Marketing your Business Domain on the Wild Woolly Web
It seems as if every business in the world today, from huge multinational megacorporations to corner Ma and Pa stores now have a website. Some of those websites are marvels of design, function and unique information, but most of them are just junky, messy, incoherent scrap piles of mangled data, misspellings, SEO targeted flotsam, and flashing animated gifs. In order to receive real value from your website investment, your business needs to be represented as professionally and attractively as possible. After all, the idea is to draw clients to your products and services, not repulse them.
There have been countless millions of dollars spent on websites that attract virtually no one. There is a famous case where a dot com startup folded after spending over a hundred million dollars of venture capital funds: in the final analysis, they had spent the equivalent of $40,000 for every visitor to their website. I would have gladly visited their site for only $30,000 and I'm sure you could have spared a click or two if they had paid visitors directly. They could have saved money and might still be in business!
Well, on the other hand, maybe not.
Corporate websites may be turning into little more than fancy business cards and information databases. Many of the over one billion internet users are beginning to shy away from reading endless marketing content on the web and instead turning to social media, where they feel they can get more honest and less skewed information. This is an invaluable lesson for anyone considering a Web Marketing presence. The basic business website is still as obligatory as it ever was, but it now had better be backed up by a significant presence in major social media sites and functions, or you're dead in the water.
If there is one new keyword to a business web presence beyond social media, it is Regionalization. Businesses are quickly realizing that the first language of the world's population is not English, but Chinese, Spanish, French, Japanese, and more. It's not enough to just translate the site, as you must reflect that culture's prerequisites as well!
Interactivity has been the buzzword on the web since the first Mozilla browser. Everyone and his cousin Vinny has been trying to implement a truly functional interactivity on the web that transcends the typical "read and click" model and no one has succeeded to date. By all means, your website should contain sufficient Flash, AJAX, Java or other technologies to get your point across adequately, but there are few things that will turn off a visitor more assuredly than having to sit through a minute long swoopy introduction to your company's logo and its metamorphism from butterfly to steam engine to sewage treatment plant.
Segmented microsites which are usually implemented to focus on new product introduction, the launch of a new campaign, or the venture into a new market segment, are websites designed only for the short term and are usually tied into an external media campaign to draw visitors to the URL. Hollywood studios are masters of the segmented microsite, as every motion picture release now has its own URL designed to get people to the cinemas. However, there are many technology and other companies who will set up a microsite for each major new launch or venture and the result is often a hodge-podge marketing mess where a visitor may go onto the microsite and miss the connection to the rest of the company's product line.
Business Domain Marketing is a minefield filled with the corpses of the countless businesses who have failed to adapt to the swiftly changing requirements of the internet. With a little knowledge and a lot of finesse, your business web site can succeed where many others have failed.