In the previous instalment, we explored why many companies have undead corporate websites. Technically alive, as their hosting and domain fees are paid, and all the links are working as advertised. Undead because it doesn’t do anything other than occupy their little plot of real estate in cyberspace.
Keeping Your Website Undead Zombie Infection Free
With very little cost on top of your annual commitment to maintain your hosting plan and domain name, you can actually make your website pay for its own upkeep. And if you commit to put in a little bit of extra effort, you can even reap the harvest several times the cost of its maintenance.
Unlike an undead website, a healthy website can not only make your website earn its own upkeep, but also earn a pretty little profit on its own too. Of course it won’t conjure money out of thin air, and throw it onto your lap. To earn money, you need to put in a little bit of extra effort.
Not counting undead websites, here are the reasons why a healthy corporate website is the cheapest form of investment with the highest returns:-
(1) Your Corporate Website Is The Cheapest Form Of Long-Term Advertising Platform
A full-page, full-colour advertising space in a local daily will cost around MYR30,000 per run (you can compare it to your country and currency, but the amount will probably come to be about the same). The peak effect of the publication will last probably two to three days, slowly tapering off to zero by the end of the week. And we are not even taking into consideration of the production cost of the advertising at all.
The net cost of maintaining a website? Probably around the neighbourhood of MYR500 a year, depending on who you park your website with and what hosting plan you purchase from them. Again, the price won’t deviate too much. The peak effect of the publication?… Infinite – as long as you keep it live on the website!… Now, I’m not advocating that you park any advertising material there indefinitely. Just know for the fact that it is possible.
(2) Your Corporate Website Is Your Personal Newspaper And News Archive
Your business is alive and well. Your business activities are ongoing. You are always evolving and moving with the times. You launch new products. You end-of-life older and unpopular products. You participate in social events. You contribute to the natural disaster donation drive. You are continuously doing many different things all the time. You are so excited about your latest development that you want to announce to the world.
Then why do you limit your news announcements only to your scheduled publications, maybe twice a year? Why only depend on press conference to make important announcements? Why can’t you release the news as it unfolds? Why can’t you share your excitement with your fans. You can do all these easily if you have a functioning news dissemination platform (i.e. blog).
Blogging isn’t only for those introverted teens who want to share their innermost secrets with the world, and probably do so once every few months. Professional blogging is equivalent running a newspaper. And with a personal publication at your beck and call, you can now report more than just the “important” milestones in your business activities. With professional blogging, you can also report human interest stories in addition to your hard-core stories.
After all, companies operate with the combined talent and strength of its staff. And the staff are unique individuals, all with their own stories to share. Why not humanise them by telling their stories too?
And most importantly, old stories aren’t simply “disposed of” in a blog. The are archived, and are still accessible, right up to the very first ever piece that was ever published. This is very useful if you have to cross-reference your current discussion or publication to an older published piece. Published facts will forever remain, and easily accessible to just about anybody.
(3) Corporate Branding
Every company worth its salt will want to develop its own corporate brand identity. Most probably spend a small fortune engaging advertising agencies, or even brand evangelists to develop their corporate identity. You come home, armed with your corporate colours, your corporate logo, your corporate fonts, your uniform looking delivery vans, even down to the way your staff greets and interact with visitors.
You are proud of your corporate brand identity, and you want the whole world to know just how unique you are… Except that most people only see a very small fraction of your corporate identity. They probably only know how the packaging material of the particular product that they bought look like. They wouldn’t know the other products that share the same visual motif in their packaging material. They wouldn’t know the unique way that your reception staff greet visitors. Heck, they don’t even know the philosophy behind your company, nor the person actually running the company.
With a healthy and properly run website, you can actually publicise the meaning behind your company logo, the meaning of the corporate colours, your company philosophy, even the face of the Managing Director or CEO of the company, together with a personal message to the world. You can even include the security guard that that keeps your premises safe, the tea-lady that serves refreshments to your guests and staff, and all of the other general staff that make up of the structure of your company.
A company with a human-side will usually appear warm and friendly, especially when compared to a cold and expressionless facade, represented only by the logo, or even the image of their building. You have a story, so go ahead and tell it to the world.
(4) The World Is Your Oyster
Newspapers, billboards, radio or television advertisements, they all share one thing in common – their coverage is geographically limited. A website, however, exist in cyberspace. This means that you can reach anybody on Earth (even in orbit on board the International Space Station) with your website.
You are now not only catering for a local or regional audience. Your messages can now be heard across the whole world. How cool is that?…
(5) Corporate Dollars And Sense
An undead website costs money to keep alive, and doesn’t give anything in return. It is cheap, but will still generate a nett loss at the end of every financial year.
A healthy website costs about the same amount to keep alive as an undead website. But it saves you a whole lot of publicity expenses from other departments and their budgets. If you take a step back, and look at the big picture on a long-term, a well maintained website will actually save you money, and maybe even earn for its own upkeep too.
Take Advantage Of A Living And Breathing Website
Now that you know just how much power you wield in your hands with your corporate website, you must wisely utilise its power.
With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility ~ Stan Lee
Maintaining a living and breathing website isn’t a part-time responsibility for any individual on your pay-roll. If you want your website to be run properly, and be able to reap the harvest of all the great potentials, you will need a dedicated team of editors, photographers, journalists and web designers. That’s right, run it like a news publishing agency… your personal news publishing agency…