This post authored by Chris Rand buy generic viagra online
%29″>originally appeared on the BMON (Business Marketing Online) blog.
Small companies win over larger ones when they celebrate their differences, but when it comes to website design, they get carried away with the rare opportunity to look larger than they are, and that’s a big mistake.
Over the years, as a trade magazine editor, I had the opportunity to go into many large industrial companies and talk to the marketing and engineering people there. It was almost inevitably a disappointment. It’s not that they weren’t nice people, it’s just that they were permanently looking over their shoulders and spoke constantly in a stilted “company mode”, a split personality you’d never come across if you met them down the pub at the weekend. At smaller companies, it was so much easier to get to know people, what made them tick, and what made their companies interesting. This attitude almost certainly gets through to customers, and of course it’s always been one of the reasons why smaller companies can – and do – compete so well with larger organisations.
In terms of marketing, it’s traditionally been harder for smaller companies. When you’ve got an apologetic benchtop display at a trade exhibition, next to a competitor’s massive custom-built stand manned by 30 people in suits with a hospitality area upstairs, it’s difficult to get noticed. So the right attitude has been to accept the difference and make it an advantage.
However, every company’s marketing home ground is now its website, and that’s much more of a level playing field. The smallest company can make a website which (at least superficially) looks like its largest competitor, if it wants to. Many small companies have jumped at the opportunity, without thinking why. Unfortunately, the sites they’re copying, from large industrial companies, are often a real mess, made by bureaucratic organisations trying to please every internal department. Small companies seem to have been so enthralled by the opportunity to look like the big ones, that they’re copying something which doesn’t work in the first place. Instead of emphasising their differences, they’ve done the opposite.
The most successful small company websites celebrate their owners’ specialisations. They guide visitors to their destination in one or two steps, and use the simplicity to slip in marketing messages in a way which larger sites can only dream of. Their home pages say “this is what we do, this is why we’re great, and here are the two or three things you might want to look at next”. They have a blog, where real people talk about real issues in a way which clearly hasn’t gone through a three-week authorisation process. And as a customer, I think: “this might not be the big name in the business, but it’s one I’d rather have as a supplier”.
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If you’re in marketing, you’ve undoubtedly heard this motto banded around over the last few years.
SEO gurus tell us to provide plenty of it to coax web crawlers into indexing our websites. And a quick Google search unveils a plethora of bloggers blogging about this very topic.
The reality is, you’ve probably waded in at least knee deep when it comes to this stuff already. Maybe you’ve started scooping out and serving up white papers, webinars, e-books, How To guides, and other educational freebies in the hopes that you’ll convince potential customers to convert into paying ones.
The good news is that you’re okay, you’re on the right track. Creating Content IS massively important for your marketing strategy. As per Search Engine Watch article “The Golden Rule of SEO: Content is King”, great content is necessary not only to improve search engine rankings and traffic, but also to engage visitors and encourage them to share what they’ve learned with others off-site.
Customer 2.0 (the focus of this year’s Marketing & Sales Summit) expects you to provide them with the right kind of information at the right time. They expect you to know what they want, when they want it.
Content is a weapon on the web. Use it to help you win market share. Just make sure you have something that is truly noteworthy, and that it communicates that effectively. – Eric Enge
The question remains, is Content REALLY the rightful heir to the marketing crown?
Is Content King?
In “The Content is King Myth Debunked’, Derek Halpern says “Content is King” is – and I quote – “horrible advice”.
In his words:
Online, you only have a second to grab someone’s attention.
And during that second, people make snap judgments about you, your business, and your website.
Before. They. Read. Your. Content.
He goes on to back this up with survey results in which 94% of respondents distrusted a website because of design problems.
Turns out there’s a new royal in town. And his name is Website Design.
The 10 Red Flags of Website Design
Halpern gives the 10 red flags of web design as:
1. Confusing site names
2. Cluttered, busy layouts
3. Navigation problems
4. Boring web design
5. Pop-up ads
6. Slow loads times
7. Small fonts
8. Too much text
9. Corporate look and feel
10. Poor search functions
You can read the full article here.
Wait! Before You Go
Customer 2.0 is more mobile, better informed, less reachable, and expects more than ever before. We would love you to join us at the 6th Annual ISA Marketing and Sales Summit to discuss how the digital revolution is affecting automation companies like yours.
You can find out more here.
Join me today, June 3 2011, at 4PM EST for the first #industmarketing tweetchat.
If you haven’t taken part in a tweetchat before, you can both follow and join in the conversation by searching for the hashtag #industmarketing on Twitter.
You can also follow from http://twebevent.com/industmarketing.