So this is the digital age. You are not just an ad agency anymore. You are now a hybrid, tradigital,
media agnostic, nimble, agile, curating creator of commercial content. Good for you. Why does your website still look like an ad agency’s?
It’s no great insight that your company’s single most important piece of identity is your website. It’s where you send prospects, clients, search consultants, headhunters and potential employees to learn more about you and what you do. It’s where Google sends anyone who searches your name. It’s probably the most important piece of communications you will ever create. I spend most of my waking life looking at these things. Why am I mostly underwhelmed?
Recently, an old friend called to say he was re-doing his agency’s site and asked if I had any tips. This man, mind you, has one of the most startling imaginations of any creative I have worked with in my 27 years in advertising. In short, a great new site takes a great imagination. So he’s off to a good start. Make sure you appoint your most imaginative minds to your new site. The old site was a “business tool.” The new site is much more than that. It’s your digital persona.
The trap is to talk to yourselves. Don’t fall in it. I’ve looked at agency sites from every possible angle: with clients, as a search consultant, as a headhunter, as a recruit and as a biz dev person. I’ve observed what causes your targets to keep clicking (the new site) or opt out (the old site).
- Themeless — No connection of your positioning to any mission, purpose or specialty
- Words — “About us”…riddled with clichés and pompous agency-speak
- Pictures — Ads, head shots, office space, ping-pong tables, posers posing for “candid” photos
- Case studies — “When Acme Corporation came to us, boy were they up shit’s creek. We saved the day with our trademarked processes, brilliant insights and (mediocre) creative, and here’s how…”
- Bios — “Joe has won every imaginable award on the planet. He loves dogs and look how handsome he is.”
- TV spots — usually the only moving thing on the site besides that unsettling download onto the landing page
- CTA — “What are you waiting for? Fill out this generic form below”
- Theme — The site makes an immediate statement and emotional connection to what the agency brand stands for
- Video — The connection is made through a short agency video that connects the agency’s positioning with the core values of your targets. This is the first thing that comes up front & center on your landing page.
- Infographics — The most effective way to explain who, you are, what you do and why you do it. “The agency in 60 seconds” is a better link to these than “About us”
- Creative showcase — don’t “let the work speak for itself”
- Case studies — 1 minute videos or infographic, beautifully designed
- Bios — 30-second videos. A great creative opportunity
- CTA — Again, a video. Close me; in a brilliantly unique & entertaining way.
Now they want to learn more about you. People don’t read websites until they want to buy. They look. They watch. They share. This is the digital age, lest we forget.