Your website can be used as a marketing hub
A website can achieve many different goals for your business. Goals may vary, but every company will want to take into consideration all or some of the below mentioned values your website can bring to your company.
The 24/7 Salesperson
The web is a 24/7 operation so even when you are closed for the day your web site keeps working for you. It does not ask for commissions, holidays, or leaves of absence, and it will never talk back to you. The best way to figure out how your website can be the best salesperson it can be is to start with your underlying business objectives.
What do you want to offer to your customer?
What is the sales process?
How can your web site effectively fit into this process?
Build a website that does what you need it to do to fulfill its role in the process.
A properly developed website should obtain many unique visitors, but not all visitors will become customers at first glance. Your website can be an effective at capturing information on visitors for future follow ups. This can be done in many ways a few examples are news letter sign ups, online questionnaires, and online draws. This will give you warm leads to follow as they have already viewed your product and have become familiar with your company.
Some people distinguish the psychological aspect of a brand from the experiential aspect. The experiential aspect consists of the sum of all points of contact with the brand and is known as the brand experience. The psychological aspect, sometimes referred to as the brand image, is a symbolic construct created within the minds of people and consists of all the information and expectations associated with a product or service. Most companies spend big dollars on developing a good product and creating a positive brand experience. This positive brand experience normally evolves in a positive brand image which needs to be carried over into a company's website. If your website maintains the positive brand image associated with your product site visitors will get the same warm fuzzy from viewing your site that they do if they come to your location, or see your product on a store shelf somewhere. This will translate into sales.
Distribution of Information
A website can be effectively used to give your customers easy access to information that they normally have to obtain by contacting your company, and waiting for the information to be sent out to them. A positive customer experience can be created simply by giving quick and easy access to information such as manuals, shareholder information, brochures, policy and procedures. Having this information readily available on your website will also free up some time of the person who is usually tasked with sending out the information.
Never underestimate the power of the referral, some businesses thrive on referrals alone. A properly developed website should be informative, if your site is built with the right information then people who visit your site may refer it to other people. Social media such as delicious allow individuals to bookmark useful sites and can make your site a click away from thousands of users. If your company has a referral/affiliate program it should be included on your website for people to learn about. A site with good case studies and portfolios will stand out in a visitors mind. Even if they are not someone who would ever become a customer they may refer others who will.
Your Website as a Marketing Hub
Your website can be used as a marketing hub, with all other forms of marketing pointing to the website. Your website needs to have as much attention paid to it as any other form of marketing, if your marketing hub is lacking it can negatively impact other marketing efforts. Your website should be the titanium link in your marketing chain, as no other marketing media can be as informative, interactive, and cost effective as your website.