At FocalPoint, the answer is, “Sure, we’d love to be your go-to company on your website project. But let’s talk about this before we get started.”
If this is our first work with a new client, we initiate a lot of conversations before we touch the cursor. We like to think of this as “Website Design and Development 101.” It really is a prerequisite before we begin work.
Why? Because the best place to begin is to really consider why you want a website in the first place.
Is this to replace or update an existing site? Why replace it? What was right and what wasn’t about the existing site?
What is your single most important message and why?
What does the site need to do?
Answer questions about what you do or be a resource to provide info or tools to existing customers?
We want to be sure that your website is more than a place to talk about who you are and what you do. If that’s all your website does, it won’t drive traffic. It will probably just sit there as a line on your business card.
For a website to do what it’s supposed to do, it has to:
Is your website responsive?
Draw you in
Provide you with needed information right off the bat. In three minutes, a potential customer should know who you are, what you do, and why your company matters
Be strategically engineered to drive readership
Built around intuitive navigation (i.e., making your key points easily understood and getting eyes further into the site to provide more information)
Set a strategically considered tone with color, visuals and copy.
Once we begin communication with new clients around the strategic design of their website, we often uncover previously undiscussed topics, for instance:
What really sets you apart from your competition?
How does what you do matter?
Does your logo accurately reflect a sense of what you are/what you do?
Does your tag line provide memorable new information about your company, or just sit there because you’ve used it for ten years and never thought much about it?
Even after the site work is begun, we’re really just getting started. Because once that website is up, you’ll need to manage it to keep if working for your business, adding fresh content from time to time.
So yes, we can help you build and design that new website. But with us, the site will be much more than new.
It will provide the right information to your audience at the right time. It will drive the right kind of traffic to your business.
It will also provide your potential client with a reason to contact you to learn more.
As of late, I have really been making it a point to focus on the content marketing strategy for my business. Having been in the marketing industry for over 25 years, it only seems natural to begin to share some of my thoughts, opinions and stories via my company blog. You see, for a long time I have been known to my network as the “video guy” and while video production is definitely one of our core services here at Focal Point, there’s so much more to the story. It has always been my passion to build an Digital Marketing Agency that is truly engaged in the success of each client.
It’s never too early to write a blog post predicting the keys to a successful online marketing plan for the following year. After all, the hope is that readers like you will get the message and start taking action now. Well, I’m here to fill you in on the 2 online marketing plan must-haves that are going to make or break your success in 2015.
Before we get started, let me just say that these are two trends that many online marketers saw coming but were still overwhelmed by how fast they happened. Let me also say that your online marketing plan and marketing strategy needs to include these things because they are not going away. They will only continue to become more apparent.
1. Multi-Device Consistency and Compatibility
Is your brand represented well on every device? Businesses who aren’t thinking about this question are getting blindsided everyday when they realize that 30% 40% of their website traffic is coming from smartphones. And another 8% – 10% from tablets . All at once they realize that beautiful website design isn’t exactly user friendly for the majority of their potential customers.
We live in a multi-device world. We watch TV with our iPhone in hand. We regularly switch from PC to tablet throughout the day. If a potential customer views your site from their desktop at work, gets distracted and comes back later that night from a smartphone – will the experience be consistent? It’s no longer a choice. Responsive website design is here to stay and the customer experience MUST be consistent or sales and leads will be lost. End of story.
Statistics from a recent Marketingland.com report: “Mobile web traffic has grown 50 percent over the past year and now represents more than 25 percent of all internet visits according to a study by Wpromote. The company looked at traffic to 35 of its client sites, including e-tailers, B2B industries and consumer services.
Consumer services was the category with the highest percentage of mobile traffic at 33 percent. B2B sites had the lowest percentage of mobile traffic at 16 percent.
With a much larger sample of sites, StatCounter shows a higher aggregate percentage of mobile traffic in the US market:
Desktop: 68.8 percent
Smartphone/mobile: 21.4 percent
Tablet: 8.7 percent
Recently I was told by mattress retailer Sleep Train that roughly 40 percent of its traffic now comes from mobile devices. This is also true for sites that offer real-world or “local” information (e.g., Yelp, YP). These sites are seeing traffic north of 40 percent from smartphones and tablets.”
Who is doing responsive website design well? Take a look at WeAreIU.com. It’s a website all about helping Indiana University upcoming freshmen prepare for the college experience. The majority of the content is written by students, for students. The mobile version of the site features a condensed menu with the “Must Reads” front and center using large text that makes it easily clickable. The content is the start on this website and they make the best stuff easy to find.
I don’t need to cover the importance of social media marketing. By now, you’ve heard it a million times and you get it. But what I can tell you is that social media marketing skills are going to become like Microsoft Office skills – every new hire is going to need to have them. It’s just that important. The other thing that I can tell you is that having a visual marketing strategy for your business is going to be the most critical thing to your success on platforms like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.
These social media sites continue to make changes that put more and more emphasis on images and videos. This isn’t going to change anytime soon. Facebook continues to increase the size of images in its news feed. Twitter recently made changes to the way its images are displayed, added filters, etc. Google Plus allows its users to show off their photography skills like never before. Instagram continues to grow in popularity along with Pinterest. Is your company adapting to these changes? Are you using video and images to tell your story?
Stats about Visual Content Marketing: Hubspot put out an article about the effectiveness of using images and videos in content marketing entitled 19 Reasons You Should Include Visual Content in Your Marketing [Data] back in 2012 (hint hint – you should be doing these things by now) and the trends mentioned have only become more true today. Here are a few of my favorite points:
15) Viewers spend 100% more time on pages with videos on them. (Source: MarketingSherpa16) Mobile video viewing increased 35% from 2010 to 2011. (Source:Nielsen)
17) 25 million smartphone users stream 4 hours of mobile video per month. 75% of smartphone users watch videos on their phones, 26% of whom use video at least once a day. (Sources: Ooyala and Ipsos)
18) Mobile video subscription is expected to hit $16 billion in revenue by 2014, with over 500 million subscribers. (Source: Ooyala)
19) Viewers are 85% more likely to purchase a product after watching a product video. (Source: Internet Retailer)
Who is using visual social media marketing well? Remember Dollar Shave Club? They’re the ones who had to wildly popular video that went viral back in 2012 (go here for a reminder). Well, they’re still at it and doing a great job with their social media marketing strategy. Take a look at the example below. Simple. Funny. Best yet, it gets interaction and drives sales. This one FB post had 276 likes, 44 comments and 25 shares. Not bad for a post about razor blades!
Ready to talk about your visual content marketing?
Focal Point can help you share your story through the use of stunning photography and video that can be incorporated into your social media marketing strategy. Contact us today to talk about your visual online marketing strategy!