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Category: Branding Tips > Creative Branding Strategies

  [2] Creative Branding Strategies 1 
18 Web-Marketing Concepts That Make A Difference #1210

If you've been looking high and low for the secret of Web success, today is your lucky day. We've put a little something together that we call '18 Web-Marketing Concepts That Make A Difference.'

Eighteen concepts to think about that may just give you an edge on your competition; in fact these ideas may give you an edge, period. So if the same old left-brain thinking that everybody else is using just doesn't get you where you want to be, try these creative concepts on for size.

1. Think Audiences Not Markets

What's your market? Hire a consultant to help you with your Web-business problems and one of the first questions he or she will ask is, what's your market? How about eighteen to thirty-four year old, single male college graduates with a dog named Spot; or maybe forty-five to fifty-nine year old married women, who hate their husbands and can't get their adult children to move out of the house. Maybe, just maybe, they're asking the wrong question.

The Web isn't about markets it's about audiences. Audiences need to be entertained, enlightened, and engaged, and if your website doesn't, you're never going to achieve what you want. Time to rethink how you're delivering your marketing message. Start treating Web-visitors like an audience not a market, and you might just find what it takes to be successful on the Web.

2. Think People Not Customers

You know all those visitors you attract to your website with your brilliant search engine optimization schemes, how many actually purchase anything? Stop treating visitors as if they are already customers and start treating them like what they are - people. That's right, people. You know the two-legged funny creatures with wants, needs, desires, and maybe even a few bucks to spend.

Customers are always looking for a deal and they're leery of websites that only want to take their hard earned cash. Treat your Web-visitors like people who can satisfy their wants, needs, and desires with your assistance and guess what? Maybe it will make a difference: one small step for Web-credibility, one giant leap for Web-success.

3. Think Experiences Not Features

Bought any good features lately? Didn't think so. You would think the way business pushes the whole feature-frenzy thing that features are exactly what people are looking for, but nobody buys features, they don't even buy solutions - boy doesn't that whole solution provider nonsense really get to you after a while.

What people really buy are experiences, hopefully positives ones. Whether it's soft ice cream or a new accounting program, what people are paying for is the experience your product or service provides. Does your website offer an experience? Does it explain the experience your product or service delivers? If it doesn't, then you really haven't got anything anybody wants.

4. Think Emotion Not Logic

Think you’re a logical person, always making rational decisions based on practical criteria, and bottom line results. So tell me what was the functional thinking that went into the purchase of those leather pants you bought last year, or that sixty inch plasma television you bought just to watch the big game?

Let's get real. You make purchasing decisions based on what you want, and then justify them with seemingly sensible rationalizations, just like everybody else. So stop trying to appeal only to the practical, logical, aspects of bean-counter sales, and start pushing the feel good aspects of emotional marketing. If you're trying to appeal to an audience that gets its only satisfaction out of acquiring the most features for the least cost, then you're marketing to the wrong audience.

5. Think Memories Not Promotions

Most animals live in the moment, whereas human beings live in the past. Our here and now and our plans for the future are based on our experiences, our histories, and our memories. We take pictures of our kids, holidays, and special events; we commemorate birthdays, anniversaries, promotions, and milestones of all kinds. Even the significance of our prized possessions is centered on the fact that those mere objects represent memories of the people, places, and events that shaped our lives.

Real marketing, the kind that creates long-term clients and customer relationships, is not about coupons, sale promotions, or deep discounts; it's about delivering memories.

6. Think Marketing Not S.E.O.

Okay, here's one you've heard from us before: think marketing, not search engine optimization. Sure you've got to drive as many people to your website as possible, but if your marketing message is so confused, unfocused, and hard to comprehend because of all the keyword density and S.E.O. tricks, then what have you really accomplished other than wasting people's time? And people really get upset when you waste their time.

7. Think Stickiness Not Hits

It's not about how many hits you get on your website, it's about how long people stay. If visitors remain on your site long enough to get your marketing message then you must have said something worth listening to, and if visitors get the message, your site has done its job.

If your website delivers the message, then you can expect the email inquiries and phone calls to start flowing, but it's still up to you and your sales staff to close the sale: people close sales not websites.

