Typically this is the time of year when everyone aims to refresh their look and perspective and the same is usually true in business. There might be a new lockdown in place, but that doesn't mean that your prep for 2021 should be on hold too.
Here are 4 ideas to kick start your 2021!
1. Audit your online presence
With face to face interactions becoming non existent in the past year, your online presence is really important. Everyone has gotten used to doing everything online: from shopping and finding services to interacting (is it just me or is singing happy birthday over Zoom even more awkward than in person?). It’s likely that this trend is here to stay.
Having an up-to-date website and listings is vitally important. Once a customer finds you online, you don’t want to scare them away with out-of-date information, an outdated website or a bad user experience.
Check your listings
If you have a Google Business listing, or listings on professional directories, make sure all of your contact information, services and descriptions are up to date and accurate.
Check your socials
The same as above - make sure you are displaying the most up-to-date information, especially with changing restrictions customers want to know how they can safely access your services.
If there’s nothing to update here, even just posting to show that you are up to date and on top of things will reassure customers and can make the difference between them reaching out or going somewhere else.
Tighten up your website
Your website should be the most reliable place for your customers to find the correct information about your business.
At least: make sure that your contact information, images and text content are all relevant, accurate and up to date. Pay special attention to your services: have your services, or the way you deliver your services changed in the last year? If you had to change your offering to keep up with new or different demands, reflect this on your website to help new customers find you.
Take it further: make sure customers have a good web experience by checking that the structure of your website is clear and easy for customers to navigate to find the information they need. Make sure that all buttons and links work as they should too (a website that doesn't work how you expect it to is super annoying - no one has time for that!).
Go the whole hog: take a step back and look at your overall web strategy. Optimising your website for the best possible return on investment.
Ask important questions:
- Who is visiting your website, and who do you want to be visiting your website?
- What information are they looking for, and how can you best present that information to them?
- What action should visitors take when viewing your website?
- What should the overall goal of your website be?
- Is your website on brand and up to date? Does your website need a design overhaul?
If you’re not sure, we can help!
We provide all of our clients with an annual website review where we look at the health and performance of your website to help plan vital improvements.
With this, we can work on a website strategy that optimises your website for the best possible results.
2. Carry out a health check on your brand image
Has your brand image slipped? It’s easy to let your brand go a little over time: a stretched logo here, an off-brand colour there. A stock image or two, maybe some Word Art... It’s natural for a brand to evolve over time, but this doesn’t mean your brand should end up looking bad.
Having a clear brand image strengthens customer loyalty. Plus, it makes promotion more effective and easier for you to do. If your brand image has slipped, you can get it back on track this year.
At least: you don’t have to go back and delete all of your ‘less on-brand’ posts, documents and messaging. Just make sure that going forward you are taking more control of your brand.
It helps to have one central place for all of your brand assets, a folder that everyone in the team has access to, that has only the most up-to-date versions of your logo, tag lines, messaging and brand colours.
You could even write up a brand guideline document that sets out some simple rules for keeping the brand consistent.
Take it further: ask if your brand image still relevant? If you feel that your brand and logo hasn’t dated well and no longer fits your values and mission, it could be time to refresh your brand image.
This needn’t be a complete overhaul, you should look to update your image while maintaining your all important heritage and existing brand awareness with loyal customers. Working with an agency to look at where you came from, where you are now and where you want to be in terms of your business and brand is a worthwhile project that will pay for itself in value added to your business. Having a professionally developed, strategy driven brand image will last the test of time, and keep customers loyal
Not sure if you should rebrand? Check out this article for my insight to help you decide: To rebrand, or not to rebrand?
3. Focus your messaging and story
In the same vein as your brand image, your brand messaging (or voice) is really important too. While looking great is important, what you say (and how you say it) could be even more important. Your brand voice should be laser focused, consistent and aligned with your overall mission.
Relevant sidebar - here’s an article that visualises the relationship between brand image and voice: Why branding is more than a logo.
At least: schedule a day to stop, get the team together and look back at your original mission. Review your brand values and how you have evolved as a company since these were written. Work out whether you need to re-define your mission and values or not, then clarify these and make sure the whole team is on the same page.
Take it further: schedule a focused strategy session to look at your target customer and how you should position your brand in a way that speaks to them.
With a well thought out strategy, your brand voice, messaging and visuals can be refreshed in a way that bolsters your future success.
4. Try a new approach to promotion
Have you been doing the same thing for years in terms of promotion and marketing? Now could be a great time to take a look at your marketing and try a different approach (don't worry, this doesn’t mean you should try every hot new social media platform as it comes out)!
Take an analytical look at where your customers spend time (on or offline): How do they find and gather information, and where they are likely to engage with your services? Then look at which marketing platform fits best with your business, services and customers.
For example: if you are a farm shop who has always relied on newspaper ads; Facebook promotion and engagement could be a great place for new customers to find you. Customers here are generally browsing and relaxing (personally, not networking or working). So finding out about some locally made high quality bacon and burgers for dinner this weekend is ideal for them. They are much more likely to place an order, or follow you on Facebook for a future purchase here than they would if they found you on, LinkedIn while working. Facebook also allows for location based targeting which is an important consideration when marketing for a local farm shop.
I know that when I don’t stick to New Year’s resolutions, it’s normally because I’ve set unachievable targets or expected too much of myself, too quickly. Change can be hard!
So don’t try to do too much at once, just take one area that you know you can improve on, and start with the basics.
Thanks for reading! I hope that some of these ideas are helpful. As always, if there is anything we can help you with in terms of your brand and website, send us an email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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