The web is now the center of your marketing and your online brand
When I started in the marketing and design business more than 30 years ago, we worked with typewriters, drawing boards, rubber cement, X-acto knives and rapidograph pens. Our long and complicated process involved sending out for type, doing pasteups, using markers to show colors and proofing color keys.
But after all that work, there was a sense of accomplishment when those beautiful brochures came off the press. We were done.
Because today your website is your online brand, at the center of your marketing.
- It’s the resource built around key messages and SEO so the right people can find you.
- It offers information so browsers can learn more about how to buy from you.
- It delivers an experience that reinforces your value.
- It aligns with your offline brand, to reinforce what people know about you.
- It captures leads with landing pages and inquiry forms.
- It fulfills on what people are looking for in your category.
- It provides ongoing support for current customers.
- And it’s refreshed regularly to appeal to Google.
Your website is more than an online brochure.
Your website is a vital business asset to be cultivated, cared for, updated, and tuned to what your target audiences are searching for. It must deliver what people need to know to choose you.
Your website today is a magnet for business—whether your audience is a family who needs a new roof or a business shopping for a new piece of equipment.
Why is your online brand so important?
We all know technology in the last few decades has created significant changes in business and communications. What people expect, how they search and how they buy has transformed with mobile access, faster internet and tons of information available on the web.
The new reality:
- According to Forrester Research: Although it varies greatly with product complexity and market maturity, today’s buyers might be anywhere from two-thirds to 90% of the way through their journey before they reach out to the vendor.
- From the same Forrester report: Buyers of business products and services are online, in social channels, on YouTube, going to events, and evaluating options on their iPads and smartphones.
- From HubSpot: Inbound marketing [where your website is central] costs 61% less per lead than traditional, outbound marketing.
- Comscore: Google is the new yellow pages—By the end of 2014, more than 70% of all online searches used Google.
If it’s not obvious by now, the rules of marketing have changed forever.
Traditional marketing no longer works the way it used to because the consumer is now in complete control. Like never before, presenting your brand value in a well structured, creatively differentiated and professionally executed website is a much better way to engage with new prospects and existing customers.
To succeed today, every business must now meet many new requirements and higher online expectations than ever before.
Paul Pruneau, teamworks.com, 10 reasons why your web site redo will fail
It all comes down to:
If someone is looking for what you offer, where are they looking? Online. And they could be on a smart phone, tablet, desktop or TV when they’re searching.
If they find you what do they see? Does your website offer what they’re looking for? Does it pass the “blink test”? Is it mobile friendly—easy to use on a smartphone or tablet?
I have to admit, there are days when I long for the skill of a professional typesetter and the simplicity of a typewriter. But I also relish keeping up with the new way of marketing.
My challenge to you—is your marketing program stuck in the ‘90s with brochures and sell sheets? Is your website just an online version of those old brochures? Or have you embraced the reality of building your brand online, where people are looking for what you have to offer? It’s a brave new marketing world.
Check out these other posts about a more effective online brand, or rate your website now:
- Inbound marketing connects online, Brand Responsibly!
- Your website should align your online and offline brand
- Build a website that’s mobile friendly
- Test the value of your website with our website effectiveness scorecard
Want to talk further about aligning your offline and online brand? Or about building a website that is at the center of your sales and marketing strategy? Contact us by email, or call toll-free to 866.363.4433.