How Much Face-Time Does Your Website Need?
How much time does it take your website to deliver your marketing message? Assuming the site traffic you generate is the least bit interested in what you have to say, how much of what you're saying do they remember, or more to the point, how much do they need to remember?
Have you ever thought about, or even considered, how much face-time your website needs to be effective? It is probably the last thing many business website operators ever think about, let alone do anything about.
The notion of 'stickiness' has been around for as long as the Web has been used as a commercial vehicle, and stickiness is a vital website ingredient. Developers, designers, and marketing experts are continuously coming up with ways to keep people on their clients' websites. Many of these sticky methods do work and keep people on sites for hours, but are they effective; just because someone stays on your site for hours doesn't necessarily mean they have any intention of doing business with you, especially if these so called sticky ingredients are implemented without any commercial purpose.
Sticky Doesn't Necessarily Mean Effective
Many sticky concepts were developed for sites whose financial model was based on advertising, which makes sense; the longer people stay on a site the more chance they will see the ads presented, and the more likely they will click on one of them. But for sites that are in business to sell something and are not just advertising vehicles, stickiness takes on a whole different purpose.
The challenge is to make what you have to say engaging so that it attracts attention, informative so that it explains the offering, AND entertaining so that it is retained in memory. We have a goal for each website or campaign we create, and that is to turn advertising into content, and content into an experience, a challenge for sure, but one that needs to be achieved if the client wants their site to be effective.
Provide A Memorable Experience In An Appropriate Amount of Time
Think of website face-time like a restaurant thinks of the dining experience. A restaurant has only so many tables and can only accommodate so many quests at one time; so in order to maximize profits, restaurants try to turnover the tables as many times as possible. The trick is to provide guests with a delicious meal, great service, and a memorable experience without rushing them, but also in a way that turns the table over in an appropriate amount of time; allowing the restaurant to maximize it's seating capacity.
Websites for the most part, don't have the capacity problem, but the discipline of providing value, quality, and a memorable experience, in an appropriate amount of time is just as valid. Many complicated sticky site implementations take too long to unfold, and lack the purposeful payoff that makes them commercially effective.
People have other things to do, and will only invest so much time on your site; therefore you better say what you have to say as efficiently and effectively as possible. Site information presented as bulleted points may seem efficient, but it sure isn't effective due to its abbreviated nature and lack of psychological context; and sites with thousands of words of search engine optimized text may provide copious details, but if nobody reads it, it isn't very effective or efficient.
So how much time is appropriate? How much time do you need to deliver your marketing message in a way that website visitors will remember it, and hopefully contact you? And what presentation method does the job both efficiently and effectively in that appropriate time frame?
One Message One Minute
It takes, discipline to focus on what makes you special, confidence in what you sell, and an understanding of how to deliver an effective website presentation.
Every presentation you make on your website should only take about a minute or two to deliver. If you have six points to make create six separate presentations, each concentrating on one message. That way visitors can choose which specific concern they need clarified without boring them, or loosing their interest by covering things they aren't interested in hearing.
With a series of focused, entertaining presentations, you maintain interest, establish memory, and get them hooked on what you can do for them. As a result they will delve deeper by investigating the other presentations; and with each viewing they become more comfortable with what you do, more aware of what makes you special, and more confident in your ability to deliver what you promise.
It's all about establishing a memorable experience in an easy to understand, fast-paced digestible format that will be memorable and effective.
Why Creating An Experience Is Important
If your visitors do not remember your website, than it will never achieve its full marketing potential. Over and over we talk about the importance of making your site a memorable experience. To fully appreciate why making your site a memorable experience is so important, you have to understand a little of how the brain retains memories.
Think of an event that has stayed with you for years and will probably stay with you forever. Perhaps it's a life altering experience like the birth of your daughter, or maybe it's an inconsequential incident that refuses to disappear from your memory. These kinds of experiences, or episodes, create what psychologists call Episodic Memory, memories that are associated with a specific experience. By delivering your marketing message in an entertaining, informative video presentation you create the episodic memory that is the essence of product or brand positioning.
Now think of a strongly held opinion. Chances are that opinion was formed by some long forgotten experience. This is called Semantic Memory, a memory induced point-of-view formed by the brain's processing of an experience where it retains the significance but buries the memory of the specific event. Consistent, continuous, ongoing marketing campaigns that focus on what makes you special have the long-term psychological effect of creating product preference even after the specific campaign details are forgotten.
Putting It All Together
From a marketing perspective, the opinions we hold and many of the products we purchase are the result of both episodic and semantic memory induced experiences. If your website doesn't generate these kinds of memories, it is not fulfilling its potential as a marketing presentation vehicle.
5 Ways To Connect To A Web Audience
In order for your website to reach its maximum marketing potential, it must make an impression on your audience, and it must connect to those potential clients on multiple levels, emotional, psychological and rational. In order to communicate to website viewers on all three levels you must effectively employ all the presentation options available: layout, text, images, audio, and video.
Some people learn best by reading, some by listening, and others by viewing. Each presentation element targets a different aspect of recognition and connects to the audience in different ways. By combining all five elements into a coherent presentation you relate to your viewers on multiple levels, each re-enforcing the other, creating a memorable experience.