The New 'New' Corporate Website
They don’t even care about what you do.
They care about what you can do for them.
I am fond of saying this to, well, anyone who will listen. (I believe it’s the phrase on which my now-16-year-old daughter perfected her eye roll.) The reason I’m fond of the this saying, aside from it’s slight snarkiness, is that it not only encapsulates exactly what B-to-B buyers are thinking, but also pokes a little fun at the ego with which so many marketers think of their own marketing materials.
To avoid this trap on your company website, you must keep the focus pointed outward, not inward. The language you use will be a big part of this focus, but the site’s navigation and organizing structure are important, too.
In other words, the About Us and What We Do pages aren’t nearly as important to your prospects as you think. You should de-emphasize those pages and/or rethink them in favor of pages that explain the benefits of what you do and the impact what you do can have on your prospects’ businesses.
With that in mind, you should make sure that About Us finds its rightful home, which is not as the first item on your main menu. That first item, which can have any number of titles, should be an entry point into the ways you can help prospects improve their businesses.
(About Us should, in most cases, be the second-to-last item on your main menu. Having the Contact page occupy the last spot has become enough of a convention that you should not mess with your audience’s expectations.)
On your home page, talking about yourself and your products or services beyond a basic introductory paragraph is a waste of valuable screen real estate. That screen space should be used for three (give or take) calls to action that draw visitors deeper into your site.
Once you have your navigation and structure properly focused, you should review your site’s copy – both its focus and its language. In addition to being all about “you,” the prospect and not “we,” the marketers, it needs to provide value to your target audience.
Your site should include tools, tips, and thought pieces. You should have landing pages devoted to your key audience segments. And your materials should be timely and relevant to the issues your prospects are facing – exactly the things that About Us and What We Do nearly always aren’t.
To be an effective marketing tool, your site has to bring the benefits of what you do to life. Content has to include useful tools and tips and how-to guides that provide value to your target audience. The marketing value is driven home as prospects come to think of you as a knowledgeable and valuable resource on whom they can rely when they move from exploring an issue to seeking a solution.
Since 1996, Andrew Schulkind has asked clients one simple question: what does digital marketing success look like, and how can marketing progress be measured?
A veteran content marketer, web developer, and digital strategist, Andrew founded Andigo New Media to help firms encourage audience engagement through solid information architecture, a great user experience, and compelling content. A dash of common sense doesn’t hurt, either.
His work touches social media, search-engine optimization, and email marketing, among other components, and he has presented at Social Media Week NY and WordCampNYC, among other events. His writing appears in various online and print publications.
Andrew graduated with a B.A. in Philosophy from Bucknell University. He engages in a range of community volunteer work and is an avid fly fisherman and cyclist. He also loves collecting meaningless trivia. (Did you know the Lone Ranger made his mask from the cloth of his brother's vest after his brother was killed by "the bad guys?")