The answer is – right from the start! If your website is for marketing, then marketing and web development should work hand-in-hand from the very beginning. Keep in mind the marketing messages carry the objectives of the website. Web design and programming are tools to deliver the messages.
When looking at building or redesigning a website, laying out a clear marketing plan before execution of that website is extremely important. While all is not lost if you didn’t consider a marketing plan prior to launch, a brand will most likely find themselves having to redo, expand, or adjust a website that was just built, wasting time, resources and worse yet, your marketing budget.
Why Marketing must be there from the Get-Go
To make your investment in digital marketing really payoff, a plan needs to be developed for your website and marketing activities to support its success. Having an integrated digital marketing plan in place will pave the way for you to achieve your goals and objectives to reach your target audiences more effectively.
How do you influence your target audiences?
Consider these questions. What are the messages that will attract your target audiences? What will motivate them to take the actions you seek? The marketing team’s job is to put themselves into the shoes of your target audiences. Map out the buyer’s journey and tie that journey into your website. The development team lays out the design and navigation to lead the target audiences to take those desired actions. When marketing and web development work in sync like this, your website will perform splendidly.
You need to define how you want your brand to be represented both online and offline by establishing a tone + voice that is instantly recognizable and used everywhere. Your brand needs to be consistent. What will set you apart and separate you from the noise?
A pathway to discovering that clear unique tone + voice is to truly know your target audience. I don’t mean give me a location, gender and age. Instead really put a name and face to your audience by developing personas of your buyers. Go all out and develop as many marketing personas as you need. By knowing the personalities and lifestyles of your target audiences, you will have a far more effective marketing whether online or off.
What do you want your audience to do when they get there?
You main objective is quite likely to get customers. Whether you want those customers to buy direct or through your distribution channels, you need a plan to make that happen. When you know your audience, have a clear voice, and know what sets your brand apart, you are well on the way toward understanding what will motivate them to take the actions you want.
Focus on developing a content marketing plan to reach prospective customers through the steps of their journey to purchasing your products. If you don’t know what that content or journey looks like, how could your website effectively support success?
Design your website to cover the various stages of your buyer’s journey. Describe the problems your products and services solve. Include customer reviews, testimonials or case studies that tell how you do it better. Provide in-depth information your buyers want to qualify you. Then ask them to contact you or to buy. When you architect your website using this this approach, your website will resonate well with your buyers and will result in better response.
Your website works better when marketing and web development work together
Getting a digital marketing team involved from the beginning of website design will allow you to hit the ground running full speed with your digital marketing efforts after the new site has launched. If marketing is thought of in hindsight, not only will your website suffer, your goal of becoming more aggressive in digital marketing will be pushed back.
Whether you are looking to hire a digital marketing agency or plan to do marketing internally, I implore you to bring them in as early as you can during the new website build or redesign process.
Still not sure how to get marketing involved in a website redesign or build? Let’s talk!