It’s no secret that the B2B realm is very different to the B2C environment and it’s why you can’t just rely on what you know as a consumer when you’re developing a digital marketing strategy for a B2B company.
A recent article for Entrepreneur offered some advice about how to succeed online as a B2B business, including where you should put your focus.
One area identified as critical was a company’s website. B2B buyers aren’t going to make emotional decisions, they will make a choice about whose products or services to use after careful consideration. That means they’ll want to scour your website and find relevant detail.
“Your website needs to cater to the discovery mindset that your audience approaches this research with,” the news provider noted.
Working with web designers in Surrey could help you plan out your site structure and content to ensure that you’re providing the right information at the relevant stages of the customer journey.
People are increasingly working on the move too, so you should ensure your website is fully responsive and accessible on a range of devices, including mobiles and tablets, to allow for this more mobile workforce.
When you’re developing a new website you also need to consider SEO and content marketing as part of the whole project. Ensuring you create discoverable content to help boost your brand’s visibility is crucial to attracting new customers.
If you need any more incentive to work with specialist web designers on your project, take a look at our post about the importance of website design for businesses. This process isn’t just about making something that looks good, it also has to be functional and tie in with your other digital marketing channels, such as social media or newsletters, to draw people in.
Web design is a complicated business. There are a multitude of things that you need to consider, which is why working with website designers in Kingston is such a good idea.
One area that you shouldn’t forget about is accessibility. Much like a physical premises needs to be accessible to those with disabilities, a website should also allow people to find information and access your products or services if they have a disability.
This is where inclusive design comes in. A recent article for Vertical Measures highlighted some of the main things to consider when you’re getting to grips with web accessibility. It’s important to remember that this offers benefits to your business as well as those using your website. By making it accessible, you’re growing your audience.
You should also remember that accessibility measures won’t just help those with disabilities, like vision or hearing impairment. They will also help older people, someone who’s forgotten their glasses, a person with a broken arm – the list goes on.
There are three main areas that inclusive design focuses on – hearing impairment, vision impairment and physical disabilities.
The blog applied the US Web Consortium Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) to its suggestions to help you see where you could make changes to your site.
Firstly you should look at whether your site is what they describe as perceivable. That means can users “perceive your site with their available senses”. For those with visual impairment, it might mean ensuring that your website can be used with a screen reader.
Providing written alternatives to audio content is advisable for those with hearing impairment, meanwhile. From a design perspective, thinking about the size of the elements on the page, as well as the contrast between any writing and the background is vital.
Next up is your website’s operability. Can it be used by someone who may not be able to operate a mouse? Can a user navigate your whole site using a keyboard only?
Making your website easily understandable should be a goal whether you’re focusing on accessibility or not. But ensuring that everything is easy to find and that content is clear and concise will help make it more inclusive.
Finally, you should check the code to ensure your website works across all browsers and devices efficiently. That includes older browser versions so that you don’t exclude anyone with older technology.
Earlier this year, LocalGov highlighted the introduction of the EU Web Accessibility Directive, which is being rolled out in four stages, starting this month.
It’s aimed only at public sector bodies at present, but it’s likely to have a knock-on effect to other industries. The aim is to introduce minimum accessibility standards for all websites and apps to ensure that everyone can use them.
The first deadline introduces the law into individual EU countries and makes the public bodies legally responsible for the accessibility of their digital platforms. By this time next year, any new sites built will have to comply with the regulations, and by September 2020 any pre-existing websites will need to have been brought in line too.
While you might be looking for website and graphic design for your new Surrey business, for many existing businesses, it plays an equally important role as part of a rebrand. A good rebrand should never be taken lightly, and it plays an even more important part when the business has changed and the consumer has fallen out of love with how a brand presents itself or what a brand has traditionally offered.
It’s been a difficult time for the high street for some time now, but none so much as the department store. BHS, for example, closed all its stores when the business collapsed, and after a short-lived stint as an online retailer, its website has now seen the final nail in the coffin of this once great brand. House of Fraser have also suffered, with the business recently going into administration and announced store closures and job losses. Its website too seems also to have been taken offline, leading to further questions about this struggling business.
For the remaining brands who operate in this sector, it may sometimes feel as though you’re tarred with the same brush. When a consumer hears a business is failing, it loses confidence in what it has to offer, and this undoubtedly creates further alienation against the likes of the department store sector.
It’s no coincidence then that the two largest remaining players in this sector have made moves to show that their brands aren’t stagnant. Bake Off fans may have been mildly perplexed by the feature-length advert that aired during last week’s show which debuted a new branding for both John Lewis and Waitrose, or as they’re now known, John Lewis & Partners and Waitrose & Partners. Take a look at the new branding on the Dezeen website.
