Understanding your proposition, and the value that it adds is a critical first step to effective marketing communication. Once you are clear on this, the next step is to tell the world – or at least your target market. You will probably be using many media and channels to communicate your message. However, your website should sit squarely at the centre of your marketing. Your website is the vehicle over which you have the most control. This is to communicate with your markets and tell your story the way you want. If your website effectively communicates your value proposition, then getting the message out via channels like email and social media should be straightforward. They can all be used to drive and invite people to visit your website.
When did you last really look at your website?
When looking to promote your business, the process should start with your website. However, all too often websites are managed on a “build & forget” model. You build your website then move on to the next project. In reality, your website should be the ongoing heart of your marketing communication. It needs to be something that you are continually reviewing and developing. It is essential to regularly add new content to ensure that your site consistently reflects your business and proposition as they develop and evolve.
Are you proud of your website?
Ask yourself a question:
When someone enquires about your business, do you without hesitation direct them to your website?
If the answer to this is NO, then maybe you have to ask yourself why and what you need to do to change the answer to “Yes”?
If your site effectively communicates your value proposition, it should be the first place you send people to find out more. In my experience, too often, a person’s view of their website goes no further than whether they like the look of it. This can be a dangerous approach because it is easy to be seduced by your local web design company telling you they can come up with a cutting-edge new design for you. A new-look website will not solve your problem! Don’t get me wrong, a website must look professional and reflect your business proposition but potential customers don’t come to you just because you have a smart-looking website. It is what you say in your website, and the way you say it, that is most important. Content is king.
Does your site effectively reflect your proposition?
If the answer to this question is No, it is most likely because it no longer accurately reflects what you do or the image you wish to portray. Even a website which you were proud of when it was launched can lose its appeal over time. The answer is to keep it up to date:
- Adding new developments in your offering
- Removing references to things you no longer offer
- Adding images, case studies & testimonials as they arise
- Posting news & blog articles that back up and demonstrate your value proposition
Keeping your website current means it will continue to effectively reflect your proposition – and be a website you are proud of – that you want people to see.
Keeping marketing communication joined-up
If you are happy with the message that your website communicates, then join it up with other marketing:
- Social Media
- Offline Marketing
All of these should flow from your website. Your marketing efforts should be about drawing people to find out more through your website.
The more you know about your customers and markets, the easier it is to ensure your business proposition can meet their needs and deliver relevant value. Behind your website is a wealth of information about the visitors to your website and what they do when they are visiting. The statistics and analytics data available from your site can give you an insight into where your efforts are paying dividends. Analytics can be overwhelming but with thought and planning, they can make a real difference – but that’s another post – How well does your website work?