How to Maintain Brand Consistency in a Shifting Online World

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Amanda Stephens
VP of Operations

Web Trends for Small Businesses
Web Trends for Small Businesses

By definition, trends come and go. They quickly rise on the scene and become omni-present instantly, then disappear just as fast. In social media and online marketing, it’s important to know what is a trend, and what is here to stay. Someone who dismissed Twitter in 2009 as a fleeting diversion missed out on years of development of brand recognition and loyalty; meanwhile, businesses that cling to early 2000s website design seem lost in the modern world.

Capitalizing on new developments and technologies and integrating them into your business model is crucial in the competitive business world. At the same time, a business that invests in short-lived trends can seem impulsive and unsure of its core foundations in the eyes of the client. What follows is information to help you and your business walk the line between being current and relevant, but also maintaining a reputation for expertise and consistency.

Brand identity

One of the most important parts of a business is brand identity. Customers need to know what to expect, and they need to know what differentiates you from competitors. Brand identity is often established early, but it can be all too easy to misstep and make a move that confuses, compromises, or contradicts that identity. There is a chase to stay relevant and current in the online world, with new website features, search engine affiliations, and social media outlets seemingly cropping up by the day. You don’t want to fall behind your competitors, or miss out on valuable new avenues to communicate with current clients and reach potential ones.

Revolutionary developments…

The integration of WordPress and content-management systems has simplified and stream-lined website maintenance. Services like Google AdWords directly alert potential customers to your product or service. Social media outlets like Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ help you maintain visibility. All of these are relatively new developments that have revolutionized the business world in the past few years.

…and duds

At the same time, there is a list miles long of online developments, services, and social media platforms that failed to take hold. You do not want to be the company that, for example, falls prey to a web designer’s love for comic sans font. You do not want your company to be the brand that invests their advertising efforts fully in an Ask Jeeves revival while neglecting Google and Bing. Finally, you do not want your business to be the one that neglects to establish a social media presence. All of these failures, missteps, or trust in poor advice can leave you unable to communicate your brand identity and can even compromise it. For your business to be known for its expertise and reliability, you must make marketing decisions that align with those traits.

It can be hard to know when new developments are just the early days of a product, service, or design that will revolutionize your industry, and when they are quick schemes or poorly-devised gimmicks that can at best provide no benefit and at worst potentially harm the credibility of your brand. Just as you are an expert in your field, there are experts in social media and online marketing.

Online marketing expertise

Through years of experience, interaction, and observation of countless new developments in online services and designs, an expert online marketing professional has a finely-tuned sense of what is worth pursuing and what is better left to trend-chasers. For example, upgrading your website to a content-management system means new information can quickly be disseminated to clients and potential customers, while staying with an old static website can seem stale. On the other hand, a business that declined to establish a presence on Pinterest on 2011 is left playing catch-up now.

There will always be new developments, design trends, and services offered in the business world. Your business does not need to integrate every single one, nor should it. But for the developments that prove themselves to be revolutionary, it is best to be in on the bottom floor. Online marketing experts take pride in being able to differentiate between the revolutionary and the fleeting. In avoiding the chase of trends and leaving the issue of cutting-edge marketing options safely in the hands of a professional, you can focus on what matters most – delivering expert service to your clients.

Avatar for Amanda Stephens

Amanda Stephens

Amanda Stephens is the Vice President of Operations at seoplus+. She leads the production team across a number of departments including SEO, web design/development, and paid ads. Amanda is responsible for team culture, process, and training to ensure optimal results for world class clients.

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