Welcome to my website, how may I convert you?
If you are at the start of a website build, a big congratulations is in order. You’ve just made an extremely important decision and the future’s looking bright for your business.
But it isn’t time to celebrate yet. There are a number of key content decisions that will shape the success of one of your primary inbound marketing platforms.
Having a functional, optimised and beautiful website is becoming a point of difference between a good company and an excellent company – and today’s consumers will no longer settle for just good.
For the next few months, you’re going to be asked a range of questions by your agency. Do you have a preference for a CMS? What are your branding guidelines? Do you have any existing UX issues? Are there certain things that must be incorporated into the design?
These questions are just a taste of what a website build involves. It’s a lot of work but luckily, you can save a bit of time using all that great content from your old site, right?
Actually, content is key.
Why? In inbound methodology, it all comes down to building trust and credibility throughout every stage of the buyer’s journey. Maybe you didn’t realise it, but the copy on your old website is likely to be one of the reasons your old site didn’t work as a marketing tool.
Much more than just another marketing buzzword, the buyer’s journey refers to three key stages that your potential audience passes through: awareness, consideration and decision. If you’ve worked hard to get someone to click through to your site, then building your content to support the buyer’s journey is essential to keeping them there.
Captivating, useful, and relevant content will attract visitors to your site and increase the chance of making a sale, especially when combined with a little cost-per-click advertising and social media magic. Hopefully at this point, you’re still reading because you recognise that your existing content needs a reboot or rewrite to align better with inbound marketing methods. Use the following guide to map content for every stage in the buyer’s* journey.
*Please note: until your visitor buys something, we refer to them as prospects.
Stage 1: Awareness
It’s important to remember that a prospect in the awareness stage is a free agent. They aren’t looking to close the deal yet, so make content about their challenge and leave your service out.
Some content formats that work well here:
- Ebooks: If you can create an informative ebook about a challenge your business helps to solve and advertise it as free, a prospect serious about research will often give their email in exchange for it. If the ‘book’ in ebook sounds daunting because you’re no author, choose a topic you can talk about easily or find someone else in your company to help you.
- Infographics and visual guides: Infographics are a visual representation of a process or concept. They are successful because they guide the prospect through information in an entertaining way, so it doesn’t feel like research.
- Checklists: Think of titles like “5 Things You Need Before You…” or “You Can’t Do This Without These 10 __” and go from there.
- Blogs: Blogging is a key part of the inbound marketing methodology. A well written blog will help you get discovered by more people through search engines, email and social media. Just make sure your blog relates back to your area of expertise!
Stage 2: Consideration
Now that your prospect has identified their challenge and knows more about how they will solve it, continue the education but introduce your business as well. The content you develop for this stage should be focused on specific options that your business can provide.
Content formats that suit your prospect in the consideration stage:
- Whitepapers: A whitepaper refers to a detailed description of an issue and your own stance on it. They are a great way to go further into industry owned topics using hard evidence and statistics, plus you can show your expertise – a big part of building trust!
- FAQs: If you are asked the same questions over and over again, add an FAQ to your website. Many people will click there straight away if they have a query or they could use it to find out more about your company.
- How-to videos: You might choose to hire help here, but don’t be put off by the wide world of video – it’s on the rise. There are plenty of great editing tools around that can make the most amateur clip a polished piece of content.
Stage 3: Decision
Now you and your prospect are in a wonderful relationship built on information exchange. It’s time to close. Add value or make it easier for them to choose by creating content that results in a purchase:
- Free things: A complimentary consultation, a no obligation quote, a free trial… It all helps the prospect to make a decision with a little more certainty.
- Discounts and deals: People will generally pay the right price for the right solution but a little savings goes a long way when making the final choice. Plus, word of mouth about your great deal is always good.
- Case studies: A relatable case study will answer questions a prospect might not have thought of and it will show the process of your company in action.
- Live demos: Meet them in person and show them how it’s done!
There’s a lot of hard work necessary when it comes to content creation, but it’s worth doing well. Don’t take a digital gun and shoot yourself in the digital foot. Give people what they want from your website. They are there to find out more from the experts and on your website, the expert is you.
A happy client is one who came to your website and got the information they needed every step of the way.