Ag Marketing, Marketing Technology

Web Design and Development; Branding Your Ag Business.  

Gate 39 Media Staff

A staggering 70-80% of consumers begin researching a company online before visiting or committing to a purchase. If you don’t have a web presence, your website is outdated, or your site is challenging to navigate, you lose potential clients. As a result, web design and development are more critical than ever in creating a solid brand identity, letting the public know who you are, and what you do.  

Your website is also critical to your lead generation and inbound marketing efforts. Without it, you lack the necessary medium to advance your marketing message, capture leads with eBooks, white papers, and newsletters, and showcase customer testimonials.   

Many think branding is simply your company logo, font choices, or colors. While those components are part of the equation, your website branding and content represent your global identity and calling card. Branding communicates your value, service, and what customers can expect regarding user experience.  

You’ve likely heard someone remark, “that restaurant had a great ambiance.” In other words, the space was pleasant, welcoming, and created a positive experience for the customer.  The same applies to your website, branding, and online presence. Your branding can either evoke a feeling of trust, authenticity, and cause leads to take action, or it can turn potential clients away within seconds.  

In fact, it takes approximately 5 milliseconds for a person to develop an opinion of your brand!  Yes, you read that correctly.  First impressions matter.   

Standing Out; Defining Who You Are and What You Do Best. 

Many businesses are good at what they do. They are skilled at what it takes to run a successful company, whether growing crops or selling snow tires. Yet, most businesses have difficulty creating a clear brand message, articulating precisely what they do, why they are better than their competitors, and the philosophy that guides their company culture.  

Potential clients and customers should know exactly who you are and what you do within the first 5 seconds of arriving at your website. If they have to pluck around to figure out what you do, you’ve lost them for good. It may sound harsh but consider the cacophony of digital noise competing for our attention daily.  

The quicker you get to the point, the faster potential customers will know if your brand is right for them.  Clarity is key to defining how you want to present your company to the public and the differentiators that make your business better than your competitors.   

What’s In It for Me; Your Value Proposition.  

Whether conscious or unconscious, your potential customers always have one thing on their minds “What’s in it for me?” While that may sound superficial, the onus of proof rests squarely on the shoulders of the business in question. Your job is to answer that question better than your competitors. This is known as your Value Proposition.  

Investopedia defines Value Proposition as “the value a company promises to deliver to customers should they buy their product.”It is your clarion call signaling to your audience what you stand for, how you operate, and why they should choose your business over all others.  

Taking Inventory; The Brand Identity Exercise

While it can be challenging to get clear about your brand identity, there are some clever strategies that can help you toward the finish line regarding web development, content, and branding.   

One of the best practices you can employ is a Brand Identity Exercise. It comprises a list of critical questions about your company that you can answer with your leadership teams.  

  1. How would you express your company’s Unique Value Proposition?  
  2. What are the fundamental values that guide your company’s vision and choices?  
  3. What do you do better than anyone else in your industry?  
  4. What is your origin story?  
  5. Why should customers do business with you and not your competitors?  

Once you answer these questions clearly, you can use that information to generate content and develop a unified brand identity.  A strong brand identity with visual marketing is essential in today’s competitive climate. It fosters recognition and trust, attracts customers, and helps your employees focus on your company’s unique mission and position in the market. 

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