Patrick Tam | March 8, 2011
In case you haven’t noticed in my previous articles, the stuff I talked about is usually pretty boring. I remind people to stay real, be practical, and not get too hyped up. I sound like the unsupportive wife of an entrepreneurial husband. (Wait a minute that feels oddly familiar!)
The brutal truth is, the mad chase of the latest and greatest by the richest and the bravest has left a trail of badly executed digital debris behind. Therefore, I always like to remind people to get the basics right.
Below are a few things relating to what we’ve been working on lately that demonstrate the importance of the basics.
Information Design – Wireframe
An important step that is often neglected in the design process of many digital presences is wireframing. It’s like storyboarding when you are creating a TVC, or hand sketching when creating a print ad, a step where the key emphasis is not the look and feel, but the prioritising of information, and additionally in the case of digital – function. It is the most important step. You need to do this when you are creating a website, an app, a game, a banner ad, and even an e-mail. If you get the wireframes right, you will save a lot of time and money down the road, and have a more professional output.
Social With an Objective
The whole point of having a Facebook fan page is not just to be on it but also to know what to do, say, and sell once you are on it. As you are probably aware, there are many fan pages by big and small brands alike that seem ‘lost’. It’s more than common to see wall posts that do not have a coherent brand voice, are not conversational, and are definitely not engaging, with just announcement after announcement. It’s not rocket science, but all you need is a simple objective and run with it. There is a cupcake company in the U.S. that simply asks people on Facebook periodically to say a secret code at the shop for a free sample, and they have more than 257,000 fans as a result. Simple and sweet.
Entrepreneurs are always tempted to go the quick, cheap, and easy way to get a digital presence up and running for their business to show traction in order to get more backing. More often than not, they find themselves stuck with a sub-optimal digital presence and are faced with the recurring question of whether to spend more to salvage or spend even more to do it right all over again. The smart thing to do therefore is to spend a bit more in the beginning to do it right, and save more in the future. Doing it right means spending time to segment your target customers and designing content and function targeted to these segments, which will result in much higher conversion on your digital presence; reviewing your revenue model as you have more insights on your target segments often results in incremental ideas that you didn’t think of before and familiarising yourself with the latest technology for creating your platform will save you money because tools are getting better and cheaper everyday.
In summary, spend time to get the basics right and I guarantee you will be reaping the rewards in time.