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Digital Britain: Creating a Compelling Online Presence

September 9, 2011 - 3 Comments

How does a business become a category leader that fully leverages their online activity for market development and growth? I’ve previously described the process of using social media as an online lead generating tool, attracting prospective customers towards the corporate website.

My suggestions were based on my own practical experience.

As a Website Consultant, I was often puzzled by the approach that some people applied to developing their online presence. Let me explain the scenario.

Smaller companies have consistently relied upon legacy media, like printed directories. Traditional methods consumed 70% of their marketing budgets, regardless of the return-on-investment (ROI).

Inserting online advertising into their media mix was very problematic, because they didn’t know where to start.  Moreover, far too many websites offered an underwhelming experience for visitors.

Enquiries to Revenue: before you start

Today, commercial Internet use has evolved and business owners are demanding more from their web designers and developers; they want to easily provide the most current information, and convert online enquiries to customers – significantly increasing their ROI.

Peter Roome, Technical Director at Pandr, explains that business leaders should seek the expertise of a professional web developer, in order to capture the primary objectives for the project and ensure that these objectives are met.

From that reference point, the developer can build a website wireframe and design an online experience.  Peter says that a “call to action” should be placed throughout the website, whether the visitor is making an initial enquiry or purchasing online.

The text copy for the website must be carefully edited – to be concise, incorporating the brand personality. Most importantly, it needs to be progressively developed over time, to ensure that the messaging is engaging and keyword terms are used effectively for Search Engine Optimisation.

Interactivity:  welcoming consumer commentary

Consumers value a superior online experience. Victoria Lennon, Operations Manager at MintTiwst , explains that visitors want to find what they seek quickly. That’s why clear navigation is a key factor in good design.

But customers now expect even more from an online shopping experience.  Some shoppers want to engage with the online brand through interaction – asking product questions or seeking other guidance – and as I’ve previously mentioned, gaining additional insights through video content.

Most major consumer-oriented brands now use video to demonstrate their products, particularly clothing retailers, such as Asos, Net-A-Porter and Marks & Spencer’s – they all use video to assist in selling merchandise to their prospective customers.

The best sites are interactive, where current customers can easily review products and share opinions. Some forward-looking retailers are accommodating their customer’s visual commentary.

As an example, sites such as Amazon and Firebox allow users to upload their own review videos. That being said, I anticipate that many other types of business will utilize video communication. The upside potential for commercial video applications is huge.

The Visual Experience Imperative

New lower-cost and higher-quality HD video production techniques, combined with available online distribution methods, are increasing video application opportunities. Pervasive IP network infrastructure has become the essential delivery platform.

The growth of video usage is apparent everywhere in the UK.

Preparations for the upcoming 2012 Olympic Games in London will demonstrate how online video raises consumer expectations.  It’s predicted that 90% of all internet traffic for the London events will be video related — compared to the 10% during the 2008 Beijing Games.

Olympic event coverage will utilize live broadcast video streaming, as well as post-event Video-on-Demand (VOD). Broadband service providers already offer a variety of video services via their IP networks.  Cisco has worked with SPs to enable them to deliver a rich media experience via new Content Delivery Systems.

Business Ready 2012

I’m wondering, is your company’s website experience video-enhanced?

I believe that all businesses can directly benefit by incorporating creative visual content. That’s why now is the time to start thinking about how you’re going to apply the latest video technologies for commercial advantage and financial gain. Learn what others are saying about their preparations at this LinkedIn group.

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  1. Fantastically challenging many thanks, I believe your audience may very well want way more reviews of this nature maintain the good work.

  2. @cyberdoyle, the potential solution for rural areas is likely 4G wireless broadband services. Also, "adaptive bit rate" video streaming techniques will make it easier to deliver video where the bandwidth is less than optimal.

  3. what a shame so many won't be able to utilise video due to having such a poor internet connection. and no hope for those in rural areas with all the public funding going into copper, it still won't reach the rural people. Those on satellite can't afford the data transfer charges for video.