From content refresh to digital rebrand | before nine
For the people-first performance consultancy, before nine, bespoke has always been a driving principle. Three years ago, we began working with founder, Dr Aarti Anhal, to help her create a simple, yet compelling website that would clearly demonstrate what makes her approach to human performance unique.
Right from the start, we combined our digital expertise with Aarti’s depth of knowledge and experience to create a website that truly stood out. Its elegant, flowing design, bespoke visuals and carefully crafted content immediately delivered the message that this is a consultancy that does things differently.
Fast forward to January 2020, and Aarti asked us to help her revisit her website for the year ahead. She was keen to launch a new, content-rich blog, to inform and inspire visitors and catch Google’s ‘eye’. Originally, we undertook a basic content refresh, designed to align key messages and hierarchy to before nine’s evolving services.
Then, COVID-19 hit, and everything changed…
Aarti quickly spotted that the pandemic would have a profound effect on how businesses harness human and organisational performance to manage challenge, change and transformation. She identified a prime opportunity to totally rebrand her business, aligning it to new client priorities. She needed our team to be flexible, intelligent and creative in adapting to what was now a fast-changing market. We needed clever strategies to mark before nine out as a true innovator. And we needed to ensure that Google was getting the message, too, to support the next stage of before nine’s growth.
“Yet again, the digital potion team have knocked it out the park! Given the change in scope brought on by the pandemic, the team were responsive and flexible, whilst also using their extensive experience to stand firm on advising what would or wouldn’t work well. The team’s ability to deliver all elements from copy and web design to graphics made for a truly integrated approach, with plenty of ideas bouncing back and forth between the different members of the team throughout the project. In fact, based on the seamless collaboration, it felt like digital potion were an extended part of the before nine team – partners rather than suppliers.” Dr Aarti Anhal
The market for before nine’s services is not an easy one to penetrate. Clients typically sit at operational head or executive level. They are time-poor and face huge challenges in promoting optimal performance during good times, challenging times and times of failure and learning. So, it was essential to develop a new content hierarchy that would deliver fast, easy navigation to offer visitors exactly what they need, right away.
Working closely with Aarti, we developed a brand-new architecture, designed to provide immediate crucial messaging and quickly signpost the information visitors need to decide on the next step and ultimately make an enquiry.
The result was a significantly extended – while simple and intuitive - navigation with a clear site roadmap, good-looking visuals and value-adding calls to action. Not only does this benefit visitors, it will also promote before nine’s SEO performance, since the extended navigation gives search engines clear, context-rich information to lock onto, index and rank.
Branding and key messaging
We then needed to help Aarti decide exactly what she wanted to say, and how to say it. Before nine’s work is complex, integrating the principles of positive psychology into human performance and organisational systems. A key message is before nine’s grounding in the business world and practical, results-driven approach.
We spent considerable time with Aarti, getting under the skin of how her business is shifting, and helping her assess how best to align her content to her busy, senior professional audience.
This was a collaborative process, resulting in a new strapline, revised messaging architecture, and bespoke visuals developed by our design team to represent the core principles of before nine’s work.
GETTING GOOGLE’S ATTENTION
An intelligent search term strategy
Before nine is undergoing a significant step-change – so we needed to beef up the company’s digital presence to generate new leads and interest. But before nine’s approach is also innovative and deals with new concepts and ways of working. This presented a challenge when it came to language and search terms. We needed to ensure that Aarti’s unique approach was represented, while also delivering content and terminology that Google would recognise in a sector-specific context.
Throughout the content rebrand, we paid careful attention to getting this balance right, to make sure that Aarti’s concepts were combined with more traditional business terminology. We applied this principle across every detail of the content – from meta data and tags to longtail messaging. Moving forward, careful monitoring of search term performance will inform us as to how before nine is progressing in ranking, so that more content can be developed to serve up what we know Google is happily consuming!
Launching and promoting a new blog
A blog is a powerful tool – it offers additional insight into your world for site visitors as well as promoting more attention via search engines. In fact, our clients typically drive more traffic from their blog than from their home page. But, often, those clients are so busy that they simply can’t find the time to sit down and translate their expertise into a blog format. Aarti, with her incredibly packed schedule, is no exception.
Our editorial team stepped in to help Aarti identify a range of blog topics that would cover more recognisable business priorities. We also created a set of fully branded social media assets that Aarti can easily adapt and edit. Aarti is extremely active in her networks – and known as a content creator – so these assets will ensure that all of her posts and updates align to the brand, reflect her professional approach and stand out from other social media noise.
POWER TO THE CLIENT
A new content management system for easy control
Aarti needs to be able to change and adapt her content quickly as her business evolves. However, the original ‘fluid’ design of her website required a bespoke CMS solution, which was highly structured in terms of sections and asset placement. Aarti wanted to keep the fluidity that remains so essential to her brand, while increasing her ability to manage and control content.
Our solution offered the best of both worlds. We retained the full section-based CMS structure on the home page to ensure that the layout stayed true to brand and disciplined in structure. Then, we converted the rest of the site to a more flexible ‘grid’ structure, using Umbraco. This means that Aarti can create, build and adapt pages as she wishes, and add any element (for example, carousels, infographics, videos, widget and calls to action) quickly and easily.
The scope that Aarti now has to update and grow her website is significant. It means that she can consistently tie her digital presence and marketing strategy in with her business growth.
We love client collaboration
Digital Potion pride ourselves on our ability to deliver value-adding digital services for every client’s business, client base and circumstances. This project was highly collaborative, combining the best of our digital specialisms with Aarti’s extensive expertise to deliver a future-proofed website that is already receiving great feedback from her client base. 2020 has seen before nine embark on an exciting journey of growth and change. We have enjoyed travelling the road with Aarti and striking the right balance between using all our digital knowledge to create a flexible, responsive site while allowing before nine’s authentic voice to shine!