marketing and automation. So, ask yourself this? Do you have the time to keep up to date with the latest digital marketing trends as well as running your business? We think the answer is ‘probably not’. Find yourselves someone who has their finger on the pulse when it comes to the what’s hot and what’s not of marketing.
Three – Your Time is Precious
Running a business is no easy feat. Perhaps you’re just starting out as a one-man-band and juggling spinning plates? You might have a team around you but they too will take time to manage. Why not give yourself one less thing to worry about and put your digital marketing in the hands of a professional with industry knowledge who will get you the best results.
We work with organisations of all sizes and we understand that not every business has the budget for an all-singing, all-dancing, digital marketing campaign. That’s why we’ve also put together three ways for you to save time if you’re running things in house.
One – Utilise Seasonal Support
If you’re in an industry that experiences busier and quieter periods, paying someone else to take charge of your marketing all year round, while you’re sat twiddling your thumbs for half of it might just seem a little silly. This is where seasonal support comes in. Often setting up social media and branding your channels can be a time-consuming process too. So, let someone else save you time and get you going, or have them take the reins for the months that you’re flat out. This will be much more efficient and in the long run more cost effective for your business.
Two – Plan Ahead
We understand that making time each and every day to post to all your social media channels can be a little daunting. Especially if you’ve not quite got to grips with all the different platforms. Be smart and spend a morning a month scheduling your social media content for the month. Tools like Hootsuite are here to help you and allow you to post to multiple social networks from one platform. A content calendar will help you plan ahead and steer your digital marketing in the right direction.
Three – Be Clever with Your Content
Organise your content library and categorise images and information. This might seem time consuming but get into the habit of doing this as you go and it will be easy to find content quickly. Dropbox works particularly well if you need to share this as folders across a team. Don’t forget that resources like Canva can also help you design and edit your own branded content to use time and time again.
If you’re interested in talking to our team about your own digital marketing requirements we’d love to hear from you. We offer monthly management packages as well as bespoke one-to-one support. Email email@example.com for more information or give us a call on 01600 891525.
Symptoms of fatigue and sluggishness warn us when our bodies are out of balance. But are you savvy to key business signs that show your brand could be suffering a similar malaise? Brands, like bodies, deteriorate with unhealthy choices and too little nourishment. How can you tell when your brand needs detoxing?
To get to grips with this, you need to understand the basic physiology of a brand. Brands reside in consumers’ minds. Your brand is built out of all the beliefs and associations that consumers hold about your products and your business. This bundle of perceptions is built up over time, and it will determine how likely consumers are to buy your brand.
Brand perception is fed, for good or ill, by all your marketing communications including: packaging, advertising, website, social media, direct interaction with staff, press coverage, emails, promotions, and printed materials such as brochures etc. Brands living in consumers’ minds will be nourished by clear, relevant and motivating communication or toxified by conflicting or ill-judged messages.
Here are 5 key signs that your brand is ready for a detox.
How easily can you paint a clear mental picture of your typical consumer? To develop an engaging brand, you need to have a good understanding of the people who use your product. You need to understand both the big stuff (what their needs are, what’s important to them) and the little stuff (such as what makes them laugh, what magazines they read). Strong brands are relevant to their audiences; they speak the right language and deliver meaningful benefits. Without consumer insight you are blindfolded. Understanding your consumers better will make your marketing activity fitter, leaner, and more effective.
2. Your consumers aren’t engaged
Be very wary of a one-way relationship with your customer base. If you receive little feedback to social media, have below-par email open and click-through rates, struggle to generate interest in promotions, or rarely receive any spontaneous feedback, these could all be important warning signs and a lead indicator of sales trouble ahead. Potential causes of consumer apathy include: overloading them with irrelevant messages, failing to reach the right people at the right time, or simply poor execution; marketing activity that fails to cut through the noise.
In contrast, an active core of brand loyalists is a good sign of a healthy brand. Engaged consumers with strong emotional ties to your brand, will act as advocates, recommending your products to others. Rejuvenate your marketing plan with a focus on engaging and mobilising your consumer base.
3. You haven’t nailed your brand’s most important benefit
Perhaps your brand has an impressively long list of features and benefits. It is not easy however, to embed many different benefits into busy consumer’s minds with a scattergun approach. For much better results, take aim with your brand’s most powerful, top-level benefit. For example a mobile phone will have 100’s of features and benefits that might include: a faster loading camera, battery that won’t let you down, hands-free use with voice control etc. But focusing the marketing on a single benefit that emerges from all of these – such as ‘living in the moment’ – will be far more successful.
4. Your staff can’t articulate what your brand stands for.
This is a great litmus test for brand health. Your staff are exposed to all your brand marketing. If staff can’t give a coherent answer to ‘what is your brand about?’, consumers will definitely struggle! One of the main pillars of good brand management is clarity. If your brand has become confused through poor communications, then it is time to get back to basics and detox your marketing approach.
5. Your branding is not consistent.
Lay out all your visual representations of your brand i.e. packaging, brochures, website, flyer, brochures, website, everything. Is the branding consistent and harmonious, or viewed altogether does it give you a headache? Over time, it can be easy to get cast adrift with minor logo variations creeping in, colourways and fonts wandering off in various directions. What about the tone of voice? Are all the materials written in the same style or is a bit of split personality showing through? If you want consumers to really believe in your brand, you need to present a reliable face. Detox your branding by capturing some simple brand style rules and then sticking to them fanatically.
In business, as in life, we all need to take stock and invest a little time and effort in regaining good health every so often. Use these 5 warning signs to recognise when a brand detox would be beneficial. Remember that brand perceptions live in consumers’ minds; a diet of good marketing communications will sustain your brand to keep it pure, fit and healthy!