A pigment of your imagination: creating a cohesive online presence
A pigment of your imagination: creating a cohesive online presence
Most of us can admit we rely on the internet - an over-reliance if we’re being honest. Across all industries and businesses, we love to scope out a brand’s online presence before we make any sort of decision about their product or service. Even before visiting somewhere in-person, we’ll have a cheeky scroll through an Instagram feed, browse a website, or read an online menu to prepare for our visit.
We love to know exactly what to expect. And the wonderful world of Google has made this vetting process even easier. One quick browse and we can separate the ‘don’t even waste your time-ers’ from a shortlist of top picks.
So your business’s online presence matters. That much we can all agree on. Yet around 50% of small businesses don’t even have a website. So how do you get started with curating a cohesive online presence? How much effort should you put into it? And what benefits can you expect to see after doing so?
The bigger picture
Content is important - we wouldn’t be called Coster Content if it wasn’t! But it’s also about the bigger picture. You could write the best about us page, but if your website design isn’t clear or effective, you may as well have spent the day counting the grains of rice in your kitchen cupboard.
The average time people will spend on your page is three minutes and 38% would leave a site that doesn’t have an appealing layout or design. Basically, you’re wasting good content if your website isn’t up to scratch. You want people to actually read your hard work, right? So you want a website that promotes reading; make the design aesthetically pleasing, avoid overcrowding, and lay things out in a way that makes sense and is easy to digest.
It’s a similar story with social media. No longer are Instagram and Twitter cast aside as millennial playgrounds. They’ve staked their claim in the marketing world, and don’t underestimate their power.
But if your Instagram account appears like a jumbled mess of random images with no forethought or planning, people won’t stick around. They’ll have a quick surface-level scan of your feed and hit that back button before opening a single post. In this case, your carefully curated images or witty, tongue-in-cheek captions are the content that’s being overlooked. You’re setting them up for failure by presenting them in an ineffective way.
Get to know yourself
Before you can create a successful online presence for your brand, you need to know what you’re about. Take some time to get to know yourself and what messages you want to portray. You might know everything there is to know about the service you provide, but could you relay your company’s three core values if pressed?
Your online presence should represent your business’s identity. Who you are and what you believe in. With a wealth of choice out there, there might be hundreds of other businesses that offer the same as you. What stands you apart is your personality and relatability.
Customers love to feel they can relate to a brand and share your core values. So figure out what yours are and make sure they’re represented online. If your team is larger than life and enthusiastic, this should translate to your website and social media. If you’re properly represented online, you can sit back and let your vibe attract your tribe.
It’s important that you put some thought behind the visuals of your online presence. If your website is cluttered, has clashing colours, and no discernible theme, you’ll put off potential customers.
You want to pick a font you like and stick with it wherever possible. The key is to be consistent and not have your site or social media looking too busy or all over the place.
Your layouts should be straightforward and easy to operate. That’s not to say you can’t have any bells and whistles or use your tech-savvy team. But make sure that, above all else, your site and social media accounts are readable and appealing. If there’s too much going on, you’ll lose readers. If a site has 25 different pages, do you think anyone’s going to read them all?
On Instagram you want your feed to make sense. It shouldn’t look like you drag and drop things in just to fill space. Your feed should tell a story. Think about how an image will look next to the previous ones. Luckily there are apps to help with this.
Pick a theme you feel matches your brand’s aesthetic. Whether you’re dark and moody, or bright and colourful, you should use this when designing your website or curating social media. It should shed some light on your business’s personality.
Similar to this is your colour palette. Everything should fit together and make for one cohesive design. For example, on this site, our colour palette is white, green, and navy. So for this post not only did we choose an image that’s relevant to the subject, but it contains a lot of white space and green accents.
Incorporating these things into your online presence doesn’t need to be a massive undertaking. But it’s worth taking some time to identify the specifics of what you want and make a plan. Then you can curate your site or other platforms with this plan in mind.
You want to be reliable and consistent with your visual aesthetic. Pick what you like and then stick with it. It’s been shown that consistent brand presentation across platforms increases revenue by up to 23%. So whether you just have a website, or go the whole hog with Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook thrown into the mix, be consistent.
You want to link up all your platforms. On your website, link to your social media platforms. And have social media posts link back to your website. This way, each will drive traffic to the others.
The ultimate goal is for your online presence to be so visually consistent across all platforms that people will know which company they’re looking at without even seeing the logo. You also want your personality to be the same across them all. You don’t want to be lighthearted and goofy on Instagram but serious on your website and LinkedIn.
By creating a cohesive online presence your business becomes more recognisable and identifiable. If your website is visually pleasing, you’ll be putting your content forward in the best light. Your audience will be more likely to spend their time browsing and reading, rather than being put off by a complicated layout. Consistency across all platforms will go a long way in helping you to appear professional. Each platform will offer different benefits, but they should all still be fundamentally, and unapologetically, you.
At Coster Content we can help your business to sell itself. We can write effective online content to match your online presence, help you step up your own written communication, or get you on the right path for a career in content writing. If you have any questions, get in touch on 0161 413 8418.