It is no secret that people like to think about themselves. It is one of our favorite topics. That’s why it should come as no surprise that when a user visits your website, they are usually thinking about themselves, their problems, and how your product or service can specifically benefit them.
User-centered design puts the customer in the spotlight. It puts their needs, objectives and expectations at the center of design and content decisions in order to better engage and, ultimately, increase conversions.
As a business owner, it might be tempting to build your website and online marketing strategy around your company’s history, mission and accolades. But research shows that the most effective way to generate leads and improve conversion rates is to put the user and their needs front and center.
Here are three ways to implement user-centered design and content strategy through your website and digital marketing.
1. Identify your audience
When a user visits your website, they should feel like the site was designed specifically for them. By understanding your audience and specifically naming or referencing them at the top of your site, you are signaling that you offer both relevance and value to them.
In today’s digital age, attention spans are short and a user could leave your website within a matter of seconds if they don’t find the content relevant. Users want to know “Is this product for me?” The faster you can answer that question, the more likely you are to engage with the user.
2. Identify their problem
The No. 1 reason a user will visit your website is because they have some type of problem they are trying to solve. What end users really want to know is “How will this product or service make my life better?”
Your website should be your best salesperson, and a good salesperson first gets to know the customer’s needs and then talks about the product or service. Your website should do the same. By setting up the problem-solution framework within the website design and content, the likelihood of improving conversion rates greatly increases.
3. Don’t brag
While reviews and testimonials can be effective in establishing credibility and brand trust, don’t get caught up in trying to prove how great your company is. Users want to determine this for themselves and too much bragging can begin to sound sales-y and turn some users away.
Instead, keep the focus on the customer and how your product or service can benefit them. Try using “you” language instead of or in addition to “we” language. Emphasize the value you can offer as opposed to how great you are at offering it.
By following these tips you can create a website that increases conversions through a client-centered approach. These tips can also be applied to your mobile app, social media and online marketing.
When most people hear the word “brand,” they think of a company name or logo. They may even picture a specific, popular brand, such as Coca-Cola or Kleenex.
Following this logic, many entrepreneurs and business owners think of their company brand as purely visual—how the product and marketing looks and feels. But a business brand is much more than colors, fonts and design. A brand image is the entire experience a user has when interacting with your business, including their emotional experience, their mental associations with your business, and their interactions with customer service. Ideally, this brand image closely matches the company’s mission and vision. If not, it may be time for a redesign or brand overhaul.
When creating or upgrading a company website, branding is one of the most important elements to consider. If your website branding isn’t strong, engaging and consistent, you are guaranteed to lose out on leads and customers. Sometimes a complete website redesign is necessary, while in other cases, small, strategic fixes can make a world of difference.
Here are five proven ways to strengthen the branding on your company’s website to boost your brand image and bottom line.
- Simplify your content. Most company websites contain walls of text that overwhelm and distract the user. Typically, website users are trying to access information as quickly as possible. Shortening and simplifying your content down to its most accessible form will ultimately be more engaging for users.
- Maintain a consistent tone. Your design and content should represent a consistent tone across all website pages. Whether your tone is casual, professional, creative, cheerful, serious, or something else entirely, make sure all your website choices reflect that style.
- Focus on the user. Your website is about your user, not about you. All branding choices on a website, including design and content, should focus on the user’s needs, pain points and experience.
- Make it easy. The most popular brands are easy on the eyes and on the brain. Don’t make the user work too hard to see or understand who your company is and what you do. Use simple, complementary colors, fonts and design choices that don’t distract from your main site messages.
- Engage. Today’s consumers, particularly millennials, prefer brands that are friendly, conversational and engaging. Your website should incorporate user engagement strategies such as feedback forms, live chats, contact information, social media feeds and customer testimonials.
Over the past year there have been dramatic shifts in the way business runs in the United States. The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the economic landscape and affected consumer habits and priorities. It has also altered the infrastructure and internal processes of many companies, leading to an increased focus on remote employment and digital services. Some industries—such as hospitality and tourism—have experienced major financial setbacks, while others—such as healthcare services and social services—are flourishing and expected to grow significantly in the coming years.
This means that B2B companies need to reorient themselves to the current business climate and pivot their marketing strategies to address the needs and priorities of 2021. We are living in a new type of society with new values, and experts predict that many of the pandemic-related changes are here to stay. For example, studies show that nearly 50 percent of consumers are avoiding leaving their homes and are purchasing more goods and services online. This shift will affect businesses of all types and sizes—whether they offer a digital-based product or not.
Here are five tips for B2B companies that will help them keep up with the times and tailor their marketing strategies to more effectively reach their target audience.
