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Website Redesign

If you’re reading this, chances are you’re considering revamping your business’s website. To paint a picture, you might be asking yourself if your current website still fits your needs. Or, if you’re like many others, you might be cringing, asking yourself, ‘Why did I ever think that looked good?!” (We’ve all been there…)

Truth be told, there are many reasons why you might be considering a redesign. (Note: a ‘rebrand’ is something completely different altogether. Don’t worry you can learn everything you need to know about rebranding your business on our blog).

Anyway, whether your site isn’t performing well or it simply doesn’t mesh with your business’s look and feel anymore, we’re here to help answer the question: How often should you redesign your website?

Let’s dive in.

The Hard and Fast Answer

For those of you who don’t want to sift through the reasons why your business might consider a website redesign, here’s a general rule of thumb for how often you should refresh your website.

A business should consider a redesign every three years, according to Amanda Rogers, Founder and Chief Creative Officer of Digital Storyteller. You may find that your business needs a redesign sooner, but likely not much longer after the three-year mark.

“Every three years you should look at your website and really evaluate how much your business has changed.” 

If you look at the last three years alone in the business world, so much has changed with:

  • COVID
  • The changing world of work
  • The way we talk about our teams
  • The way we talk about building culture
  • The way that we share our relationships with our clients

For example, many of our clients went from working exclusively in California to working around the country. This considered, they needed to adjust the language on their site to be not state-specific but industry-specific.

Make Sure Your Website Has These Elements

The three-year timeframe is about the time that a website is still considered ‘new.’ Remember, you always want your website to be:

  • Convenient
  • Functional
  • Aesthetically pleasing (the fun part!)
  • On-brand
  • And always, user and mobile-friendly

So, there are shifts in your business that require looking at your website every three years at a minimum.

Then, of course, we have to recognize that there are shifts in style as well.

How Often Should I Really Redesign My Website?

Now, for those who don’t need a quick answer, here’s the truth behind how often you should redesign your website, but in more depth.

(We know. We’re going to get a lot of hate for this one.)

The true answer to the question at hand is, it depends.

Yes, we know. That’s an annoying answer that no one wants to hear but it’s true. Whether or not you need to redesign your website varies on a case-by-case basis.

Below, we’ve listed some reasons as to why you might consider a website redesign.

To Address a Problem

Redesigns aren’t always about aesthetics and branding. Is your business’s website experiencing a drop in organic traffic? You’re no longer ranking on Google’s search engine results page? Or, is your website subject to a cyber hack?

To provide another reason for a redesign, maybe your site isn’t effective. Quality content that is hard to find, slow loading times, and links that lead to nowhere (or error or 404 pages), are all huge turn-offs for site visitors.

If any of these problems sound familiar, it’s time to freshen up your site.

To Address Being Outdated and to Align Branding

Sometimes things just look, well, blah! As our favorite Disney antagonist, Sharpay Evans says, “It’s out with the old and in with the new.”

Ask yourself these questions to see if it’s time for a redesign: Is your branding consistent across all platforms? Does your site look or feel outdated? If the answer is ‘yes’ to either of these questions, it might be time.

Because It’s Just Time

Sometimes you don’t need a big problem or reason to redesign your site. It might just be time.

As we well know at Digital Storyteller, the world wide web is constantly changing. Those who don’t keep up in terms of website design will be left in the dust. If your site isn’t offering the best experience to your users, that can be reason enough for a redesign.

Remember, your website will always be changing. It’s a living, breathing piece of content, which leads us to our next point.

Website Maintenance is Key

Let’s imagine. You just finished a website revamp for your business. Hooray! “Glad we’ve got that off our plate,” you might be thinking.

“We don’t have to worry about touching the site for another two to three years, thank goodness…” NOT!

Just because you’ve gone through a redesign as of late, does not mean your site is good to go until the next redesign.

As our Founder and Chief Creative Officer of Digital Storyteller, says, “Web design is never over.” (We also like to call her the web design genius!)

As Amanda well knows, there is always a bug to fix, a team member profile to add, coding to tweak, the list goes on. You will always be completing website maintenance, including site audits, and making small improvements.

This might include changes when:

  • Your products and/or services change
  • Your mission evolves
  • Branding is reconsidered
  • Your team grows
  • Prices change
  • The Google algorithm changes (and yes, it will change…)
  • Updates to mobile sites occur
  • And more

Is it Time for Your Redesign?