8. Think Stories Not Pitches

Did you hear the one about the farmer's daughter and the search engine optimizer... Stories, everyone loves stories. In fact before the invention of the Gutenberg press, oral story telling was the way knowledge got passed down from one generation to the next, and how news was sent from one region to another.

Now that we have this multimedia Web-environment, we can continue the tradition of real people delivering creative audio and video presentations that capture the imagination and drive home the marketing message so your audience won't forget who you are. Nothing informs, engages, and entertains like a good story: sounds to me like one heck of a way to sell to an audience desperate for meaningful communication.

9. Think Focus Not Confusion

There you go again, telling everyone who will listen all the wonderful things you and your company can do. Trouble is, telling them all those things just confuses them. What is the product or service that is most important to your company, the one you are determined to sell to your audience? That's the one you want to talk about. That's the one you want to devote your marketing effort to promoting. That's the one you want people to think about when they hear your name or see your logo. Focus your communication, or your message will just be a forgettable, incomprehensible blur.

10. Think Campaigns Not Ads

Isolated one-time advertisements are like one-night-stands: exciting for a while but ultimately unfulfilling and devoid of meaning. Your audience is looking to get married, not a short-term fling. Your marketing has to woo your visitors with long-term campaigns that tell your story and deliver your focused message; audiences expect to be courted and counseled with meaningful communication. And that takes time and commitment.

If you're spending money on just ads, you might as well be throwing that money down the drain. There is a better way. So if you're looking for a long-term relationship with your audience, think campaigns not ads.

11. Think Message Not Hype

What message are you delivering to your online visitors? Are you telling them you've got the best product, at the best price, with the best staff, and world-class customer service? Is that what you saying? Guess what? Nobody cares, because nobody believes you.

There is only one way to show people you're the best and that is to prove it, but here's the catch, you can't prove it until they become customers. Whoops. Okay, so what's the solution? How about a real marketing message that speaks to what your audience really wants. It's not about you, it's about them.

12. Think Personality Not Banality

Does your website just lie there like a lox; you know, that cold, dead fish that often comes with a bagel? No personality, just more of the same tedious, dull, dreary, mind-numbing, tiresome, lackluster, monotonous stuff everybody else has. Boring! This is the new Web, so if you can't get with it, you'd better get out because you're wasting your time and everybody else's.

You're so worried about downloading times that you forgot to put anything on your site worth seeing or hearing. Check your logs. If people are jumping ship faster than rats on a burning ship, it's time to try something new; like, maybe some compelling content.

13. Think Branding Not Copyrights

Hey, I love the Beatles. I grew-up with them, and I have all their records - ya records, like vinyl dude, not CDs. And guess what, I've also got a Mac, in fact I've got a bunch of them, not to mention iPods and other assorted Apple gizmos and gadgets. And you know something, I've never once got John, Paul, George, or Ringo confused with Steve Jobs. Amazing!

Worry just a little less about all that small print stuff, and more on building a memorable brand that people will remember, and that nobody will mistake for some johnny-come-lately imposter.

14. Think Positioning Not Slogan

It's funny how people have a position on almost everything: you name the issue and people will have a definite opinion on what they think, except when it comes to their businesses. Just because you have a cute slogan that you print under your logo, doesn't mean you own a position in your audience's minds.

It seems businesses can't stand to make a definitive statement about who they are and what they do. Why is that? Afraid they'll lose a customer I guess, but if people don't understand exactly what you do, and why they should be doing business with you, then they're never going to be customers anyway.

No company can be all things to all people and companies that try, never go anywhere. Tell people who you are and what you do and forget about all the other stuff, it just gets in the way.

15. Think Sensory Appeal Not Cents Appeal

Do you want people to sit-up and take notice of what you have to say? Do you want people to actually remember what you're telling them? While if that's the case, you better appeal to their senses, and we're talking about sights and sounds.

Deliver all your juicy, got-to-have content in an audio and video presentation that will stick in people's heads. If all you're doing is appealing to their desire to spend less, then maybe they aren't the customers you're looking for anyway. Nobody can afford to sell for less all the time, every time.

