The Resurrection of the Website

The website is the linchpin of any brand’s online presence.  Or, at least, it should be.  However, with the growing influence of social media, many companies have virtually abandoned their websites.  This is a bad idea.  While, it’s true, people spend a lot of time on social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and more, the only place on the internet your company owns the content it’s producing  is on it’s own website.

So, while having a strategy that pulls folks back to your website is key, it’s just as important to having an outstanding website for them to go to.

Here is one way of looking at it from an integrated marketing standpoint:

Think about it.  Most of us have visited websites where the information was old and outdated, links were broken, or the webpage was somehow “under construction,” which is a fancy way of saying it it’s incomplete.  That’s not even touching on websites that are poorly designed.  So let’s take a look back at Orlando City Soccer Club’s website, and see how they measure up.

Orlando City Soccer webpage home page

OCSC has a beautifully designed website that integrates both push and pull marketing.  Prominently displayed social media account links are present.  There is fresh content scrolling in the main news area.  Here they’re talking about player, Kevin Molina, being named to the USL team of the week and advertising the team’s next matches.

Fresh Conent -- molino

Immediately I see the opportunity to “Live Chat” in the bottom right.

Orlando City Soccer Live chat

There are offers to buy tickets, a Soccercast to listen to, an email list to subscribe to, and even an opportunity to volunteer.

volunteer sign up page

They also integrate print and email marketing along with a very active social media presence on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and Pinterest, even using Twitter to pull folks into their coach’s blog.

2014-06-08 21.35.50

In the story sections, visitors can share the content directly to their social networks and even comment right from the OCSC webpage.

Social media share buttons

Although the website has a lot of tabs, they are well organized and full of good, useful, and informative content.

coporate tab

gameday tab

news tab

Schedule tab

MLS tab  Tickets tab

store tab

club tab

I especially like their nod to their supporters clubs, the tab for Spanish-speaking fans, and the one highlighting the many youth programs, OCSC offers.

espanol tab

 

OCSC Youth Soccer webpage

I had to look hard to find any recommendations I’d make to the designers of the site.  When looking at the mobile version, no accommodations have been made for a mobile viewer.  This is a missed opportunity.

Orlando City Soccer Mobile version

Statistics show that mobile use of the internet is growing.

Orlando City SC should be taking advantage of this rising trend.

 

There are a lot of other important things to look at when designing and structuring your website.  Using Google Analytics is always a great step.  I’d also recommend using a site like crazyegg, which shows things like heat mapping, where folks are clicking most, how long they scroll down, where they leave your page, and so much more.

 

Push & Pull Marketing — getting folks to your website

Push and pull marketing each serve their purposes, but, like most things we’re discovering with integrated marketing, they often work best when they’re working together.

Some of the benefits to push marketing are:

  • A small brand is able to reach a broader audience when using a television or radio ad.
  • Brands are also able to use push marketing when a particular time-table is important, like sending an email blast about an upcoming sale.
  • Push marketing is also essential when you’re a new business or a business rebranding yourself, making use of services like direct-mail.

Pull marketing allows a business to:

  • Develop brand loyalty through social media platforms such as Yelp and FourSquare, having customers find you and check-in.  You can even offer a coupon or discount.
  • Market without a big budget.  Many pull marketing techniques can be done through free social media posts, blogs, YouTube videos, etc.
  • Showcase you as being an expert through publishing blogs or offering white papers about specific topics that will help you gain an audience.

Push and pull marketing can work together in really compelling ways.  When someone searches for a YouTube video on a particular subject and ends up subscribing to a channel, or when the use of good SEO and Google AdWords leads to a Google search with your company’s website at the top of it are both examples of having a good balanced marketing approach.

Push marketing is also more expensive than pull marketing.  However, pull marketing often takes more effort to develop and maintain.  Push marketing can better for creating brand awareness, and pull marketing is great for maintaining brand loyalty.  The best scenario is having both together in a hybrid method.

When thinking about push and pull marketing, it’s important to remember that social media, a favorite marketing tool, is not the place you want your customers to stay.  Using a combination of both push and pull marketing, the goal is to get people to your website where you can, again, offer a combination of push and pull methods to gain them as a customer.  The trouble is many people have seemingly abandoned their websites in favor of social media when they should be using them as a hubs instead.  After all, companies do not own what they do on a social media site, whereas on their website, they do.

I really enjoy acknowledging and reviewing local brands who effectively use a hybrid of push and pull marketing right here in Central Florida.  One such brand in the Central Florida YMCA.

The Central FL YMCA shows great brand consistency through the use of their logo and design.  They use their website, mobile, and social media to inform and educate.  They have social media buttons on their homepage.

As summer begins, they are also using consistent messaging and visuals, all highlighting their swimming programs.

On their website, they also direct visitors to donate online or become a member.  You can even download an application right from their website.

I recently saw a segment on Good Life 45‘s “Welcome Home” where they were promoting “Safe Start.” (start at 33:10 to see the segment)

 Another local brand that is leveraging savvy marketing is Real Life Church.

While some people may not think of a church as a brand, they are still trying to attract folks to enter their doors.

Real Life Church shows great branding and consistency across various platforms and sites.  Here they are showcasing their current series, “Transformed: A Study In Romans.”

They are definitely trying to get folks to their website where they can find out more information, find a location, watch videos of messages, or even give to their ministry.

I know some folks who don’t appreciate this sort of integrated marketing from an organization like a church, but really they’re just using smart methods to interest people enough to visit and then continue their engagement.

The pastors from Real Life also have a television show on a local Christian station called “Real Talk.”  This is just another extension of them marketing their message while showing a brand personality that is approachable.