Guide On The Importance Of Channel Integration For Website
Sites are more than the sum of their parts. Channel integration online is not only a question of how you share, but how you’re shared.
It’s easy to get hyper-focused on a website. It’s the one piece of the internet you can call your own, and there’s a temptation within that to keep it isolated. This is a mistake.
Your website is important, but it needs to exist within a larger framework to truly shine. Website building giant Weebly announced integration with Facebook Messenger this month, which has got us thinking about just how much integration goes into a good website. Most of us are familiar with social media sharing icons, but those are the tip of the iceberg. Cross-channel integration makes for an open internet, and tapping into it makes for a healthy site.
Cold wars and diplomacy
Most online services are businesses in competition with each. Whatever space you’re in, be it social media or website builders, there are countless brands fighting for your time, attention, and money.
At its worst this competition translates into a kind of cold war. Twitter users @ other Twitter users, Facebook users share with their Facebook friends, Reddit users write smarmy responses to other Reddit users, and so on.
This may seem like a duh observation, but we also recognise that completely impenetrable silo walls are usually bad for the user. Integration benefits everyone. Services keep their exclusivity, and users can connect with different communities and user bases.
Channel integration means aligning different outlets and services to create a shared user experience. It applies to every brand, every service. The New York Times needs its website to resemble its newspapers; Microsoft needs the tone of its emails to match that of its Twitter account.
Strong channel integration creates a united front for a brand. It also offers choice to the user. Interacting with the world through a single channel is a risky game. If that channel falters, so will you. With multiple channels people can use the ones they’re comfortable with and skirt the ones they don’t care for.
The walls are coming down
The walls between internet services are eroding. Users want to stay on platforms because they’re good, not because they’re forced to.
So embrace your website as a melting pot. A site can be built on one platform, sell through another, email via yet another, and still work like a dream. Identify services that fit your needs, be they in social media or ecommerce, and find combinations that work. Connections build strength. This is the web, after all.
What’s this got to do with your website? Connectivity and convenience are king, and odds are you’ll need good channel integration to provide them. Website builders have hundreds of tools at their disposal. The right combinations can make a serious difference to your success.
Cosying up to a platform too much can make you over dependent, but shunning them entirely leaves you isolated. Those of us without enormous budgets and legions of staff need to strike this balance ourselves.Need to know more about Channel Integration? Contact us now!