Frequently asked questions, part 2!
We had so many great questions and answers from our IGTV Live with Emily and Luke that we couldn’t fit them all into one blog so here’s part two of our frequently asked questions. In this blog we talk about how we can help your brand, your tone of voice, where you should begin when starting a project and briefing an agency and how to find out if your site is performing.
E: Something we get asked for a lot and it’s a service we do offer and have done for a lot of clients, can you help with our brand?
L: Yes definitely, we’ve been around for 17 years now and we often just get associated with building websites but in that time we have worked with so many of our clients on their brand as well.
When you think of brands, most people will think logo, colour palette, font, maybe imagery, you might think very visual but there’s more to it than that and we work with a lot of our clients on their deeper brand as well. We help tailor things like tone of voice, in depth planning of content for their website, business messaging. A lot of businesses that have grown over time, were one thing to their customers ten years ago but might not be the same thing now, so it might be worth reviewing your brand not just visually but also what you represent to people, what your tone of voice is, are you pushing forward your USPs (unique selling point) and messaging and we help a lot of people with that.
Most of the requests we get is for brand creation, we have some very talented designers at Spindogs and we’ve got some really good examples of where it’s either a new business that needed a logo, colour palette, etc or its an evolution of their brand, these are some of the projects we have worked on recently where I have seen clients really blown away because it’s not necessarily something they expected we would deliver. The thing that I like about what our designers do as well, is explain that brand process, they always take a detailed brief from the client, dig deep on what their brand is, what it represents and who in their market and other markets they want to look like. Sometimes it might be that it’s an industry which isn’t thought of as particularly creative, so maybe finance and they could say we don’t want to look like any of our competitors, we want to look like Just Eat or something like that, where you are picking a business that is not related to your industry but you want to be like that brand, but within your own industry.
Once we’ve taken the detailed brief we work with people on logos, colour palettes and I think one of the most interesting things we do as part of the design work is give an imagery guide / style guide of photography, this is the kind of thing you should be using so it is consistent throughout the website, marketing, social media and we kind of set a style which can be used across lots of different areas of your business.
We worked on a rebrand with a cleaning company and as part of that our designer, Rhys, mocked up the brand visual on a helicopter, it’s interesting as people just thing logo but we can expand it way past that as well, we can design wraps if you have a fleet of vans or for your office suite.
I think the initial question was can we help with brand and yes whether its visual or more deeper, we can do those things.
E: You mentioned there that we help with tone of voice and how that is communicated through language too and that’s a massive part of the brand isn’t it? It’s interesting to know it’s not just your logo or colour palette but it’s that indepth who you are as part of the whole encompassing brand identity.
L: It’s knowing what you want to say to clients as well. I think a lot of our new clients in different industries that I’ve worked with recently, are struggling with their social media. I have a look at their social media feed and they’ve got a good amount of followers but their engagement is really low and when you look at the type of content they are putting on their social media channels it might be things like, ‘How’s everyone’s weekend?’ and that may have worked a few years ago but if you want engagement, you need to talk to your audience with content that is relevant to them and that they actually want to engage with.
For example if you sell water hoses and you’re asking your audience who is following you ‘How their weekend was’ you’re probably not going to get much engagement because that’s not why they are following you, they are following you because you have expertise in a certain industry or on a certain topic. For part of your tone of voice, it’s worth thinking, what do we stand for? What do we represent? What information do people come to us for? and why do they look to us to serve up that information? It can be daunting knowing where to start, people can think I’ll just put something on social media and I’ll put something on our website so people know that we are here and that can sometimes be a bit of a trap that they fall into.
We do a series of free training sessions delivering a range of different subjects and one of those is content planning for web. People often struggle there as well, like on a page how much content should I put, what should I put and they can often struggle with content for social media. Our training is a good place to start if you are unsure how to plan content. You can book on to our training sessions here.
E: How you talk has to match how you look, you were talking about social media and I think if you work on your brand identity, you get this fantastic new look and feel of what your business is going to look like, that’s splashed all over social, then if you’re not developing your language at the same rate it’s going to be disjointed and not be on the same level.
