Far More Than a Fresh Look
When you look good, you feel good. But when you apply this logic to a new website, you really end up with lipstick on a pig.
That wasn’t the case (thankfully) when we built a new website for MAC6. They weren’t looking for a shiny new object just so they could show it off. They knew their digital storefront wasn’t speaking to their customers in a way they could hear it.
Arriving at this place of awareness didn’t happen overnight. It took a brain-bending brand engagement followed by the creation of a focused implementation plan and a healthy dose of open-mindedness to get there.
Despite the overabundance of tools and emerging trends in the digital marketing world, MAC6 was willing go along with an often-ignored thing called strategy. And that strategy started with all the brand definition work we did with them before they moved on the public-facing parts of their brand.
They wanted to do it right, and the benefits were apparent from the get-go.
Understanding customer journeys and forming a sitemap were the first step, of course. The initial sitemap was informed by the audience personas and service areas we created as part of our brand definition work.
We brought that sitemap to our half-day wireframe workshop where we sketched out each page of the site. It was super-smooth. We nailed design structure and discussed content strategy for each page. We even divided up writing assignments based on the complexity of the pages. MAC6 wanted to be involved in writing some of the content, so the wireframe session helped exposed the pages that were more complex from a messaging perspective.
The workshop was about so much more than getting some wireframes done. The client felt confident about the direction of the project and had an opportunity to have their voice heard at an early stage. It also helped expedite the design and content creation phases of the project. And using a sitemap informed by the brand work we did showed how those foundational brand pieces made implementation much smoother (and more strategic!).
Branded Photography & Videography
A big “ah-ha” moment during the wireframe session was the need for new, on-brand photos and videos for the site. MAC6 wanted to show how community thrived in its different workspace offerings, and they didn’t have anything visual to show off the culture-development side of their brand.
On top of that, they freely admitted that their spaces were notoriously difficult to shoot because of their “challenging angles.” Challenge accepted.
We partnered with our good friends at Pelican Media to make magic happen. Together, we strategized the best places, angles, people, and methods for bringing the MAC6 brand to life through photography and video. We coordinated with different tenants in the various spaces so they could help us “fill the spaces” on the day of the shoot.
And Pelican Media brought drones.
The collection of photography and videography captured by Pelican Media was on point. We got new (and consistent) staff headshots for MAC6, great rooftop team shots, and superb drone footage to show how conveniently-located the spaces were to major freeways.
We also got masterful shots inside the different spaces without being handicapped by the notoriously challenging angles. And the images definitely showed authentic community. We eliminated the need for any stock photography, and Pelican did a great job of capturing genuine moments so nothing was too posed.
The work was so successful that we decided to put a montage of video clips together for the website in the form of a video header. It wasn’t part of the original plan, but the work was just too good to pass up.
Good visuals and an improved design were only part of what we needed to make MAC6’s new site sing. As we know, content is king. For this project, the client wanted to share in content creation responsibilities. Usually it’s tough to make that work. But thanks to the brand definition work we did with MAC6 prior to kicking off the website project as well as the collaborative wireframe workshop, roles and responsibilities were clearly defined. We were able to sing from the same sheet of music when it came time to write copy.
This made the words come fast. We were able to complete new copy for the entire site with minimal editing and review way ahead of schedule. The slowest part of the content creation process was actually deciding which chunks of content from the old site to bring over and how to tweak them.
Best of all, the content written by Resound and the client was nearly indistinguishable. Verbal guidelines worked! There was consistency in tone and voice across pages.
Web Design and Development
With conceptual wireframes and paragraphs of copy in the works, we needed to get buy off on a general design for the site. We started with a design mockup of one of the sketched pages so MAC6 could see a sample of a real page with their colors, fonts, and imagery included. With buy-off on the general vibe of the design, our design and development team began putting the bones and joints of the site together.
MAC6 didn’t need a fully-custom site that was capable of doing a lot of heavy lifting, so we were able to save them some money by developing a WordPress “child” theme based on the pre-built Divi theme and adding some custom functionality. We built styles that matched the MAC6 branding so there was consistency from page-to-page and built custom navigation and footer menus. We also tied in their contact forms to their existing automation platform and integrated Google Maps, Google Analytics, and Google Search Console. Furthermore, we optimized on-page SEO for all pages of the site and wrote meta titles, descriptions, and image tags.
We set up the production server for the new site, migrated existing blog posts and media from the old site, and wrote page redirects to make sure everything was connected when we switched out the old with the new.
Once everything was built, we dropped content in and began testing and QA’ing our work to make sure everything was functional for launch.
Analytics and Optimization
When we went live with the site, we continued to optimize and support it. We had already gathered months of analytics data from the old site, so we were able to measure and monitor visitors’ behavior on the new site to make sure their journey was in line with our original vision.
As we provided monthly reporting to MAC6, we noted opportunities for potential improvement and incorporated suggestions into an ongoing marketing implementation plan we built even before we started on the site.
Once again, it was strategy at work.
Since the Launch...
MAC6 has observed a marked increase in the number of tours and tenants they’re booking in their spaces. They’re executing more culture-focused programs and continuing to gain traction in their focused areas of service.