10 Key Ingredients of a Modern Brand Website

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At the center of an integrated marketing ecosystem is the brand website. But it still amazes me how many brands don’t get what it has to do. This deck tells the story.

Published in: Marketing, Business, Technology

10 Key Ingredients of a Modern Brand Website

  1. 1. THE 10 KEY INGREDIENTS OF A MODERN BRAND WEBSITE IQ Agency December 2013 Copyright © 2012 by IQ Agency Copyright © 2013 by IQ Agency
  2. 2. YOUR BRAND WEBSITE IS MORE THAN EVER THE HEART OF YOUR BRAND ECOSYSTEM Copyright © 2013 by IQ Agency 2
  3. 3. “Brand websites are now the second most trusted form of advertising, second only to recommendations from people I know” ! 2013 “Trust in Advertising” report from Nielsen ! ! ! This is a clarion call to all marketers to get their website up-to-scratch or risk becoming irrelevant to the modern consumer. ! Here then is a list of the 10 most important ingredients that an effective brand website today must have. ! ! Copyright © 2013 by IQ Agency 3
  4. 4. KNOW WHAT YOU ARE GOING TO DO AND WHY IT IS GOING TO WORK, BEFORE YOU START. Copyright © 2013 by IQ Agency 4
  5. 5. ! 1. STRATEGY A website only works if it’s built on strategy. Good strategy sets clear expectations for what a website can and should achieve. It is the foundational work which connects and directs all tactics. ! Strategy should bring together a comprehensive understanding of the brand, the competition and the consumer. It is only in understanding how all these forces influence sales that you can know how to convert prospects and grow customers. ! The brand website is the heart of todays complex Consumer Decision Journey*. It is the one place where a brand can completely control the presentation of a value proposition and make it’s most compelling case. ! ! ! *McKinsey & Company Copyright © 2013 by IQ Agency 5
  6. 6. USER EXPERIENCE IS TODAYS MARKETING BATTLEFIELD. EVERYTHING ELSE IS TABLESTAKES. Copyright © 2013 by IQ Agency 6
  7. 7. 2. FOCUSED USER EXPERIENCE (UX) Technology and supply chain efficiency used to be areas where brands could beat their competition. Today they are basic expectations. Now the battlefield is the experience consumers have with your brand at every interaction. ! Consumers come to your site with expectations. The challenge is to identify what they are and then exceed them. This is where good strategy work will have given you the insights you need to craft the right experience. ! Whether someone comes to your site to explore or accomplish a task, your job is to make the experience easy and valuable. That’s why the science and art of user experience (UX) is essential. It helps design a site that unfolds effortlessly in a compelling, relevant, personalized experience.  That’s what it takes today to convert prospects and strengthen bonds with existing customers. Copyright © 2013 by IQ Agency 7
  8. 8. Copyright © 2013 by IQ Agency 8 JOIN THE CONVERSATION. IT’S GOING TO HAPPEN ANYWAY
  9. 9. 3. SOCIAL INTEGRATION Social interactions and content bring your brand credibility, activate your community and amplify your brand. They attract search through SEO and include everything social from simple integrations to ratings & reviews. ! Companies used to shy away from the associated risks of exposing and enabling consumers to talk. But today the risk of not doing it far outweighs any risks involved. Not only does lack of transparency set up potential trust issues, but if you are not influencing the conversation, your competition is. ! Your brand website should be where you not only enable conversations, but inspire them with relevant, compelling content. Combined with good SEO this will make your website a magnet for interested consumers. Copyright © 2013 by IQ Agency 9
  10. 10. PEOPLE ARE LOOKING FOR ANSWERS. MAKE SURE YOURS ARE EASY TO FIND. Copyright © 2013 by IQ Agency 10
  11. 11. 4. SEO Search Engine Optimization makes your website, and more importantly the content within it, findable. It’s an art and a science. Every page and every piece of content needs to be optimized to your maximum advantage. That means keeping up with the latest search engine developments like Google Hummingbird, which recently changed the game again. ! SEO is the cheapest marketing when compared to just about everything else you can do. So remember every time someone discovers your content through SEO, it is one ad or cost-per-click you don’t have to buy. ! For SEO to be truly valuable you have to have content on your site that people will be searching for. That means investing in compelling content that will attract viewers and that people will share. ! Copyright © 2013 by IQ Agency 11
  12. 12. YES, THIS IS ROCKET SCIENCE. SO GET SOME SCIENTISTS. Copyright © 2013 by IQ Agency 12
  13. 13. 5. ANALYTICS The days of not knowing which half of your advertising is working are gone. Now you need to gather and understand as much data as you can. Analytics don’t replace inspiration or insights, instead they create them. ! It’s important to understand that analytics are not the same as metrics. Metrics tell you how you’ve already done, but analytics tell you what to do next. The many analytics software packages available, such as Google analytics, will actually feed you metrics, albeit in an easy to consume form. ! What they don’t do is tell you what those metrics mean, and what you should do as a result of them. This is the work of analysts. An analyst works with a strategy team to figure out what past performance says about where to go next. Good analytics insights reveal actionable consumer insights that might have been hidden and competitive opportunities that suddenly appear. Copyright © 2013 by IQ Agency 13
