Consumers are online and marketers need to prioritize digital brand touch points. Most companies understand that they need to have some kind of digital presence, but what does a healthy brand look like online? Is it okay to just have a web page? Does your company need to utilize social media to connect with consumers? How does your online presence look and feel for decision-makers and buyers? Having a strong online brand is about more than just showing up. It’s not enough to just claim your stake on the web anymore; companies need to establish the right digital brand strategy through web design and development.
To reflect the value of your company’s brand online, your website branding needs to:
Provide the right content
Does your website need to reflect your current product offering? Decision-makers are more empowered than ever and are hungry enough for the information that they often research a company’s products and services before they even approach the company with an interest to buy. Does your website communicate the unique benefits your product or service offers? Does it show prospects what value they have to gain from using your company? Is it clear what your core competencies are that put your company above the competition? A strong website can be a sales facilitator, but only if you provide the information that decision-makers need in order to evaluate whether the product or service is the right fit.
Is your website static? Does it look outdated? Is it stuck inside a small box that doesn’t take up the entire page? Does it look professional, crisp and clean? If your website looks like it’s from the 90s, this might suggest your products, services, technology, problem-solving skills, and pretty much everything else your company offers is outdated too. You’ve worked hard to make your offering the best product or service in the market; don’t let your website convince people otherwise.
Treat digital with the same importance (if not more!) as traditional
Good websites provide the right content and present it in a way that best represents the brand. This means your website needs the same amount of attention as your traditional advertising, such as print ads and trade show materials. It’s a good idea to make sure that you’re not leaving any web content up that you wouldn’t be comfortable publishing in a print magazine or as a print ad.
Make it user-friendly
Give potential prospects the information they need. This isn’t the time for an element of surprise or to leave people hanging. Today’s buyers are empowered and complete much of the decision-making process before they even call you. Holding back critical information doesn’t guarantee you a call. It’s more likely that people will become annoyed and moves on to another brand. It only takes seconds for someone to switch to another company’s website, find the information they need easier and faster, and desert your company. Everyone’s always short on time, and if your website doesn’t provide the information needed to make a decision, consider yourself out of the running for their business.
Design with the buyer in mind
Think about the buyer’s decision-making process. What are your buyer’s pain points? How can your company solve those unique pain points, and how can your company do it better than the rest of the competition? Make sure your website clearly and effectively communicates your value proposition and makes benefits easy-to-understand. Get in the mind of your buyer, and if your website doesn’t answer those questions and more, it’s time to bring it up to speed.
Your website should be able to generate new leads for you. With much of the decision-making process happening online, you should be able to collect critical contact information from your website. Ideally, it should be integrated with CRM and for marketers serious about lead generation, marketing automation.
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in August 2014 and has been updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.