Effective online communication for brands

Digital Marketing / 22 Sep 2017

In this tech savvy age we live in, we have the ability to purchase anything on our phones from a cheeseburger to a car. Technological advancements are brilliant for business in so many ways and can help deliver a seamless customer experience. 

From personalisation to retargeted marketing, there are so many ways tech advancements can benefit the customer experience. While the positives definitely outweigh the negatives, we feel it is important to take a step back and look at the overall communication between a brand and its customer. 

Good communication focuses on its customer FIRST. It can be so obvious when a brand comes up with a brilliant technology or app that has been created before thinking about what their customer actually wants.  In theory, it may be a really clever creation, but if it doesn’t speak directly to their customer, they are not going to use it. It’s all well and good to design something special but if your target audience isn’t going to use or interact with it, it’s irrelevant how creative it is. 

Of course, you want to separate yourself from your competitors and gain a distinctive advantage over them. But while competitive advantage is important, it doesn’t have to be in the form of a new technology. And you certainly don’t need to be superior in every aspect of your business.

Great communication and maintaining customer relationships may end up being your competitive advantage in the long run and will be much more valuable to customers than an app.

When we talk about communication, it derives from every aspect of your business. From your website to social media, emails and face-to-face communication. Let’s talk about the ways in which you can deliver effective online communication.  

Simple website layout

It depends on your audience and your industry but generally, an overcomplicated website is only going to deter people. Firstly, one of the most frustrating things you can have on a website is a ‘pop-up’ on the home page. Asking someone to sign up to your newsletter with a pop-up after they’ve been on your website for less than 30 seconds is probably not the best way to go about things.

Yes, you want to grow your email lists but you also want customers. 

Annoying your customers within seconds of coming to your page is not going to get you off to a great start. If you want a pop-up, have it appear after the user has been on the website for 1 minute or has viewed 2 or 3 pages. Let the customer see that there will be some value in it for them before shoving a pop-up in their face.

Secondly, have an idea of the journey you want your customer to take through your website. This way, you can clearly indicate which pages are more important than others. Too many websites attempt to grab your attention in a number of different categories and it becomes difficult to try and decide where to click. Have one clear call to action on each page instead of numerous different buttons that lead to the same page. The mentality that some people have is that being more obvious all over the website will lead to more clicks. The reality is that you shouldn’t need to have so many buttons. If your website is set up nicely, there should be no need to have multiple CTA buttons.

Social media communication

Everyone loves memes, right? I’ll put my hand firmly in the air to this one. However, my feelings towards memes are probably not reciprocated by everyone. It’s important not to assume that your audience will like certain things just because you or your team does. Memes are great, but there is a time and a place. If you are wanting to establish your brand as the experienced, professional in your industry, your communication through social media should be educational and informative.

Likewise, if you’re a male in your 30s writing for an over 60s female audience, you are going to need to do a bit of research into their communication methods. Researching topics for conversation in blogs and social media posts will be pretty easy but using language and grammar that speak directly to them is just as, if not more, important.

And you don’t have to be using every single social media channel. Find the channels that work for your industry and business and focus on those.

Technology 

So, you’ve come up with this brilliant idea for an app! You’re so excited about this technological advancement for your business and cannot wait to get started on building this platform. First things first, how much is it going to cost? Who is actually going to use it and how often are they going to use it if they do? It might be an awesome creation but is it really going to be worth it? If you get past these questions and still think it will improve the communication in what you’re trying to achieve, then that’s great. But the reality is, less than 0.01% of all apps are considered a success by their developers. 

We are all for advancements in technology and keeping your business up to speed in the digital world, but changes need to be made for the right reasons. First and foremost, work on fixing things at a more simplistic level. Good communication and engaging with the right audience should be your priority. If you can’t communicate with your audience, it won’t really matter how tech savvy you are. 

Want to know more? Get lost in our list of digital education articles.

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