Long vs. Short Term Web Strategies

Strategic Planning

In our line of work, we deal with a lot of clients who have complex problems that cannot be solved overnight. These tasks can be filled with intricacies that we don’t see upfront, vendors issues, coding problems, and a myriad of other situations that are hard to solve. However, each of these problems can easily be mitigated when building a correct short and long term strategy.

Short term web strategies will include simple elements of a strategy such as a microsite, a near product launch, a new marketing campaign, or an integration with a 3rd party. These are usually the problems that get clients in the door asking for a new website because theirs isn’t converting or demanding a more robust marketing strategy because their isn’t giving a reasonably ROI. Even those are valid points to bring up, they are only curing short term pain points with clients web strategies.

Long term web strategies encompass the short term issues we face while looking to the future on product goals, revenue goals, marketing strategies, and much more. Long term strategies only work when all departments are being included. We’ve seen so many times that a product development team is launching a product with a website only to find out that they don’t have any web marketing backing it or a social strategy to push the product.

Clients will always have issues arise which is why it is up to us, as the web firm, to figure out why these issues come up by asking why 5 times to get to the real root of the problem. Only when we get to the most simple form of the problem do we start to build a short and long term strategy. Here is an example of this in practice:

John sells beautiful custom fans for $500 in which he profits 45% on them. He has launched his website but realized that he doesn’t have much traffic or that high of a conversion rate. What are some options to get the engines roaring? Here is a short term approach to take:

  1. Reduce cost of product to $350. This creates competition immediately.
  2. Increase marketing spend, SEO, and social efforts. Drives traffic to analyze how people are using the site.
  3. Measure feedback through analytics. Revise design to optimize for higher conversion rate.

Now, making 30% profit margin isn’t as good as 45% so how do we get back up to that level? In the case of John, he is selling a premium product that needs to have more massaging on the sale to convert. Here is what a long term strategy could look like:

  1. Create additional microsite blog for thought leadership. This will be dedicated to explaining, defining, and optimizing fan use which will establish the presence as an expert.
  2. Create blogs that have valuable information about fans. Soft sell the custom fans and value propositions. People will trust this source over others as it is credible with great information. This makes selling a product much easier.
  3. Go to conferences as a guest speaker in cross lateral markets. Getting your name into the market is critical as it reaffirms that you are an expert and should be viewed as one.
  4. Have social strategy to create or pass useful information about fans.  Solidifies your expertise which helps your credibility when selling your product.
  5. Offer free or cheaper accessory products. Free resonates well with anyone and similarly enough, cheaper accessory products within the same market help establish trust.
  6. Gradually increase rates. As traffic and sales increase, slowly increase cost of product to optimize for supply/demand profitability.

The long term strategy obviously has a lot more moving parts however is a much more sure fire way to sell a product than saying “Here is my overpriced products that has these features – buy it!”. Trust is everything when selling and when you become a thought leader within a market, it is much easier to sell. This requires both a short and long term web strategy encompassing many facets of marketing distribution.

At Product of Caffeine, we audit our clients businesses to understand the real reason that they are coming to us. We then build web strategies that are both short and long term to help gain immediate results as well as sustain longer term growth and profitability. No website project is the same so understanding from the beginning how everything is going to work is critical for success.

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