How you appear online can make or break your business these days. Even if you meet someone through an introduction, chances are they will look up your website to see all that you do and check out your social media to learn what you think. If you’re entirely invisible online, then you can bet they’ll be suspicious. If you’re not active online, then they may wonder if you’re still in business. Even those colleagues you’re not frequently in touch with will likely forget about you when it comes to making a referral if you’re not staying in front of them.
Websites and other designs tend to go out of style over time. So if you haven’t refreshed your online presence in a while, then it’s probably time. You wouldn’t show up to an important business meeting wearing a suit from 1980, so your website shouldn’t look like a blast from the past either.
Neuroscientists tell us that pictures are remembered better than words. A study several decades ago proved that people can remember more than 2,000 images with 90% accuracy over several days. We also know that repetition helps our memory. The more we see something, the more likely we are to transfer it from our short term to our long term memory and retain it, but only if we have some emotional association. Emotions anchor memories. When faced with a buying decision, most of us are more likely to buy from a brand we recognize and about which we feel positive. We recognize it because we have seen it so frequently, have some emotional attachment to it, and we have committed it to memory. In marketing, when a strong logo and brand colors are repeated from your website to your social media, email templates, and ads, and they are all delivered with a message that triggers an emotion, we are helping our target audience to remember us positively. When it comes time to make a buying decision, we’re more likely to come out on top.
Social media is a crucial component of your marketing strategy for any small business or startup. Brands need to have a clear sense of their message, how they wish to be perceived, and how they look. Branding your social media pages and posts to be consistent with your overall strategy, look, and feel is critical. The specifics should also be adjusted by platform. Instagram is one of the more visual platforms, and the grid layout is typically essential. Photos should also have a consistent appearance for the page to be aesthetically pleasing. How your page looks is a necessary piece of what it takes to grow your audience. Each social media platform has its nuances regarding what is appropriate and how to grow your following. While anyone can create a page and start posting, a cohesive strategy to give you the exposure you’re looking for will require an attractive brand, compelling message, research, and performance data.
Emails are not dead. Far from it in fact. Social media platform algorithms filter messages so that only a small percentage are seen by your followers without boosting. But when you send an email, unless it gets caught in a spam filter, it will be delivered to the recipient. Even if they don’t open it, chances are they saw your business name and catchy subject line scroll past in their inbox, creating some amount of brand recognition from that impression. A good place to start sending emails is a beautifully branded monthly newsletter. This can help keep your brand top of mind. You may also wish to use a CRM to automate everything from responses to forms on your website, parts of your onboarding process, or to nurture leads not yet ready to make a purchase.
Like other areas of marketing, content writing is a blend of art and science. The art is in writing content that people will find interesting to read. The science is in writing content that the search engines will know how to categorize. These days, both are equally important and deserve attention. There are two primary forms of writing in marketing, content writing and copywriting. Content writing tends to be longer form, such as blogs, articles, and ebooks. On a website, it should be written for SEO. This means that each blog page will be optimized for a single keyword phrase. Ideally, you’ll define the website schema on the page, which tells Google how to categorize the content. Copywriting is catchier writing for your website home page, ads, emails, and subject lines, and sales materials.