More clients, more staff and a strong message required us to rethink how we used our website to communicate our value as an integrated marketing agency. The challenge of developing a website to answer a growth spurt is a good problem to have.
It was exciting to plow over our little plot of online terra firma and build a new home. Of course, as with most real-estate developments, time and budget were of prime concern. No growth-stage agency has unlimited funds and we’ve all been a part of marketing projects that go on so long they become virtually obsolete.
But damn the cliche – This cobbler will care for his own shoes. So we began:
Step 1: Liquid Iron’s core message.
Marketing agencies are like mattress stores: They seem to be everywhere with the same Inflatable Arm Flailing Tube Man on their virtual front stoop. To cut through the noise, we led with an eye-grabbing video abstract of our brand promise.
Staying in trend with online consumer behavior – less copy is more (this post excepted). What copy we did use focused solely on our unique value to clients:
- Custom-designed teams for every project.
- Personal and passionate client collaboration.
- Laser-focus on intimately understanding the business.
- Experience in targeting hard-to-reach niche audiences.
Step 2: “It’s all about the work.”
“Give ’em what they want.”
“Get to the point and make it easy.”
“Where’s the beef?”
These are words that every web strategist has front-of-mind, applicable here because marketing decision makers are busy people who require quick insight into our experience.
Clicking the logos sends readers straight to a case-study for that client, putting visitors only one click away from important details of example work.
Step 3: What services do you provide?
We put this section below the case studies because we felt showing is better than telling. However, many visitors are looking for a particular service, so we created a simple, intuitive and clickable “tag” system to organize our many offerings.
Step 4: Displaying service experience without the fuss.
We needed a way to show our founders’ large body of work prior to starting Liquid Iron. Clicking through the services engages a simple filtering system that showcases how each was used with both past and current clients.
Again, the value is in the impression instead of details. We think explanations are better over drinks than on screens.
Step 5: Not overthinking the blog.
Part of growing a business is building a readership by sharing expertise and/or interesting perspective on the industry.
Enter the blog. I’m always amazed at how overwrought many blogs are. I just want to read – and on my mobile phone – so give me a big white column for copy, a way to search for content and a list of categories so I can see your scope of work. Let the writing speak for itself.
When we build up our web traffic and have time to write valuable emails, we’ll add a newsletter signup and social media share buttons. Until then, I’ll just continue to petition Bill Watterson for the right to display our favorite daily Calvin and Hobbes strips. That’s true reader value.
Step 6: Putting it all together.
It’s a light website designed to take about three minutes to peruse (this post excepted). Not accidentally, an amount of time people may take between tasks at work.
We find great power in visuals and the site represents that. We chose images to evoke emotion that (even if subjective) we think adds a depth of field to our narrative.
The website is a responsive design (flexible to mobile displays), but more importantly, the content is designed to react well on all devices. No matter how great your responsive code, content that doesn’t stack well or has functionality too complex to do on a touch screen makes it a moot point.
The desired action is for an email or phone call to hit our desk. I think that’s pretty clear.
Finally, the site was built in a little under 60 hours of coding. We won’t say how long it took to write, proof and test on-page content. Our team is a very detail-oriented bunch.
Questions about Liquid Iron’s website capabilities.
Websites are central to every marketing campaign or brand re-fresh we develop. Whether your site is Salesforce-sized or tiny-but-mighty, give us a shout to find out how we can help optimize your own online home.
Thanks for reading.
– John Armstrong, Account Director