Investment management websites should be revised every 18-24 months. And it’s not just because everyone loves a brand-new website – there are compelling business and competitive reasons for doing so.
The problem is that nobody really wants to invest the time and resources into rebuilding one as often as they should.
That’s why website templates make incredible business sense for most firms.
Website templates, explained
Website templates offer a pre-programmed site that allows for significant customization. Two sites can run on the same template, yet look and feel dramatically different, thanks to the ability to add customized coding, as well as the often-robust formatting editors built into the program itself.
Here are a few sites we’ve done which run on template software:
Obviously, there are some trade-offs, as each template has different rules and constraints embedded in the underlying design, so it is important to be sure the template is appropriate for your needs.
We are aware that the last thing most firms want to do is revisit their website so often. Thankfully, hacks such as using templates, can allow routine website revisions to become an integrated part of a firm’s digital and overall marketing strategy.
Hacking the Web Design Process Using Templates
One of DQCOMM’s most vexing ongoing challenges has been:
- balancing client reluctance to commit to a full-blown content strategy with
- the need to keep their digital presence fresh and current.
What we found over the years as we experimented with numerous website development platforms was that templates offered by companies such as Squarespace (DQCOMM’s preferred platform) were an incredibly effective way to:
- keep client costs down while
- increasing the speed with which we could deliver a polished, professional product, and
- give content-shy firms a budget-friendly way to keep their digital presence fresh.
Using Squarespace, we’ve launched new sites in as little as 4 weeks that were:
- highly professional and technologically sophisticated, with
- a strong focus on the user experience, and
- at a significant discount to what custom design typically costs.
And importantly, the template subscription offers the ability to swap one template for another. In essence, firms can transfer all their existing content from one template to another, quickly and easily, giving the audience the impression of a brand new site, but with a fraction of the work when compared against a full custom rebuild.
In this case, a hack isn’t just a corner-cutting strategy; it’s a top-to-bottom way of streamlining a given process and (in this case) enabling it to fit snugly into a marketing budget.
Why Revise Consistently?
In truth, many smart companies revise their websites on a continual, ongoing basis, using audience-generated analytics data to inform their content and design decisions.
Such a process ensures the creation of useful, value-added, audience-centered content.
The problem is that this concept (known in the industry as “growth-driven design”) requires a fully-developed, committed content strategy with advanced analytics software to guide the revision process. Since most investment management firms struggle with the content side of the equation, the website redevelopment process has remained a periodically-undertaken, stand-alone project.
Want to learn more about content strategy? Click below for our complimentary ebook
But as we’ve seen, templates offer a hack that makes regular, frequent website revisions a relatively painless, budget-conscious endeavor that adds significant value to your topline marketing efforts.
This is particularly important if your firm isn’t doing much in the way of content generation (i.e.: no blogs, infrequent white papers, no video).
Revising the website is the best way to offer interested parties the sense that your firm isn’t standing still, given that stale content and a design that hasn’t changed in 4 years don’t exactly offer much confidence that your firm is a forward-thinking, dynamic place.
Even if your firm is staunchly conservative, and what you do doesn’t change much year-to-year, you still need to be sensitive to the importance of the “sizzle-steak” marketing side of the equation.
It also allows a firm to capitalize on the latest trends in web design, which further augments the sense that a firm is paying attention to the broader industry marketing trends guiding its business.
Attracting assets isn’t simply a matter of having good performance – it is a competitive, brutal business. Always looking your best is the easiest way to project strength, and it’s especially important when your competitors are doing the same.
Cost isn’t the obstacle it used to be
So let’s say that you would like to redesign your investment management website, but you just spent $15,000 - $20,000 2-5 years ago on a full re-brand, including a website and ancillary materials.
You know that getting the principals to go along with another overhaul is a fool’s errand. But what we’re talking about here isn’t a rebranding exercise – it’s more of a spit-polish, akin to a bathroom remodeling project. After all, you don’t have to rip out the cabinets and tub - a fresh coat of paint, new faucets and maybe some tile work will often do the trick.
That’s what a website template can do for your digital strategy.
The link between digital marketing and asset growth is one I’ve made often, but it bears repeating: your website is the most widely-distributed piece of marketing in your arsenal. Ensuring it is always putting your firm in its best light is of paramount importance.
If you want to learn more, we are re-posting a offer from earlier in the year. Click below for details: