Images: Bryce Covey, Creative Direction & Styling: Joy Thigpen

5 TIPS TO REFRESH YOUR BRAND

By Kristen Ley Green of Something New for I Do

 

How many times have you visited a website and exited from the homepage before exploring because it either wasn’t what you were expecting it to be, or worse, the credibility just wasn’t there? We’ve become conditioned to rate a website (or even social media presence) by looking at photo quality, content, logos, fonts and the general aesthetic in a matter of seconds. 

Needless to say, this means potential clients are doing the same when visiting your website. When research says it only takes 15 seconds to get a first impression of your brand, first impressions matter – especially when there are endless resources to help them find your competitors. 

Tips for wedding industry veterans

If it’s been more than a year since you’ve updated your website, it’s time to evaluate where you stand and determine what needs to be done to refresh your presence. It may be a quick fix, like swapping out dated photos, updating your press page and drafting some new blog posts – or you may find it’s time for a new website altogether. And be sure to opt for a responsive site if you don’t have one already! That means a site that adapts to the screen layout of a user’s device – phone, tablet, computer – for an optimal viewing experience. 

Check to see whether or not your website is compatible with mobile devices, especially as a large percentage of website traffic comes from brides browsing on their phones. For example, if a bride is scrolling through Pinterest or Instagram (two of the top ways brides find vendors) on their phone looking for inspiration, and they click on your website to find more information, you’ll have a lower bounce rate (the percent of viewers who exit your website after viewing only the homepage) if your website is attractive and responsive. 

Tips for new wedding professionals

Your more seasoned industry friends would likely tell you that the sentimental feelings toward their brand are starting to set in as they read this. That logo they’ve had since they started out, and that website they slaved over – they hate to see it go. To avoid having a brand overhaul every couple years, resist the urge to simply go with what’s trendy starting out. When working with a logo and/or website designer, choose a design that has a timeless feel and is easy to update. It will be easier and less expensive to simply swap out the colors, pattern or background than it will be to get something new every few years based on what’s trendy.

Trends will come and go, but a timeless brand identity will stand the test of time. Think about it like this – our brides are always the same age, it’s our businesses and brands that are aging. This means maintaining a fresh, yet timeless brand identity is crucial to attract today’s savvy bride.

Blogging versus portfolio building

As social media continues to be a strong referrer of business, many wedding professionals are now wondering whether they need to continue blogging as it’s time consuming and can be overwhelming to manage. If you find that you can’t consistently post quality content (500 words minimum), it might be wise to remove your blog and instead focus on building out your portfolio. However, basic SEO knowledge will tell you that quality always beats quantity. And as there is so much to gain from blogging such as raising your page rank in Google, increasing traffic to your website and being seen as an industry thought leader, carving out time to write even just one or two quality, search engine friendly posts per month will be well worth your time. Plus, it will give you content for your social media channels too!

5 quick tips to refresh your brand

 1.       Update outdated photos on your homepage and portfolio with your most recent work. 

2.       If you’ve been falling behind on Instagram (or social media in general), use a free tool like Hootsuite and spend an hour each Monday scheduling posts for the week.

3.       Update your Pinterest board cover photos with images that best represent your brand’s aesthetic.  

4.       Remove your blog if it’s not being used OR create a document to drop post ideas in for future use. Writing becomes easier when you don’t have to scramble for fresh ideas.

5.       Check to see if your vendor profile information and photos are up to date on wedding listing websites.

Images by Bryce Covey with creative direction and styling by Joy Thigpen.