What Does a Successful Content Marketing Website Do?
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Your website has a tough job. It must appeal to your site visitors in a way that encourages engagement and moves those visitors toward action, and it must do this without necessarily knowing anything about your visitors when they first arrive.
Once a visitor has been to the content marketing site or connected with you via social media or email, you have much more information to work with — assuming you have good CRM and marketing automation tools in place.
But even without that information, your site needs to do the following:
- Address prospects’ problems
- Demonstrate your experience and expertise
- Prove effectiveness of your solutions
- Build trust
- Provide a way to reach you
With all that is required of an effective marketing website, the planning and strategy that go into the site before the first line of code is written will have an enormous impact on how well your site performs. The tips below will make the process more productive.
It often helps to begin at the end: Define what constitutes success. Is success adding a new subscriber to your email list? Getting a prospect to call or request contact with a sales person? Or is it actually completing the sale right there on the site?
If you know what you are hoping to achieve, you can design the site with that goal in mind. Or, we should say, with those goals in mind, because you’re likely to have multiple success points.
Adopt the Proper Perspective
Your site needs to be organized, written and focused on the world from your prospect’s perspective. Your organizational chart doesn’t matter. Nor do your mission, vision, values or your founder’s inspiration.
At least, not at first.
All these things will help bring your brand to life once prospects have been convinced that your solutions can help solve their problems.
Until then, though, nothing about you matters. So make sure your pages dedicated to early-funnel prospects are all about them.
Answer the Right Questions
You know the questions your clients and prospects ask. (If you don’t, stop reading and sit down with your front-line sales people and customer service reps. Their knowledge is going to help your marketing more than I possibly could.) Make sure your website answers those questions and, wherever possible, digs deeper to answer the questions your prospects don’t yet know to ask. This is a critical link in the chain from casual visitor to a prospect who is comfortable enough to engage with you more deeply.
Ask for Action
Every page of your website should lead naturally toward one thing: the next step in the buyer’s journey. That might simply be the next page on the site, subscribing to an email, downloading a white paper or eventually reaching out for contact with your sales team.
The difficult task here is balancing the need to maintain this tight focus while also presenting the visitor with reasonable options for their next steps. Again, planning and strategy will determine what those options should be and how they should be presented.
If you’re successful at defining success, moving prospects toward that end goal and giving them opportunities to engage and commit, you will have created all the elements for success. You’ll have a content marketing site that converts visitors to subscribers, subscribers to leads and leads to clients.
Learn even more about the convergence of technology and branded content at the FUSE Enterprise summit. Artificial intelligence and personalization will be featured among many other techniques and technologies.
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?")