Photo: Dulcet Nightingale
On Tuesday, I was lucky enough to attend Lady Gaga’s concert during her Monster Ball Tour in Boston at the TD Garden. The show was beyond amazing and made me appreciate Lady Gaga’s talent on a whole new level. Thousands of people paid a lot of money to attend this sought after event and Lady Gaga, reminding us that we are the most important part of her show, did not disappoint. From barely-there costumes, intense dance moves, ballads, and impressive electric guitar solos – this concert definitely rocked the house.
Ok, let’s not exaggerate, your website may not be able to “rock the house” like a Lady Gaga concert but here are 5 ways to keep your website in tip-top shape, applying some of my favorite parts from Lady Gaga’s Monster Ball.
Costume changes – Lady Gaga changed her costume at least six times, that’s when I lost track. I think her costume changes were partially because we naturally expect to see her in over-the-top, outlandish outfits, but also to coordinate with the theme of the song.
#1 You should think about revamping your website design from time to time. This doesn’t mean every 5 years, it’s the internet folks, you must keep up with the times and your competitors. It can be small additions to functionality or a complete overhaul – either way it should be a priority for your website initiatives. Remember, your site’s design is your first impression to new visitors and leads.
Cost vs. Value – I paid $125 for my ticket to see Lady Gaga and I wasn’t very close to the stage; in fact I was so high up my fear of heights kicked in. However, the concert is something I will remember for a lifetime. The overall experience of it, as well as seeing all the people dressed up in various Gaga-inspired clothing, outweighed the amount of money that I paid for my ticket.
#2 This reminds of the difference between cost and value. We stress the value of important content, especially when prompting users to enter personal information in order to access whitepapers, videos, demos, etc. The cost to the user is their personal information and the time they take to enter it; the value is the end content as well as the experience while navigating through your site. With your website, and even your products and services, work to offer the best value and experience for your customers.
Offer Variety – There was so much variety in the show – Lady Gaga sang pop songs, she danced, there was a bit of storytelling, she played the piano while singing a ballad (“Speechless”), and she also took time to have a conversation with the audience.
#3 We talk about the importance of variety in content on websites quite often here at Hall. You want to offer multiple ways for users to interact with your site as personal preferences and the way we search varies from person to person. Use an array of different content on your site such as videos, images, blogs, whitepapers, demos, graphs, etc. to keep your users engaged and more likely to stay on your site and visit multiple pages.
Getting Personal – Like I mentioned before, Lady Gaga took time during her show to talk to her fans; her “Little Monsters.” She shared her personal struggles with being bullied and feeling like an outcast and read letters out loud that were thrown to her on stage. She even called a member of the audience on her cellphone during the concert and asked him to have a drink with her after the show. She took extra time to get personal; to get to know her audience a little more. She pays attention to what we like and tries to surprise us and entertain us. She shared with us how much pressure she puts on herself to make the performance perfect but then acknowledges that it’s the people in attendance that actually make the show so great.
#4 We should take the extra time to acknowledge our users, our current customers, our supporters, etc. and make sure that is relayed in our web design and content. These are elements like usability and navigation and ensuring that we have valuable content for our users on our site.
The Brand – When it comes down to it, Lady Gaga (also known as Stefani Germanotta) has an amazing talent. Her voice alone makes her a star but she can also dance and play musical instruments. But so does Christina Aguilera – so what makes Lady Gaga so unique? If you ask me it’s the brand that she has created – it’s almost like a mini culture. She shares her views and encourages people to be proud that that were “Born This Way.” She has even created a way to refer to her fans by calling us “Little Monsters” and yelling for us to “Put Your Paws Up” and dance.
#5 We all have competitors that offer similar products and services but it’s our brand that separates us. Look at your company and decide what makes it different, special, or better than what your competitors do. Use that when you are designing your site, in the copy on your site, and what you offer to your prospects and clients.
The concert left me with a great memory that I am glad to share with others. I’ll probably try to go to her next concert and suggest that if anyone gets the opportunity to see Lady Gaga perform – do not pass it up! You want the same response after people interact with your website; you want them to have a good experience, be memorable, come back and share with others.