Some websites have beautifully designed layouts, audience friendly content—and pitiful About Us content. Your brand story is wholly unique, and every company has one. Successful marketing is about uncovering a brand story and then using it to drive other marketing activities. Failing to see the About Us section as a marketing and brand positioning opportunity is a mistake because people often use that section to make purchasing decisions, particularly if they need to decide between two competitive brands.
If We Have a Good Product, Why Do Consumers Care About Us?
A 2015 study from Cone Communications, a research company focused on corporate responsibility, uncovered some interesting insights regarding modern consumer behaviors:
- As many as 91% of consumers around the world expect businesses to engage in activities to address environmental and social issues above and beyond making a profit.
- 84% of consumers claim to purchase products they perceive as responsible when they can.
In other words, consumers care about more than low prices and fast shipping. They want to know that your brand has values that they can really get behind. Nobody wants to do business with a company known for cheating its employees or using overseas labor to keep prices exceedingly low. A consumer interest in business responsibility has also supported popular marketing labels including “Made in the USA,” “Fair Trade Certified,” and “Non-GMO.”
Whether you sell products or a professional service, your consumers want to know they can trust your brand on an emotional and moral level. Your About Us page gives you a clear launch pad for responsible brand positioning.
How Brands Are Creating Meaning Via an About Us Page
Your business doesn’t have to be a certain size or have a certain profit margin for you to tell your story. A remarkable brand story is your opportunity to emotionally connect with your audience. Here are a few examples of brands that have the right idea about telling a story:
- National Geographic. National Geographic has a long history, but the brand never lets its About Us page fall behind its efforts. The current page includes a powerful video describing the brand’s mission along with text and navigational cues to direct readers to those goals: exploration, education, and conservation, among others.
- Akola. This jewelry-selling nonprofit is focused on empowering women throughout the world to discover financial independence. The website has two “About” sections. One, “About,” allows readers to learn more about the founder, while the other, “Our Work,” provides a background about the organization and its outreach model.
- A. Goldberg, PLLC. Where many law firm websites drone on and on in the about section, this section is refreshingly short and to the point. With a few carefully selected phrases and an easy transition to the attorneys who practice there, the “About” page tells potential clients what they need to know to get started.
These three websites take very different approaches to their About Us pages. If you were to start looking at other examples, you’d find several distinctive approaches to the concept. There isn’t one right answer; the idea is to differentiate yourself from competitors, build credibility, and connect with consumers.
Enrich Your About Us Page With These Ideas
Convinced that you need to update your About Us page? Use these ideas to get your creative juices flowing:
- Focus on accessibility, not formality. Unless your website is on the lost art of formality and etiquette, stay away from language that comes across as too tight and inaccessible. Reading a dry recounting of your full brand history is boring. Using industry jargon makes you sound pretentious. Use a voice and language that will connect you to your audience.
- Flesh out the full story first. Instead of trying to create brand messages on an as-needed basis, compile all the information you have about the organization. Ask for quotes from the owners (or create some quotes if you are the owner), set out the timeline, and look for any pieces of gold among the stories you hear. Talk to employees and customers who’ve been around since the company started. You’ll have all the information you need to create an About Us page and other pieces of content now and into the future.
- Make it your own. Some companies see a competitor’s approach and try to write something with a similar format. Check out your competitors to see what they’re doing, but then try to find your own angle. What will make a customer or client choose your mission, story, and approach to business over someone else’s? If your company has a really close-knit team of employees, highlight why that makes a difference for customers. You have something that sets you apart. Find it, and capitalize on it.
- Maintain a simple format. Some About Us pages take things too far. They want to include a full history, a brand positioning statement, core values, and other information within one unbroken block of text. Avoid overloading the reader, and stick with the memorable details. Readers won’t remember the “fluff” anyway.
- Don’t focus on yourself too much. The page is a perfect place to toot your own horn, but people who visit the page will be looking for information that supports their own decision-making process in some form or another. Consider the GE Powering About Us While focusing on the brand story and mission, the page highlights energy efficiency statistics that will appeal to consumers.
Read your About Us page from a reader’s point of view. Would you want to invest your hard earned money in the company based on that page? Enrich all of your marketing efforts with a revamped brand story and About Us page this summer.
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