Crafting Your Digital Brand’s Identity, Customer Touchpoints & Presence
Driving meaningful traffic to one’s own newly created website can be a daunting task, but it certainly doesn’t have to. In this article, I'll talk about how to drive new traffic to your website, establish a digital presence, and start growing a following/fanbase.
Start With The End In Mind
Assuming you already have a website, landing page, or even web application ready to go, it's important to know what your end goal is when a user first lands on your website. For e-commerce brands it’s simple: provide a great browsing experience, and easy checkout to drive online sales, for consulting businesses it may be establishing credibility and getting a visitor to book an appointment. In any case, once you pinpoint your goal for the visitor in mind, you will need to craft a CUSTOMER JOURNEY that follows that objective. First, let’s start with the basics:
Value & Outcome are KING - think about your digital product or website wholistically for a moment and its target audience. WHY are they coming to your website? What does this target audience have to gain by visiting your website? Figure out the WHY for your digital experience and work backward from there. Here are a few VALUE-based reasons why people may visit your website.
Gated Resources(e-Books, Templates, Free Downloads) - you have something they want.
Communication - Either to connect with you or communities around your project
Content / Entertainment
Know Your Outcomes - Now that you understand the basics pillars of value in the digital world, it’s time to define the outcomes you want the customer to see as a result of your journey. Think about outcomes in terms of quantifiable numbers that you can measure and assign to objectives. Which one of these outcomes applies to your project?
The visitor knows more about the product/service & wants to inquire more.
Visitors can visit the website anytime for references to XYZ information
The visitor has enough upfront product/service information to initiate a signup/trial period.
Visitor subscribes to the email newsletter to gain access to future information feeds.
The visitor was shown enough information to book an appointment using the website.
Gated Resource Outcomes
The visitor gives up basic information (Name, Email, etc.) to get gated resource; to then be added to a leads list
The website provides enough desirable gated resources that visitors convert to subscriber/platform user
The website drives recurring traffic by keeping resources locked to the website and content continues to grow & improve.
Visitors can visit the website and get in touch with the company/project owner
Visitors can visit the website and get in touch with others in a connected community
Visitors can create meaningful connections on your website; have a sense of social community.
Visitors can engage with others in various communication methods / or types(Live chat, comments, forums, Discord Like Groups, etc. Reddit)
Visitors visit website either daily or weekly to get an aggregated view of their favorite content
Visitors can easily find content that matters most to them.
Buying things on the website, or app.
Finding information that best educates their purchase decision.
An enjoyable, smooth browsing experience that showcases featured products
Getting a tangible digital asset or physical purchase as a result of visiting the website
Did you find some outcomes that work well for your digital business? Great! We hope so, as having a clear idea of what the digital outcomes should be is the difference between a regular website and a GREAT digital experience. By knowing what the intended outcome is, your ability to grow your business is greatly improved; remember, starting with the end in mind will help steer the direction of how to craft your journey.
Crafting Your Digital Brand’s Identity, Customer Touchpoints & Presence
Building a digital brand is an important step in a lasting, successful digital project. There are multiple aspects of the brand to consider when it comes to marketing, but for our purposes, we are focusing on brand identity, identifying and crafting customer journeys, and ways to build your digital marketing plan.
1. Unify Your Branding Identity & Core Marketing Message
Does your brand have a unified style & message around its products/services and the impact it provides for others? Your core marketing message should be aimed DIRECTLY at your target audience, to be received in the best possible light. The more focused you are, the better the results. A unified brand experience is when a brand creates seamless consistency across channels, including design, voice, and, importantly, communication
Think about your brand like another person, what is its personality? What are the characteristics/values that your brand identifies with? Express those traits.
Make sure logo, color scheme, typography, and visuals on website, social media, and market materials are identical in design/follow some design aesthetic.
Create design templates that match the brand’s feel, for newsletters, infographics, other marketing collateral.
Create a branding guidelines document / hire someone to help you build one.
Come up with a list of brand responses for inquiries in sales, marketing, or even product.
Find a brand “language” or way of connecting with people that resonate with the target audience.
Core Marketing Message
The exact words you use to describe the project, and convince others to join/become patrons.
Relevant Content Around Pain Points / Main Interests
Uses Keywords & Phrases privy to the pain points
Finger always on the pulse for new conversations in the marketplace
Additional Resources on Better Unifying Your Brand
2. Identify and Craft Customer Touchpoints In Your Business
Take a moment with a blank sheet of paper or whiteboard, and quickly write down all the touchpoints customers have in your business in 2 minutes or less. A touchpoint can be defined as any possible interaction between the customer and venture, digital or physical. Ready, set, go! Hopefully, by doing this quick exercise you can gather all the points where customer interactions are important to the venture. Here are a few common ones if you couldn’t come up with a lot.
In-Person via Networking
Attending Events / Webinars
First Visit of Website
Email Newsletter Signups
During E-Commerce Checkout
These are just a few of the common touchpoints, both digital and physical. Your business may have more custom touchpoints but it’s important to list them.
Now that you know which touchpoints are relevant to your brand, it’s time to start developing a FUNNEL for each touchpoint that all LEADS to the same thing, which is the sale/end goal of adopting your product/service.
Do you know which channel that your target audience frequents the most? If you do, start with this channel first, and worry about the rest later.
Crafting the Customer Touchpoint
Customer touchpoints are all the interactions between your brand and the customer both online and offline.
How you communicate with the customer is just as important as the action itself. Depending on where you find the majority of your customers, it may be useful to make templates, processes, and guidelines for your business to operate within at each touchpoint.