16. Think Identity Not Logos

Is your company the equivalent of the invisible man? You're on the Web, but nobody cares because you're not saying anything worth listening to, and if they do see you, you are instantly forgettable. You've got to have an identity, a personality, an image, and there is no better way to create that identity than with a video of a real person delivering your marketing message in an entertaining, memorable manner.

17. Think Entertainment Not Biz-speak

Speaking of entertaining, you cannot engage, enlighten, or entertain if everything you present sounds and looks like it came from some b-school text book, or from one of those self-help courses on direct marketing guaranteed to make you a millionaire in only three weeks.

Every business has a story to tell and they can all be presented in a compelling way with a little imagination and creativity. And yes, even b-to-b businesses can rise above the mundane and deadly boring, if only they take the time and make the effort.

18. Think Communication Not Copy

Last but not least, let's all remember, that websites are about communication. If you've got nothing to say, nothing to offer, or are afraid to say what you can do for your audience, then how do you expect to be successful.

Filling your Web pages with keyword-dense prose and instantly forgettable sales copy is not going to win the day. Whether you are presenting your case in text, audio, or video, it better be interesting and enlightening - even text can be entertaining if written with style and attitude.

When websites fail, they fail because they do not communicate a realistic, believable, convincing marketing message.

Follow an intrepid Web-entrepreneur as he tries to discovery the "18 Web-Marketing Concepts That Make A Difference."

3.40 (10)

Thanks to: Jerry Bader - Toronto - Canada - rec.:Feb 11, 2008 - pub.:Feb 12, 2008


A Website Without Video Is Like… #1211

Jell-O Without Whip Cream

Do you like Jell-O? It's okay I guess; I mean it's not a hot fudge sundae is it? But if you add a little whip cream, then my friend you've got something worth calling dessert. My question to you is, does your website have that something extra, that dollop of whip cream on top that says, "oh mama, let me at it," or does it just lie there squirming in your dish with the sound of Peggy Lee's voice ringing in your ears, "is that all there is?"

If your website disappoints, you need something that provides the 'eureka factor' and that can be provided with a creative, informative Web-video.

The Chicago Bulls Without Michael Jordan

How the mighty have fallen, at least in terms of brand personality. I mean it's not like the Chicago Bulls stink? It's just that without MJ they're not the Chicago Bulls of old. When Michael played we all watched, he was magic, he wasn't just a great basketball player, he was a great personality and he gave the team it's character; no Michael, no personality.

Is your website like the new Chicago Bulls, a talented group of players with skills but no singular personality? Time for a humanity injection, add a Web-video featuring a signature character host who can generate some excitement and establish your unique business personality.

Television Without Sound

You're watching your favorite television show, say CSI, the Vegas one, not Miami, and the phone rings. It's your mother. You turn the television's sound down so you can hear her but you're still watching the show. You love your Mom but Grissom has just discovered a new miniature killer clue, and you need to know what is going on, but your Mom is carrying on about how your Dad needs new dentures or something… Frustrating. No audio, no information.

Does your website have the same effect as watching television without the sound? It's there, people visit, but they leave without getting your message. Time to add a little life to your presentation in the form of a Web-video that tells your story out loud.

Words Without Meaning

Have you ever reread someone's website copy several times and still not understood what the heck they're trying to tell you, or maybe you understand every word but still can't figure out what they're selling?

Words have meaning, they are meant to convey a message, not hide it. A lousy video script is no better than lousy print copy. Your Web-audience has no patience for mumbo-jumbo that masquerades as information or for text and dialog that says nothing in as many words as possible in an effort to attract the search engines. Words have meaning, say them with style and deliver them with conviction.

The Rumba Without Rhythm

Have you ever sat at a wedding and watched people dance? There are the people who know how to move, how to respond to the their partners and to communicate with the slightest of gestures or movements. And then there are the others who look like they've got something icky stuck to the bottom of their shoes and are trying desperately to remove it.

If you want to communicate to your audience, you have to use all the techniques available. Communication is more than just copy, its voice, gesture, movement and meaningful dialog.