At Digital Storyteller, we recognize that these changes might be beyond your team’s expertise. We know, it’s a lot of work—which is why we’re here to help.

Here are some questions to ask yourself when looking at your website:

  • Is it reflecting who you are as a business right now?
  • Is it looking forward to where you are headed as a company?
  • Does it have any sort of telltale stylistic elements that have fallen from favor?

These three questions alone are a great way to tell whether it’s time to redo your website.

Contact our team at Digital Storyteller today to learn more about how we can support your upcoming website design project or website build.

Want to get to know us before you hop on the phone to discuss? We totally get it. Check out our most recent culture video where our team shares our 2022 New Year’s Resolutions!

Rebrand

When it comes to “branding,” the term might seem a wee bit vague. Chances are the first things that come to mind are logos, colors, and fonts! While all of these elements are integral pieces of creating your business’s brand identity, branding, and rebranding, runs much deeper.

Here’s everything you need to know about rebranding your business.

What Is Branding? Why Is It Important?

Branding, according to The Branding Journal, is defined as “the process of giving a meaning to [a] specific organization, company, products or services by creating and shaping a brand in consumers’ minds.”

Branding “is a strategy designed by organizations to help people to quickly identify and experience their brand, and give them a reason to choose their products over the competition’s, by clarifying what this particular brand is and is not.”

Branding is important for not only consumers but also employees, shareholders, and third parties.

One of the most important parts of branding, which is wildly overlooked in our personal opinion, is the word “meaning” in the above definition. Too often, a brand becomes about the “aesthetic” or the colors.

Having a stunning logo is great, but what is the meaning behind it? Need a story to illustrate just what we mean? We’ve got the perfect client for you.

The Story of The Golden Screw

Meet John Milikowsky, founder of Milikowsky Tax Law. John is a tax attorney who focuses on helping clients navigate government agency audits from Employment Development Department (EDD) to Internal Revenue Service (IRS). 

John is one of our superstar clients at Digital Storyteller. (We actually refer to him as our ‘unicorn.’)

Here’s a before and after of the Milikowsky Tax Law logo.

Before Working With Digital Storyteller

Milikowsky Tax Law

After Working With Digital Storyteller

Milikowsky Tax Law

Now, of course, there’s a lot more that goes into branding than just your logo—but more on that later.

For now, let’s travel back in time with John to hear about how his new logo came to be, what happened when he sat down with us to explain the origins of his business, and how his skill set makes him a fantastic tax lawyer. Here’s what John had to say:

“It’s 1987 and I’m 10 years old. I’m sitting in a windowless supply room in the back of my parents’ lighting store on a stool and in front of me is an oil barrel filled with screws. Machine screws, wood screws, drywall screws, Phillips screws, you get the idea… a lot of screws.”

John’s task? Sort these screws into containers. Sort, sort, sort… In that entire summer, John never got through more than an inch’s worth of progress in sorting those screws.

“In the middle of that summer, I realized I had a choice to make… I could be furious, resentful, victimized by the mundane monotonous task set in front of me… or, I could do it well and fast. I could be the best at screw sorting.”

Not seeing where this story is going? Hold tight.

John describes his first few years of audits with his tax law clients. “They handed me their metaphorical oil barrels filled with numbers: profit and loss statements for three, four, five years, receipts faded with time, and transactions whose recipients had long gone out of business,” says John. “I came to appreciate that summer of sorting. That training in detail work, that patience for sifting through the most minute details.”

John’s passion is the detective work it takes to uncover the one piece of information that makes all the rest of a company’s business narrative fall into place. 

Like finding a needle in a haystack, John is equipped with the attention to detail to find ‘the golden screw,’ if you will.

After unpacking this story with our team, we were able to create a logo with meaning, as opposed to simple colors and font slapped on a page. In his logo, the “M” in Milikowsky Tax Law is encircled by tiny screws with the golden screw crowning the “i” 

What Are the Levels of Rebranding?

*Hint* A rebrand concerns more than just your logo! Knowing this as a business owner, however, you might be asking yourself, “How long will a rebrand take me?” and more importantly to some, “How much will it cost me?”

