Think about it. What kind of first impression is your company’s digital profile making? Often, the best way to find out is to ask an outsider. Have them tell you what they understand about your company–what they walk away with, and what questions they still have. This is a super simple, (and free! cha-ching!) way to understand what outsiders see when they come to your website for the first time.
If you’ve never really considered your digital profile, you’re overlooking the most important first impression the majority of people have of your company. With nearly 60% of the buying decision made before potential customers get on the horn to speak with you, according to MarketingProfs, the impression you are making online matters–a lot (even more than your charming phone voice, or those urban-chic ties you bought last weekend).
With only seconds to make the right impression on someone before they decide to leave or dig deeper, your online profile (websites, social media pages, etc.) has to be carefully crafted in order win people’s limited time and attention. If they scan your website or social profile and don’t think your business offers what they’re looking for...guess what? It’s game over. If your first impression hooks them, you’ve earned their attention for another 15 seconds–long enough to win them over in other ways.
Through our work with hundreds of small businesses we’ve concluded that there are four basic ways to create a strong digital presence:
Look the partOne of the first ways people size up your company is by how it appears. Surface level matters–from colours and aesthetic,
to logo and imagery. Real talk. Does the quality of the design represent your brand effectively?
Tell your storyWith mere seconds (flea-sized attention spans aren’t uncommon in the digital age) to make the cut or not, presenting your strengths and differences clearly and concisely is an absolute must. Does your company have a hierarchy of unmistakeable key messages? Ask someone.
Stand outTo help buyers determine if they should choose your company over a competitor, you need to clearly explain what makes your offering a) different and b) better. This means you need to understand how your competitors are positioned and find ways to fill the gaps.
Be consistentWhile sometimes it may seem overwhelming to maintain a website, Facebook page and Twitter profile, your customers may bounce between all of your profiles in a matter of minutes. If your business is presented differently in each place, it will appear disjointed, and you’ll miss an opportunity to make a bigger impact. Create a consistent brand no matter what platforms you’re using by carrying through the same logos, imagery and messaging.
Yes, It takes work to improve your digital presence. But remember that this is the new playing field for business. Step up to the plate, hit a digital home run! Perhaps the concept of digital first impressions are new, but the old adage still applies: you don’t get a second chance to make a first impression.
Inspired by a panel discussion we were part of about improving the first impression you’re making. Shout outs to our co-presenters Kevin Smith @StoryArchitect1 , KyJo @kyjo_style and BIG3 Video Agency @big3video