13 Sep Grow your brand: Why a website complete with professionally produced content will supercharge your business.
Does my business really need a specialised website?
The internet is home to a wide, varied, and targetable audience to supercharge your business and reach these potential customers having a website complete with professionally produced content is vital. For example, a 2016 survey held by the World Bank showed that 95% of individuals in the UK are users of the internet; an audience of over 62,000,000 people, ready to be tapped into by an ambitious business. Having a website is only the beginning to engage with such a vast demographic. Naturally, access to such an audience is competitive ground and it is here that the value of an accessible, content rich page comes to light.
Having a website is the first step in accessing this audience; this is often the first point of contact that a potential customer is going to have with your business. It is therefore integral for the website to be easy-to-use, attractive and full of useful material which both introduces the brand that you are presenting but also provides the potential customer with the information that they seek.
Stanford backed research, conducted in the early days of the internet in 2002 (1), suggested 10 specific points that are vital parts of improving a sites credibility and ultimately enhancing the first impression made by potential customers.
The 10 (Website Design) Commandments
- Make it easy to verify the accuracy of the information on your site.
- Show that there’s a real organisation behind your site.
- Highlight the expertise in your organisation and in the content and services you provide.
- Show that honest and trustworthy people stand behind your site.
- Make it easy to contact you.
- Design your site so it looks professional (or is appropriate for your purpose).
- Make your site easy to use – and useful!
- Update your site’s content often (at least show it’s been reviewed recently).
- Use restraint with any promotional content (e.g. ads, offers)
- Avoid errors of all types, no matter how small they seem.
The fact that this research was held and produced such results as early as 2002, shows that these points have always been important and are only going to become more relevant as usage of the internet continues to become more widespread. Further research held by Southampton University in 2011 (2) supports the importance of such points emphasising that the main three points for a potential customer to choose a site are ease of finding relevant information, easy to navigate web-page and the clarity of information within. Such guidelines are critical for the development of a positive first impression of your business; it is the difference between a positive and negative impression that will turn the potential customer into a customer. Simply put, these ten points strongly reinforce that a good website with professional content increases your consumer interaction, allowing your business to grow.
Can I not produce my own content?
Words allow your business to engage with its audience in a descriptive and emotional way. To adequately communicate your brand and services requires specialised language and words that are not always easy to express. As your website is often the first interaction a potential customer will have with your business it is therefore a priority to make sure your message is communicated effectively. Having a member of your staff writing about your products and services may save money in the short term, but in the long term it may cause a loss of perspective which ultimately can cost your business more over time.
Instead, having a professional copywriter create the content for you can be both more convenient but also guarantee the right message is being delivered. The goal of the words you choose are to tell the customer what they want to hear which can be easier for someone external to your business to comprehend when looking at the product from an independent point of view. At Pump we have a dedicated team of specialist journalists that engage with you to get to the heart of the story; allowing your business to deliver the exact message you want to communicate to your audience.
According to a study held by MDG advertising, 67% of shoppers related quality images as ‘very important’ when regarding to their purchase decision, more than ‘product specific information’, ‘long descriptions’ and ‘reviews and ratings’. (3) Your website is often the first point of contact in which a potential customer will interact with your business. Real images of real individuals help your audience build familiarity with your business and allows them to identify that there is more behind the website than written information. It is therefore important to consider what imagery they will see, and ultimately how they will begin to create an opinion of your business. Too many words can give a cold outward appearance and so an excellent way to draw a person’s attention is the use of engaging and aspirational photography.
Stock photos will not represent you or your business as demonstrated in a study from HubSpot. Statistics show that customers are 45% more likely to purchase from brands that use real photos over royalty-free stock photos. These statistics emphasise the importance that high quality, genuine photography can have on the growth of your business. Not only that, but photography provides you with a versatile asset that can be used throughout your business to display its real personality. Pump’s on hand professional photographers, with over 25 years’ experience, are dedicated to capturing the essence of your business and present its true face to your audience.
Video adds a new dimension to a website. Words and photography, while important and effective, are static means of communication; whereas video provides a dynamic outlook of your business allowing you to demonstrate your products or communicate in a naturally. The use of video provides an instant way to interact with your audience, even the laziest of users is able to passively gain information about your brand.
Using video can reinforce trust in your brand and inspire confidence in your product more so than printed words and pictures. Watching and listening helps a potential customer develop a more natural relationship while learning more about the business as an institution and the services you provide. To put this into perspective survey results show that 74% of users that watched an explainer-video about a product then went on to buy it. (5) At Pump our videographers utilise a variety of formats helping you create a dynamic and effective means of presenting your business on multiple digital platforms.
- Fogg, B.J. “Stanford Guidelines for Web Credibility.” A Research Summary from the Stanford Persuasive Technology Lab. Stanford University. (May 2002)
- See: https://business.yell.com/knowledge/why-visitors-trust-some-websites-more-than-others/ (Last accessed 10/04/18)
- See: https://www.mdgadvertising.com/marketing-insights/infographics/its-all-about-the-images-infographic/ (Last accessed 10/04/18)
- An, Mimi, and J. Oetting. “State of Inbound 2017.” (2017)
- “The State of Video Marketing 2016.” (2016). See: https://www.wyzowl.com/video-marketing-statistics-2016/ (Last accessed 10/04/18)