Archive for February, 2012

Worry Less About Your Home Page

If your company is in the business of selling products (especially at retail) you probably don’t need to agonize as much as you once did about the content presented on your home page.

Google is your home page. Customers are directed directly to content found in searches. Your company, corporate website/facade is important, but only in as much as it supports your brand and the perception of people who know your name already, and type it into their browser accordingly.

Make sure that when you search for things in Google that your individual pages come up in a manner supporting the overall message you want to convey. And make sure you have really good content there. It’s better for the customer, and Google will respond to it in the organic search rankings.

Form Changes Function

We miss the boat when we assume we can remain relevant by just changing the delivery medium. Whether it’s mail to e-mail, books to e-books, text copy to video, newspaper to iPads, or checks to Visa to PayPal, the change of medium changes everything. You can’t graft the new onto the old. The whole model must change.

There are two paths.

  1. Find out what the delivery mediums you want to use are good at doing and develop a compelling, relevant model for those. Better still…
  2. Figure out what you need to communicate and choose the best medium for it. The skill of putting the proper messages into the right bottles will make all the difference.

But choose wisely. If your message/service only works well in the old paradigms then you may need to blow it up or turn it into something else. Not an easy pill to swallow, but you must swallow it or risk being swallowed.

Video For the Sake of Video

So many marketing and editorial messages are now being delivered on video. It’s all the rage. Marketers everywhere have been declaring that to get the message heard video must be leveraged, or something like that. So we see more and more pointless video. Bad video. Talking heads, lame, unexciting graphics. Sometimes this is done with purpose and design, sometimes it’s just ghetto. Much is imitated. Most of it is not compelling or engaging.

I’m not sure yet that the market has realized that video takes time. I don’t mean time to produce. Yes, that’s true. It’s incredibly time consuming and expensive to produce, but it also takes time to watch. When you ask someone to take the time to sit through your video you’d better deliver something worthwhile. Frankly, I’d rather read about it unless there is some essential visual element that drives the point home in a compelling way. Give me a few photos, unless it just must be video.

Don’t get me wrong. There are very valid uses for video. Certain instruction materials are great on video. Certain news stories are much more compelling on video. But don’t make me invest the time it takes to sit through a lame video when I could have gotten what I needed from reading, which would have taken a quarter of my time. And that’s not counting my ability to skim over the parts that are of less interest to me.

Video for the sake of video, because it’s perceived as “the thing to do” is not going to work in the long run. Use judgement.

(I thought about setting up a camera to video myself reading this to make the point. But I’ll leave that to your imagination.)


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