Well, the amount of money that you pay for a rebrand is dependent on the size of your company. For example, rebranding a mom-and-pop cabinetry shop isn’t going to cost the same as a rebrand of Walmart or Target.

Now, let’s dive into the different levels of rebranding.

The Brand Refresh

A refresh is the most simple level of rebranding, and might include:

  • Brand Discovery
  • Visual Identity
  • Corporate Stationery
  • Website
  • Copywriting
  • Photography

This timeline typically lasts three to four months.

The Brand Reboot

According to Ignyte, this level of rebranding is best for companies “who are dealing with the systemic issues that typically accompany business growth and/or age,” and, in addition to everything included in a refresh, might include:

  • Customer Research
  • Brand Audit
  • Brand Strategy Naming and Tagline
  • Brand Identity
  • Marketing Collateral

This timeline typically lasts six to eight months.

The Full Rebrand

*Cough cough* Mark Zuckerberg rebranding ‘Facebook’ to ‘Meta.’ (Can’t say we are huge fans…)

Anyway, according to Web FX, a full rebrand involves “changing every aspect of your brand,” including:

  • Company name
  • Logo
  • Tone of voice for your company

A fantastic example of a full rebrand is Nike. In 1964, Blue Ribbon Sports (now Nike) was founded. Seven years later, “Blue Ribbon Sports did a complete rebrand and became Nike,” according to Web FX. Blue Ribbon Sports changed everything: colors, logo, name, tone of voice.

Blue Ribbon Sports Nike Rebrand

Think of the full rebrand as the ultimate glow-up for your company; you’re entirely new. As you could guess, this is the most expensive level of rebranding.

This process could take up to a year or more in some cases.

The Meaning Behind Your Branding

So, it’s time for some self-reflection. 

Would you be willing to send your website to everyone you know right now, as is? If the answer is no, consider why not. What about your branding doesn’t satisfy you?

Branding is so much more than colors and fonts. Here are some questions to get you thinking about your branding:

  1. How does your current branding reflect you as a company?
  2. If you were a consumer in your target demographic, would you want to work with your company?
  3. How do people feel when they come to your site or visit your social media? Are you pushing out consistent content?
  4. How does your brand make people feel? Safe, excited, confusing, overwhelmed?

A Quick Bit on Font Psychology

Well, what is font psychology? According to this article by Canva, “font psychology [is] the study of how different fonts impact thoughts, feelings, and behaviors.” For example, Comic Sans as your primary brand font might evoke a very different reaction than if you were to use Arial, Roboto, or Montserrat.

By understanding font psychology, which you can do more of here, you will be able to choose the best fonts for your brand.

The Value of a Rebrand

Many brands consider rebranding when they realize that their mission, or their ‘why,’ isn’t being reflected accurately in their existing brand. The value of a rebrand, when done correctly, is priceless. Think: Do you think Nike would still have the global brand recognition that it does if it were still Blue Ribbon Sports, branding and all? Most likely not.

At Digital Storyteller, we begin every client relationship with a Brand Storytelling Session to get to know your business at its core. Because after all, we can’t accurately represent your brand until we truly understand who you are, who your audience is, and what your goals are. Get in touch with us today to learn more about your free Brand Storytelling Session deliverable.

Brand Voice

Author Robert McKee once said, “Storytelling is the most powerful way to put ideas into the world.” And he was right!

At Digital Storyteller, we begin all of our partnerships with a strong foundation—your very own ‘brand storytelling session’ (BSTS). After all, we’re an outsourced digital marketing agency, which means we will be creating content as if we were you. This BSTS is crucial in order to be able to do what we do best (…marketing!).

If a ‘brand storytelling session’ sounds a bit like another language, we’re sorry! We’ll explain. Better yet, Amanda Rogers, Owner and Chief Creative Officer at Digital Storyteller can give you the lowdown and answer all of your juicy questions, like why is your brand storytelling session important? And what the heck is it anyway!?

Let’s get into it.

What is Brand Storytelling?

Brand storytelling has become kind of a buzzword. People use it to mean all kinds of things. They use it to mean:

  • Branding that means something to you
  • Storytelling for individuals

What Do You Do During a Brand Storytelling Session?

In our Brand Storytelling Sessions, we do things a bit differently. We block out two hours on our calendar to zoom with you and get to know your brand at its core.

