If you really think about it, your website is just another form of communication. And for websites, that communication is really an attempt to persuade. It’s pretty simple. You reach out in a printed and visual way to tell a story to your customer about who you are and what you want your business to be. You want to make your customers happy and the first impression you make is from your website. The pendulum has swung to the digital by the unstoppable force of momentum.
Making a first impression is important to you and your customers, but what happens if you leave a second, third or even a fourth impression from the first visit? With a great websites this will happen everyday. The Internet has provided the capability for a deeper and richer view of you, so you have to prepare for this when building your website. It’s no longer about putting up a website that’s good enough because everyone in our digital age is smarter than that now. You have to step it up a notch or two if you’re serious!
I’m a storyteller and believe that the visual aspect of communication (your website) should always speak to the heart as well as the brain. It’s a two-pronged attack of the most used parts of the body. It’s very simple and it’s why I cannot watch commercials that show abused and mistreated animals. It breaks my heart and makes me angry at the same time. That’s a powerful communication tool connecting the heart and the brain. Communicating with your website is really an attempt to persuade the visitor to choose you and your products over your competitors. But how do you do that? Lets take a look at what makes communication successful and see if you can apply some of the characteristics to your website.
1. The Big Idea – This is more about you and your vision for the website and your products. Communication, to be highly successful, must have a big idea. Apple has it! Google has it! Look around your home or office and the things you surround yourself with are generally connected to a big idea someone had. You bought into the idea and purchased it. Was it a need for the product or did you buy it because you just wanted it? Your website home page should tell a great story of what your customer is about to see when they dig a little deeper.
2. The Engine – How it gets me there. Explaining or telling the story of how and why the products you sell are what I need is the nuts and bolts of great communication. Tell me why I need it and show me some examples, please! Do your website and products answer the big questions I have? A blog on you website is the perfect tool to expand the communication process. Facebook is currently the biggest communication tool the Internet has ever seen. Are you using Facebook the way you should? If you noticed, large corporations use their Facebook page more then their website to communicate their message.
3. Entertainment – This is where your website becomes about me and not you. This is where your writing style, your images, your videos, your graphics, etc., persuade me to choose you. Try to think of your customers like a Border Collie. A Border Collie needs to be stimulated and entertained all the time because if you don’t, they’re going to get bored and start chewing your shoes.
4. Hope – Now that you’ve entertained me with your big idea, you have to let me go out on my own and allow me the opportunity to decide why I can’t live without your product. Your job is done and I’m left with the happiness that I don’t have to search the Internet any further. You can rest assured that if you’ve done your job, even though I may not make a purchase today, there’s hope that I’ll come back tomorrow. Your message sunk in and I’m now a fan or a believer in you.
All of the above can happen very quickly because the Internet has made us impatient and intolerant of dullness.
In short, I need a big idea that entertains me. Does your website do that for me?