In this blog, we’re diving into the real purpose behind websites within motorsports (and the world of business in general). We’ll cover all the value points and benefits modern sites offer when done correctly, how its intended use makes all the difference, and how we utilize these principles on our own website, ikoniqa.com. To keep this blog from becoming a novel, we won’t be going into any sort of technical aspects, but rather, we’ll just be focusing on the high level use cases and marketing side of things.
Let the Desired Outcomes Drive Your Decisions
Let’s start where every project with us begins – goals and outcomes. We’re not so much service driven so much as we are outcome driven, because at the end of the day, we’re in the business of solving other business’s problems. By working backwards and setting up desired outcomes first, you’re far more likely to make wiser decisions on how to attack any project.
As it pertains to web design though, that means figuring out what you’re looking to achieve by simply having a website in the first place, let alone determining what’s on it yet. What you may find is that a website might not be the most effective route, and that other mediums would be more deserving of your time and energy given your intended goals. We refer to this phase as the strategy phase when working with clients, but this is also something you can perform internally as well to a certain degree. Regardless of whether you decide even having a website is worth your time, we do recommend purchasing and maintaining your own domain(s) so that you always have the option to create a site without worrying about whether someone else might claim or use your preferred domains.
Let’s assume though that you’ve got a clear set of a goals, and a website is the best route to achieve these goals. What can a modern website offer to those in motorsports that other mediums can’t? Short answer – there’s little a modern site can’t achieve, but let’s look at some of the more high value aspects.
Speaking as designers, your website is the only truly tailored and branded piece of content on the internet you can have; A place where you’re not constrained by the format, algorithm, or style of something like a social media platform or a public blog. Thus, the quality of your website will be seen by your target audience as a reflection of the quality of the business itself, to varying degrees. Unlike social media profiles, the barrier to entry with your own website is much higher, and it forces you to show your work. It’s also typically the first place a prospect or customer will interact with the brand, and first impressions matter.
In the modern digital age, websites are way more than just “internet placeholders” and static pages. Modern systems and integrations allow for everything from simple e-commerce integrations, to publications, to marketing hubs/blogs, to creating and hosting content that aims to distinguish you from your competition. We’ll dive more into that last point in future blogs of ours, but in short, using a website to distinguish yourself and display a specific expertise can be of high value in certain scenarios, especially on the SEO front.
Speaking of SEO, nearly all social media posts are exempt from being cataloged by search engines. On the other hand, nearly every piece of content hosted on a website can be cataloged by a search engine and ranked. Building a website properly by conforming to basic SEO practices can be a huge factor in how easily your ideal clients and future connections find you.
A motorsports specific use case for a website is to act as an additional platform where you can create, publish, and host content exclusively for your sponsors and partners. This can be anything from blog publications your sponsors can link to, all the way to the creation of digital experiences, and everything in-between.
Last but certainly not least, sometimes a website simply exists as a place to communicate essential information (the key work being “Communicate”). How you decide to communicate information and create an enjoyable user experience may then become the main focus.
To wrap this up, let’s dissect how Ikoniqa.com has been built to meet our own needs as an example. You'll find there's actually quite a bit of overlap between our goals and the average racing team's goals, so we think it's a fitting example. As a digital agency, a website is 100% necessary for us given that web design is one of the most common services we end up providing. But so far as the site’s goals are concerned, Ikoniqa.com has four main pillars it stands on.
The first pillar is brand identity. Our site acts to communicate and expand upon our brand ethos. Our teal gradient, florescent teal block color, rounded san-serif font (Graphie), and other brand assets all live and play here. We even go so far as to brand all of our social media posts as well, such that you may recognize us across multiple mediums.
Secondly, our site acts as a content hub for blogs, PR, and content posts. We distribute the links generated across social media as a way to drive traffic back to the site itself so users can learn more about our capabilities. This creates a positive feedback loop that expands our brand’s public awareness, provides free value to users, and ultimately leads to new clients and connections longer term.
Thirdly, our site acts as an online portfolio piece for a curated set of projects we occasionally update / revolve. Claiming we’re capable of something is one thing, but we prefer to show our work when possible.
The final pillar is purely marketing. Our motorsports resources page, our educational style blogs, and our racing team are all marketing assets that we use to generate content, provide value, and grow our fan base. We wanted the website to not only be a place that prospective clients could go to view our capabilities, but also a place that racers and teams could utilize at no cost to extract value for their own operations. Our long-term goal associated with this side of the website and business as a whole is to build a small fan base, rather than a client base, because clients will always come and go as projects require, but fans of the brand are for life.
We hope the example used in our own site may also spark some ideas as to how a team or racer may improve their own, as there’s plenty of overlap so far as use case is concerned. The key takeaway here is to become more outcome driven, and more detached from all of the other factors that influence the content of a site. For more info on services we offer, or to see all of our capabilities, check out our Client Services page. Next up, we’ll dive into the niche service of managing the digital side of a racing series.