  14. 14. YOU WANT A MARKETING MACHINE? COMING UP... Copyright © 2013 by IQ Agency 14
  15. 15. 6. MARKETING AUTOMATION Every company has dreamed of marketing and sales having the same predictability as their other business processes. Marketing automation software takes that a big step closer. ! The software integrates with your website and other digital marketing channels. It allows you to track the activity of individual customers, and in many cases prospects, not only on your website, but also across the entire digital spectrum, including email, blogs, search and social media. It is especially valuable if you have a large database of customers and prospects with email addresses. It enables personalized, automated email marketing and integrates with many CRM systems. ! These systems are very powerful and can be enormously effective when integrated into a website. However they are dependent on the on-going flow of compelling content and smart management of the system. Copyright © 2013 by IQ Agency 15
  16. 16. GOOD LANDINGS ARE IMPORTANT. Copyright © 2013 by IQ Agency 16
  17. 17. 7. LANDING PAGES A website shouldn’t live alone. It should always be part of an integrated marketing strategy. The idea is that other marketing, both digital and traditional should drive consumers to the site, where you can present your most compelling value proposition. ! Every time someone clicks to go to the site from another location, such as an ad or an email, they should go to a landing page instead of your home page. This is because landing pages allow you to tailor a visitor’s first impression based on what you already know about them, such as their point of origin. ! Landing pages are part of a user experience strategy focused on personal relevance, which is one of the key elements of persuasion. Tailored landing pages are how you begin a compelling personalized experience. Copyright © 2013 by IQ Agency 17
  18. 18. Copyright © 2013 by IQ Agency TIME TO GET MOBILE. 18
  19. 19. 8. MOBILE Soon, most people will view your site on a mobile device of some kind. Your site should therefore be designed to work optimally on every mobile device. This means you have to navigate whether to use Responsive Web Design, which creates a web experience that adapts to the device it is being viewed on, or to create native apps for different device platforms. ! Unlike Responsive websites, native apps allow you to use the built-in capabilities of the phone, such as the location services.  Either way you need to offer a flawless mobile experience that fits what the user will be doing. ! As with most of the other choices a brand is faced with as they design their website, the answers come out of a comprehensive strategy process. Copyright © 2013 by IQ Agency 19
  20. 20. IT’S THE LITTLE THINGS THAT COUNT. Copyright © 2013 by IQ Agency 20
  21. 21. 9. CUSTOMER SERVICE The experience of your website should reflect your brand’s attitude towards customer service, which is a key consideration for consumers. You are either an easy brand to work with or you’re not. If your website is difficult and unfriendly you can understand why people might think doing business with you is the same. ! Customer service capabilities should therefore be built into your site. These include everything from instant chat, fast call backs, intuitive search, and email contact. You probably have many of these already. But understanding the evaluation process prospects go through and the tasks customers are trying to accomplish will help you choose which how to shape the nature of the customer experience with each of the tools at your disposal. ! Copyright © 2013 by IQ Agency 21
  22. 22. CONTENT DOES ALL THE REAL WORK. EVERYTHING ELSE JUST DELIVERS IT. Copyright © 2013 by IQ Agency 22
  23. 23. 10. CONTENT Last but not least comes content. Content is the lynchpin of modern marketing in digital channels, and your website is just a vehicle for organizing and presenting it. ! Consumers have figured out that they are no longer a captive audience for advertising. So instead they are looking for content that makes them smarter and/or entertains them. That content can be a video, an article, or even an interactive tool. ! In the end, however, it is how you are being judged. There’s already a lot of content out there, so if yours is not original, engaging and valuable, people will ignore it. Even if everything else on your website is perfect, content will still be the difference between success and failure. It is what search engines will value and it will activate your social networks. It will be the basis of a relationship started and the trust that is cultivated. ! Once you have the infrastructure of your marketing ecosystem in place, of which your website is a key piece, an ongoing flow of content will become the fuel that ignites the brand engine and keeps it running. Copyright © 2013 by IQ Agency 23
  24. 24. IQ IS AN AWARD-WINNING DIGITAL AGENCY We develop the strategies that result in truly integrated marketing. We then execute those strategies with everything from websites, to mobile apps, content creation, advertising or whatever else is required. ! Our mission is to first understand the best way to achieve our clients goals. Only then do we turn to tactics. Strategy is the underpinnings of everything we do because we believe that unless you have the right strategy, it doesn’t matter how good your tactics are. For more information please call Kevin Smith at 678-449-2014 or visit www.iqagency.com Copyright © 2013 by IQ Agency 24

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