In everything we do in life, first impressions are important. They establish the mood for what we might expect from the future. I'm not only talking about a business, but for everything. A person. An organization. We all have to make first impressions at some point, so we should make sure they present the best of us.
Can you imagine for a second that we were meeting for the first time? I came up to you and looked like complete trash, what would you think? Maybe my pants were torn, my shirt hanging off me like a flag blowing in the wind and dirt all over my face. Now imagine I tried to sell you on something I was doing, probably a service or product like a tour of the town we were in.
You would be repulsed. You would want nothing to do with me. Not only that but you would probably go tell your friends about this completely perplexing encounter you had. This does not do me any favours. Not only did I burn a potential relationship with you but I also ruined any chance of a relationship with your network.
Digital Marketing is the exact same.
Chances are in todays world the initial impression I'm going to experience with your business is online. A website or a social media channel. If I hear of a new business opening up, the first thing I do is looked them up.
Websites and Social Network accounts, like a Facebook page, are so simple to set up on your own but so easy to also neglect, mess up, and fail to appeal to the community. What is worse is you might not even see the repercussions of these faults. If a potential customer is turned off by your website, you'll never know because they will never come to see you.
There are however a couple simple steps to make sure your online first impression is a good one:
1. Make sure your branding is consistent. When a customer goes from your website, to your social media accounts, to you store front or office, make sure there are similarities in all three. Customers should be in a position to instantly recognize your logo, imagery or colours.
2. Leading off from consistency, make sure your website looks professional. There are many tools out there to build websites, but many don't present you in the best light. Be sure to get your own domain name, make sure there is no "Get a free website at WIX.com" anywhere on the website and make sure it makes sense. I talked about 5 steps to launch your website in a past article. Nothing frustrates a user more than missing information and dead page links.
4. Further more with social media ensure that you are producing content. It is never good enough to just be there. You have to actually be active there or no one will learn who you are and be interested in you. If you do not have time now, make the time. It could make the difference between gaining an evangelist who will bleed your brand or not.
Example: If you are a burger joint and I land on your Facebook page and I see your last post was 6 months ago I'm probably not going to call you. I might even consider you out of business.
5. Finally, set yourself goals. This should be #1 on this list, but we're taking baby steps. Setting goals should be your number one priority when setting up any marketing initiatives. Figure out what you want to gain out of an interaction on your website or on a social network and then think what someone else might want to gain out of an interaction with you.
The beauty of the digital world is that you can change, you can try new things, you can figure out what works and what does not but be aware that it is easier to improve when eyeballs are already on you rather than when they've already moved past you.
If you have any questions about first impressions online, do not hesitate to get in touch with me.