It only makes sense. People have learned that the primary function of a website is to sell them something, and that’s an experience they’d rather avoid.
Let’s say for example, you have a winery, or you make potato chips or an energy drink. What reason is there for the average consumer to visit your site today? If they want opinions about your products, chances are they’re going to ask friends on social sites. If they want to know more, they can always use Google.
Here’s a quote from Brad Jakeman, who was in charge of advertising at Citigroup and Macy’s: ‘The irony is that while there have never been more ways to reach consumers, it’s never been harder to connect with consumers.’
So what’s the solution? One very smart option is make your corporate website more like Facebook (and YouTube). In other words, feature profiles of brand evangelists, and encourage them to contribute opinions and content. Make your site into more of a ‘real time’ information source. The primary reason people check into Facebook several times each day is to see what the ‘latest news’ is from friends.
If your brand’s website starts to feature real-time updates and shifts focus from products to evangelists – people will have a reason to come back. And to tell their friends.
Of course, if you’re selling product directly from your site, that’s another story. But even there, think how much more welcoming your brand would appear if you featured revolving bios of key evangelists. Perhaps a fun video or two. And other daily updates on discounts and web specials.
Marketing is evolving daily. And that means your website – a primary marketing tool needs to evolve, too. The old saying ‘If you can’t beat ‘me, join ’em’ is true when it comes to what’s happening online. The more social your website is, the more people will drop by to say hello.