- Create new buyer personas. Perhaps you have already identified your target demographic and analyzed them in great detail. Well, it’s time to go back to the drawing board. Because of the pandemic, businesses now have different priorities in reaching their customers, which means your B2B company needs to reevaluate your target audience’s pain points, needs and channels.
- Optimize your website. More than 80 percent of shoppers visit a company’s website before purchasing a product or service. Business buyers also conduct thorough online research before moving forward with a particular company. In addition, the online spending of B2B buyers has been steadily increasing. This means that if your B2B website is not updated and optimized you will be missing out on leads and leaking potential profit.
- Focus on social. One study found that 75% of B2B buyers and 84% of C-level executives rely on social media to make purchase decisions. Social media engagement and interaction can potentially have more impact than cold outreach, such as email marketing campaigns, so it is important to heavily invest in social.
- Consider video and virtual events. A recent study by Cisco estimated that online video content will account for more than 82% of consumer internet traffic by 2022. Circle S Studio also predicts that virtual events and conferences are here to stay. If your B2B company isn’t taking advantage of video content and online events, you will be forfeiting leads and profit to the competition.
- Improve buyer enablement. In today’s digital-first world, buyers are seeking a personalized, self-directed buying process that focuses on their needs and allows them to lead the conversation. Buyer enablement means reducing friction in your online marketing channels and creating user-centric design and content that seamlessly leads prospects through the awareness-consideration-purchase process.
ATX Web Designs offers branding strategy and digital brand development services. For more information, drop us a line!
Have you heard the story about the man who built his house from scratch with no plan, blueprint, or design? Of course you haven’t, because this would be a ridiculous approach to constructing a building and would likely be an enormous waste of time and money.
Before you build a house, you need to go through a planning process. You assess your needs, wants, and functional requirements, and you hire an architect to create a blueprint so the home is completely mapped out before ground is broken. Sometimes the planning phase takes just as long, if not longer, than the construction phase.
Building your business brand is similar to building a new house. It’s incorrect to assume you can have an idea for a product or service and jump straight into implementation. While it may be possible in rare circumstances, it seldom leads to a sustainable, established brand that can easily scale and grow.
Your business brand is the story your company tells. It is the holistic experience your audience has when interacting with your company. These interactions range from an individual’s experience on a phone call with customer service to a fleeting glimpse of your logo on a billboard to the content on your business social media accounts.
Building a brand from the ground up takes intentionality, strategy, and a clear vision for the future, as well as the steps needed to make that vision a reality. Simply put, you need a brand blueprint. Each aspect of your business—from colors and fonts to the wording of your emails to your website design—needs to align with your core mission, personal values, and financial goals or you will fail to build a solid, cohesive brand.
Your blueprint will need to include elements such as:
- A clear mission statement, Unique Value Proposition, and a list of short- and long-term objectives
- A breakdown of your target audience and their pain points as well as an analysis of competitors and general industry trends
- Clear user pathways and funnels to generate awareness about your company, educate your audience, and guide them to the solutions you offer
- A description of the emotions and values you want to appeal to in your audience as well as content and marketing strategies that support these value propositions and lead your audience to the desired call-to-action
By establishing a solid brand blueprint, you can more effectively increase leads, improve sales, create a company reputation, strengthen customer loyalty, and scale your business.
ATX Web Designs offers branding strategy and digital brand development services. For more information, drop us a line!
Every brand tells a story.
Some stories are like an exciting and compelling novel that the reader can’t put down. Others are more like a waiting room magazine that is skimmed and tossed aside.
So what story does your brand tell?
Your brand is the total impression your company makes. It includes your company personality, values, aesthetic, reputation, marketing strategies and customer service.
Brands succeed by telling a compelling story that rallies their target audience to action. A successful story has the following elements:
A hero. Every good story has a protagonist. In branding, the hero is your audience or your prospect. Not your company. Companies that focus on themselves and their accolades in their marketing content won’t effectively grab their audience’s attention.
A premise. The premise of a narrative is the overall message or concept it offers. Your company’s premise is the foundation for your brand and illustrates why a prospect should engage with your content. Without a solid premise, potential leads or customers won’t get past the first few pages of your story.
A problem. When is the last time you watched a great movie where the hero did not face any obstacles? In branding, the problem is your audience’s pain points. Successful brands hone in on their audience’s specific pain points and present their product or service as a solution to these pain points.
A victory. What makes the victory in a story satisfying? When the audience can emotionally identify with it and picture themselves in the hero’s shoes. Successful brands use strategies like impactful images, video, testimonials, vivid descriptions and clear calls-to-actions to help audiences imagine how a particular product or service will meet their needs and values—thus completing the hero’s journey.
That’s a real page turner.
Have a story you want your brand to tell? Reach to our expert team to schedule your consultation by clicking here.