Create a marketing hub website that serves your brand
More than ever, markets want to understand what they are participating in when they spend their money. In order to fully connect with your target audience, a critical part of brand development is having a vision for what you seek to achieve. Ideally, your vision is clear and easily repeatable. If this sounds like a struggle, we can talk it out. If you’re not quite ready for that conversation, HubSpot provides a thorough overview of principles you can follow to identify your own.
Once you’ve nailed it down, put it to work! Below, we will discuss how your brand vision plays a role in turning your website into a marketing hub. In the short term, this means leaving folks with a clear understanding of what it is you do and why you do it. Thinking beyond making connections, we’ll encourage you to think about where you see your brand 3 years down the road, when we would recommend you formally rethink your web presence and ensure you’re adapting to your new environment.
The best web development tools for your website
Deciding between an existing plugin/service and a custom tool
We’re a fan of the MVP (minimum viable product), however, we have strict standards for what constitutes “viability”. Getting your product to market with a foundation that cannot scale for your long-term success is not “viable” in our book. Knowing whether a plug-in can grow with your company is key–read reviews, look for how frequently their work is updated, and look into their customer support services before relying on a tool that isn’t up to the job. Custom tools are a bigger investment up front, but they often have the biggest payoffs when the alternative would have to be replaced down the road at a greater cost.
Avoid stock features that limit your potential
As a brand, you have a core problem that you solve and a unique way of getting it done. Your uniqueness is your competitive advantage, and we believe that compromising your methods is the same as diminishing your brand’s value. Sometimes, as in the case of WooCommerce, an existing service likely provides for all of your needs to get started. We recommend thoroughly reviewing your services and ensuring that their technologies are serving your best interests.
Evaluate the long term cost and benefit of customization
Picking up on the previous example of using WooCommerce, making your product available for purchase is priority number one for generating revenue. Since WordPress already has a well-supported tool, investing time and money into a custom eCommerce solution up front is likely a mistake. After a successful launch, however, many businesses will need to re-address their technologies in light of real-world challenges and experiences. If moving into a custom environment is inevitable, take into account the cost of converting your old systems into new ones later on.
Representing your brand vision online
Matching your visual messaging to your brand tone
Claiming to be a unique solution for your vertical while using generic stock photography and a templated theme can feel contradictory. It is important in today’s marketplace, especially for young brands, that values are represented across all channels.
Using high-quality photography
Custom photography allows you significantly greater control in how people perceive your brand. This tip overlaps with content strategy. If a picture is worth a thousand words, using great photography can take the burden of engagement off your copywriting. Folks love to use Apple’s website as a standard–and for plenty of good reasons. DBS Interactive’s lists quality photos as the third most important aspect of Apple’s website behind its “clear navigation” and “simple design”. We’ll argue that it’s the photography that helps those elements shine.
Sharing your brand’s vision through copywriting
Engage your audience on their terms
One of the copywriting challenges posed by SEO standards is hitting your target keywords without sounding exactly the same as your competition–or worse, outright confusing your audience with a forced vocabulary they can’t follow. Rather than go out of your way to use every conceivable buzzword from your last industry conference, use language that is familiar to your ideal buyer.
Simplify your vision so that it can be repeated
Think through your intended takeaways and whether you can confidently say they land each and every time someone visits your site. why someone should buy your product/work with your company. We’ve previously discussed the importance of guiding your audience. Once you’ve funneled your audience to the right landing pages, are you making the right impressions? Consider whether someone could or would advocate for your brand after visiting your website and ensure your online presence is consistently providing reasons for someone to trust your brand.