John Lewis’ new look is monochrome, with an sans-serif typeface used in uppercase, and it undoubtedly feels more modern, without alienating its existing consumer base. But the real change here is in the addition of ‘& Partners’. The idea to play up the human aspect of the business, as in that everyone who works for the business has a real investment in it, drives home that there are real people who depend on you shopping there, which has long been the argument for trying to keep the high street alive.
For Debenhams, the logo rebrand signifies a new marketing strategy, one that is focused on the store being a shopping destination. The new font for the Debenhams logo is a serif, but has an edgy, yet refined feel, where the old logo was somewhat void of personality.
For this brand, the logo is the signal that their store experience has changed, and that it is becoming an experiential destination. The font suggests the brand has transformed into something with more of a point of view and has more of a direction moving forward. One of the changes announced with the rebrand is particularly telling – the adaptation of the ‘beauty hall’. A department store staple, yet often a bland space where brand recognition takes over. The new looks focusing on introducing new products to consumers, re-positioning the department store’s purpose. After all, consumers now know they can purchase much of these products cheaper online, but as a curated collection back up with expert knowledge, this space offers something much different to consumers. You can see the new Debenhams logo over at Transform magazine.
When it comes to working with website designers to create a logo for your Kingston business, when the right logo comes along, you may feel that it instinctively sums up your business – but where does that feeling come from?
There’s a lot of connotations, hidden meaning and psychology in not only the fonts that your designers uses, but also the shapes. This little guide from entrepreneur.com puts the emotions that you feel with the shape used, and is a great guide when starting to think about branding for your business.
Geometric shapes are ones that aren’t usually found in nature, so work well for businesses in sector where precision is key. Squares and rectangles come with a meaning of strength and stability – literal building blocks – so if reliability and order is high on the agenda, a square might be a good starting point.
Perfect circles are less harsh than squares, and have a sense of fluidity, harmony and energy – making these a good choice for people facing businesses. A triangle’s meaning depends on how it is positioned, generally with momentum in whichever direction they point. Up for ascending power, while down may have more unstable meaning.
Abstract shapes and symbols have much more meaning from culture, but ensuring yours works in futures over than your own is important if you are a global brand. Arrows are popular choice as they show movement, whereas stars can have a million meanings depending on context such as colour and font surrounding them.
Organic shapes often imbue a sense of nature into a logo – making them popular for health foods, spas and anything that looks to give a sense of relaxation.
If you’re a business owner, then you’ll know how important it is to have a presence online and to rival your competition. You might even use the site to host adverts, creating another stream of revenue for the company. No matter where you’re based in the UK – from Kent to Surrey – web design could ultimately suffer if you’re not careful about the ads that you’re displaying on your pages.
Research from Sizmek (via the Drum) found that almost 38 per cent of brand marketers said that they had run adverts on a website that were either harmful or unsafe. Speaking to 500 people from the US and Europe, 64 per cent said that it was difficult to introduce an effective brand safety solution.
Hardeep Bindra, the vice president of product management for real-time decision services at Sizmek, commented: “The digital media ecosystem is complex and fragmented, so it is no surprise that marketers are prioritising efficiency and transparency from their partners.
“These survey results confirm what we’ve been hearing from our clients about simplifying [the] supply chain and the challenges they face with brand safety.”
If a new customer stumbles across your website and is spammed with ads that could potentially cause damage to their computer, then it will immediately leave a bad impression on anyone. You’ll want to test your website thoroughly across different browsers and on different devices, ensuring that ads don’t interfere with their experience or don’t pose a threat to them.
If you spend plenty of time building a fantastic website, it’ll all be in vain if it doesn’t reach its full potential due to certain ads.
If you own a website, then you will know how important it is to increase its exposure. In fact, you’ll probably spend time posting links to content on Facebook and Twitter in the hope that someone will click on it. You don’t want to put effort into building an online presence only for it not to achieve much. Whether your company is based in Kingston or Surrey, web designers could help to improve this situation through email newsletters.
According to research from InternetRetailing, retailers in the UK prefer to reach people through email marketing during the mornings and at the beginning of each month. You might not be surprised to hear that 9:00 AM was the most popular time at 10.9 per cent, with 8 AM coming second with 10.2 per cent and followed by 10 AM at 9.7 per cent.
Martin Shaw, the head of InternetRetailing’s RetailX, commented: “Night emails received relatively low open rates in the UK and France compared to Germany, while morning emails were 11 per cent more likely to be opened by consumers in the UK than their peers on the continent.”
You have the time and period of the month where it’s most effective, but what about the day it should be sent on? According to the findings, the highest ranked day was Thursday with 18 per cent, Friday came second with 15.5 per cent and 13.97 per cent for Wednesday.
What’s interesting about the research is that it proves that email marketing can be effective when it’s done correctly. However, it still requires a newsletter design that will entice people to read it. Just think of it – and treat it – like the importance of sending out the best possible CV to an employer.
You will want your newsletter to put forward services and products that are interesting for consumers, as well as linking back to existing content on your website to increase traffic and have social media buttons to help you build a bigger online presence.