I’ve been working with a local gym introducing them to different ways of using the web as a communication channel and monetization opportunity.
Of course, the very first thing they asked was about Pay-Per-Click, to which I tried to explain (not successfully) that their beautiful corporate website would was not ready for it.
The reply was one I already expected:
“But the site looks awesome, I paid a lot of money for it!”
Yeah, I know.
They had a bunch of flash animations, amazing graphics, and a really kick-arse design. But the navigation was poor, there was very little content. But more importantly, if I were to use that for a PPC campaign, I needed a BRIBE and a CAPTURE FORM.
The owner looked at me like “Am I really paying you?
And the explanation that took me a couple of meeting to finally get him to understand was:
If you’re paying for traffic, you need to find a way to monetize those visitors.
Even if it means a simple data-gathering form.
What is the web 1.0 corporate deathtrap?
When that same business owner heard me saying that, he freaked out.
He was proud to have a cutting-edge website, and for him that was all that was necessary. But therein lies the trap:
Most brick-and-mortar business owners believe a website should be like the front of their store, and look pretty enough to invite visitors in.
But the fact is that the internet is the biggest, fastest-pace mall EVER. Online users’ attention span is minimal and they’re not attracted by looks only anymore. That was the web 1.0.
Visitors now want information, as they’re used to receiving it at an unbelievably fast rate from Google, Twitter, and many other sources. And making information attractive, educational, and satisfactory is key running a successful website and to widen a business’ communication channels.
Avoiding the web 1.0 Deathtrap
Get that expensive web designer of yours and feed him with everything that is going on in your business.
Tell him to update the site with a NEWS stream and publish press-releases-like messages (or even blog-posts-like) at least twice a week.
Instigate your visitor by publishing pictures, and videos on your website. But not studio pictures or professional videos: get somebody on your staff to take pictures of that special event or record a video of a class or seminar. It has to look real, not “made-for-tv”.
And that is just basic. To go one step further:
- use the website to promote special events, and offer web-exclusive bonuses.
- At specific events, record live customer testimonials
- Start a blog: Let customers post their feedback.
- Write an industry-specific ebook or record a video training and sell it on the website.
The web is the most effective communication channel a business can have, aside from personal interaction. It offers the most targeted advertisement platforms, and through the internet a business can uncover any market.
As long as top management is aware of it, a website will offer a ton of opportunities. But when management is stuck in the web 1.0, the best thing to do is introduce them to the information era.
I’ll keep you posted on our work as we move forward with the project.
If you’re a business owner looking for ways to establish a more positive online brand strategy, or you’re tired of paying good money for a website that is useless, post your question here (as a comment), and I’ll answer them.