A Unifying (Inbound Marketing) Theme
Customer experience is everything now, and it's not just about your website. Your customer facing experience needs to be unified - from your website to your physical locations it's necessary to have a cohesive theme.
Have you ever walked into a McDonalds and thought, what is this place? From print to digital to their physical locations, the folks at McDonalds are extremely brand aware. They have multiple store layouts, but they all seem familiar, and that's not a mistake. McDonalds has spent years and millions of dollars cultivating their brand.
Apple's retail stores are the same way. Apple has some pretty unique retail stores, and some in some very historic locations like Penn Station in New York City, or the Kurfürstendamm in Berlin, Germany. However, regardless of the city or country you're in, once you walk in the doors you are greeted with the familiar lines of wood tables with computers, iPhones, iPads, and iPods.
How can you as an inbound marketer be sure all your marketing efforts have a unifying theme?
How would visitors rate their user experience on your website? Do you have subdomains for specialized areas of your site such as shopping carts, members-only sections, etc.? Does the look of your website carry over from domain to domain?
Your website visitors should not realize that they are changing domains or servers. It takes away from a seamless website experience and could make them nervous about putting in sensitive information.
Speaking of how your website looks, how do your social media accounts look? Do they match how your website branding? Obviously your hands are tied somewhat by what social networks will let you edit, but there are many things that you can do to personalize your social networks from user pics to banners and cover photos. There are also many style "cheat" sheets out there to help your designers out.
What about your messaging in your posts? Do they align to how you speak on your website and/or blog? Just because the method of communication is different doesn't mean that your tone should be different.
Does your business have a location that customers regularly visit? It doesn't matter if it is a store or an office, your business location should give off the same vibe as your website and brand. If you're a company that sells skateboards and skateboard gear and attire your office better not be a buttoned-up corporate atmosphere where everyone wears suits. If you're in the banking or insurance agency your office should be more professional and conservative.
Creating a unified aesthetic and brand is important. It gives your brand something that people can connect to and differentiates you from your competitors.
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