Before making a buying decision, people review the websites of various companies they’re considering. That’s the world we live in. One or two may catch their eye. One might be so compelling that it seals the deal.
How can a marketing website be so memorable and persuasive that it clearly rises above the rest? Moving past the baseline of professional design, speedy server and intuitive interface, what remains - the missing piece - is a clear and deliberate communication strategy.
The content of this communication strategy will be unique to every brand and channel but here are some tried and tested guiding principles.
A campaign that emotionally connects your product or service to your audience is essential.
Before the golden age of advertising, features and benefits marketing reigned. The message was "Tide will make your family's clothes look cleaner". Once someone thought to ask "But why is it so important that my family's clothes look cleaner?" the path forward was clear. The new message was "Tide will make you a better wife and mother." As Don Draper would say "We're selling them a better version of themselves."
Finding this emotional connection is the kernel of the idea. The delivery mechanism can be a marketing phrase, a set of images, a visual treatment or all these together.
It takes passion and courage to do something creative and different. George Lois of Lois, Holland and Callaway spoke of creativity as "the defeat of habit by originality". You can defeat the marketing habits of your industry by differentiating in the way you present your offering. So go for it!
Committing also means following it through. Hopefully, your idea is scalable enough to live beyond the homepage - tying together the rest of the website and even translating to other marketing channels.
One of our guiding principles is concept + interaction = engagement. Engagement is an elevated level of attention or involvement and is usually predicated upon some sort of transaction. That can either figurative or literal but it needs an interaction to take place before it can occur. Think about some opportunities for this. Examples may be a calculator that requires user input (Calculate Your Savings) or a product demo with interactive elements.
As humans, we’re naturally attracted to anything that transcends the perceived limitations of a particular medium. Maybe you have a photo of your physical product on your website. What if a user could grab it with their mouse and spin it around? You just exceeded the perceived limits of a flat photograph. Make a list of all the things about your product or organization that you think your website can't convey. Give it to your agency and challenge them. Trust us: if you have the budget, they'll love it.
Finally, consider this as a metaphor. You're attending a party with fifty or so people. By the end of the evening you've met twelve new people. Of those twelve, who will you be thinking about on the way home and why?
"Being boring is a choice. Those mild salsas and pleated khakis don't buy themselves." - The Most Interesting Man in the World
Being interesting may seem elementary but sometimes it's difficult to step out of your own shoes as a passionate marketer or entrepreneur and into the shoes of someone who is just trying to check a box on their todo list. On the content side, don't go on endlessly about yourself without framing your solutions from the context of your audiences pain points. On the visual side, make sure the look and feel of the website has energy and the images you use are fresh and original.
Make sure it's no contest. Stand out for the right reasons and be remembered.