It is widely accepted, that in 2019 many times more people will meet your company through a website, social media campaign, or email then they will through a personal contact. And just as importantly, they will see your digital presence first, which will either set the table for a good working relationship or ruin your credibility before you have the chance to establish one.
This is to say that your digital brand is the essence of your ability to sell products and services, recruit new employees, and form partnerships. For that reason, it’s crucial that you not only manage your online identity, but also understand the major components that shape impressions. You must have a sense of what it is your buyers and colleagues are paying attention to, whether it’s consciously or subconsciously.
Let’s look at the top 12 elements of a digital brand you should be paying attention to…
#1 Your Logo
It shouldn’t be a surprise that logos are at the top of this list. Some marketers mistakenly believe that their visual identity is the only piece of a branding effort that matters. That’s an overstatement, but it is true that logos tell buyers a lot about how you see yourself and the way they should view your company. Make sure yours represents the best in your business, and utilize a brand style guide to ensure that all members of your team are using the most up-to-date logos, colors and fonts.
#2 Your Website
Your website is the hub of your digital brand. It should be clean, compelling, and focused. In other words, a potential customer who arrives at your home page should be impressed with your design, be able to tell instantly what you have to offer and feel the urge to contact you for a solution to their problems. If your web presence comes up short on any of these measures, it’s going to cause problems.
#3 Search Position
You might not realize it, but your search engine positioning factors heavily into your branding effort. That’s because a higher search position means much greater visibility online. More Google referrals means more exposure and a stronger brand. It also gives you a greater number of chances to meet new customers and interact with them, which is crucial for growing your reputation.
#4 Online Reviews
What are previous and existing customers saying about you online? Surveys have shown repeatedly that nine out of every ten buyers will check out a business they haven’t worked with before prior to placing an order, making a reservation, or stopping by a retail location. While online reviews might not be the most visible part of your online brand, they can be amongst the most persuasive.
#5 Email Signatures
Every email you or your employees sends will include a signature. The fonts, images, and contact details included can all make it more or less likely that someone will decide to contact you again in the future. Does yours look professional? Does it include links to reviews or resources that make you seem like you’re at the top of your industry?
#6 Employee Photos
Far too many companies rely on old, grainy images of their employees to use on webpages, email signatures, and social profiles. In most businesses, customers are buying you and your people just as much as they are the products or services you sell. Their first impressions matter quite a bit. Use professional head shots to create a sense of competence, familiarity, and trustworthiness.
#7 Customer Testimonials
Customer testimonials aren’t quite as powerful as third-party reviews because buyers know you aren’t going to post something on your website that isn’t favorable and flattering. Still, specific compliments and case studies can help show off what makes your business so great. That’s especially true if they come from high-profile clients who your buyers want to be associated with.
#8 Domain Names and Social Media Handles
Although these are sometimes treated as afterthoughts, the domain names and social media handles you use to identify yourself online say quite a bit about your business. They also can be easy or difficult to share and remember. Choose yours with care and think about presenting a professional image. When looking to name your website or social channel, try to pick something that’s descriptive, unique, and easy to remember.
#9 Social Profiles
Speaking of social media, your profiles tell all kinds of stories about your business. They can be filled with tips, tricks, and news items that are relevant to your industry, or it can turn customers off with irrelevant memes and rants. Treat your social posts as you would any other marketing communications and fill them with concise, grammatically correct communications that have value to your audience.
#10 Downloadable Materials
Lots of marketers, and especially those in the B2B space, rely on ebooks, catalogs, white papers, and other downloadable documents to help shape opinions and impressions. As with social posts, these need to be concise, focused, and well-designed. Otherwise they could do more to hurt your credibility than they do to build or advance it.
#11 Website Hosting
When your website is fast, responsive, and free of error messages, it impresses visitors. Conversely, when it takes a long time for your pages to come online, or visitors get security warnings and missing content that tells them you aren’t good at paying attention to details. This is just one of the many reasons why premium web hosting is a good investment.
#12 Your PPC Ads
Pay-per-click ads are like digital billboards. Their immediate job is to help generate sales from interested and targeted customers. However, you can also use them to show your marketing messages to the tens of thousands of searchers and social users who see them but don’t click. Over time they can help you tell your story in a repeatable, cost-effective way.
Does Your Digital Brand Need an Overhaul?
If you feel like your branding isn’t doing enough to convey your strengths, value, and personality, there are steps you can take to get back on the right track. Contact a professional web design company and digital marketing agency such as Maxburst to discuss how they can help you to boost sales, visibility, and profitability using a mixture of cutting-edge tactics and common-sense digital business strategies.