L: Sometimes having tone of voice guidelines with what you represent and what you want to talk about is a good starting point, that doesn’t mean that everything needs to be in this exact tone of voice all the time and spit out pre prepared lines, it’s quite nice when you go on to some businesses Twitter or Facebook pages and you see the human side of it and the person working there, but you need to bear to them the brand parameters as well, how you expect your business to be presented. For example, your business might have been established for years and your clients expect to see you in a certain way and you suddenly bring on a recruit straight out of university who might be young and could speak in a certain way online, if you don’t have guidelines to help them work with they may not be speaking to clients and audiences in the same way you would. So it’s less about trying to box people in to speak in a certain way and say the same things; it’s about guidance to help a reputable business keep their consistency.
E: When somebody wants to start a project, where should they begin?
L: I would say whatever the project, whether it is a website project, brand project, digital marketing project, the best place to start is always by setting your goals, what do you want to get from this?
We get contacted quite often with ‘we want to do PPC, how much does this cost?’, which we can of course help with but I prefer to start with your goals, for example is your goal to increase conversion and enquiries on your website, is it to raise your brand awareness. Usually there are two to three top tier goals that you want to achieve, and by having these goals at the start you will then be able to determine if you have been successful, as you will have something to measure the results from and show ROI to senior members of your team, for example if you are a marketing manager and you report up to a board.
If you want a new website because the old one is dated and it needs a refresh, that’s absolutely fine as a starting point but set what you want out of the new site. Quite often one of the first goals people set is they want the new website to look more modern, be responsive to mobiles and impactful, that can be expensive and it changes over time. You may be happy when the site goes live but in 5 years time it doesn’t meet those same goals anymore and you need to evolve what you want to get out of the website.
Another example, if you are an ecommerce business trying to sell more of a certain product but are struggling to direct customers to this product on your current website because you may have a complicated user experience or user journey, we can bear those sorts of things in mind when we are laying out and designing pages on your new website, we can make sure we have key call to actions to drive people to that content or product. While this may seem like something that is more top level and you don’t think you necessarily need to share this with your agency, if we know all of these issues in advance we can then help you by structuring those pages and designing them in a way that leads people to a contact page, to a product page, whatever it may be or if it is brand awareness or thought leadership that you want to promote because you are a consultant, driving people to a blog or resources section can be very important.
Definitely the place to start with any project is to plan your goals of what you want. This is a crucial part of the project.
E: One final question, how do I know if my site is performing?
L: That ties in perfectly with goals, it’s about defining what a good performance is to you. For every website we build we set up Google Analytics as standard. There are more advanced forms of reporting for example, Morphio, which is a more proactive form of reporting. Typically on Google Analytics you can log in, set up goals, and review over time how it is going. Whereas on Morphio, you can set up alerts which is great for busy businesses as you will receive an alert, for example, that you have been outranked on SEO by one of your competitors for a certain term. You would need to set up the competitors in Morphio to start with but it’s great once it is all set up to know where you are ranking and have alerts set up for you to track.
If you don’t have Google Analytics or Mophio setup and are unsure where to start you can go to agencies like us at Spindogs who can do a UX (user experience) audit or an SEO audit, just to let you know where you currently stand at the moment. We can also do competitor analysis and benchmarking as well, we have some software that we use where people can share keywords that they want to rank for, i.e. when people search for a certain word in a search engine what words they want to appear for, this allows us to benchmark people against competitors to see where you rank vs where they rank.
And finally remember when you set your goals it’s important that you share those goals with your agency, whether you are looking for a new brand, a new website, PPC, SEO whatever you are asking the agency for help with, make sure you share your main aims and goals for the project. By sharing this information the agency can work with you to suggest the best possible route and avenues to take to get you to your goals.
If you are looking to update your brand or tone of voice, have any further questions on where to start with a project and brief or would like to discover how well your website is performing, get in touch below, we’d love to chat and find out more about how we can help you.