Customers all over the world make decisions about brands and products based on their online image and presence. In today’s digital world your online presence is both more important and more complicated than ever. In addition to a functional website with a great user interface, your brand or product’s online persona should include a strong social media presence. Other ingredients for online marketing success include a well populated blog, integrated email marketing, podcasts, web cards, or even mobile apps.
But one thing is for certain, the different online components must be properly integrated in order to be most effective. In other words, every online marketing channel’s communication is aligned to the same core brand positioning.
Designs, themes, and messaging should have a certain level of cohesion or sameness across different digital media. And with the ever growing importance of mobile, you need to ensure your website’s functionality and user interface transfer well to smart phone and tablet screens.
All too often I come across brands where there seems to be little or no thought given to the idea of integration across digital (or other) marketing channels. Websites that don’t mention or link to a company’s social media accounts. Social media accounts that don’t link to a company’s website (either in their profile description or in any of their posts). Graphics that convey a totally different image from one online property to another. Some can’t even carry a simple color scheme from one property to another.
One recent example of a brand that does this well, is ROSALIND Online. The smart data platform for personalized cancer medicine clearly communicates its brand proposition across a range of online properties, including a clean, well thought out website, Twitter and Facebook accounts, as well as descriptions and links from its parent company’s website and blog. There is definitely a strong sense of unity or cohesion across all of these channels when communicating the ROSALIND brand. Imagery and color palettes transfer from one property to another and each online property is linked to the ROSALIND Online website.
With all of the countless examples of companies that get online marketing wrong, it’s always nice to share an example of one that does it right.
If you are developing (or revisiting) your brand’s online presence, here are a few suggestions to ensure it is a well-integrated one:
- Start with a communications strategy and develop your key marketing messages. Then ensure that your key marketing messages are communicated through all of your online channels.
- Develop a proper design theme and ensure that the design, color palette and images transfer well across your website, email marketing, social media profiles, etc.
- Ensure that your website links to your other online properties and vise versa. Place easy to find social icons on your website so that visitors to your website know you are engaging with your audience on social media.
- Include links to your website and social media profiles in your communications, including emails, newsletters, news releases, and brochures. Add your website and social links to your email signature.