The decision to invest in an online presence for your business is no longer in question. The challenge now is more to do with how you differentiate yourself online, what you do to be heard above the white noise. Ideally, what makes you unique and engaging to your customers offline should be reflected online.
The rise of social media has opened new and exciting opportunities for businesses to connect with consumers on their level – but ultimately your website should also ‘speak your customers language’.
These tips are designed to help you develop a website which effectively communicates with your target audience.
1. Start with the end in mind:
Above all else, you should think: What’s the purpose of your website? What is it you want to achieve by investing in an online presence? If you do not know what you are looking to achieve then it will be very difficult to be successful.
Starting with the end in mind will positively impact all areas of your website, from colours and layout to the creation, and even the positioning of your content.
2. Content is King:
Now you’re ready to get creative. With web technologies advancing at the rate they are today, the number of imaginative ways to connect with your audience continues to grow. Each of the following platforms can be adapted to appeal to and engage any audience:
- Obviously, well written, easily digestible copy
- Downloadable PDFs (for ease of printing where appropriate)
- Webinar and other forms of online presentation
- Video content – which can open a myriad of content ideas by itself
- Social media networks
- Slideshows etc
Just as importantly as the ‘how’ however, is the ‘what’. Content is still king, so think quality over quantity when planning your message and don’t be afraid to let your creative juices flow.
3. Know Your Audience:
Your websites content, colours and imagery can help make your brand more engaging to your prospects and customers. Get it right and you’re sure to create a good first impression. Get it wrong on the other hand and prepare to be ignored.
Some research and consideration into what appeals to your target audience will help guide the ‘look and feel’ of your website, which overall, will enhance your online presence, making a significant difference in your ability to speak your customers’ language.
4. It’s a Conversation:
An important part of connecting with your audience is to think dialogue as opposed to monologue. A website that never changes provides won’t encourage your audience to return. A blog is an ideal platform for publishing customer focused content on a consistent basis. A blog will also enable you to incorporate social media networks to engage your audience above and beyond your initial content.
Critical to publishing customer focussed content on a regular basis is a well thought out content strategy. Simply put, this consists of a plan to regularly source, prepare and publish content designed to attract and engage your customers.