Design, Format & Voice
FAQs, Sources of Truth
Customer Service Guidelines
3. How to Build A Digital Marketing Funnel That Makes Sense
Ever heard of the adage “Keep it Simple, Stupid”? Well, the same thing applies to designing digital marketing funnels. The basics of the marketing funnel go as follows: At the top of the funnel (TOF) is pure awareness. In a business or marketing, obscurity is our #1 enemy. If the intended target audience doesn’t know our amazing offering exists, then how can one expect the offering to succeed? In the middle of the funnel (MOF) are activities focused on cultivating interest and desire. Note, that they are not quite the same, interest engages people from the attention generated at the Awareness stage, while desire focuses on convincing the customer that your offering that it’s the best for them. Interest leads to desire, which eventually leads to the last rung on the marketing funnel or bottom of the funnel (BOF), which is action and loyalty. The action stage is typically where discovery calls, proposals, and closing of the customer happen, while loyalty deals with how to keep customers as clients for the long haul.
Qualified & Non-Qualified Leads
During your discovery of potential leads for your offering, you may find out more information about the lead that makes them a qualified lead to continue prospecting or a non-qualified lead; meaning they wouldn’t be the ideal target customer to continue with.
Lead Generation & Capture
Effective lead generation and capturing are a huge part of a digital marketing strategy. In this article, we won’t go super in-depth on how to go about generating leads for your business, but we will mention a few ways to get simple lead gen and capture running, that are relatively low-cost, & free to do.
Starting An Email Marketing Campaign
Offer Free Downloads / Free Services
Create Online Content Users Enjoy Consuming
Create a Referral Program
Use Social Media to Promote, Advertise
Host & Attend Events
Getting Referrals from Existing Clientele
Surveys, Quizzes, other Interactive Digital Forms
Tons of other ways that may be unique to your business
Build Your Funnel with Activities
Digital marketing is a multi-front effort that requires at least one activity in each funnel to successfully create a customer journey. The efforts should be consistent, reiterable, and measurable against your marketing objectives. It is important to remember that as long as these activities are done constantly, and are adapting to the market’s activities, you will reap benefits albeit may be slow to full realization. Creating content is easy, but creating content that people are engaged with is the bigger challenge. Here are a few pointer activities that you may use as you are constructing your funnel.
Graph courtesy of Robert Sharp & Associates
Top of Funnel
Blog articles, online ads, video, infographics, branded ads, social media.
Middle of Funnel
Guides FAQs, Live Chat, Webinars, Targeted Ads, Promos/ Giveaways
Direct Email, Demos, Free Trials, Product Videos, Walkthroughs, Reviews
Bottom of Funnel
Email Onboarding, Phone Consultation, Client Discovery
Events, Referral Programs, Surveys, Beta Testers, Specials
Funnel Tips & Tricks
Don’t do too much all at one time; it pays dividends to build each activity out meticulously and with intent, build one activity then move on to the next one; rinse repeat.
The top of the funnel is usually the most difficult one to crack, so start here. Note that these activities may take time to gain market traction.
Use email marketing automation tools like GetResponse.com, Sendgrid, or MailChimp to build a central leads list that you can grow and communicate with.
Don’t spend your entire marketing budget on targeted ads on Facebook/Social media. While their ad platforms are definitely of value to organizations, to get any kind of organic traffic/interest you’re gonna be spending a hefty penny.
If you do decide to do digital advertising; make your approach as laser-targeted as possible. Practically everything from gender, sex, occupation, geographic location, & more will help narrow down your ad search audience.
Use Google Keyword Seach to find keywords for your marketing/sales that make sense, and can be used on your current SEO setup; usually, the fastest way to appear on Google.
Write down your digital marketing strategy along with its objectives and key results. This eliminates confusion about the activities most important to marketing and what it needs to be doing daily to meet goals.
Use outside organizations/help to refine your digital marketing efforts; a fresh pair of eyes can totally help with the marketing efforts.
Utilize each customer touchpoint as a way to advance the conversation with them, either qualify them as a buyer.
4. Time to Get Your Hands Dirty
Assuming you’ve gone through your marketing plan and have at least one major activity planned for each stage in the funnel and scheduled regularly, you should now have a basic marketing plan that you can start enacting and measuring for results.
The important thing to remember about operating your marketing plan is simply:
ACTION > STRATEGY
You can spend all day trying to figure out what the best strategy is, spend money and time, perfecting all of it, and then when it comes to execution of the plan, it falls short or is a dud. Why does that happen? Simply put: “You won’t know what sticks until you try it”. In marketing, you are constantly evolving your activities to drive attention, interest, desire, action, and loyalty.
5. Tools to Automate, Measure, & Improve
Here is a list of helpful tools, and platforms to turbocharge your digital marketing efforts.
Website analytics tools
Social media management tools
Conversion rate and funnel analytics tools
Google PageSpeed Insights
Google Search Console
Google Ads Keyword Planner
Marketing automation tools
Email marketing tools
HubSpot Email Marketing
6. Act, Measure, Learn, Improve, & Repeat To Digital Success
With everything stated here, it is important to constantly reiterate the digital marketing funnel, research new ways to discover new habits/traits about your target market, and evolve your marketing message to truly win customers on the digital front. Use very simple tools/methods to do your tracking, excel works great, and even pen and paper can do what you need it to when it comes to tracking all your objectives.
In retrospect, if you use a combination of tools, and methods mentioned here in this article you will be well on your way to creating a digital brand that works for your business.
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