The online brochure website is not dead

by Peter Crocker

At the risk of suffering the wrath of website developers and online marketing consultants the world over, I’m going to go out on a limb and say “There is nothing wrong with a simple online brochure website!”

Any online marketer worth their salt will tell you that the Internet is completely different from print.

Their view is along the lines of:

“As it’s an interactive medium, you need to engage your audience in a conversation and take them on a journey. Write articles, run surveys, be controversial, add new content regularly to entice visitors to return, optimise your content for search engines and generate backlinks by participating in the blogosphere.”

They’re right, but the problem is that it all sounds difficult. Why? Because it is.

Unless you enjoy writing, are willing to immerse yourself in the online world and have a decent grasp of web technology, creating a thriving business website or blog takes a lot of committed time and effort.

It’s great if you can do it, but it’s not for everyone. Realistically it’s not for the majority of people. That’s where the online brochure website steps in.

Blogs, vlogs, email autoresponders, SEO, surveys, forums, clubs, email newsletters, live support, site personalisation, forums, RSS, podcasts and webinars are all fantastic, but first things first.

Before moving on to Web 2.0, it’s important to master communication 101. Whether it’s a brochure, email, proposal, letter, meeting or website, the fact remains that the most important things people want to know are what you do, who for and how will it benefit them.

Before doing anything else to attract a bigger online audience, you first need to make sure that when people do arrive they get quick answers to the following questions in plain English:

  1. What do you do?
  2. Who for?
  3. How is it of benefit?
  4. Why are you different?
  5. How can I contact you?

A clear and concise static online brochure website is the minimum platform you need before you can leverage the full interactive and networking potential of the internet.

It’s very simple, yet surprisingly uncommon.

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