The other day I was talking with a client about their slideshow on the home page of their site. I bluntly told them that it was fairly useless to their business as a marketing tool. It was full of pictures (taken with their phone, no less) of employees, the booth at the trade-show, and other oddly-angled shots, but very little about their brand, their products or any meaningful connection with the company. “What’s happening with your slideshow,” I said, “is that you’re treating it like it’s a personal thing for friends and family and not for business”.
I came to realize that the same principles for an effective home page slideshow can be true of just about any sort of marketing tool, whether it be online or printed. For a home page slideshow to be effective (that is, actually make you money) – it needs to do three things
How to hit your marketing target over time
Attract: It needs to be cleanly and clearly designed to attract the type of prospective customers who fall into your target audience. If you don’t know your target audience, then you need to do some research to figure out who you should be marketing to. Why waste the money just shooting in the dark?
Inform: It needs to give the user all the information they need to click through or to purchase the product. It could be about a sale or special event, or a new product, it just needs to entice them to click!
Migrate: It needs to migrate them from being just a visitor to an actual customer. This means linking the image up to the page of the product, or a page dedicated to the event or whatever. It’s a crucial step needed to give the user direction on how to complete their purchase.
So the rule of thumb here is pretty simple: [pq]If you’re not hitting your target on sales or click-throughs, etc, you need to adjust your AIM![/pq]
Image courtesy of Flickr.