John’s post earlier this month is definitely worth a read, possibly a bookmark – http://www.piworld.com/blog/making-your-print-business-best-choice-john-foley-jr I love the opening analogy with restaurants.
The gist: Would a restaurant post its hours on the doors, pictures of its founders and a detailing of its history without indicating what food they sell?
Of course not! They put up their menus & sometimes pictures of food or expose the inside of their restaurant so passersby can be enticed by delicious menu choices paired with a complementing dining setting.
Would you visit this store? I wouldn’t! I have no idea what they sell.
Foley says this is exactly what printers need to think about.
When laying out websites with content: show people what they want to see (and coincidentally what can make you money) before diving into your shop’s history.
John breaks out content development into these four steps:
- Identify your audience
- Know your strength
- Develop your message
- Show, don’t tell
- Don’t do all the talking
This is an excellent approach (read his article to get more substance on these). With infotrends estimating 50% of print buys being procured online by 2017 – building an effective website now should be a significant element of your strategy and certainly not something to hold off on. The great thing about websites is that they’re living documents. Spending months and thousands of dollars coming up with the absolute perfect content is the wrong way and could cost you clients if your competitors are consistent in refreshing their sites with good-enough content and an easy shopping environment. This is known as the people over pixels concept. https://www.ideapod.com/idea/5387635c77656211b7ac0100
So get out there and start polishing your content!
How do you know if you have come up with good enough content?
One popular way is to run an experiment and find out is with Optimizely. Without requiring any web development experience, a high-school student can set up an experiment to A/B test different content. Simply paste a snippet of code on your website, log into Optimizely and use their easy click & drag editor to create variations of your webpage. Learn which content variation suits your visitors best by creating goals. Optimizely will display your different variations during the experiment and the versions with the most tallies for the goals wins!
Don’t stop there – again web pages should be living documents. Once you’ve polished the voice of your messaging and basic layout, refresh content from time to time to keep customers coming back to see what you have going on next.
Shameless (though arguably relevant) plug:
Keen’s web-to-print solution, which includes storefronts – is a great way to transition onto a platform that will showcase your products and services on a site that is easy to navigate & make purchases on (whether they’re big corporate clients or consumers). Our public stores let you sell to buyers looking to make occasional or one-off purchases while private stores are great for B2B clients that may have negotiated rates. There’s much more to Keen, learn more here: keenprint.com/features