How many websites should your company have? That's a question that comes up often in discussions with clients, but perhaps the idea never crossed your mind.
Why would any company need more than one website? Not to be glib but the answer is as many as you need, but how many is that?
If you're a large corporation, it is fairly obvious that you need a separate site for each brand you offer, and a separate site for corporate background material and perhaps investor information.
But what if you're a small or medium-sized company with a limited number of products or services? Then the question becomes, do your products relate to one another? Does one item flow into the next? Is your audience for each product or service the same? And what about totally different audiences for the same product: audiences that need to be approached with totally different tactics? And then there are special circumstances like new product launches, time sensitive marketing campaigns, and limited availability offers?
Mini Campaign Websites and Alternative Marketing Websites are an effective method of enhancing your marketing efforts and targeting optional audiences you would never have otherwise reached using your traditional sales marketing approach.
7 Tactical Reasons To Use Campaign Websites
1. Focus Your Presentation: eliminate distraction and non relevant clutter.
It is human nature to want to get your money's worth, but when it comes to website marketing this can be counter-productive. Wanting to cram everything you offer into one website aimed, or more to the point not aimed, at every interested audience only creates clutter and confusion. Forcing visitors to sift through reams of material only creates frustration and irritation, and with a click of a mouse they're off to the next competitor listed on their favorite search engine before they even get to your relevant information.
A campaign or brand specific website allows you to get right to the point. Greet your targeted audience with a signature video Web-host supported by appropriate images and text. If a lot of text material is required, then have it turned it into an audio presentation so the material is made more accessible, understandable, and easy to absorb.
A focused brand or campaign site shortens the sales cycle by making what you offer clear and distinct; it provides visitors with the sense that you are both competent and innovative in what you do and how you do it.
2. Use Alternative Tactics: experiment with non traditional campaign and sales' approaches.
Most companies follow a consistent sales approach that they have found successful. This is both a good thing and a bad thing: following a plan that has worked in the past aimed at your traditional customer base makes sense, except that it also limits you in reaching new audiences for your products and services.
There may be markets for what you offer that you have never thought of, or that you are afraid to approach because they conflict with your current methods, promotions, or initiatives.
Why give up on these potential customers when you can create an audience specific Web-presentation on a separate campaign website aimed specifically at that market. With a series of highly targeted websites you speak to the needs of specific audiences and at the same time insulate your regular clients from the alternative approaches.
In a highly competitive marketplace, your competition will be looking for every opportunity to take advantage of markets you ignore. Don't let them. You can get to them first and establish your company as the niche leader. All it takes is a little imagination, effort, and a budget to implement. This way you can have your cake and eat it too.
3. Create Urgency & Impact: campaign sites urge quick response, while creating a memorable impression.
Website visitors are always complaining how much time it takes them to search for and find the products and services they need. This often translates into complaints about download times, but the fact is, with the extensive availability of broadband, it's not download times that frustrate people, it's having to search through multiple pages and levels, in a hide-and-seek game to find what they want.
A campaign or brand-specific alternative marketing site gets right to the point and delivers the information or the promotion referenced in your email, banner, and print ads, or television and radio commercials.
And if you use a signature video Web-host to deliver the information, you are making sure the presentation has impact; so even if a visitor doesn't view everything, they at least get the core message in a way they won't forget.
Your targeted marketing sales pitch won't get watered-down by extraneous information that just gets in the way. Depending on how the site is constructed and what the marketing objectives are, a campaign specific website can create a sense of urgency by building in a time sensitive expiry date.
4. Target New & Alternative Audiences: create new markets for old products and services.
Not every audience for a product can be approached with the same tactics. Specific brand or campaign sites allow you to customize your approach for new or alternative audiences appealing to their specific lifestyles or behavior patterns.
If you've had experience running a sales staff or rep network, you know that salespeople who call on one specific market are rarely successful when asked to simultaneously call on another. Different markets require different approaches. Like a one-size-fits-all hat, it rarely fits anybody. Customize and isolate your approach to different markets, so you can speak directly to that market's needs and attitudes.
The marketplace is often more innovative than the marketer in finding new ways to use old products; ways the manufacturer never realized existed. Ask your customers how they use your products and then go after that market with a direct campaign that takes advantage of that specific niche.
5. Isolate & Differentiate Brands: target specific audiences with specific tactics.
Companies that offer a large number of products or services often confuse potential customers by presenting far too many options and alternatives. The result is the Web-visitor doesn't buy anything because they don't want to purchase the wrong thing, or not get the best deal. Even if you get the sale, you may lose the customer because they made the wrong decision.
You want to offer prospects a limited number of distinct alternatives, just enough so they feel they have been given a choice, and don't have to look elsewhere. But too much choice within the same product category creates buyer indecision. If a product or service is aimed at a particular market because it has specific features, create a separate website to sell it. Isolating a product line on a separate website allows you to create a distinct image and brand story for that offering.
6. Accelerate Comprehension & Shorten Sales Cycle: be clear, be understood, be direct, and sales will follow.
Campaign websites get right to the point. They present the marketing message quickly, and promptly direct people to take action without making them wade through mission statements and corporate histories that for campaign purposes just get in the way.
The longer it takes for someone to understand what the campaign is all about, the less likely they are to stick around long enough to make sense out of it. This is why we strongly recommend adding video and audio to the presentation. Video and audio allows you to say what needs to be said in the most understandable, persuasive, and memorable manner.
When it comes to website visitors you probably only have one shot at making a lasting impression, so don't blow it by delivering a boring or confusing presentation.
7. Support Other Advertising Efforts: supplement other marketing material with engaging, viral presentations.
Campaign websites can function as landing sites and contact venues for print, television, radio, online video, banner, and display ads, as well as for articles, newsletters, and news releases.
By segregating your campaign site you can more easily track responses better than if the campaign material was integrated into your corporate site. Separating your campaign website from your main site allows you to experiment with marketing tactics aimed at new or alternative audiences, with approaches that may not be suitable for your regular site visitors. You may not even want your regular customers to know that it is your company that's running the campaign, so people will regard it as something completely new.
A Final Word or Two
You've heard about the "Long Tail" and 'niche markets' but what have you done about it? So many companies sell the same product, the same way, to the same audience, that people no longer pay much attention. Look no further than the search engine optimization market, when was the last time you actually read something truly different, truly innovative about SEO?
What makes one company's promise of top ten ranking any different from the next? And if everyone who paid for optimization was in the top ten in their category, you'd have to redefine what the number ten means.
Today companies, especially small and medium sized companies, have to be different to be heard. They have to be bold and innovative and constantly try new approaches to reach their audiences.
By trying different tactics using different websites delivering alternative presentations, to alternative audiences you expand and build your business without the concern that these bold new approaches will negatively affect your more conservative existing clientele.
About The Author
Jerry Bader is Senior Partner at MRPwebmedia, a website design firm that specializes in Web-audio and Web-video. Visit MRPwebmedia.com, 136Words.com, SonicPersonality.com, and CacheClosed.com. Contact at firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone (905) 764-1246.
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