Websites are most effective when they are an extension and expansion of daily business strategy and action. Any digital effort, just for the sake of being online will not yield positive results. When we look at a website’s function; we need to look first at the traditional business model, and the long and short-term objectives. Instead of changing the method of delivering the message we need to extend and integrate the message to our entire online platform.
When planning to expand and extend our message to the online world we need to realize that effective online efforts are all about great content versus pretty pictures, it’s about the distribution of this content on the Internet. This task requires deep thinking. Plan to get comfortable being uncomfortable as you go through thinking and planning exercises. In the end, we must be clear about the challenges. We must be open, more competitive, think deeper, do better and work smarter; while not forgetting to smile and have a little bit of fun.
We say fun because unlike traditional media that usually talks “TO” the audience the digital world talks “WITH” the audience. There is a huge difference between “talking to many” and “talking with one”. So how would you talk to a visitor? You need to be interesting, challenge your visitor, look professional or casual but look good, be everywhere to meet and talk with your fans, be relevant, tell your brand story (depicting the essence of your company and/or brand) and provide brand utility (your online contribution to your visitors. It’s no different than the contribution you provide to a visitor in your office or store. )
Now, ask yourself “was my current website developed based on that simple and common sense philosophy?” Was it based on business objectives, steady meetings, looking good, being relevant and contribution to my audience? If not – you may end up with what many refer to as an “online presence”. You don’t want one of these; you want your website to be an additional profit center for your business.
Matt Howell, CIO of Modernista said, “If it feels easy, you’re not doing it right.” We add to his statement “If you are afraid, you might be missing out on all the fun” and probably working at the wrong level or with the wrong people; probably missing out on many great monetary possibilities that the online world has in store for your business.
So how can we do it right?
We need to be — Broad, Deep, Dynamic, Relevant and Interactive.