Don’t Waste Your Website
Back in 2010 I wrote an article called “Back to the Future. The dotcom in 2010” for the SoDA report (the Society of Digital Agencies). Since then the digital marketing world has kept marching on and our heads have been turned by many new things, most of them in social media. But even after all this time the old brand website still wears its crown as the center of digital brand ecosystem.
As Pete Blackshaw, Exec VP of Incite, a joint venture between Nielsen & McKinsey, writes in a superb article on the role of websites “Importantly, if we're truly entering a POEM (paid, owned, earned) media mix model, brand websites are key. They anchor the owned, reinforce the paid and incubate the earned.
Think about it. Where can a brand make as powerful and complete a pitch as it can on its website? Where else does a brand have as much control over the experience? Other brand touchpoints have bits of the puzzle and can certainly have influence, but only the brand site can be designed to take a prospect from curiosity all the way to SOLD and beyond. Of course brand sites may not be as sexy as a Pinterest page or a mobile app on the fad scale, but think about what they can accomplish.
Whenever we create interest with an ad or a piece of content we need to do something with that awareness. We always need a next step that can move the prospect closer to the sale, and nothing can do that better than the brand site. So don’t waste your brand site. Make it the next step for all your marketing and equip it to be a conversion machine.
A brand site should therefore be designed with three primary missions in mind:
1. Make a persuasive pitch for your brand – First and foremost your website should be designed to identify who the prospect is, where they are in the buying process and use that knowledge to deliver exactly the right message at exactly the right time; just like a good salesperson. It should find out what’s important to the prospect and tailor-make the pitch around that for maximum relevance.
2. Start a relationship – But since most people don’t close on the first visit, make sure you get the information you need to start a dialogue with as many visitors as possible. That means capturing a way to stay in touch with them like an email address. Permission based communications are the life blood of a CRM and marketing automation effort and lead directly to ROI. It’s also a lot cheaper than going fishing for those same prospects over and over again.
3. Siphon off the rest – Don’t let all the other Press, dealers, customer service, investors, you name it. Brands have many constituents. They are all important so quickly get them to a place designed to address their needs. Then you can get back to selling those prospects.