Insights From an Austin Internet Marketing Company For Reaching Customers Online

Insights From an Austin Internet Marketing Company For Reaching Customers Online

On a recent Sunday morning I had the distinct and unique pleasure of touring my home city of Austin, Texas on a Segway motorized vehicle with my visiting father and some other tourists. Besides the fun of riding this new machine which I have for years wanted to try, participating in the tour reminded me of the uniqueness of the city of Austin and why it is not quite like anyplace else. Austin somehow manages to maintain the right balance of the cutting edge of high-tech companies, the edginess of a vibrant youth culture, and the traditions of Texas.

As an Internet marketer, I could not help but link certain aspects of this new-found appreciation for my city with what I believe are some key insights about how my clients can better connect with customers online:

Insight #1: Project your own style: Austin represents an eclectic mix of conservative Texas tradition, successful young professionals, and a postmodern hippy culture of artists and bohemians. People who visit from elsewhere for even a day or a week leave feeling like they have experienced something that is not quite like anywhere else they have experienced before. If you look closely, you will see on every 50th car or so bumper stickers that say “Keep Austin Weird,” representing a quiet rallying cry of support for Austin’s unique brand of quirkiness. Similarly, your Web site needs to project who and what you are. Your goal should NOT be to attract hordes of prospects to your site. Your goal should be to attract a steady stream of prospects who have a high probability of converting into paying customers.

Insight #2: Honor your brand:

Austin has its own version of the Hollywood Walk of Fame called, aptly, the Texas Walk of Fame. Sidewalk stars engraved with the names of famous Austinites from authors to entertainers can be seen downtown. Austin is proud of its favorite sons and daughters. Even while Austin tries to change with the 21st Century, it remembers those that helped make it great. Taking a cue from the Texas Walk of Fame, your company needs to develop a clear brand strategy. Who your company is and what it stands for comes across on your Web site in ways you cannot even imagine. The brains of your visitors take in thousands of visual cues per second, and those visitors are making judgments about your company based upon what they see there. Again, the goal is not to please every visitor. Rather, the goal is to honor your brand and to let the “star” of your brand shine through on your site.

Insight #3: Shake things up once in a while:

A visit to many parts of downtown Austin indicates that the city is currently in the throes of change. Huge construction projects are underway to build the necessary residential and business infrastructure to accommodate shifting demographics. This is a bit painful to motorists (and we devoted Segway-ists!) trying to get around the city. But, the city planners are smart enough to know that by proactively changing they are growing. The alternative is to go toward stagnation. In the world of Web traffic, this insights calls for you to revisit your site on a regular basis. Add some RSS feeds. Change your skins. Start a blog and update it regularly. Install a widget. Freshen up your content. Do what you can to make visitors sit up and take notice: you will be perceived as fresh and cutting edge.

Insight #4: Be innovative:

On my tour I learned that the city of Austin has an extremely innovative car share program whose goal is to reduce downtown traffic and pollution while assisting residents to get around. The program has a number of designated parking spaces around the city for a handful of cars that can be rented by the hour. If a downtown resident has a doctor’s appointment or other transportation need, they just show up to the car at the right time and off they go. Very cool! So (you guessed it), your Web site needs to be similarly innovative. Being innovative does not mean reinventing the (mouse) wheel: it just means doing something that you have not tried before that will make a positive difference in the lives of your visitors. They will thank you for it with more business than you can handle.



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