Okay I’m going to hit the nail on the head, people!
I see social media bloggers, one after another, and yes, content is so very important, but none of them has a solid “brand” that stands out. So if they get a ton of hits, I have to wonder not how, but if the readers have a clue who or what company they are following? Did they just come and read the post and leave without realizing where that content was weeks later?
I know this has happened to me. I clicked on a link on some article and it took me to another site where I read and got the information I was looking for, but forgot to bookmark or write down the person’s name or the company site, so forever into the void. However, if that site had been an original, something by title or design, you know I’d remember it.
For example: Social Media Examiner not only provides great content, but their branding is so interesting and distinctive, (we’re on safari there) I can always remember I read something there, where it came from. The same with the New York Times or in my design world, the AIGA or Graphic Design USA.
So, the question remains, why won’t writers and social media experts spend more or care about their visual identity?
Beyond branding design is structure and functionality, and bloggers at least have help because of content management systems (CMS, like WordPress), but their site can still be chaotic and not giving them what they seek. Yes branding and design is important to be memorable, but a website or blog platform should have one clearly defined goal. Are you gathering emails via an opt-in for your email newsletter or e-blasts, trying to sell an event or products, or push a video or some other content?
Your blog or site is only effective if you are getting what you seek. If you are not, the site must change. Period.