Four Ways To Promote Your Business Effectively Using A Website
So you want to promote your business with a website. In this day and age, it's pretty much a requirement. After all, just about every other business is doing it. But are you using your website in different ways to get the most from it? Let's say you've decided you need to improve your website. Where should you start?
The best way to improve any company website is to start by looking at others in your industry. What do they offer? Are they just generic pages that don't do anything for the company image? If the pages of others in your industry are just as bland or boring, ignore them. Turn to larger companies and see what they are doing. While every website is different, many of them fall under some basic categories that can be used to evaluate their effectiveness. And behind every good website is the all-important evaluation process, which monitors traffic and what each visitor is drawn to. Take a look at some of these basic categories to find out where websites fall:
A good website will do just as much as packaging, direct mail, and other communications to promote the company's image, or brand. All websites should use the company logo, colors, and design elements to tie it in with the brand.
But a brand is more than just a logo and layout. It is a feeling, and idea. Think about Nike. What comes to mind besides their swoosh logo and commercials full of athletes telling you to push the boundaries of your body and become extraordinary? Just do it. A good brand will evoke not only an image, but a slogan and a feeling with it. It's an important way to promote your business.
Nike's website is a great example of branding. Once you pick your language and country, the middle section of the page contains links to commercials about whatever Nike product you are interested in.
Most major corporation websites serve double duty by incorporating their branding into their site. So it is possible to fall into more than one category.
The next major website category is promotion. This is especially true of less well-known businesses that have more competition and less brand recognition. If it is a retail outlet, the promotional website will include special online only offers that you can't find in stores.
Promotion can be more of a hard sell, and you will find this not only with the little guys, but also with big-box retailers such as Wal-Mart and Best Buy. Promotional websites from your favorite retailer will allow you to view their entire selection of products on the internet and order whatever you wish. Check out sites like Amazon and Target for examples of good promotions.
The other type of promotional site is the small business owner or freelance employee. These sites sell services instead of products, so the business must work hard to convince potential customers why they should them over the competition. If you are a small company or individual, your website might become your primary way to promote your business.
Any organization that does a lot of consulting or works heavily with the media will have a news-driven site. A newsy website is the company blog, which is becoming extremely popular for companies both large and small. Companies are starting to see the benefits of keeping their customers up on the latest developments. If you want to promote your business, a blog can be a major component of your marketing strategy.
Some companies use their website to build communities. This way they can monitor the online habits of their users, and really get inside their customer's heads. From concerts to contests to forums, this type of website really makes use of the two-way communication that the internet provides.
By providing a safe haven where visitors can gather online and be entertained, customers can play games, talk about the products and talk to each other.
So whether it's branding, news, community or promotion, all of these types of websites are highly effective and well worth studying for your next company website.
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