3 Ways to Instill Brand Image Into Your Web Site
When it comes to the language used in online content, there needs to be a balance of "clarity and color," according to Forrester Research's principal analyst, Ron Rogowski, in his report Web Site Copy That Builds Brands. To maintain a balance of clear, concise copy that has the thoroughness of an instruction manual while still eliciting the appropriate feeling about your brand, check out these three tips from Rogowski.
1. Start with copy that's clear and concise. Begin by drafting the language-diction, syntax, tone-that will explain key features in a way your targeted audience will understand. According to Rogowski, it's a good idea to guide your writers by using design personas as a reference for the user segments they're writing for; unless your Web site is targeted to industry folks, don't let the copy get bogged down with jargon. Web writers working on your site copy also should lean on the fundamentals of direct mail copywriting, keeping sentences and paragraphs short and to the point, which will keep site users focused.
2. Choose the right words to bring your brand to life. After the draft of the Web copy is complete, go back through it and find areas where more scintillating language-based on the brand's attributes-can be used in the copy, instructs Rogowski. However, be mindful that you don't obscure your message in the interest of trying to be witty. Rogowski points to Lexus as a good example: "When Lexus substitutes [the copy] ‘luxury appointments' for ‘interior features,' it adds color without sacrificing clarity. This air of quality and luxury provides users with a vivid description that mirrors the tone of Lexus TV commercials."
3. Review language for style before publishing. Brand managers and user-experience experts should review the copy to ensure that it does not deviate from the offline marketing campaigns, to guarantee the style is clear and to check that the copy is on brand, according to Rogowski. The copy, he asserts, should pass the test of differentiating the brand as well as informing site users before it can be published.