1. Deliver a clear brand promise. What is the value you offer to customers? Say it crisply and hit a drumbeat. Many brands do this very well. Coke – happiness. Red Bull – energy. Verizon – works everywhere. Make your brand value prop crystal clear and preferably differentiated. Consistently hit that drumbeat across all channels. Be known for something. Acid test — if asked what your company stands for, could your customers tell you?
2. Vary your delivery. Depending on preferences, people are drawn to different types of media. Take similar content and deliver in 10 ways: expert interviews, how-to podcasts, reviews, videos, weekly news, blogs, tweets, infographics etc. First-mover advantage on new platforms, such as Snapchat or Periscope, will give you an edge.
3. Humanize your brand. Use language that connects with your customers. So many brands are still using corporate speak. Humanize your voice. Change ‘contact us’ to ‘speak with an expert from our design team.’ Instead of 'chat now' write your own CTAs such as “Come behind the scenes.” “Join our community of elite athletes.” “Become a VIP.” Avoid corporate buzz speak. On the list to never use: optimize, empower, leverage, and synergy! Don’t use terms that are overused and jargony.
4. Make a connection. Who is signing your email? For your customers, consider a note from your CEO to connect them back to the brand. For your prospects, consider a note from a human! Use a voice that is personal and believable. People connect better with humans than a disconnected ‘brand’ persona. Develop a brand personality and use it consistently. Be approachable.
5. Be relevant. What are people talking about? Check out Topsy, Reddit, BuzzFeed or Google Trends to find out what people are interested in around a particular topic. It used to be enough to be ‘on message.’ My friends at Sparks & Honey taught me you now need to by hyper-relevant and prepared to hijack trending conversations. This has resulted in real-time marketing. At a minimum, have a calendar that’s relevant and stays on trend. Use it to build and deliver thought leadership, social and digital engagement.
6. Design for mobile. Realize that most people will be browsing on their mobile devices. Use responsive design where possible (i.e. design for the mobile experience). Simply put — it should load fast, be readable and navigate well.
7. Know your audience. Where possible, know what your customer cares about. Use behavioral segmentation to place your customers into buckets. Target them based on their triggers (e.g., I’m a woman likely to buy beauty supplies. In my 40s – sucker for youth cream.). Develop a thesis and test it against your target audience.
8. Provide a single call to action. Tell the reader what you want them to do. Too often you’ve left your prospects guessing on where to go and they end up lost or wandering off your site. Make crystal clear the action you want them to take. I’m talking BIG BUTTON above the fold. Consider a call out, live chat, or an outbound email to retarget. Usability testing is a must. If you don’t have the budget, grab your interns, let them test it. You’ll be surprised.
9. Measure the end to end funnel. Measure your entire team on the end to end funnel. Don’t let your media team celebrate because someone filled out a registration form. Celebrate when a new client emerges. This means seamless collaboration between SEO/SEM, Social, Content Marketing, Digital and demand generation teams. Incentivize on total win revenue – nothing short of that truly matters for business results.
10. Provide a path to purchase. Consider the mindset of your prospect. There’s nothing worse than an over-aggressive live chat or an offer too soon into the experience. Always develop your SEO, SEM strategy together with your web design. Ask yourself: what is the mindset of my customer; does the experience I’m offering provide what they’re looking for; and does it drive my prospect down a reasonable path to purchase?
These are my 10. Have I missed any?