So, you’ve found the article, good to see. Chances are you found it one of two ways. Either you checked out our website and discovered the blog page or you click on the link we shared on social media. Either way, you probably saw the title and thought ‘what the heck does the title mean’.
So, what was your first thought?
Did you come through with the mentality of ‘don’t judge a book by its covers’ or did you judge us the moment you laid eyes on the first thing branded BBT? Let’s be honest, it was probably the latter.
The fact is, people are going to judge everything about your business from the first time they visit your website, read a blog and shake your hand. Rightly or wrongly, these judgements will form their assumptions about the results you can produce, your knowledge and so much more.
But what business owners need to understand is in this digital world, more often than not, first impressions are made anonymously, behind a screen. Which means every single branded platform or offering your company puts out there needs to be squeaky clean, accurate and engaging.
In saying that, how are we doing, you still with us?
Now as a digital agency, we spend every day striving to improve our client’ digital image and voice, essentially their brand. Whether this is their website, social platforms, search rankings, you name it, if it’s digital we are working on it. So we know what we are talking about.
The idea of a brand is by no means a new one. In reality, the concept is as old as business itself. Although, what is a fairly new idea, is a business’ digital brand and reputation. With consumers being increasingly reliant on the digital space to find and engage with businesses, your digital brand is arguably your business’ most important asset.
But like all aspects of your business, building a solid and credible brand may take some time and elbow grease. However, this can’t be preserved as a burden. So, how you may ask…
Your new shop front
Long gone are the days of people wondering the streets, window shopping before making a purchase. Now people are doing this all online and instead of getting a small snippet from your shop front, they are now getting a full, comprehensive look under the hood. Everything they need to know about your business, products and services, or people is three clicks away. And, honestly, those three clicks may be enough to turn people away.
In fact, 75% of adults admit to making judgements about a companies credibility from their website. This means one thing, do everything you can to create a functional, easy to navigate and attractive website or else! You need to put potential customers at the forefront of any decision you make regarding your website. So, just think, where are your customers visiting from?
In this fast-paced and frantic rat race, we call life, it’s from the palm of their hands. Yep, on smartphones. This means, build your website with this in mind and cut out all the unnecessary pinching, zooming and unreadable print. With roughly 80% of consumers believing a website should perform just as good or even better on a mobile device.
Remember, your website is not for you, it is a revenue making tool that generally sits at the top of your sales funnel. So it isn’t a good look if your website is ugly, difficult and slow.
The social watering hole
You’ve got a Facebook account, maybe you’ve got a LinkedIn, but what do they say about your business? Or, maybe the more important question is, what are others saying!?
Today it feels like everyone is on social media, in New Zealand alone there are over 3.3 million Facebook users. Not bad for a country of just under 5 million. But social media is a double edge sword for most businesses. On one hand, it is an awesome space to connect and engage with customers and build a really strong brand and loyal following. On the other, you can’t hide anything and if something goes wrong or a few people publically complain, it can be ugly.
However, if you are able to actively manage and foster a strong following, it will potentially become your greatest branding tool. If your followers believe in you and stand behind you, they will not be quiet about it. Which will drive more traffic through to your page and onto your website.
The new main shopping strip
We mentioned before that customers are no longer walking down the street window shopping, this isn’t entirely true. We still love to window shop, it’s just the streets are now different.
Search engines are now the streets. And the main shopping strip is Google, which accounts for 72% of global searches. But you may be wondering, how does this affect my brand? Well, if you are ranked highly, or at least on the first page, you drastically increase your chances of being visited, with 92% of searchers picking businesses on the first page.
It’s not easy to get your rankings up there but it’s a fine balancing act between two key elements. Organic search, which is improved by using keywords throughout your website and getting the search engines to trust your platforms. And, paid, which is where you buy advertising space at the top of the search results. In order to get the most out of your search rankings, you will need to be strategic with how you manage the two.
Don’t muck around, your digital brand is impacted by everything you put on the world wide web, it may take a while to build but it only takes a second to ruin. So what are you waiting for starting putting steps in place to strengthen your brand and improve the digital natives first impressions of your business.