Consistency in Marketing and How it Impacts Your Brand
I'd been looking for inspiration for a new article and recently a friend reached out to me hoping to team up with my company for an event she was hosting. I love the idea of cross promoting and doing so while helping out a friend seemed like a great idea. After she reached out I began to look into her company's social media to see how effective cross promoting would be. We've had issues in the past where we've tagged companies who no longer use their social media, and have even gotten comments such as, "I didn't know that place was still open." Embarrassing, and something I've been working hard to avoid, which is why I now thoroughly vet each company we post about.
Which leads me to my point- consistency across all brand promotions, websites, and social media pages is incredibly important. I shouldn't be able to read into inconsistencies within your company structure just by visiting your website. I should know clearly and upfront who you are and what you offer. If I am searching for a local donut shop, I should land on your page and see that your offer donuts, coffee, tea, and catering. Great! I was looking for catering, I'll give you a call! If I land on your page and see a ton of fabulous looking donuts, with no indication of where I can buy them, or how I can get more information about the ingredients, I will probably move on.
So how do you fix it?
The company that I am speaking about is actually just one program that falls beneath a larger more cohesive brand. They fall short in that they offer no ties to their company. As an outsider with no knowledge of the program, I am left confused by this observation. Do you run your program with the help of your company or are you solely a renter using space at this company? Having a deeper understanding of which side of the spectrum you fall on gives me a better understanding of what I may get if I sign up for your program.
Much like you form opinions on people based on what they wear and how they talk (among other things, even if it's subconsciously) people are forming opinions on your brand based on what you post. You need to decide how you wish to be perceived before you ever post a single update on social media. Each time I go to type up a Facebook post, I stop to think about what I am trying to convey and how I want to convey it. I ask my co-workers to step in and read specific posts if I'm not sure how they will translate. You can't always get this right, going back to the comment that said "I didn't know this place was still open," but you at least have to try!
Most importantly, you must have a consistent logo that follows some basic requirements, especially when being used across social media programs. Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter operate well with square photos. Your logo should be scale-able so that it is still legible when you make it fit into this square format, as you want to make sure followers have a clear image of who you are. People are looking to get behind brands they understand and recognize. My co-workers spent a lot of time working hard to get our name out there so that people would recognize us and purchase our beer when they are out and see our name on a tap handle. This does not happen overnight, but it is a simple start to building a brand.
Think about it this way, if someone visits your page that has zero knowledge of the area will they know what you do? Will they know who you are? Thinking that you are an established brand and that you don't need to explain what you offer is the biggest mistake you can make. I see it often. Small businesses think that because everyone on their street knows they are selling soy candles, they can create a Facebook page with pictures of candles and convince people to buy them with little-to-no other information. This is why brands fail because you cannot consider that a brand.
Create your website and draft each post as if you are trying to attract a new customer who has never met you or interacted with your brand, and you will be better prepared to succeed.