Every week I get asked to look at business websites and tell the
owners why they're not getting the results they want. Some of these
sites are straightforward brochures, others are e-commerce catalogs,
and some are those direct-mail-style pitches reminiscent of old
mail-order magazine subscription schemes ported-over to the Web. Some
have incorporated do-it-yourself audio and video and some even had this
media professionally produced; still the results stink. Why?
'The Close' Is Always Found In 'The Why'
part of the problem stems from a very narrow definition of what a
website is: by casting your site in terms of a brochure, catalog,
e-commerce-site, blog, or portal, you are falling into the trap of
concentrating on 'The What' rather than on 'The Why'.
focus on 'The What' is exacerbated by some search engine optimization
techniques intended to drive traffic, not to brand product, sell
services, or convert traffic into customers. Don't get me wrong,
traffic is important, but converting that traffic into paying customers
is more important. Even the best and brightness search engine
optimizers will tell you that their job is to deliver traffic not
orders - closing the deal is your job, and anybody who tells you that
closing can be done by means of some automatic
never-touched-by-human-hands method is just plain nuts.
want to be careful of is search engine tactics and second rate media
that actually gets in the way of effectively delivering your marketing
message, of telling your business story, of creating a memorable brand
image, and above all of generating profitable business clients.
Web-video Is A Presentation Marketing Strategy
you pay any attention to what's going on, you must be aware of the
shift in Web-thinking and the acceptance of Web-video as a fundamental
Web-marketing tool. But like most things, there is a right way and a
whole bunch of wrong ways to do it.
Web-video is a presentation
marketing strategy that's strength and power comes from its ability to
overcome the Web's natural sterile, isolationist environment, by
incorporating verbal and non-verbal human elements that effectively
deliver bold, well-crafted memorable messages. Can a Web-video campaign
cure everything that's wrong with your company, or even your sales
departments deficiencies, of course not, but the right message based on
'The Why' using appropriate cost effective presentation techniques can
position your business, brand your product, and generate sales leads.
fool yourself: you and your sales staff have to close the sale. Do not
expect to sit back and count your profits while your website runs your
business by default. Automatic pilot may work for sites that sell
commodity items and nationally branded merchandise backed by millions
of dollars of advertising, but unless you fall into that category, it's
time to get real.
A New Web Paradigm
a new way of looking at your website and if you 'get it' you will be
able to refashion your site and reinvent your business in a way that
gets you remembered and initiates action by your target market:
thinking of your website as a stage and all the content on it as
players you direct in order to deliver your message and tell your story
in a memorable manner to a relevant audience.
So let's breakdown this Web-presentation model and analyze how it meets your marketing needs.
Your Website Is a Stage
who want to use their websites as a marketing vehicle have to get past
thinking of them in terms of merely digital print media.
damaging is the over-reliance on search optimization or IT technical
solutions that have little or no relationship to marketing's primary
goal of delivering a memorable message that initiates action on the
part of the audience.
Knowing the age, sex and hat size of the
last ten thousand visitors to your site may impress some but reams of
statistical information on your visitors doesn't necessarily mean you
know what that data means or how to use it effectively. In the same
vain, tons of traffic generated by the latest SEO manipulation doesn't
necessarily translate into business.
Start thinking of your
website as a stage, a presentation and performance platform that allows
your company to present your message to your audience in an
entertaining, informative, and memorable manner.
Tell Your Story In A Memorable Manner
are many ways to present what you do and why your audience should care
but the most effective way is to deliver that information in a story
format. When people come to your website they are putting you on trial,
judging everything thing you present to see if it is relevant,
convincing, and if it resonates with to their needs.
article, "Evidence Evaluation in complex decision making," in the
'Journal of Personality and Social Psychology,' by Pennington and
Hastie explains when prosecutors tell their version of events to a jury
in story-format they are able to achieve a 78% conviction rate, whereas
lawyers who do not use a story-format to communicate to juries only get
a 31% guilty rate. When visitors come to your website they are putting
you on trial for your Web-business life.
Memorable Communication Is All About The Performance
communication begins with the campaign concept. If you don't have a
well-defined, focused concept that deals with 'the why anybody should
care factor' your communication will be muddy and irrelevant. Far too
many marketing campaigns try to do too much, and in an effort to get
your money's worth say everything and anything that comes to mind.
Unfortunately, all you're really doing is confusing people and your
core message never gets heard, let alone understood or remembered.
need professional presenters who know how to use both verbal and
non-verbal performance to get your message across, and of course you've
got to give the presenters a script that is well written, entertaining,
Professional actors and voice-over talent bring
infinite subtlety, nuance, and meaning to cleverly written scripts. Add
sound effects, custom signature music and a few post-production
enhancements and you have a memorable presentation.
don't need is complicated sets, props, and locations that increase the
cost of production. The Web is not television, and there is no need to
absorb inflated expenses based on ad agency cost-plus-pricing fees that
bare little relation to effectiveness.
productions are just not necessary and lose their impact when delivered
in relatively small Web-friendly formats that need to be easily
integrated with additional collateral material used to present more
details and to answer frequently asked questions.
Last But Not Least
can learn a lot from children, not the least of which is their
relentless quest for the answer to 'The Why' of things. We often forget
that this is the central issue in our lives, and it is only after we've
been told by parents, teachers, bosses and numerous other authority
figures to shut-up and do what we're told, that we sublimate this need
and replace it with the far less meaningful and convincing 'What.'
if we as marketers can put our faith in delivering 'The Why' using the
most people-friendly techniques of verbal and non-verbal digital
communication, then we will have learned how to present a convincing
memorable Web-marketing presentation.