Building an Online Presence for your New Business
You’ve had an idea for a business for awhile now, and you’re finally ready to take the plunge! Or maybe you’ve had a business for awhile and now you’re ready to start putting yourself out there. Whatever your particular case, this is an exciting time – but building an online presence can be a bit intimidating. When new clients come to us, they often want our Digital Kickoff Package which includes a website, social media branding (profile icons, headers, post templates), and an email marketing template. Those materials are an excellent place to start! But then… how do we begin building those pieces, and how will you be using them once they’ve been completed?Let’s start with the biggest project first.
Your New Website
Clients are always very excited to launch a new website. While it is exciting, it is also the most important and most complicated component of your online presence. Whenever we have a client who wants a new website, we point them to our website questionnaire. It may seem a bit long, but gathering all the information on the questionnaire is a crucial part of putting together the plan for your website and speeds up the process. We work with our clients to determine what the goal of their website is and guide them through the process, helping them to decide what pages they need. Your goal is a major factor in determining our course of action – it impacts what pages we suggest you add to your site, and what content and functionality should go on each page.
The Home page is the most important page of your website. Typically, the Home page serves as a summary for your business. When your potential customers land on your Home page they should have a good first impression and know right away what you are offering. There should be a shortened overview of your services, and an introduction to your practices or products. The Home page is a teaser that should draw people to investigate more about what you offer so they feel comfortable contacting you and using your services. Besides a Home page, our clients usually require an About page for describing their business and providing bios of their team. Sharing your story and adding your team is a way for potential clients to feel a connection with your brand. The more of a connection they feel, the more likely they are to reach out to you or to make a purchase. A Contact page makes it easy to facilitate a customer inquiry and usually requires a form users fill out that automatically sends you an email. Users are much more likely to fill out a contact form than they are to create an email because it’s fewer clicks. What kind of business are you? Are you a service based business? If so, you’ll probably require a Services page with a list of the services you provide with descriptions and prices. If you are a startup, you’ll most likely require a Features page which goes into detail about the types of features your startup offers.
Our Digital Kickoff Package includes social media assets for three social media accounts. Social media assets include a profile icon, a header graphic, and a post template. Because every social media platform uses different image sizes for their posts, it’s good to have a post template to make creating new posts easier and to make sure that they look consistent.A lot of small businesses post to their accounts without much consideration for creating a consistent look. Making sure that the colors, fonts, and layout of your posts all have the same general feel can go a long way for strengthening your brand. Double bonus points if you include your logo in your image posts so that when the image gets shared users know that you created the post and know how to find you.We recommend choosing three social media accounts to focus your marketing efforts on. For Love Local Design, we’ve focused on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+ because they are places where our potential clients are most likely to find us. As much as Google+ seems like a no man’s land for social media interaction, it is still important due to its affiliation with Google. Google+ pages are more likely to show up in search results and in Google Business results for local searches. Pinterest isn’t a good fit for us because we’d most likely be getting traffic from other designers, which is great, but not our target demographic. And while Instagram may be a great platform for a company selling products, it’s not the best for selling web services and marketing.
Having an email marketing template is an easy way to stay in touch with your customers without spending too much money on design and development. You can use an email marketing template as a newsletter to keep your customers up to date with your business, announce new services or products, or to let your customers know about sales or promotions that you’re offering.When we create an email marketing template for our clients we work with them to figure out what sort of emails they envision sending on a regular basis and design according to their needs. Once an email marketing template is created, it’s easy to reuse them in the email marketing service of your choice (though we really love MailChimp!). We strongly suggest limiting the number of emails you send to avoid customer fatigue and unwanted unsubscriptions. One email per month is generally a good rule to follow to preserve brand awareness without annoying your customers.
Putting it all together
Now you have a website, your social media accounts, and an email marketing template – it’s time to start getting yourself noticed! We highly suggest that our clients create a seamless flow from one tool to another so that their potential customers can easily go from one digital component to another. Our email templates always link to social media accounts and the website, and social media posts should link back to your website as often as possible. Not only does this strengthen your SEO, it helps to ensure that if your posts are emails are shared, it’s easy for new users to make their way back to your site and make a purchase. Essentially, you’re creating your own marketing ecosystem, and when everything is in balance, you come off looking polished and professional.Click here more information about our Digital Kickoff Package.
Ready to talk with us? Fill out our Website Questionnaire.
Filed under: Branding, Content Strategy, Design, Startups, UX, Website Design