Visual Communications Company’s (VCC) has re-designed its site from the ground up. The new version is much more social media friendly. This kind of Web site transition is becoming very common for Business to Consumer (B2C) and online companies, but is still a new thing for brick and mortar Business to Business (B2B) companies. VCC manufacturers and sell LEDs and LED mounting devices.
I was interested in this site change from a designer’s point of view and also from a business perspective. This is a great example of a company with a broadening social media strategy.
I asked VCC’s President, Andrew Zanelli, about the site changes.
1) Please describe the changes you made to the VCC site.
We made a ton of changes to the site. First, we wanted to improve the ability for a visitor to find the info they are looking for. We accomplished this by reorganizing the content in a way that is more intuitive to our users (engineers and purchasers). Additionally, we optimized every page for the search engines. This involved really getting a thorough understanding of the words that people us when describing our products. While we were already familiar with most, our analysis showed that engineers and others had some unique ways of describing the benefits our products provide. By adding their terminology to our site, we are now capturing a larger amount of traffic.
Additionally, we incorporated our blog into the vcclite.com domain. Previously, we had it hosted on a unique domain vccblog.com. This was due to the limitation of our host’s platform. This was a deal breaker and we moved our whole site to the WordPress platform. We use our blog to communicate not only general news about VCC, but also industry news and VCC design wins. Our stakeholders really like the stream of information that VCC provides.
Additionally, we added a wiki to the new site. The wiki is focused on VCC product FAQs and is a constantly being updated with written content and videos that describe common issues that are encountered when someone is new to our products. Now, a user doesn’t need to call in to find the answer to their question, or if they do, we can refer them to a video that describes the solution. One of the goals here is to help reduce the amount of service type calls that our sales and engineering teams field.
All of these efforts are feeding into our vision of vcclite.com turning into an online community for our stakeholders. Not a community like a Facebook, although we do have a fan page on FB, but rather a community of super high quality information being shared about VCC and our efforts.
2) Was the change more about addressing problems with the previous site or about seeking new opportunities? Or both?
The world of sales and marketing is changing very quickly. While no one can really agree on how quickly we are moving away from traditional media, I am convinced that it behooves VCC to be on the leading edge of new ideas and technologies that will help drive leads to our salespeople. An optimized website, a fine-tuned PPC campaign, SEO… these are all things that help potential customers find VCC. More and more people are simply using Google to search for product information. By aligning our efforts with the tools of the future we are getting a serious head-start over our competitors and at the same time saving money that would otherwise be wasted on traditional efforts that are incredibly difficult to assign a true value to. We are not totally abandoning traditional media. In fact, we still have a strong print campaign. It works hand-in-hand with our new efforts. Partners like Hearst Media Electronics Group have really embraced online marketing and have figured out how to blend the two together for a comprehensive approach. VCC loves to participate in its programs.
3) Where do you see the site and VCC going next?
Next generation for VCC is to make our site more interactive. The wiki will help this. Additionally effort will also be made in the social media space. We have some unique ideas here that I prefer not to share yet. Otherwise, our laser beam focus will remain on lead-gen and brand awareness.