We know it sounds intense, but don’t worry. Our favorite description that a client gave us at the end of a Brand Storytelling Session was, “I was expecting a root canal and I got a massage.” Yay for free massages! 

For Digital Storyteller, the Brand Storytelling Session grew naturally out of questions we had to ask clients over and over again and the research we did to better craft clients’ websites, content, and content marketing strategies.

A brand storytelling session focuses primarily on finding out what your ‘brand voice’ is. In other words, what your brand archetype is. 

Brand Archetypes

What’s a brand archetype? We’re glad you asked. Brand archetypes are as old as Greek tragedy (sadly, we can’t take credit for making them up…) The 12 brand archetypes that we use at Digital Storyteller are:

  • The Innocent
  • Everyman
  • Hero
  • Outlaw
  • Explorer
  • Creator
  • Ruler
  • Magician
  • Lover
  • Caregiver
  • Jester
  • Sage

Don’t worry, we cover what all of these archetypes mean during your Brand Storytelling Session!

What Happens After Your Brand Storytelling Session?

We’re all for transparency. After your two-hour block, we have a comprehensive overview of:

  • How you talk about what you do
  • How you feel about your company name
  • What your brand archetype is

From there, we can start to build the kind of marketing strategy that is unique to your company.

The Timeline

A week after a Brand Storytelling Session, you will receive a well-designed deliverable.

A few days after that, we get on the phone and set a kickoff call, if you decide we’re the right fit for you!

After our one-hour kickoff call, we set weekly one-hour meetings for the first month of our partnership, followed by bi-weekly meetings following. 

Why Is a Brand Storytelling Session Important?

As we say at Digital Storyteller, marketing without a brand voice is like a margarita without tequila… Useless!

Defining your brand voice through a Brand Storytelling Session shortens your sales cycle because having a clear brand voice makes people feel like they already know you when they walk into a room with you.

It helps build trust, and it makes prospects feel at ease as they’ve heard your brand voice consistently across your website, content, and social posts.

When you pick a brand voice and choose a brand archetype, it’s about the way in which you speak, not what you’re talking about. 

Conducting a Brand Storytelling Session helps us to truly understand a client’s brand voice, their brand archetype, and helps us to be able to write in their voice.

Amanda, Founder and Creative Director at Digital Storyteller, put it best. “I can talk about something that’s highly consequential in a number of different brand voices. The way you speak about what you do is what sets you apart from your competitors… A Brand Storytelling Session is the uncovering of the way in which you tell your own unique story.”

If you couldn’t tell by Amanda’s spiel, a BSTS isn’t anything to be afraid of. Don’t believe us? Check out what one of our clients, Todd Regan, said about his BSTS. (P.S. He wasn’t excited!)

“Looking at the [brand storytelling session] appointment on my calendar, I thought this is going be so painful – it was the opposite, so insightful, valuable, and fun.” —Todd Regan Chief Operating Officer at Payroll Hub

A brand storytelling session is crucial for all of you out there who struggle to explain to your drunk aunt what business you’re in every Thanksgiving. If you’re not clear on what you do, how can your prospects and clients be?

Plus, we can’t—or any outsourced marketing agency, for that matter—accurately represent your brand until we truly understand who you are, your audience, and your goals. Our brand storytelling sessions answer all of these questions.

We’re so confident in our ability to surprise and delight you that your initial BSTS session and deliverable are free.

Interested in learning more about the importance of brand storytelling? Check out this article.

Social Media Brand Awareness Metrics: More Than Likes and Comments

When most people consider their brand’s success on social channels they jump immediately to wanting tons of likes, comments, and followers on their profiles. While these factors are important in many cases, there’s more to social media than these tracking measures.

Brand Storytelling

Who can resist a good story? Character development and relationships, drama, adventure, and suspense all contribute to a reader’s desire to have a vested interest in a story. In fact, it’s a scientific reality that stories light up the human brain in a unique way that draws us in and mirrors the neurological activity of the storyteller. We are not just sociologically wired for story, it’s neurological as well.

Brand voice is what makes them unique and different from other brands and companies in the market, what’s yours?

holiday drinks

When talking about what business you’re in, remove all the layers and the jargon that describes what you do, and talk about the basics.

marketing without brand voice

marketing without a brand voice can seriously hurt your business!

storyteller