Since the early days of the Internet, most companies have viewed each digital platform as its own, independent entity. You want to increase your website’s traffic overnight? Pour a lot of money into paid search. Or, if you’re on a tighter budget, you could always write up an email blast, and send that to your mailing list.
LEGO, however, has taken a different approach. About a decade ago, when they were facing some staunch competition, their marketing team made a bold decision: to invest in their brand and use every marketing platform to tell their brand’s story.
To do this, LEGO uses what they call a “Bible” for every single marketing campaign. Simply put, these Bibles define every aspect of each campaign: the audience, the media/platforms to be used, how the campaign will tell the brand’s story, everything.
In doing so, it allows LEGO’s team to “take into consideration all the possible connections our strategy has with other marketing channels” and “describes the specs of every action and the brand storytelling consistency common to all of them.”
Adopting this approach is a commitment that requires you to think about every step of an online consumer’s journey and tie them together. Think of your paid search campaign, for instance. Your ads are affected by their Quality Score, which is comprised of the expected click-through rate and the experience of the page you’re sending people to.
Therefore, a high-quality paid search ad doesn’t just include engaging content and a top-notch CTA; it also needs a landing page that will convert someone from “intrigued” to “ready to buy.”
The same thing goes for every email blast, every blog, every Facebook post – anything and everything that talks about your brand.
Creating the best user experience possible for people, no matter which platform they’re using, improves the odds of converting and retaining that customer the next time they want to make a purchase. Too many people are ignoring that last piece to the puzzle.
If you’ve read a blog recently about where the future of online marketing is going, you’ve probably heard the sentiment that things like “user experience” and “content marketing” are the future of SEO.
Those blogs are wrong. It’s not the future; it’s happening right now.
These days, different marketing platforms are more interconnected than ever, which means it’s time to think about your company’s online presence holistically.
Much like your physical storefront, there are 3 primary elements that will shape the way consumers perceive your brand:
1. Your online sign, or how your brand appears in Google search results. Ideally, any physical store will have a nice-looking sign that’s easily visible from the road, maybe with an advertisement about your top sale going on right now. The same can be said about your “online sign.”
Pretend your kid’s birthday is coming up, and you’re deciding to get his big present from one of his two favorite companies, LEGO or Feral Interactive. Which company would you trust more:
Or this one?
LEGO undoubtedly makes a better first impression for a number of reasons, from the ad at the top that includes a 5-star rating to the Knowledge Graph in the top-right corner. And they’re more likely to earn your business as a result.
2. Your online storefront, aka your website. A number of surveys have shown that people are far less likely to buy from a company with a poor-looking website. In fact, 45% of consumers think a bad website is worse for a business than no website at all!
Your website – and every page on it – needs to be easy to navigate so people can find what they’re looking for. And if they can’t or have questions, it should be easy for them to contact you in whatever way they choose.
3. Online customer service. You wouldn’t tuck your customer service center in the back corner where it’s difficult to find, would you? Then don’t make it difficult for people to reach out to you online.
Your phone number should be listed prominently throughout your website (not just on your contact page), and you may even want to provide an online chat function to answer questions on the spot. Social media, when used correctly, provides some golden opportunities, too – not just because you can use it resolve issues, but also because it allows you to get useful feedback from real-life consumers.
Branding isn’t a future online marketing element; it’s the present.
From the second an online consumer does a Google search for your company to the moment they’re ready to call or make a purchase, you want to make sure your brand is being represented the right way. Take a leaf out of LEGO’s bible, and your brand will be consistent and strong no matter where customers find you.