Having a successful website is becoming increasingly important over the years. You could say it’s taken on even greater importance during COVID-19 when people have more time to spend online than ever before. As such, more and more companies are investing in their web design. If you don’t keep your website competitive, you could end up losing potential leads and customers as a result. With that in mind, a website redesign may be in order. An effective website redesign can help strengthen your brand, increase brand awareness, and help generate more leads and sales. The following are a few website redesign tips to keep in mind for this year:
1. Re-evaluate Your Buyer Personas
Understanding your target audience is key to running a successful website. If you don’t know your audience, it will become increasingly difficult to attract and convert leads, not to mention close sales. After all, how can you create relevant content if you don’t know who you’re creating it for? With that in mind, developing buyer personas is crucial; however, if you haven’t revisited your buyer personas for a while, it may be time to do so. Target audiences can change over time, especially if your brand has undergone changes as well. As such, before embarking on a website redesign, be sure to re-evaluate your buyer personas.
2. Keep Producing High-Quality Content
The success of your website will always depend on the quality of your content. This will never change. We recommend analyzing the content on your existing site to determine how effective it has been. Use performance metrics to identify content that has performed well and content that has performed poorly. Using this information, you can improve your website’s content strategy moving forwards. Additionally, consider scrapping old content that’s no longer relevant and repurposing older content into newer content (for instance, converting a listicle into a Slideshare). Finally, check out the competition to see what types of content are performing well for them and to learn from their mistakes so you don’t have to make them.
3. Make navigation simple
Although the majority of your audience will likely be quite internet-literate at this point in time, they are also much less patient. As such, while they may be able to find what they are looking for even if your website navigation isn’t great, it’s going to annoy them. You need to make navigation as simple as possible so that they have no issues exploring your website. If they become frustrated due to poor navigation (due to a lack of internal links, a lack of a search feature, or a cluttered navigation menu), they’ll be more likely to leave.
4. Use a visual design that eliminates eye strain
A more minimalist approach will help make your website easy on the eyes. However, those aren’t the only visual elements that affect your visitors’ eyes. Choose colors that are calming and comfortable. Bright, bold colors may pop, but they can cause users to strain in an attempt to view your content (for example, bright yellow backgrounds with red text font is an obvious no-no). Additionally, choose typography that is easy to scan. Anything too fancy and it can become more difficult to read than it should be.
5. Ensure high-end performance
One of the biggest problems an outdated web design tends to have is with its technical performance. If pages are taking too long to load, if links aren’t working properly, or if forms are refusing to submit, you have an issue. Technical problems can not only affect your search rankings in the long run, they can also hurt the user experience of your website. Not to mention that you’d lose valuable leads as a result. It’s one of the main reasons why a routine redesign is required. Additionally, if you’re not using a responsive design yet, be sure to implement one so that your site is mobile-friendly.
6. Optimize your website for SEO
Finally, optimizing for SEO continues to be important, even in 2021. The days when you could simply throw a few select keywords into your content are long gone — SEO is a full-blown strategy that requires both on-site and off-site coordination. Not only will you need a technically sound website, but you’ll also need to make sure you have a comprehensive site map, internal and external links on each page, backlinks to authoritative webpages, social media links, comment pages, properly optimized landing pages, and much more.
If it’s been a while since you redesigned your website, then the odds are it’s time for an update. An outdated design may result in technical issues, an outdated aesthetic, and a lack of user-friendly features, all of which diminish your company’s credibility and authority among new visitors. By using these tips to plan a website redesign in 2021, you will boost your chances of increasing leads and sales.
Year after year, video marketing grows in importance. Video has never been easier to consume for Americans, especially when considering the increasing quality of smartphones and tablets. Video is also the easiest way for people to absorb information. Additionally, according to a prediction by Zenith Media, the average person will spend around 100 minutes a day watching videos in 2021. The pandemic certainly had an impact on these numbers as well. People have more time on their hands to watch video content, especially those who have switched to a work-at-home environment. Because of this increase in video consumption, a video marketing strategy is an absolute must. The following are some of the different types of marketing videos that you should consider producing this year.
1. Educational videos
Educational videos should be used to help inform your audience about a particular subject. No video marketing strategy will be successful without them. This is because the more informed your audience is, the more confident they will be in making a purchasing decision down the road. Educational videos provide them with the knowledge they need to understand your business and the solutions you offer. There are several types of educational videos, including:
- Demo videos – Videos that demonstrate how your product or service is used.
- Explainer videos – Videos that showcase why your product or service is needed.
- How-to videos – Videos that provide step-by-step instructions on how to do a specific task.
- Animated videos – Animated videos are a fantastic way to deliver information in an entertaining way, whether they’re explainer videos or how-to videos.
2. Interview videos
Interviews are an excellent way to provide detailed information about certain subjects to your audience while also providing a personality to engage with. You can film interviews with both employees and upper management as well as experts that are relevant to your industry. What’s great about interview videos is that they are incredibly easy to produce.
3. Event videos
Certain events, like industry tradeshows, conferences, fundraisers, and round table discussions, can reveal a wealth of information. Film these events and edit them into event videos for your audience to enjoy.
4. Case study and testimonial videos
These types of videos focus on customers and their experiences using your product or service. Not only can you use them as social proof that your products or services work, but they make it easier to build trust with your audience. Potential customers are much more likely to relate to and believe what previous customers have said, after all. Using case studies and testimonial videos, you give customers the chance to explain what their challenges were and how your product or service solved those challenges.
5. Behind-the-scenes videos
A big part of creating a successful brand identity is presenting your company as being relatable. You don’t want your audience to think of you as a big faceless corporation, after all. Creating videos that depict your company behind the scenes is a great way to do this. It shows that there’s a human element behind the business. There are tons of ways to go about creating behind-the-scenes videos. A video of the day-in-the-life of the typical employee or a video of the manufacturing process of a product are great examples.
