Branding and the Big Picture
Building a marketing plan for your business is structurally a lot like building a house. You start with the most basic and often most important components and then add to and adjust from there. The foundation is very basic, but very important as it’s not always easy to change once your business is 1/2 or 3/4 built.
The basic building blocks include your business’s name, tag line, persona, passion behind it, value proposition, reason for starting it, exit strategy etc. Then there are other items that get decided, designed or built based upon those initial decisions about your business and what you’re trying to do with it. This second set would be things like assumptions about what type of people will be your best and worst clients, logos, colors, web site, etc.
Your business, marketing plan and marketing materials can always be adjusted, but changing the more basic fundamental ones can have a greater effect and cost to doing so. This can act against us in that many businesses will resist making market corrections later because of the hassle or cost, but may have to eventually to take their business to he next level.
These fundamental business factors and decisions will ultimately play an important roll in helping us to work with you in providing design services…whether for print, digital or both. We can meet in person, do a phone interview or swap questionnaires via email…but one way or another, the more we know about you, your company and your goals the better we’ll be able to help with your branding and design needs.
Your Website as an Impressive Brochure Online
For many business owners, the primary and often only planned use of their new website is to act as an impressive digital brochure. One that can be changed without costly reprinting, can be sent via email or link without cost of printing or mailing…and is accessible on-demand 24 hours a day, seven days a week. This is all true and as can be seen by market adoption over the past 10-15 years, is worth the cost since 90%+ of businesses now have one.
Your Website as Automated Sales Representative
Consider, the advantage to be had if as web designers and web developers, we started to look at your website as more than a simple brochure and started looking at it as an automated sales representative. You could give us some added information on your sales process, features and benefits, common objections…also known as frequently asked questions, etc. and we could use that information to construct a sales funnel.
By designing your website in a thoughtfully connect way, where the various info, concerns and responses are organized and located in such a manner, that your site visitor could just move around your new website getting to the bottom of things. They would actually be selling themselves on your product or service as they went and in the exactly right order that only they could know themselves. The sales process would adjust to every visitor so they would feel in control of the experience, yet in just the order they needed the pieces to be placed before them.
In some cases, a well designed website and sales funnel will actually close sales and now even take payment for your firm. When it comes to more complicated products, services that require greater customization or high dollar sales an effective site will cause them to contact your sales force ready to order or at least as a hot or warm lead instead of cold. Best of all, this new website or digital sales funnel will work 24/7 for you without complaint, will do exactly as told and can be changed or modified at will.
Your Website as a Lead Generation and Capture Machine
Although your website have all the necessary information, be properly laid out and organized…if it lacks clear call to action and/or a mechanism for capturing the new lead, then in many ways it will be only partially effective. For example, imagine a website doing a great job of converting a cold visitor to a warm interested potential client, but no phone number and request to call today on the site. Or perhaps, there is no name and email capture page to request a free estimate, schedule a meeting or request added information?
It ends up, that placing these calls to action, phone numbers, email forms, etc. is as much an art as it is a science and the application can change greatly depending on culture, age, sex, trade, etc. of your buyer. It can also be equally effected by the type, price, size and logistics of the products or services you’re selling. In this area, past experience, experimentation and shared knowledge between professionals can drastically increase the number of leads successfully generated from what would otherwise be almost the same website.
Your Website as an Ever Growing and Improving System
Whether your site ends up built in html/css, wordpress, joomla, drupal or any other particular system / format, it does need to be built so that it can easily be modified and added to later as needed. An easy way to do this, is to make sure it has an admin or management panel in the back-end…a way to go back easily and make simple and sometimes mid level changes.
When building in html/css, that involves specially building a CMS, content management system which adds quite a bit of cost and time. The other systems like wordpress, joomla or drupal come with a CMS built in, thus saving time, money and hassle for everyone involved. There are times that the planned website is sufficiently complicated that html/css and hand coding is the on only viable options…but that becomes less likely each years as he other systems listed continue to improve.
Social Pages, Blogs, Landing Pages and Banner Ads to Expand
Just as you need to prepare for making adjustments and changes to your website as your business grows and evolves, you should also be prepared to add other marketing components and then link them back to your website. Facebook pages, twitter page and a handful of other major social media would be one example. Also a separate blog, landing pages, banners driving traffic back to your site, etc. are all other items that would require design work and need to be kept similarly branded to compliment or match your existing logo, colors and website as this helps your business made sense and instills trust.