Should we still call
it a website?
NCSA Mosaic is believed to be the first public website, launched in early 1994.
Within two years, Evolving Media & Design Inc.® began developing educational applications to be delivered through an intranet. That client was the Federal Government of Canada through a subcontract with SkillsPlus Training and a series of projects that lasted until the fall of 1999.
An intranet is a secure and private enterprise network that shares data and application resources via Internet Protocol (IP). An internal website or partial IT infrastructure, may host more than one private website and is a critical component for internal communication and collaboration.
For example, it is common for companies to store internal contact information, calendars, etc. on their intranet.
An Intranet differs from the Internet, which is a public network.
In the late 1990’s, SkilsPlus Training and Evolving Media produced an online course for the Government of Canada Treasury Board Secretariat.
Evolving Media designed and hosted the website for the Organization of Military Museums of Canada in 2000. Quite possibly one of the first e-commerce sites; people where able to order merchandise.
Can you imagine? Your Smart Phone has a larger screen resolution.
For almost a quarter of a century now we have designed all types of websites or Marketing Portals for many kinds of companies. During this time technology has changed the what and the how of everything we do. Of course, on the way to great success are some memorable “could- have-been” and “should-have-been” concepts and initiatives. As we continue this journey our idea of what a website is certainly continues to change as well. Think of your online presence as a marketing portal for your business or your organization, a twenty-four-hour business card, so-to-speak. Your online presence is a dynamic sales vehicle aimed at persuading potential clients into buying your product or service. Now let’s consider the essential part of your Marketing Mix, the content.
THINK OF IT: Your online presence is your retail space. You have your street address with, most likely, a unit number (Your Domain Name). You are the keyholder and the keys that open your doors are your Web Hosting. You have enough space to design the way your retail space will look in the form of your website. You add your checkout counter, cash register (E-Commerce Solution), various departments, retail shelving for the most effective display of your products or services. Oh yes, and let’s not forget your sales staff skilled in informing every potential client why they should or could buy from you. This concept holds true whether you’re selling a single product or service, or thousands. Your Marketing Portal achieves a few significant goals;
- It helps cement your brand,
- It makes it easier for a potential client to buy,
- It is conveniently open when a potential client needs you,
- It is available anywhere in the world,
- It is a Marketing Portal that enables a live, friendly, public conversation.
- What then is the most crucial ingredient in any Marketing Portal?
Content! Content! Content!
WHAT SHOULD BE INCLUDED?
Professional photographs, well-written copy-edited text, quality video and audio, immersive colours and effective and engaging design. The goal of the content and the way it is presented is to drum up an open conversation.
LET’S BREAK THIS LIST OF REQUIREMENTS DOWN.
Easy! I have an expensive smart phone so why shouldn’t I be able to take a photo or video and post any image that I like? You certainly can and would never say otherwise.
However, here is the thing: not all photographs are equal, no matter how much we might like them. Your marketing portal must provide a very clear reason why any potential client should buy your product or service. Investing in quality, professional photographs and video will make a tangible difference to your bottom line. It’s a worthwhile investment. Further, when you use a professional photographer, the resulting photos can also be used for print media. Think utility AND enduring quality.
The most effective way to tell your story takes less than a minute, though 30 seconds would be preferable. You already have a whole lot of “favourites” – videos that you remember, that caught your attention. The video on your site can do the same thing for your actual and potential clients.
Your promotional text needs to capture your potential clients’ imagination. Starting with small fragments of information to draw them in and, quickly entice a potential client to look further and then purchase your product or services. This method of writing is different from an informational or technical viewpoint. Engaging. A story with an engaging opening – an invitation to consider – and a very satisfying ending: a confirmed purchase!
Published in Evolving Media Chronicles.
Written by Jeff Poissant, RGD
Edited by Kevin Burns