These are five different types of marketing videos you should consider creating in 2021. As you develop your video marketing strategy, remember that the quality of your content matters — and so does the audience that you’re creating it for. Always keep viewers in mind to ensure that your video marketing efforts are relevant.
Marketing automation offers a company the chance to centralize most of its marketing activities into a single software platform and to automate it to an extent. This centralization appeals to both B2B (business to business) and B2C (business to consumer) companies. However, the way B2B and B2C marketing automation works is different due to fundamental differences between the two groups.
Why Is Marketing Automation Between B2B and B2C Different?
Effective marketing addresses each customer’s individual goals and needs. This remains true whether the customer is B2B or B2C. Because these groups have differing goals and needs, the way you market to them has to be different. As a result, the following differences remain when you use marketing automation:
- The marketing focus differs:
- With B2B, the focus is on generating leads and keeping their subscribers engaged throughout the longer sales cycle.
- With B2C the focus is on building the brand.
- The tactics used are different:
- B2B marketing delivers content that positions the company as an industry leader, while nurturing the lead in the sales process.
- B2C marketing is about the customer journey and making data-driven recommendations for products or services.
- The tone of the messages is different:
- B2B messages are to targeted groups at different stages of the sales cycle.
- B2C messages are more personal and highly relevant to the individual.
How B2C Marketing Automation Differs From That of B2B
With all the differences between marketing to the B2B and B2C groups, it’s easy to see why their marketing automation needs differ as well.
- Communication channels. While both B2B and B2C businesses rely on email for marketing, the B2C use other channels as well. Text messaging, push notifications and retargeting are just a few examples. The B2C marketing automation solution needs to handle these additional channels.
- Data used. B2B consumers are businesses that have specific needs. Marketing data for this group would include approximate company size, industry, point of contact and specific needs. B2C consumers are individuals with specific tastes. Marketing data for this group includes age, gender, purchase history and frequently visited product categories.
- Features needed. B2B companies need help with nurturing their leads through the sales cycle. They want features like lead scoring and integration with their CRM system. B2C companies want to retain the customers they get, so they want features like reputation management, retargeting and retention marketing.
- Marketing focus. B2B marketing focuses building the one-on-one relationship. B2C is more about building the brand and building mass appeal.
- Pricing. B2B automation is priced based on the number of contacts managed within the system. B2C automation is priced based on the volume of data. It is not uncommon for B2B automation to have only 100 contacts in the system while B2C has thousands.
The differing approaches of B2B and B2C marketing lead to their different marketing automation solutions. Trying to substitute one strategy for the other is difficult, due to different features and pricing structures. If you need help finding the right solution for your business, contact us at Stevens-Tate.
Your brand identity goes beyond your name, logo, and the products or services you provide. A brand identity is all-encompassing: it also includes your goals, your beliefs, and the feelings you elicit from your audience. To create a strong brand identity, you need to create a narrative that’s consistent across all channels. This is where brand storytelling comes in. Brand storytelling involves using storytelling techniques that bring together both facts and emotions to create your brand identity. The following are five brand storytelling examples that you should use as inspiration to help create and drive your own brand story:
Apple is arguably one of the greatest examples of successful marketing in the history of marketing. They were able to capture a small corner of a market dominated by Microsoft and, through the use of incredibly effective brand storytelling, turn themselves into a behemoth. Knowing that they were up against Microsoft, Apple decided that their message would be to go against the grain. They would position themselves as a revolutionary innovator. Their “think different” tagline showcases this, as does all of their other advertising. Their most famous ad is the most obvious example: the 1984 ad in which a woman defiantly smashes the screen with a sledgehammer.
Ikea has built its brand on the functionality and simplicity of its products, which they showcase using lighthearted humor. Their most famous commercial “Lamp” highlights this. It’s a commercial showing an old lamp being replaced and being thrown away. It’s a sob story until a narrator shows up to exclaim that the viewer is crazy to feel bad about the old lamp since it doesn’t have feelings, and the new one is much better. It gets a great laugh and emphasizes the need to update old products with newer, higher-quality versions.
3. Old Spice
Old Spice used to be a brand associated with older men. The word “old” certainly didn’t help. They altered their brand storytelling to emphasize that the scent of old spice was how men should smell. They used humor and great writing to convey this, but what made the storytelling particularly effective was that they didn’t target men — they targeted women. Old Spice essentially focused on delivering a message to women about how their men should smell, so that they could influence men on Old Spice’s behalf.
What’s interesting about SoulCycle is that it basically consists of a class full of people riding exercise bikes. That’s it. There’s nothing more to it. But their brand storytelling has lifted this simple service into something much greater. They have positioned themselves as a high-end fitness service that’s not just a service, but a lifestyle. This lifestyle includes the use of teachers who are essentially fitness influencers and classes that are almost club-like in their atmosphere. Members feel like they belong to a community, not a gym. Without their incredibly effective brand storytelling, you could argue that they would be a glorified gym with limited equipment.
5. Warby Parker
Warby Parker is a glasses frame manufacturer that has positioned itself as a company that sells fashionable frames at reasonable prices. Their storytelling focuses on how they build their frames and on the customers that buy them. In fact, much of their content is user-generated, which helps emphasize that they are frames built for everyone. Their message gets across because they keep their brand storytelling simple and focused.
These are a few brand storytelling examples to keep in mind when crafting your brand story strategy. Successful brand storytelling will strengthen your company’s identity, thereby making it easier to evoke an emotional response from your audience and to build long-lasting connections with them. By implementing an effective brand storytelling strategy, you’ll be more likely to increase your company’s visibility, impact, and — eventually — profit.