When you want to build a website, you look for a web design firm. This seems like the logical thing to do, but often web designers let their clients handle the marketing side of things. So, the client turns to an advertising agency. There is nothing wrong with having a web design firm handle the designing and having an advertising agency worry about the marketing, but wouldn’t it be better to work with a firm that does both? How about an all-in-one advertising agency and web design firm working toward the same goal? The overarching goal is to ensure your site speaks to your target market.
Anyone that has done some fishing knows that different kinds of bait attract different types of fish. Who is buying your products or services? When you know that, then you know which avenues to take to reel in your customer base, and there are many avenues. Advertising agencies use the term multi-channel marketing to describe a strategy that uses many channels to reach an audience. These channels include:
- The Web and social media
For the sake of this article, we will focus mainly on the web technology aspect of multi-channel marketing and the graphics and design work associated with them.
Getting to know your audience doesn’t mean just knowing the dry facts such as age, income, or gender. You need to dig a little deeper beyond demographics and use psychographic data. In other words, find out about the audience’s opinions, interests, and hobbies. To acquire psychographic data, use any of the following sources:
- Social media
- Online customer surveys
- Website analytics that monitor user behavior
When you have more in-depth knowledge about your target audience, you can come up with a multi-channel marketing campaign to reach them. To break down multi-channel marketing even further, advertising agencies in the old days would segment campaigns into two types:
- Above the line marketing (ATL) includes television, magazines, and billboards. It is expensive and mostly used for brand awareness since it has the ability to reach a mass audience.
- Below the line marketing (BTL) is more cost effective than ATL and more direct. Instead of building brand awareness, BTL is used for conversions since it is targeted to a more specific group. Social media and content-related online ads are considered BTL marketing.
After identifying our target market, we can get into the nuts and bolts. A website should be visually appealing, easy to read, and easy to navigate. Let’s focus on these three things:
- Layout and Navigation
Knowing your target market will help you choose from the many types of fonts available. Too many different fonts on a site can lead to confusion. Try to keep a minimum of two fonts. One font for headlines and one font for the content will make it easier for visitors to scan and find what interests them.
Different fonts invoke certain emotions. Although suitable for kids, the Comic Sans font may seem too cartoonish for adults. Serif Fonts, although having a formal appeal and usually found on print, do not work as well as Sans Serif on digital screens, especially the body text. Sans Serif also gives off a more modern vibe and is great for informal sites such as blogs.
For older viewers and the visually impaired, ensure that font sizes are 12 points or larger. Also, consider the space between the lines of text. If they are too close together, it gives your site a crowded look, and a user may have a tough time reading your content. In this case white space is your friend.
Color affects mood. For example, a website for kids will have lots of rainbow colors. Blue is a color associated with trust, and red has been known to instill hunger. Look to brands like Kit-Kat, Skittles, and McDonalds as examples. High-end brands such as BMW have black in the header or some other neutral color, which invokes a sense of luxury. A little bit of color psychology brings your audience in.
Color psychology studies show colors influence people’s thoughts and attitudes. Just like fonts, colors will make people react in a certain way. Research shows 90% of product assessments have to do with color (kissmetrics.com). When you’re in the market for a new car or a refrigerator, isn’t color a determining factor?
Often, we associate pink as a feminine color, but many women have a preference for blue, purple, or even green. In a survey on color and gender, 35% of women picked blue as their favorite color. Purple came in at 23%, followed by green at 14% (kissmetrics.com). Both men and women picked orange and brown as their least favorite colors. With this knowledge, if you market your site towards a specific gender you will know which colors to use and which ones to avoid.
When it’s time to direct a visitor toward a desired action, which we refer to as a call to action or CTA, make sure the buttons you have in place stand out from the rest of the web page. Since yellow is a color used for warnings, such as road signs and “caution wet floor” signs, this could be a good color to use as a call-to-action button.
Navigation should be flawless enough that users don’t even notice. If they do, then there is probably something wrong with it. A website with good navigation does not crowd a page with too many items. Earlier in this article I mentioned the use of white space with text as a good practice. The same applies here. A visitor to your site may overlook things and miss something important, like a call-to-action button, without sufficient white space surrounding the CTA.
When you have a good understanding of your target audience’s demographics and attitudes, you can create an effective multi-channel marketing campaign, and use whatever channel(s) that are most likely to reach your target. Then you apply the right graphics and the web technology to appeal to your target market.
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CATMEDIA is an award-winning Inc. 500 company based in Atlanta, Georgia. Founded in 1997, the company specializes in advertising, creative services, media production, program management, training, and human resource management. As a Women Owned Small Business (WOSB), CATMEDIA provides world-class customer service and innovative solutions to government and commercial clients. Current CATMEDIA clients include Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Office of Personnel Management (OPM), and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).
“How to Use the Psychology of Color to Increase Website Conversions”
by Jeremy Smith