Website as a Service is a new approach to implementing a more inclusive, evergreen and dynamic digital marketing strategy.
Traditionally websites are delivered as products. A one-time purchase of a website normally consists of a discovery process, design, development, and launch. From there, your organization would be on your own to make updates or changes, but you’d be limited on the level of changes. Unless of course, you have staff with HTML, CSS and PHP skills. And don’t forget you will also need unlimited time and funds to pay for ongoing design and development.
Here is the history of Website as a Service and why your next engagement into a website considers new possibilities.
Following in the Steps of AMS
Software once followed the same model as a one-time purchase, but recently has gone through a metamorphosis and now is sold more as an ongoing service – know as Software as a Service (SaaS). Most associations are now managed on an Association Management Software (AMS) and you probably are on a subscription based agreement for that solution. The benefits of going to a services or subscription for your products, then you get the following:
- Continuous improvements and updates
- Ongoing training and support
- Maintaining relevance
- Flexibility of applying resources and effort
By taking a WaaS approach with your communications tools, you can get a much more holistic solution that can better react to the ever-changing digital landscape. Search engines, social media, video, blogging, mobile are all technologies that are changing at a lightening pace.
Website as a Service Benefits
Associations face many changes to stay relevant with their industry, lots of staff turnover, many new online competitors, retention and membership growth, etc. If your website vendor provides a WaaS solution, your association and members will reap huge benefits. Website as a Service, much like their software counterparts, have very similar points of value:
Continuous Improvements and Updates
How soon after your last website was launched, did you find out about an adjustment to Google updates that would require updates to your website? If you are working with a WaaS provider updates like this can be made with very limited impact on your resources and no additional cost.
Ongoing Training and Support
How long after your last website went live did your Marketing and Communications staffer leave for a new job? WaaS providers will implement regular training as needed for new staff or continuing education for your staff.
Ongoing data measurements from your website can help provide direction for keeping your organization relevant in the eyes of your members and prospects. And if your brand is updated, your website can be updated to reflect those changes as well.
Flexibility of Applying Resources and Effort
Your association can stay up to date at your business make fluid adjustments to your industry needs and wants with a WaaS solution.
Your website is just one part of your overall marketing strategy, but it absolutely MUST be integrated with all of the things your organization does – promoting members, advocating for the industry or community you serve or raising awareness of your upcoming events. If you decide to use a vendor to build a new association website, help with social media or do SEO, you need to make sure you have a true partner that understands your industry and that can provide the ongoing support your organization needs.