20 May 2024

Your (Digital) Reputation Matters

How important is it to have a strong brand and digital presence?

If you don't have it, we suggest moving back to 1984 and making way for those who have and do.

While you can never underestimate face-to-face customer interaction (if that's the business you're in), how will anyone know about your existence if they can't find you? And outside of friendly referrals - online, on social channels, in a print ad, a podcast or on a billboard is how they will.

Spoiler Alert: A Logo is Not a Brand.

While your logo is an essential part of your brand and helps to identify you in the market, it is not at the top of the list. Firstly, put the mahi (work) into doing your brand discovery. Deep dive into your why. Why would people want to spend their time and money with you? What is the service you offer, and what's in it for them? Always put the customer/client first. Who are you? How do you want to be perceived in the market, and what does that look like? If other people do what you do, why would they come to you? What's your USP? And wrap this all up in a compelling story about you. Then and only then, think about how this translates into what you look like (logo, colours, fonts, imagery) and sound like (tone of voice, key messages, copywriting). Once you've arrived at the final destination, it's time to think about where your future customers and clients are and the best way to reach them.

Your Digital You.

Your website is arguably your most important digital asset, and as it can be the first touch point for many, you need to make sure yours mirrors exactly who you are and what you do. Yes, your logo, fonts, imagery, and brand story with key messages need to be front and centre. However, think about the customer experience - a user should have the same experience online as they would with you in person – think of your website as a digital you. As well as looking good, you need to make your site easy to navigate so first-timers can easily find what they want or find out enough about you that they wish to contact you.

Colours, layouts, typography, and AI - website trends emerge yearly, but who wants to change their website annually? Make sure whatever you design has timeless aesthetic longevity and focus on its dynamic functionality, good SEO and ability to load quickly. You can read more about this here.

Consistency is Key.

Your style guide is your friend. There's nothing worse than a stretched logo, random fonts or a sudden change in your tone of voice. Human beings like certainty and reliability. If they interact with a brand or buy your product they like what you do and how you do it. Remember that time Coke changed their recipe? You need in-house brand ambassadors to monitor how you look and sound at every customer touch point. This includes your website, newsletters, social channels, print ads, and presentations, not forgetting your calls to action and sign-offs. No one ever forgets a great tagline either:

Are your Macleans Showing?

I'm Lovin' it

Just do it

You may think you sound like a broken record, but remember, not everyone sees your message at the same time, and studies have shown that an audience needs to see the same message seven times before they remember you and take action. Your brand must be consistent to maintain and keep its recognition, credibility, and trust.

Reels Aren't a Content Strategy.

Your website looks great; you have created a profile on every social channel and are growing your customer database. So where to next?

You might feel the world is oversaturated in content, and you're making it for content's sake. But when it's done right and targeted to your audience, it can be a great way to showcase your expertise and establish authority in your industry. Think about all the channels available, the various ways you can connect with your audience and the type of content that will resonate on the different platforms.

Before you put all your eggs in one basket, it's vital you know where your audience is. Just because you read a blog that told you about the mammoth growth some company got by posting on TikTok doesn't mean it will work for you. Perhaps your core audience prefers reading articles, receiving a monthly EDM with a good deal or listening to a podcast – find where they are and focus your energy here! If you have a good database, send a newsletter. It may not be as 'on trend' as a reel, but it's a no-brainer if you already have an engaged audience who know who you are and have given you their precious email details. You can link to a blog post on your website about that exciting new product you've developed. And even better - you won't get lost in thousands of posts fighting with hundreds of other companies trying to connect through a 'brand awareness' post as the user' doom scrolls' past what you've sweated over for far too long.

Never underestimate a good Testimonial or Review.

If the proof is in the pudding, the truth is in the testimonial. Customer experiences are gold to any business. It's all very good to say you offer the 'best customer experience' or your product is 'better than anything you've tried before', but this is just marketing fluff to your average consumer. Much like a trusted referral from a friend, a good Google review or testimonial on your website not only promotes your company as a reputable one but also reassures future customers and clients that you do what you say you do and well! In addition to enhancing the credibility of your business, Google reviews boost your search engine ranking and increase your visibility to potential customers.

If you have a great client story, create a case study to endorse your business while showcasing and celebrating your collaboration and the outcomes. This makes for great blog content to share across all your digital channels and direct people back to your website.

Let's wrap it up.

So, let's think about all we've covered:

  • Work on your why and build a strong brand beyond a logo
  • Build a kickass website that is essentially a digital you
  • Have brand consistency across every touchpoint and platform
  • Develop a content strategy for your target audience, where they are
  • Encourage customer feedback and reviews

While a solid and consistent digital presence is mandatory for any business in the 21st Century, it's important to remember the human side. Most people will do their research and find you through your digital presence, but want to connect with a real human being. So, think about all of your digital touchpoints as introductions to you and be authentically who you are all the way.