Monday, January 25, 2010

Whatever You Do, Remember Your Brand

SMEs can’t be blamed for being a little confused about the proliferation of digital media, the doomsday predictions for traditional media and the noise of advice on what to do about it all – (with the exception of this helpful blog of course!)

Questions abound: should you continue your print advertising? Is internet marketing going to pay off? Should you make time for social networking?

You know the answers already. If something works for you, go with it – and it doesn’t take as long as you think to discover what works. Getting value from any marketing channel is a great way to determine whether to use it.

However, it’s important to stay ahead of the curve. Don’t wait until the last newspaper rolls off the press to start scanning the horizon for other valuable marketing channels. It doesn’t hurt to develop marketing channels before you actually need them.

This doesn’t mean you have to start spending half your day writing blog posts or finding something clever to tweet. Poke around, scan information, check out anything that looks interesting. Nothing wrong with a little old fashioned networking - find out what your colleagues and suppliers think. Of course, talk to your customers. In other words, don’t be afraid to test the water because you don’t know when you might need to jump in.

Whatever you do, wherever your media search takes you, support your brand. The familiarity of your brand will help you and your customers transition across marketing channels. Reinforcing your brand also gives you a direction for content on new channels.

Your brand is everything you do - in everything you do, every tweet, connection or link, remember your brand.

By Stephen Da Cambra

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

The Marriage of Design and Copy

We are gathered here today to join together … your web copy and web site design. The pairing really is like a marriage. They must spend their lives together, endure unforeseen changes in each other, for better or worse, and they must work together to make the marriage successful.

But how do you know if the marriage will work? Like any marriage, you don’t, but you trust that, with a little effort, it will. That effort means something more than just pluncking down hastily written copy on a web page template and posting it to your site.

Your web design should enhance your copy and your copy should enhance your design. Design improves copy when it highlights the copy and makes it easier to consume. Copy improves design when it gives meaning to design elements that are otherwise just decoration.

To make the marriage work, your designer and copywriter must work together; both understanding your key messages, the purpose of the site and your target audience(s).

If one must flow from the other, write your copy first. In the end, it’s your copy that compels action, at least most often, and its tone and direction will be the cue for your design. (Yes, I am a copywriter.)

However it happens, it is important for your business that the union of design and copy is a happy one. Happy design/copy marriages are fruitful and produce lots of little clicks on your call-to-action.

Bad marriages? No clicks.

By Stephen Da Cambra