Define your value and marketing message before a website rebuild
Many companies realize it’s time to rethink and update their website. Technology has evolved and what audiences expect has changed. Content is out of date. They must go mobile. But where to begin? Marketing message before website.
Many companies begin the process by getting bids for their new or updated website from web designers, often looking for the lowest cost option. And there are plenty of freelance web designers to choose from that offer low-cost web design solutions.
But a web developer is not a marketer. Most web designers are not writers. And most small firms or freelance web programmers don’t integrate marketing-focused Search Engine Optimization tactics that will have the new website show up in a Google search.
Your message establishes what you stand for
Today your website must be at the center of your marketing. It must appeal to the audiences who represent your best customers or clients. It must embody your online brand and compel your target audiences to respond. It must cultivate a relationship, offer valuable information to web researchers, and help people choose what you offer. It must answer the questions your target audiences are asking. Defining that message comes before a website build.
Your website is not an online brochure. It’s a part of your sales process, ready to capture qualified leads. It should be treated as the heart of your communications and strategy, the place to stage your brand, introduce your goods and services and reinforce the value you offer. It must differentiate you from the competition. Thus you must set up that central message before you even start planning a new website.
Once completed, you cannot set it and forget it. Today’s website is an essential business asset to nurture, cultivate, feed and grow. Isn’t it worth thinking beyond “let’s make it look better” or “we need to add more pages”?
A web development firm is reframing the term
The quotes below are from an accomplished and experienced web development firm who is shifting how they speak about web development. They have realized their clients need more from their website.
We need to reframe our entire concept of web development, and that is a two-step process. First, in terms of widening the scope of what marketing and sales-focused websites do today … and second, in terms of understanding what web development as a discipline is becoming … Sophisticated web development is no longer about creating discrete applications, but doing what we call information logistics. — Christopher Butler and Mark O’Brien, Newfangled
“Information logistics … within a broader lead development ecosystem”
… yes, we still build websites — but we don’t build standalone sites. We now focus solely on building Lead Development Ecosystems, and while the conversion-focused website represents one third of the Ecosystem, those other two thirds — the CRM and Marketing Automation tool — are critically important. — Mark O’Brien, Newfangled
Your website is no longer just a website
That’s why message is first, before a website rebuild.
- Define your position in the market.
- State what you stand for to each of your target audiences.
- Create a website that supports the flow of your sales process.
- Build the content the right visitors will want to read and download.
- Offer information searchers are looking for.
Marketing and message before website design and planning. Define the message that tells your audiences “what’s in it for me?” if they work with you or buy from you. Build a sales blueprint before you talk to programmers. It’s likely your process can be shortened when you build in website components. Plan for an online a process you can update, measure, analyze and refine. Make sure your marketing team can add to, update and edit your site to keep the content fresh and viable.
We could go on … or you could check our other resources to build your online brand, based on your message and position
- Inbound marketing, what is it and why is it today’s marketing?
- Align your offline/traditional marketing with your online brand for more power
- Download our inbound marketing overview
- Rate the effectiveness of your website with our website scorecard
- But download our positioning worksheet first to define who you are and where you fit