Romance Without Kisses

Ah... the first kiss, something special that can seal a relationship or sour it forever. Your landing page is like that first embrace. Is yours as exciting as it could be, or is it like the guy who spends the entire first date talking about his double entry bookkeeping skills?

A well-crafted, expertly presented marketing message is like a seduction; if you're not generating any excitement don't expect to produce any sales either. Boring mission statement gobbledygook and keyword-laden discussions are not the same as an enticing video. An engaging business story, well told, is like a juicy wet-one planted right on your audience's lips.

A Joke Without A Punch Line

Everybody likes a funny story. A good joke is nothing more than a short story with a set-up, an escalation, and a twist, but the real key to a good story lies in the telling. Even comedians with second-rate material can get their audiences howling if they know how to deliver their material.

It's all well and good to repeat the mantra, "websites are about content," but if that content isn't delivered with some style and panache, don't expect anybody to pay much attention.

A Song Without A Hook

Hit songs are highly structured stories with verses that function as chapters or acts, and a chorus that provides the hook that sticks in your audience's heads. Add a toe tapping beat and some instrumental flourishes and you've got something that people will listen to over and over again.

Does that sound like your website presentation? Are people willing to come back to your site just to watch your presentation, or does your website leave visitors with a 'been there, done that' impression?

Information Without Knowledge

Just because you're in business doesn't mean you've got to be boring. And just because you dump a lot of facts and figures and bulleted points onto your Web-pages doesn't mean you're making a convincing argument for anyone to buy your stuff. Web audiences demand more. If you won't give it to them, you can be sure someone else will, like maybe your competition.

Interactivity Without Purpose

Can we all just stop and take a breath and think about this whole interactivity thing. Let's all get interactive, why? I mean what is interactivity anyway? Is it developing a hugely expensive game that people can play on your website to avoid working, or is it getting them to click on the "Tell Me More" button?

I vote for the interactivity that leads to opening a dialogue with a potential client, one that gets visitors to pick up the phone and call you to discuss their needs, not the one that generates a "Game Over" message. Of course that assumes you're willing to actually talk to customers.

Frequency Without Resonance

I happened to like vinegar on my fries, okay it's weird I admit it, but the Dutch like mayonnaise on theirs, even weirder. I once had a chef in a Tucson restaurant come out of the kitchen and confront me when I asked the waiter for vinegar (it's a Canadian thing). The chef approached the table and asked who ordered the vinegar? I reluctantly raised my hand. "You must be from Canada," he said, "I'm from Victoria, where you from?"

Good advertising is all about delivering a message that resonates with your audience. It doesn't matter how many times you run an advertisement if that advertisement doesn't make an impression on your audience. You can't be afraid to be creative or even a bit weird.

Humor Without Laughter

Dr. Max Sutherland in his e-mail newsletter report, "False Alarm Theory: How Humorous Ads Work" describes how laughter is a hardwired residual mechanism that developed in our ape days as an 'all clear' signal once a danger had past. The 'all clear' message is passed on from one ape to another, until the entire troop is screeching with the ecstasy of survival.

A guy slips on a banana and breaks his neck - that's not funny. A guy slips on a banana, jumps up and looks around to see if anybody saw - that's funny. Humor is based on creating some sense of uncertainty or tension that is ultimately relieved with a humorous punch line or comforting resolution. The safe or amusing resolution creates a chain reaction in the audience that signals, "hey guys, all is well; everything is back to normal."

Without tension there can be no relief, no opportunity for an entertaining resolution that creates a cascading viral reaction among your audience. So don't expect your website to be passed on to friends and colleagues unless you deliver a compelling presentation that offers the opportunity to signal the rest of the world that all is well.

Jerry Bader is Senior Partner at MRPwebmedia, a website design firm that specializes in Web-audio and Web-video. Visit mrpwebmedia.com/ads, 136words.com, and sonicpersonality.com. Contact at info@mrpwebmedia.com or telephone (905) 764-1246.

3.80 (5)

Thanks to: Jerry Bader - Toronto - Canada - rec.:Feb 11, 2008 - pub.:Feb 12, 2008

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