I have been working for a fast growing Spanish mobile payments company called Sepomo. Earlier in 2012 they signed an agreement with Danal the pioneer and leader in direct carrier billing to launch the payments processing service in Iberia and Latin America.
Before starting work with Sepomo I looked at a number of their competitor’s websites to gain an understanding of the market and the competition. This work has been further developed during the assignment.
Nowadays a website is probably the number one place that potential customers or suppliers go to evaluate a company. I’ve worked in all sizes of organisations from start up’s to global corporates as both a buyer and seller of services.
Today when you have a meeting with a potential supplier more often than not you’ll send an email to other decision makers in your company referring them to the supplier’s website.
So if you are a salesperson, a 30 minute new business development meeting with one person in a company can rapidly lead to hits on your website from 10, 30, 50 people from that same company. You’ll never meet 50 people from that company but through your website they’ll all form an impression of you and your business. These people are also very likely to check out your Linkedin pages and maybe Twitter.
I’m not going to use this post to summarise my impression of the mobile payments websites I viewed, as in some cases there are valid reasons why sites are not performing as they should be. Instead I’ll use my experience as a marketer to offer some “top tips” about website communications. It’s probably most suited to small-medium sized B2B companies who have limited marketing and comms resources who want to do business with larger more established businesses.
Before you design or re-design a site, understand who is / are your target market then design the site from that perspective. Remember it doesn’t necessarily only have to be your target customers. Targets could also include the Media or Investor community if you are looking to raise awareness or finance.
Identify the “value” your company brings to these target markets then succinctly work out how to communicate these value propositions in a compelling way. This is not easy and takes time. It needs to differentiate you in the minds of the different target groups.
Deliver consistent messages across all the sales and marketing channels you use. By focusing on the same compelling and differentiated messages you are more likely to be remembered against communications from competitors as long as it adds value to the receiver.
I have worked with some of the best advertising copywriters and whether they are designing brand pay offs or a 30 second TV advert it’s all about using a few words that achieve maximum impact. So when creating copy for a website use a Marketing comms expert or reduce the number of words you come up with initially…reduce it again… and then half it. Maximise the use of impactful headings, bullets and relevant pictures. In my review of some of the mobile payments websites it felt as if I was reading technical white papers that had been copied and pasted into the sites. People glance at websites. More in depth content can be used in newsletters, blogs and product sheets which people take more time to read.
Short videos are particularly valuable to communicate messages, add a human dimension and to achieve high Google rankings.
In a B2B world newsletters once a month are renowned as a good way of engaging and informing busy people.
Only use social media if your target market(s) use it. Managing Linkedin, Twitter, Facebook etc take time to do and analyse. Use Twitter to provide thought leadership, immediacy and differentiate your business but don’t deluge your followers. I follow nearly 70 people and receive 400-500 tweets a day. Avoid linking your twitter to Linked-in and don’t start social media, blogging then stop it or do it very infrequently. It begs the question why ?
Last but not least make sure your web design company optimises your site for mobile and tablet devices. Not all mobile payment sites I reviewed were.
I hope that this is useful and as always look forward to your thoughts. Just incase you were wondering, the Sepomo website is being re-designed as we speak and my website was my first attempt at using wordpress. I had some free days a few weeks ago and wanted to experience it myself. It’s of course by no means complete so some improvements will be coming soon.