My Dad calls them “destructions”. You know – the printed papers that come with most electronic items or things that need to be put together. Detailed explanations of pieces and parts and how they all operate are provided in order to help you complete the process of putting something together for use. These also help answer questions if you’ve got a product and just can’t quite figure out how to make it work the way it is supposed to.
They explain everything.
Well they do if you are patient enough to read them or do what they map, show, or say. They’re perfect for the engineer types who want details, information, and specifics. People like me get bored really quickly and just try to figure it out. I guess that’s why I’m not very good at the products labeled “Some Assembly Required”.
On the other hand, this perpetual struggle I have leads to a helpful marketing observation.
A lot of companies – especially technology companies – like to use their websites like an instruction manual.
Most websites are supposed to be marketing tools. At least they are initially and as you determine how you’re going to build yours to attract customers (or patients or clients). Sure, you can put product specifications, schematics, directions to your location, answers to frequently asked questions, and things like that on your site. But where the real value these days comes is in the ability to connect with prospective users.
Think about that as you design your next website.
Is it easy to use? Does it catch someone’s eye or make them want to explore further? Is it helpful? Have you made it interesting? These are the types of questions that ought to drive most every website (even the fulfillment and technical ones). Naturally you’ll want it to be responsive so no matter what screen someone is using, they can have a good experience. And of course you eventually want to engage people and get them to take the steps needed to make a buying or appointment decision – over time. Websites should market first – then educate.
The bottom line is that your website is the new storefront. It’s what greets those interested in doing business with you. Start there.