Content is King
The content on a website is the most important part. At the end of the day, what you have to say is what attracts prospects to you and makes sales.
Content is about telling a story that leads to sales.
What is said is as important as how you say it. We know that only 7% of the communication process is the words we use. The other 93% is the tone, inflection, etc. Although a website can’t address the entire remaining 93% of the communication process, tone CAN be injected into the text to create personality and trust in prospects.
What Do You Have To Say About That?
Once designed, the next most important part of creating a website is the message and tone. Based on the company message, the marketing message is the value proposition for the product or service that company is offering on the website. HOW you portray your message and TO WHOM you portray it is where all these interactive marketing tactics come in. The message is more than just the features, advantages, and benefits of your product or service. The message is more about “what’s in it” for the end-user. The consistency of the tone (casual, formal, scientific, legal, etc.) of the website is important.
What Do I Do Next?
Website visitors are there for a reason. If they found your site (more on that later), typically they want something you have to offer. Pretty simple. However, if they found what they are looking for, what next?
Calls to Action (CTA) are the building block to progressing a prospect through your sales funnel (see next tab). At each step, there must be a “what’s next” until they pull out their wallet and buy something or issue you a purchase order. Calls to Action must be clear, simple and concise (just like your message/tone!). CTAs don’t need to be complicated to be effective. However, make sure to only have ONE CTA on a single page. Sometimes CTAs include opting into a newsletter, downloading a simple report or signing up for a free webinar. No matter what you’re selling, make sure your site has a clear CTA.
Look Out Below!
The hardest part of marketing that most companies fail to grasp is creating a sales funnel process. Knowing who you are targeting (see Customer Avatar) is important. Understanding where your business is in the sales process is also VERY important. For example, if no one knows you exist and don’t realize they need your product, you’re at the Top of Funnel (ToFu) activities. ToFu is also the “Awareness” step in the sales process. Marketing at the ToFu is different than Bottom of Funnel (BoFu) actions. ToFu action includes blog posts that talk about the overall market and how the product solves the problem. BoFu activities include buying the actual product because the customer now understands what you do, what you have to offer, and how your solution fixes a problem they didn’t even know they had.
Is Anybody Out There?
Search engine marketing is one of the most important marketing activities a company can do to be found on the internet. Although nothing is more important than just good content, there are a lot of tactics a company can do to increase their chances of being found on the search engines. Some of those tactics include on page (use of meta and alt tags, having keywords with H1 text and word density to name a few) and off page (including inbound links) optimization. The type of technology you use to support your website will also have a dramatic impact on your search engine results.
Not All Stages Are Equal
Many companies rely on too little content to attract the perfect customer. In today’s world, it’s important to notice that consumers are bombarded with different format types including blog posts, videos, free trials, webinars, the list goes on and on… Using different content formats allows you to reach a wider audience because some prospects enjoy the process of learning more about you and your company.
It’s Like Dating…
The sales process is often equated to that of dating… typically, it can take a few dates to really get to know someone and see what sort of potential relationship is brewing. Too many times sales people rush to “close,” and, if they meet any resistance, move on to the next prospect hoping the “close” will happen faster and with less effort. We all know that lasting relationships take time and effort. Depending on the product, sometimes a fast “close” is fine.
A Whole New World
Blogging has got to be one of the most important tasks a company can do to increase its reach on the internet. Think about it… people are on the internet looking things up. We are on the middle of an intellectual Renaissance and business can now reach worlds never before thought possible.
It used to be that only super attractive content events would be the ideal spot for advertisers to roam (ie: Super Bowl Sunday, Olympics, World Cup Soccer, F1, etc.). Today, the internet is outpacing all those events and, for the first time, a business can be both the content provider AND the advertiser at the SAME time! Think about that…